Best Prep and Makeup Tips For Acne Prone Skin

There’s a myth that people whose skin is prone to breakouts should steer clear of makeup. It makes sense in some ways. Cheaper makeups tend to be cakey, clogging pores, and leaving an oily residue on your skin. Plenty of even higher quality makeup uses silicon, which clogs pores, and natural oils, which can make your skin feel even worse. But it does make for an awful catch-22. If you’re self-conscious about your skin, and you can’t feel comfortable wearing makeup, then what can you do to stop feeling so negative about your skin? Develop useful makeup tips for your acne prone skin.

makeup tips acne prone skin

The good news is, the myth about acne and makeup seems to be just that. At least, wearing makeup doesn’t necessarily need to make acne any worse. So with that in mind, how can you choose products that will help your skin? The trick is to develop a cleansing routine that clears the oil from your skin and opens your pores, and choosing a foundation that goes on light and even.

Facial Wash

First thing’s first: Choose the right daily cleanser. Look for something with naturally soothing ingredients. Tea tree oil, mint, or green tea, provides powerful antioxidants to your skin that can soothe redness and keep your face feeling fresh. Try SkinCeuticals clarifying exfoliating cleanser, with salicylic and lactic acids, or Eminence Organics Clear Skin Probiotic Cleanser, with probiotics, tea tree oil, and willow bark.

Acne treatment

If you’re having a bad breakout now, apply your anti-acne treatment before you start. Stick to the areas you’re breaking out, and wait for the treatment to settle. You don’t want your primer or foundation to slide off, and you never want to see discoloration on your skin.

Note: While we’re on the subject, many products on this list use salicylic acid to fight against acne as you use them. But if you’re using an over-the-counter or prescribed acne treatment, you’ll want to stay away from adding more acids to your skin. It’ll dry you out and cause more damage. This next step is extra important for acne treatment.


You’re going to want to moisturize with a hydrating moisturizer that won’t leave a greasy or oily residue. Gel-cream moisturizer hydrates without leaving an oily residue. Look for something that says oil-free and non-comedogenic. That means won’t clog your pores, or add any oil to your skin. Something like Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer is great for moisturizing your skin while not leaving any oily residue behind.


Even more natural acne treatments use chemicals on your skin that can leave you sensitive to sunlight and prone to burns. It’s possible to get moisturizer with SPF protection, but if your moisturizer doesn’t have it, choose a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it under your primer so you’ll stay protected, and your makeup won’t slide or melt off!


Primers are the ultimate secret for a great foundation. They’re there to provide a smooth surface for your foundation to go on, and help it last a lot longer. When you have acne-prone skin, the pores that cause your makeup to look uneven are a bigger problem. So choose a water-based primer that goes on light and helps to keep your pores small. Silicon-based can block pores and create bumps on your skin. You can even find primers with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) that can remove dead skin cells and exfoliate as you use it! NYX Cosmetics Skin Elixir Balance Tea Tree Primer does this really well. Tea tree oil is a powerful anti-bacterial, without the harshness of the typical acne treatments.


The next step is a foundation. Like with your primer, you’ll want to choose something nice and light. For foundation, that means choosing something that is oil-free and has a matte finish. I know you glow on the inside, and it shows up well enough without caking the added shimmer on your face! You might even find something with added SPF. My personal favorite foundation for acne treatment is Clinique’s Acne Solutions Liquid foundation, which goes on smoother than any liquid foundation I’ve ever used. But if you’re strapped for cash, Neutrogena’s Skin Clearing oil-free makeup is a favorite with dermatologists. To get in-depth information on foundations suitable for acne check NuAllure – this blog has reviewed all high-quality options in different price ranges.


For those of you with acne-prone or uneven skin tones, concealer is a girl’s best friend! Whether you use the concealer for a primer, under your foundation, or to spot-check your makeup throughout the day, you’ll want something light and oil free, that goes a long way and offers full coverage, so no matter what’s going on on your face, to everyone else, your skin stays smooth and perfect Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear has a great color corrector for every type of skin problem, and I use the green under my foundation to camouflage the redness underneath. Works great for me! For something more on-the-spot, use Smashbox Camera-Ready Full Coverage Concealer. It lasts a long time, it’s non-comedogenic, and it gives your skin a boost of vitamin C, which helps shrink pores and hide signs of aging.

And that’s it! Not only will no one ever notice any blemishes, but the right makeup can actually help heal and replenish skin, protecting you from breakouts. Just remember to keep your skin hydrated, and protect it with sunscreen. Keep away from anything oil-based, and you’ll be sure to find the makeup to leave your skin glowing in the best way. Boost your confidence and get yourself looking fabulous!


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  • Jenny Sharp

    Love this article, very informative!

    September 8, 2018 at 10:03 pm Reply
  • Erika Ann

    I’ve been having terrible breakouts lately and your tips are right on the money! Thanks for these!

    September 13, 2018 at 1:50 am Reply
  • OneMoreLightLB

    My skin is consistently a nightmare; thank you for the tips! 💖💕

    September 14, 2018 at 2:32 pm Reply
  • Megan

    Very insightful article. There are days I feel like I’m still 16 (not even close) with the skin breakouts I still get. I’ll definitely be trying some of these tips and tricks. Thanks!

    October 4, 2018 at 5:50 am Reply
  • Nahid Akhter

    Thank You so very much for such helpful tips for newbies like me. Your work always inspires thousands of people. Keep up the great work and keep motivating us. Cheers!

    February 14, 2019 at 12:03 am Reply
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