UPDATED: Makeup Recommendations for Acne-Prone Skin

With the right products, acne and redness can be concealed while minimizing potential breakouts. I’ve tested and reviewed various cosmetics and have my top seven assembled here! Love something not on the list? Leave it in the comments below!


Suntegrity “5-in-1 Tinted Natural Moisturizing Face SPF 30
Light Coverage: This is a great SPF which doesn’t clog pores! Use it as a primer and then touch up spots with a concealer stick. If you have more than a few blemishes, a thicker treatment option is in line.

Vapour Organic Beauty’s Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation
Light Coverage: Super clean foundation with a velvety finish. Good for those with mild breakouts needing to cover less and wanting the best in organic beauty products.

Tarte’s Smooth Operator SPF 20 
Light – Medium Coverage Tinted Moisturizer. Naturally-inclined cosmetic with SPF. I love a good two-in-one!

Priia Cosmetics Essential Cover Creme
Medium – Full Coverage. This non-comedogenic foundation is designed specifically for acne-prone skin. The brand is worth testing as they also carry some notable powders, blushes, and other cosmetics.

True Cosmetics Protective Mineral Foundation 
Great powders made in the City by the Bay! (I’m from SF!)

Physician’s Formula Green Concealer 
Full Coverage. Okay, this is not natural, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! And this can do a heck of a job for those yet to be tamed red areas on the skin, like acne spots or rosacea. Place a small dab on area before applying foundation, powder, or tinted moisturizer, and watch the spots disappear. Once I find an all-natural green concealer, I shall be sharing it!

Using one of these? Let me know how it’s working below! Or don’t forget to let us in on your secret unlisted product!


-Elise May, CN + LE, is the owner and practitioner behind SKINutritious. She cultivates balance with her clients with results-oriented treatments, wellness coaching, and nutrition-based skincare. Get in touch with Elise here.

Comments: 5

  1. Jesslyn 16 August, 2012 at 1:03 PM Reply

    I am currently using the Moisturizing Face Screen, SPF 30 from Marie Veronique Organics. Not only it has fabulous natural ingredients, it does a good job as a sunscreen/light tinted moisturizer. I love how my skin will glow after applying it. The only downside is the price. FYI, this brand is from Berkeley, CA.

    P/S : I love your blog! Keep up the good work! I am from San Francisco too :)

  2. Wendy 9 October, 2012 at 2:11 AM Reply

    I’ve been using the Solar Block with SPF 30 from the Sanitas line and it has worked great not break me out! I also use Lorac pressed powder compact from Sephora and it gives pretty good coverage. They are a little on the pricey side but so worth it!

  3. Gina 31 October, 2012 at 12:28 AM Reply

    Has anyone here tried the Aveda oil-free tinted moisturizer? It has titanium dioxide as the sunscreen, which I don’t like as much as zinc, but the coverage is amazing and the ingredients aren’t as bad as other makeups. The only things I don’t like about it is it has a fragrance and can feel sticky. But it really makes you glow!

    I just moved to the U.K. and would love the buy the Tarte one, but I can’t get it here. The only one I can get is the Laura Mercier but it has a chemical sunscreen in it which is known to irritate my skin, turning it red. Do you know of anything here I can get that would work? I’m tired of using mineral powder and looking cakey, plus it doesn’t have have great coverage for my hyperpigmentation.

    Also, do you layer a mineral sunscreen underneath these tinted moisturizers?


  4. fran 6 June, 2015 at 4:14 PM Reply

    From my understanding, the suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer has Chlorella Emersonii (Red Algae) Extract . Algae extract is a known pore clogging ingredient. Number 5 on the pore clogging scale on a scale of 1 to 5. As for the Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer, it contains Ethylhexyl Palmitate which is also a very pore clogging ingredient.

    I love your blog but please make sure the products you are listing don’t contain pore clogging ingredients. It would be a shame for many readers to break out from those products.

    • Elise May 8 June, 2015 at 9:54 AM Reply

      Hi Fran, thank you so much for your well researched comment! There are only a handful of research studies in existence on comedogenic ingredients, so the field is still very much being navigated. Most recently, I study came out testing comedogenic ingredients in products and found that the not all products that had comedogenic ingredients actually caused breakouts, hence at 100% – yes, pore clogging. At 5% in a whole formula? Not necessarily.

      Ethylhexyl Palmitate is comedogenic only when used in high quantities. As far as my personal and professional experience with Laura Mercier, I’ve never seen breakouts. However, I’ve wanted to remove that one for some time because I have so many more naturally-derived options to recommend. For the Red Algae Extract, I’ve heard of this but never been able to trace the source of research behind it. Can you share who rated it a 5 and their research on this? If you have information please send it over. I’ve been using Suntegrity for three years personally and in my clinic without a report of breakouts.

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