Recently, I had a tragic experience with a foundation I was using.
Let me fill you in on my struggle with acne. (Skip this paragraph if you don’t care) I started getting acne before I ever wore makeup. My parents made me go to the dermatologist in only sixth grade because they saw that I was already getting moderate acne at such a young age and they didn’t want it to get worse and cause scarring. At the time I was super nervous to go to the doctor and embarrassed about the whole situation. I am now very grateful that my parents made me go to the doctor back then because I’ve been able to keep my acne primarily in check. Although it has been a constant battle. I have been on the high risk acne medicine, Isotretinoin (Previously known as Accutane) two different occasions. Most people can use this acne medicine for 4- 6 months and never have acne again. I was part of the 2% that was not so lucky, although it has helped me more than any other medicine. My skin was clear for about a year after using it. I will probably have to go on the medicine for a third time because over the past year I have started slowly getting my oily skin back and my familiar breakouts.
I have had some of my worst breakouts in my life this past year. Horrible cystic acne, on and off. I realized one of the big culprits.
MAYBELLINE Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation
I started using this foundation because I wanted a more affordable everyday foundation than what I normally used which is Estee Lauder Double Wear. I had heard really great things about this foundation in the beauty community and I liked the coverage and matte finish it gave me. Right when I started using it I noticed worse than normal breakouts. I figured it was a coincidence or my skin needed to get used to the makeup. After I ran out of the foundation my skin cleared up. I again thought it was a coincidence and was because I wasn’t as stressed, so I decided to repurchase. A couple weeks into using it, I had the worst breakout of my life. Cystic, painful acne all around my mouth. I decided to look up reviews about this makeup. What I found was horrifying… Tons of stories of people that never had acne until they used this product. Check out some of those reviews here: https://bit.ly/2GmyquJ. I felt like I immediately needed to warn people about this foundation on my Instagram story. I received over 20 messages from girls that also had a similar experience. (Does this mean it will break you out? Maybe not, but if you are someone with sensitive skin, I would be careful using it.) I then was on the journey to look for a new drugstore foundation that wouldn’t break me out. I started looking into what pore clogging ingredients to stay away from. This foundation has several PEG ingredients, which can clog pores. When doing my research about other ingredients, looking for a new foundation became very overwhelming. (List of ingredients to stay away from is at the bottom of this blog) Most of the great coverage foundations recommended in the beauty community were full of pore clogging ingredients. I decided to do a lot of research to find the best foundations for your skin that are also known for great coverage in the beauty community because most people with acne prone skin don’t want to give up the great coverage of a foundation.
Here are some tips for makeup application when you have acne prone skin:
Look for a foundation with water as the main ingredient. Water is obviously not going to break you out, so if you find a foundation that makes your skin look great and water is the main ingredient then you’ve found a winner!
Find a foundation with a pump. A pump foundation keep your foundation from being exposed to the air, which can cause bacteria and change the formula of the foundation.
Some people are sensitive to SPF foundations because of an ingredient called oxybenzone. If you find you are allergic to oxybenzone, find a sun protectant that uses zinc oxide or or octinoxate instead.
Clean your beauty blenders, brushes and sponges!
Be careful of silicones, talc, and sulfate ingredients. Some people’s skin does not react well with those ingredients. Test things out and see what works best for your skin.
The Five Best Drugstore Foundations for Acne Prone Skin
#1 Almay Truly Lasting Color Foundation
It’s been awhile since I’ve used this foundation, but I remember really liking it because it’s non-comedogenic. I used it for a long time. Contains vitamin E which can help fight acne. If you’re sensitive to makeup with SPF then I would not advise using.
#2 Neutrogena® Skin Clearing Liquid Makeup
I have personally used this foundation as well and liked it. It has Salicylic Acid to help fight acne, so I would only use this product if you have oily skin. Non-comedogenic and oil-free.
#3 Revlon Color Stay Foundation
I recently started using this foundation after finding out about Maybelline Fit Me. My acne has cleared up a bit. It definitely doesn’t last as long as my Estee Lauder Double Wear, but I am liking the formula.
#4 Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation
I haven’t used this foundation yet, but I had a couple friends who have acne-prone skin recommend it to me and it has great reviews.
#5 Loreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
I also have not tried this foundation and was recommended it. Dimethicone is the second ingredient listed, so be careful if you are sensitive to silicones.
The Five Best High End Foundations for Acne Prone Skin
#1 Too Faced Born This Way Foundation
This foundation has a lot of street cred. Two acne-prone Youtubers said this foundation is a holy grail for them. I personally think it is a little too oily for my skin and some do say it breaks them out because of their skin is sensitive to coconut water. If you love coconut-infused products, you will probably love this foundation and it’s vegan!
#2 Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup
This is my holy grail foundation. Many full coverage foundations make people break out, but this one has great ingredients.
#3 Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
A little pricey, but Koh Gen Do always uses great products for your skin.
#4 Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Mattifying Oil Free
This vegan foundation is known for it’s amazing ingredients and with helping with breakouts.
#5 Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation
If you want a glowy foundation, this one may be for you. It’s very hydrating and is also vegan.
The primary causes of acne are
- Excess oil production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens)
So most likely, your foundation is not the only reason you have acne, but some foundation ingredients can make your skin breakout worse. Everyone’s skin is different. A foundation that works great for one person may break someone else out, so keep this in mind when testing out my recommended foundations. The list of ingredients to be careful using is below. I hope this blog helps! I wish you all clear skin. 🙂
High- higher chance of clogging pores. Medium- medium chance of clogging pores. Mainly be aware of the top five ingredients in your foundation.
|High||Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol|
|Medium||Apricot Kernel Oil|
|High||Bismuth oxychloride may cause cystic acne|
|Medium||Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)|
|High||Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20|
|High||Cotton Aws Oil|
|High||Cotton Seed Oil|
|High||D & C Red # 17|
|Medium||D & C Red # 19|
|High||D & C Red # 21|
|High||D & C Red # 3|
|High||D & C Red # 30|
|High||D & C Red # 36|
|Medium||D & C Red #27|
|Medium||D & C Red #40|
|High||Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2-Sulfosuccinate|
|Medium||Evening Primrose Oil|
|High||Glyceryl Stearate SE -MUST have SE after the stearate|
|High||Glyceryl-3-Disostearate-(MUST have a “3” with it)|
|Medium||Grape Seed Oil (extract is OK)|
|High||Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil|
|High||Myreth 3 myrstate|
|Medium||Olive Oil (but Olive Oil Extract is OK)|
|Medium||Peach Kernel Oil|
|Medium||PEG 100 Distearate|
|Medium||PEG 150 Distearate|
|High||PEG 16 Lanolin|
|High||PEG 200 Dilaurate|
|Medium||Peg 75 lanolin|
|High||PEG 8 Stearate|
|Medium||Pentarythrital Tetra Isostearate|
|High||Polyglyceryl-3-Disostearate (the “3” must be present)|
|High||PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate|
|High||Propylene Glycol Monostearate|
|Medium||Sandalwood Seed Oil|
|High||Shark Liver Oil|
|High||Salt – Table Salt or Sodium Chloride|
|High||Sodium Laureth Sulfate|
|High||Sodium Lauryl Sulfate-leaves a film on skin-clogs pores|
|High||Stearic Acid Tea|
|High||Sulfated Castor Oil|
|High||Sulfated Jojoba Oil (Jojoba beads are OK)|
|Medium||Tocopherol (Tocopherol Acetate is OK)|
|Medium||Vitamin A Palmitate-(ONLY this form of Vitamin A)|
|High||Wheat Germ Glyceride|
|High||Wheat Germ Oil|