9 Beauty Products for Acne-Prone Skin on Amazon

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Finding the right makeup for acne-prone skin can be a struggle. But the best way to combat a breakout is to know what causes them in the first place. In an email interview with Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology and an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells Mental Floss that “Acne is a condition caused by blockage and inflammation of the oil glands.”

To help avoid those blockages, Dr. Michele Green, a New York City-based dermatologist, tells Mental Floss in an email that people with acne-prone skin should avoid any product that is comedogenic, which basically means they can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Fortunately, there are hundreds of cosmetics out there designed to help, and they usually contain good-for-you ingredients like salicylic acid, zinc oxide, and hyaluronic acid—the latter two can (indirectly) fight acne.

Based on our interviews with the dermatologists, and their insights about what ingredients to look for and which to avoid, we curated a list of nine beauty products designed for people with acne-prone skin.

1. Almay Clear Complexion Makeup, Matte Finish Liquid Foundation; $11


This lightweight foundation from Almay offers a matte finish and unique formula featuring exfoliating salicylic acid. “Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that works exceptionally well for treating comedonal acne, blackheads, and whiteheads,” Dr. Green says. “Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it can deeply penetrate the skin and dissolve sebum and dead skin cells within clogged pores.”

In an email, Dr. Hadley King, a New York City-based dermatologist, tells us that many heavy, oil-based foundations on the market are comedogenic. You can find ones that specifically advertise themselves as non-comedogenic (like the above), but even then, you'll want to test with a small amount.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Neutrogena Skin-Clearing Mineral Acne-Concealing Pressed Powder; $10


This pressed powder from Neutrogena also stars salicylic acid, which Dr. Zeichner adds also works to dry up existing pimples. According to the manufacturer, its non-comedogenic formula is designed to absorb oil while simultaneously covering, concealing, treating, clearing, and preventing breakouts.

Buy it: Amazon

3. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Concealer; $32

It Cosmetics/Amazon

Made with oil-absorbing zinc oxide, IT Cosmetics’s Bye Bye Breakout Concealer was formulated with acne-prone skin in mind (as its name so appropriately suggests). “When [zinc oxide is] applied topically to acne, it can help reduce the number of acne-causing bacteria and the associated inflammation,” Dr. Green says. “Products that include zinc-oxide can be a soothing part of your skincare routine while experiencing a breakout, but won’t be effective at eliminating acne on their own. Zinc oxide has the potential to enhance the effects of other acne-fighting ingredients, like salicylic and glycolic acids, though you should not rely solely on zinc oxide to treat your acne.”

Buy it: Amazon

4. Glo Skin Beauty Bronzer; $44


This bronzer offers a sunkissed, natural-looking glow. Plus, its talc-free, non-comedogenic formula helps support acne-prone skin. “This is the best bronzer powder I have ever had,” writes one reviewer.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Physicians Formula Powder Palette Blush; $10

Physicians Formula/Amazon

With over 2500 Amazon reviews, this fan-favorite blush palette from Physicians Formula has become a staple for those with acne-prone skin, thanks to its non-comedogenic and oil-free formula. The pigments themselves are easily blendable and offer a satin feel and dewy finish.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Maybelline New York Makeup Facestudio Master Strobing Stick; $8


Maybelline’s Master Strobing Stick makes contouring as easy as a few swipes across your cheekbones. Its creamy, non-comedogenic formula features fine pearls for added shimmer and is both dermatologist- and allergy-tested. Use it along your cheekbones, nose, cupid’s bow, or collar bone for an all-over glow and added dimension.

Buy it: Amazon

7. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream; $22


This mineral-based tinted sunscreen—which stars magnesium, calcium, and potassium—conditions, replenishes, hydrates, and nourishes skin without weighing it down. The dermatologist-tested formula is non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic, which, according to Dr. Green, won’t cause breakouts for those prone to them.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Laura Geller Spackle Skin Perfecting Golden Sheen Makeup Primer; $32

Laura Gellar/Amazon

This smoothing primer from Laura Geller offers a luminous finish and super-soft skin. It’s formulated with soothing aloe vera and hydrating hyaluronic acid, which is an ingredient that Dr. Green says gives skin a healthy complexion. “It may seem counter-intuitive to use ultra-hydrating ingredients for acne treatment, but it is essential!” she says. “Hyaluronic acid can help prevent the buildup of bacteria and dead skin cells and the formation of acne.”

Buy it: Amazon

9. e.l.f, Acne Fighting Foundation; $6


E.l.f.’s under-$10, acne-fighting foundation offers lightweight coverage that, according to the manufacturer, is designed to reduce acne redness while also clearing skin. In addition to salicylic acid, it also features inflammatory-fighting witch-hazel, and anti-bacterial ingredients like camphor and tea tree—plus aloe to soothe skin.

Buy it: Amazon

Related: 11 of the Best Drugstore Skincare Products

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