There’s only one thing worse than having acne-prone skin.
And that is having acne-prone skin and not having enough money to buy the right makeup to cover your blemishes.
But worry not, beauty lover, because you can still cover your imperfections with foundation you buy at the drugstore.
In this article, we’ve laid out the 11 best drugstore foundations for acne-prone skin. You’re sure to find something to suit your skin tone (and your budget!).
What causes acne-prone skin?
Before we get into the products, let’s talk a little bit about what causes acne-prone skin in the first place.
There are a few different factors that can contribute to acne:
- Hormonal changes (like during puberty or when you’re pregnant)
- Certain medications (including some birth control pills)
- Chronic stress
- Poor diet
- Not showering
- Touching your face
- Wearing a face mask for too long
Acne-prone skin is also often characterized by being oily, which can make it difficult to find the right foundation.
But never fear, because we’ve got you covered.
What is a drugstore foundation?
A drugstore foundation is a type of makeup that you can buy at a pharmacy or drugstore. It’s usually less expensive than foundations that you can buy at department stores or Sephora, and it comes in a variety of different shades to suit different skin tones.
Drugstore foundations are a great option for people who want good coverage without spending a lot of money.
If you’re worried that you can’t use a drugstore foundation for acne-prone skin, put that thought out of your mind! Many of these products are just as good as their more expensive counterparts, if not better.
Choosing the best drugstore foundation for acne-prone skin
When you’re choosing a drugstore foundation for acne-prone or oily skin, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First, you’ll want to make sure that the foundation is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.
You’ll also want to look for a foundation with SPF, which will protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Finally, you’ll want to choose a foundation that matches your skin tone. There are a ton of different shades to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that matches your skin perfectly.
By now, you’re probably foaming at the mouth for the best drugstore foundation for acne-prone skin. So without further ado, let’s review our list.
Best overall: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
If you’re short on time and just want to know what to buy for your oily skin, it would be this one from Maybelline.
For under $10, you can get a foundation that will give you a matte finish and help to control shine.
It’s also non-comedogenic and oil-free, so it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it comes in 40 different shades, so you’re sure to find a perfect match for your skin tone.
Best for oily skin: Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Foundation
If you’re looking for a foundation that will help to control oil, this one from Rimmel is a great option.
It’s long-lasting, and it won’t settle into your pores or fine lines. Plus, it contains ingredients that help to control shine, so your face will look matte all day long.
It comes in 12 different shades, from light to dark.
Best for dry skin: L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation
What’s worse than having acne-prone skin? Having acne-prone skin that gets dry.
If you have dry skin, you’ll want to look for a foundation that will hydrate your skin and help to create a dewy finish.
This one from L’Oreal does just that. It’s super-blendable and easy to apply, and it contains hyaluronic acid to help lock in moisture. It also comes in over 30 different shades, so you’re sure to find the perfect match for your skin.
Best for sensitive skin: Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid a foundation that contains harsh chemicals or fragrances.
This one from Almay is a great option because it’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. It also contains salicylic acid to help fight blemishes, and it comes in 12 different shades.
Best for acne scars: Covergirl Clean Matte BB Cream
Okay, so technically this isn’t a foundation – it’s a BB cream. But some people use BB creams in place of foundation, and this one was so good, we didn’t want to leave it off the list!
This BB cream from Covergirl will provide good coverage while still being gentle on your skin.
Plus, it contains salicylic acid to help fight blemishes, and it comes in six different shades.
Best for full coverage: Maybelline New York Super Stay 24-Hour Foundation
The real question is this: do drugstore foundations provide the kind of full coverage you need, when you need it – when you have oily skin? We’re gonna go with “yes” on this one.
If you’re looking for full coverage, this foundation from Maybelline is a great option. It’s long-wearing and transfer-resistant, so it will stay put all day long.
Not only that, but its oil-free formula
Best for medium coverage: L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
For those days where you just want to take it easy, a medium coverage foundation is the way to go. And why spend all that money on Clinique when you can get a perfectly good drugstore foundation for 20% of the price?
Speaking of which, if you’re looking for medium coverage, this foundation from L’Oreal is a great option.
It’s long-lasting and provides a matte finish. Plus, it comes in 24 different shades, so you’re sure to find the perfect match for your skin tone.
Best for natural finish: Revlon Colorstay Foundation
For all the oily skin types out there, we have good news: you can still use a drugstore foundation to get a natural finish.
And if you’re looking for a non-comedogenic foundation that will give you a natural finish, this one from Revlon is a great option.
It’s long-lasting and comes in 24 different shades. It also contains SPF 15 to protect your skin from the sun.
Best for excess shine: e.l.f. Studio Matte Putty Primer
Sebum, the oil secreted from our face, does 2 things:
- It can clog pores
- And it can create shine
So if your oily skin is causing excess shine, you may want to try this primer from e.l.f.
It’s a putty primer that will help to control shine and create a matte finish. Plus, it was only $8 – very affordable.
Again, we know, it’s not a foundation – but it was too good to not add to the list!
Best powder foundation: Covergirl Clean Matte Pressed Powder
Oily skin and powder foundation – isn’t this a big no-no? Well yes, most of the time. But some people are adamant about never putting liquid on their faces. We thought we’d include this one on the list, just for those folks.
So if you’re looking for a powder foundation, this one from Covergirl is a great option.
It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it comes in eight different shades, from light to dark.
Best liquid foundation: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup
For those of you with extremely oily skin, nothing beats the full coverage provided by a good liquid foundation. Not only are there enough choices to match all skin tones, but if you find an oil-free formula, you have a good bet of using something that won’t cause break outs.
If you’re looking for a liquid foundation, this one from Neutrogena is a great option.
It’s non-comedogenic and contains SPF 20 to protect your skin from the sun. Plus, it comes in 12 different shades.
Best for long-wearing coverage: Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation
Having acne-prone skin is no walk in the park. But by now, you know that you need something that won’t clog pores. And an oil-free formula is the way to go.
So if you’re looking for long-wearing coverage that meets those requirements, this foundation from Urban Decay is a great option.
It’s light and provides a natural finish. Plus, it comes in 20 different shades.
Best matte finish: Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
Regardless of whether you have light or dark skin, sometimes you want a matte finish. All skin tones benefit from reducing the blinding glare of excess oil.
If you’re looking for a matte finish, this foundation from Maybelline is a great option.
It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. Plus, it comes in 40 different shades.
We hope you enjoyed this list of the best drugstore foundations for acne-prone skin!
We know that finding the perfect foundation can be tricky, so we hope this list will help make your decision a little bit easier.
If you have any other recommendations, please let us know in the comments below!