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7 Best Foundations for Oily Acne prone Skin

Updated on June 15, 2017
passionatelearnr profile image

My friends tell me that I’m a makeup geek. There’s nothing I love more than putting on makeup and creating a flawless look.

I have been an acne-sufferer myself so I'm well aware of the pain and suffering that acne brings.I have done a lot of research on acne and acne products.

A good foundation for oily acne prone skin is one that is oil free, non-comedogenic and has some active acne fighting ingredient like salicylic acid.Solid thick makeup in the form stick or thick cream though very effective at covering scars and problematic areas should be avoided as they can block pores and exacerbate acne.

All the foundations listed in this article are liquid, water based, non-comedogenic and alcohol free(except one)ꟷthus very suitable for oily acne prone skin. But keep in mind that no single foundation is suitable for all people and no foundation should be relied on to treat acne.Foundations are just to cover acne,make skin appear flawless and not exacerbate existing acne.

Women with acne prone skin should be cautious while using any foundation. A foundation that doesn’t cause break outs in your friend even if her skin is acne prone, may cause bad acne in yours. When you buy a foundation, first leave it on skin for few hours like 2-3, slowly increase the duration to check if your skin reacts to it. If it doesn’t then use it for 6-8 hours.

Women with acne or acne prone skin should not leave make up on for more than 8 hours. Let your skin breathe free from chemicals.

Hope the following information helps you find the foundation that suits your skin and fits your needs!

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

This is a blessing for oily acne prone skin as there’s very less chance of developing pimples or a greasy look with a foundation like this.It is in liquid form but when you apply it on your face,magically it turns into powder .This foundation has cashmere kaolinite clay, which effectively absorbs oil, while retaining the natural moisture of your skin. The 2-3 drops of liquid will hide your imperfections, minimize your pores, last a long time and eliminate the need for touch ups.

Hourglass Immaculate liquid Powder Foundation
Hourglass Immaculate liquid Powder Foundation


  • Does not need a settling powder as it itself dries to powder.
  • An Oil free foundation that’s suitable for oily/combination skin.
  • Paraben and phthalates free.
  • Lasts a long time without fading, slipping or creasing into skin.
  • Comes with a pump.
  • It’s non-greasy and lightweight; Gives a shine free velvety look that you will love.
  • Non-comedogenic; Suitable for acne prone skin..
  • Hides imperfections without giving cakey or mask like look.
  • Works well even if used sparingly; a little goes a long way.
  • Comaouflages redness well.


  • Its lightweight and non-greasy and will not give you full coverage, even if you try to build it.
  • Be careful while selecting the right shades, as shell and sand shade might be too pink for some.check the result of the foundation color in natural light.
  • Pricey.
  • Sets quickly thus making application a little hard.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

For women with oily acne prone skin―This foundation is perfect for everyday use. Its oil free, lightweight and non-comedogenic─ you will not feel like you are wearing makeup. The medicating ingredient will help keep your acne in check, but it will not treat it as the label claims. The amount of salicylic acid is too low to fight acne so you will still be needing acne medications. This foundation gives light to medium coverage that will hide redness and blackheads but for more troublesome and stubborn blemishes you might need a concealer.

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup


  • Oil free
  • Non irritating;Good for everyday use.
  • Also available in powder form.
  • medium coverage,feels fresh and looks very natural.
  • Light in texture that settles into a smooth matte finish.
  • You will be able to find the right colour for your skin tone easily.
  • Will not cure acne but will effectively keep it in check.
  • Packaging is good for travel.
  • Will not transfer to your clothes.


  • Not very long lasting; the duration can be increased by using a good powder.
  • For stubborn blemishes you may need a concealer.
  • Smell can be an issue.
  • Pricey but you may find that it’s worth it.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water

This is a hydrating oil free foundation that’s suitable for every skin type. Its lightweight non-greasy texture will not clog pores, allowing your acne prone skin to breathe easily. Smash box Camera Ready BB Water gives beautiful light coverage that’s matte but not completely matte. So if your skin is very oily expect to blot. Coverage is easily buildable. To build medium coverage apply a layer of powder after applying foundation, then again apply powder followed by foundation. It blends easily whether you use fingers, sponge or brush ― the result is beautiful, even coverage that hides imperfections and looks like skin.

Smashbox camera ready BB water
Smashbox camera ready BB water


  • Lasting power is good; Lasts longer than 8 hours.
  • Fragrance free
  • Buildable light to medium coverage
  • Non-greasy
  • Contains sun protection factor up to SPF 30.
  • Very light weight, you will not feel it on your skin.
  • Beautiful Natural looking finish.
  • Loaded with beneficial antioxidants


  • You may not like the dropper applicator. The foundation liquid coagulates at the opening of bottle and on the outside of the applicator,causing a little mess.Some women like dropper applicators that why every brand has launched a dropper bottle foundation.If you like dropper applicators then that shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Just one or two drops are enough to hide imperfections and make your skin look smooth but it will not provide protection from sun.To get the stated SPF on the bottle, apply liberally.
  • It’s very runny which makes fast application a little hard.

Almay Clear Complexion Makeup

Great for everyday use and also for those days when you just want to look natural. It’s a very suitable foundation for oily acne prone skin .It controls oil so well that you will not be needing a powder on top. This foundation contains salicylic acid which is the ingredient that will keep your acne in check but it will not cure it, as promised by Almay. If your skin is oily and acne prone but tolerates salicylic acid well, then this is the right foundation for you.The texture of Almay Clear Complexion Makeup is neither thick nor runny but just right.When applied on face,this foundation feels very lightweight; it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky at all. The beautiful medium coverage hides redness and blemishes well. But If you have a lot to hide pair it with Almay clear complexion concealer, also do not forget to wear an effective sunscreen during day time use.

Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
Almay Clear Complexion Makeup


  • Medium coverage with flawless finish.
  • Well packaged; the bottle comes with a clean easy to use pump.
  • Affordable price
  • Great for everyday use or casual use.
  • Beautiful matte finish that lasts for hours.
  • Not tested on animals.
  • Non-comedogenic; It doesn't clog pores .


  • Amount of salicylic acid is too low to heal blemishes.
  • No SPF
  • It dries quickly so you have to work very fast.
  • No shade options for very dark or light skin tones.

Boots No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation

One of the most gentle, noncomedogenic foundations on market.Its comes in a bottle with an easy to use hygenic pump.Fluid creamy texture sinks into skin and you end up with gorgeous velvet soft finish, not powdery or ashy finish like most of the heavy matte foundations. It’s very easy to blend. Coverage is medium but you can easily build it to full without looking cakey or overdone.It’s rich in pigmentꟷOne pump is enough to cover whole face,and gives you medium coverage.using more will give you full coverage and effectively hide problematic areas.The acne fighting ingredient in Boots No7 Beautifully matte Foundation is salicylic acid.This foundation will not only keep your acne in check but also cover scars and blemishes or any hyperpigmentation very well. It’s very long lasting—the foundation stays put for hours and effectively controls oil and shine,reducing well your need for touch ups.Though a bit expensive for a drugstore foundation but much cheaper than high end foundations.Its often on sale so you can get it for 10$ and it will last you more than 3 months even if you use it everyday.

If you have oily acne prone skin and you want full coverage,try this one.

Boots No.7 beautifully matte Foundation
Boots No.7 beautifully matte Foundation


  • Packaging is sleek and practical
  • Hypoallergenic; it’s very gentle to skin.
  • Beautiful medium to full coverage that hides acne, acne sacrs and hyperpigmentation very well.
  • Very long lasting;lasts upto 8+ hours.
  • Oil free
  • Non comedogenic
  • A little goes a long way.
  • Contains oil absorbing powders that effectively control oil and shine all day.
  • A matte foundation with SPF 15


  • Comes in 14 beautiful shades but no shade options for those with very pale or very dark skin.
  • Contains alcohol which might cause allergic reactions in some.If you are allergic to alcohol based products do not use it.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro matte Foundation

Housed in a plastic tube with a screw capꟷthis foundation is one of the VERY few yellow toned drugstore foundations. It sets very fast and provides medium coverage that can be built to full without feeling heavy on face. True to its claim the foundation lasts very long. It easily stays for more than 8 hours and is suitable for those with very oily skin. So, If you are yellow toned and nothing ever stays matte on your face without applying powderꟷyou will fall in love with this foundation.It really reduces the need for touch ups. As far as acne is concerned it may not help with your acne but it will not hurt it.

Try this foundation with pro matte primer for best results.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro matte Foundation
L’Oreal Infallible Pro matte Foundation


  • It’s Waterproof and thus suitable for beach days or humid days.
  • Completely matte finish is ideal for oily acne prone skin.
  • Long Wearing, for a drug store foundation. This is amazing and lasts all day!
  • Fragrance-free; good for those sensitive to perfumed products
  • Looks lovely in flash photography - no white cast (likely due to lack of SPF)
  • Fabulously matte that controls oil for more than 8 hours, often without powder!
  • Great coverage, medium to full depending on application
  • Does not need a setting or finishing powder
  • Does not transfer
  • super thin consistency, and very lightweight,
  • It feels like you're not wearing anything


  • Higher price point for a drugstore foundation.
  • The shade selections runs very yellow toned so if you have pink undertones you might not find a matching shade.
  • The color range is so limited; selecting the right shade is hard. Color selection doesn't have the lightest or darker colors for those who need it
  • Requires swift and speedy blending. Sets very fast, so you have to work in small sections and blending might be tricky for someone with less experience applying makeup.

Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Elf products are a life saver when you are on tight budget and do want to spend a lot on cosmetics.

Elf Acne fighting foundation comes in the form of thick liquid that settles into beautiful dewy matte finish on the skin without powder and a matte finish with powder .Just a small amount will give you medium to full coverage and will effectively hide scars and blemishes. It has acne fighting ingredient 2% salicylic acid combined with tea tree, witch hazel and camphor so you don’t have to worry about your acne getting worse while wearing full coverage makeup.It’s really a cheap foundation,even it fits into budget of students.You should apply it with beauty blender and spend some time blending.Don’t use a brush,as it’s very hard to take it off the brush. If you want lighter coverage, just mix it with water or rose water .

This foundation is a proof that You don't have to pay a fortune to get great products . It's a really good foundation if it matches your skin color though.

Elf Acne Fighting Foundation
Elf Acne Fighting Foundation


  • Rich in natural ingredients.
  • Very cheap; You get more than you pay for.
  • Full coverage with beautiful natural looking matte finish.
  • A little goes a long way.
  • It covers EVERYTHING acne ,hyperpigmentation, And lasts all day- Staying power is really good
  • It smells fresh and botanical.
  • Suitable for oily skin
  • Despite the high coverage, it still manages to look natural and You don't even have to use concealer.
  • Doesn't clog pores and doesn’t highlight wrinkles.
    Cruelty free!


  • It has limited color selection .Elf should come out with a more varied shade range.
  • Doesn’t look very good on camera.
  • Does not treat acne but it will not aggravate it either.
  • The bottle is not transparent so it's hard to tell how much product is in there.
  • Some ingredients like camphor bark oil and witch hazel water might irritate some skin types.

What do you think is the best foundation for oily acne-prone skin?

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