Best Makeup for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

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I’ve had mild to severe acne for 15 years and counting. So I know a little thing or two about how to cover it up. I’ve tried SO many cosmetic products, and below, are my tried-and-true, best makeup for oily, acne-prone skin.

Best Moisturizer for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin

Yes, even your oil-slick face is desperate for moisture. In fact, you may be making your skin more oily by failing to moisturize it. When it’s dry, your skin will overcompensate by creating more oil.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream (NOT to be confused with the water-gel one) is probably the most bang for your buck between the two options here. It’s reasonably priced, and lasts me for about one month. (I use it at least once a day on my face.)

It moisturizes without leaving your skin shiny. And it works very well underneath makeup. Added bonus: It’s fragrance AND alcohol-free for my fellow sensitive-skin folks!

Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator

I like the texture of this Clinique Moisture Surge one better than the Neutrogena one: It’s thicker, richer and does leave more of a sheen.

However, it is PRICEY. 50ml is $40. I do think this one is better if you’re skin is VERY dry though. This is what saved my skin after I had dried it to a crisp with constant Benzoyl Peroxide applications.

Best Oil/Shine Control for Oily Skin

Best: Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++

I love this Murad Oil Control Mattifier. I’ve been using it for years, but it is a bit pricey. It does a great job of preventing my face from turning into an oil slick four hours after applying makeup. It has a pleasant scent, and it doesn’t break me out. Added bonus: It has SPF 15.

Runner-Up: Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner Moisturizing and Pore Minimizing Cream

This claims to be a pore minimizing cream, but I actually think its oil mattifying qualities are better. I haven’t noticed any difference in my pore size from using this cream, but it does help with oiliness. It’s not nearly as good as the Murad Oil Control though.

Best Primer for Minimizing Pores

L’Oreal Paris Magic Perfecting Base Face Primer

The L’Oreal primer has a thicker consistency than the Avon one. I am up in the air between which one actually works best though! They both work great.

Avon MagiX Face Perfector SPF 20

The Avon primer is more liquidy than the L’Oreal primer, and it has the additional benefit of having SPF 20.

Best BB Cream for Acne-Prone Skin

Okay, so I use BB cream (basically tinted moisturizer) as foundation because I like that it’s lighter and doesn’t cake up or clog my pores as much.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer

I love this and used it for a few months until I ran out and was in France and couldn’t buy it at Sephora (they don’t have it at Sephoras in France). So that’s when I bought the Tarte BB cream instead (see below).

The BareMinerals Complexion Rescue has a very light, watery consistency. It definitely feels very moisturizing and leaves a bit of a sheen. It’s pretty darn sheer, though, so don’t expect this to cover much. I use it more as a moisturizer and something “sticky” that my powder can cling to. I also use it in combination with concealer.

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

Okay, so as I stated above, I only bought the Tarte BB cream because I ran out of the BareMinerals one and couldn’t get it in France. But…I am so pleasantly surprised by the Tarte BB cream!

It definitely has a thicker consistency than the BareMinerals one. It also has more coverage (it’s not as sheen). I’ve been using it without concealer. I’ve just been putting powder over it.

When I run out of this tube…I might end up buying Tarte again instead of BareMinerals. I haven’t decided yet!

Best Concealer for Acne-Prone Skin

Best: Almay Clear Complexion Concealer

Okay, this is—hands down!—the best concealer I’ve found for my acne-prone skin in the past 15 years. I seriously don’t like anything as much.

It provides pretty darn good coverage, and it isn’t past-like. It also has salicylic acid to help calm down your pimples.

Runner-Up: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

This one is okay, but it’s kind of sheer and doesn’t have great coverage. I usually have to put a few layers over my red marks and acne to cover them. I don’t think it clogs my pores though.

Best Powder for Acne-Prone Skin

BEST: Physician’s Formula Loose Mineral Powder

Another one of my ALL-TIME favorites on this list. I have NOT found any other mineral powder to be better. And I’ve tried BareMinerals.

The Physician’s Formula loose mineral powder has a beautiful almost pearl-like sheen to it, without being shiny. It also does a great job at covering. Sometimes I just blot it over my face, and it hides the redness all on its own.

It also does NOT clog my pores and it doesn’t get cakey. LOVE this stuff!

Runner-Up: Sephora Collection Mineral Foundation Compact

The Physician’s Formula brand can be a tad tricky to track down, so if you’re in a bind, the Sephora Collection mineral powder is also good. It has great coverage (maybe even more than Physician’s Formula?) BUT I find it gets cakey.