Prep Acne Prone Skin for a Long Day of Makeup

Having acne-prone skin can be a real pain. Covering up your skin with makeup can be your answer to an instant transformation that conceals your blemishes. However, unfortunately, makeup can really make your acne worse. This is because layering many products on the skin repeatedly can result in aggravated skin and clogged pores, which then leads to more breakouts. Nobody wants to encourage more to appear on the skin!

a handdrawn image of a woman, with inflamed, red, prickly cheeks on a light pink background.

There are products you can use that will cover up your acne. However, we’ll tell you about products that may actually help heal your skin. All whilst keeping it concealed throughout the day, so you can ensure that your skin is protected all day long.

So, keep reading as we reveal how to prep your skin to keep your skin looking flawless! All whilst without worsening your blemishes. We also provide a few tips and tricks to keep your makeup last throughout the day.

Why Acne-Prone Skin Needs a Different Beauty Routine

Acne-prone skin and makeup don’t always work well together. This skin type is sensitive to certain ingredients and formulas found in beauty products, therefore, choosing the wrong products can aggravate the skin and cause breakouts.

array of products for sensitive and acne-proneskin.

Getting your makeup to stay in place can also be tricky. However, wearing makeup can trigger a sea of clogs underneath the skin that encourages more blemishes to appear and, in turn, make your acne worse. Knowing what kind of products to use will promote healthier skin and allow you to wear makeup for longer periods of time without being at risk of having additional breakouts.

So, we are going to show you how to make careful product selections. As well as, creating a beauty routine that can make a big difference in how your makeup looks and lasts.

Prep Acne-Prone Skin

Prepping your skin before makeup is an essential step to ensuring a flawless finish. So, before you start applying your makeup, make sure you have a little time to really prepare a nice, smooth surface to work with.

Suggested Article: How to tell if Your Diet is Making Your Acne Worse.

Start off with Cleansing Your Face

First things first, it is important to ensure that your face is thoroughly clean to create a clean base. The last thing you want to do is pack on a load of products onto the unclean skin! So, begin by washing your face with a nice, gentle cleanser to remove any excess oil or dirt that may have gathered on your face.

woman cleaning her face whilst touching her face lightly with her finger tips.

Tip: Make sure you avoid using alcohol-based cleaning products. These types can irritate the acne and dry out your skin to cause more blemishes to form.

Moisturise Your Skin

Moisturising is an essential part of every beauty preparation routine, but even more crucial for those with acne-prone skin. Skipping this step can make your final makeup look appear dry and make your blemishes seem more prominent. To avoid this, hydrate your face with a light, water-based moisturiser that isn’t too heavy on the skin. Allow a couple of minutes after application to let the product really set into the skin before moving onto the next step.

Suggested Article: Is Your Hair Causing Your Acne: 15 Ways Your Hair Could Be Making You Break Out?

woman rubbing moisturiser into her skin - moisturising for acne-prone skin

Don’t Forget SPF

Whether the sun is out or not, sunscreen is an absolute must when it comes to skincare. Sun exposure can not only age your skin but can even darken your scars and spots caused by acne, leading them to look more prominent.

Suggested Article: Lighten Pitted Acne Scars and Body Blemishes with Natural Home Remedies.

In order to lighten these marks make sure your skin is protected. Doing this will also shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Be sure to use a cream with a lightweight, oil-free sunscreen that won’t clog your pores.

always apply SPF to your face, whatever the weather, and even more so on acne-prone skin.

Choosing Makeup Products for Acne-Prone Skin

When choosing makeup products for acne-prone skin it is important you use products that don’t aggravate the condition. Choosing the wrong formulas can cause your pores to clog, especially when they are worn for long periods of time. Luckily, there are plenty of great makeup formulas that are specially designed to cover blemishes and promote a healthy complexion by using acne-prone skin-friendly formulas.

Keep reading as we reveal our top products! They are gentle on the skin to keep you looking great all day long.

Primer for Acne-Prone Skin

smashbox photofinish original makeup primer.A good primer doesn’t just blur pores and create a smooth surface for your makeup to sit on but also extends the life of your makeup and how long it lasts. Choose a primer with great hydrating properties, so it can moisturise the skin while reducing the appearance of pores and blemishes to get your face matte and ready for makeup.  

A great option for a primer that allows your makeup to stick to your skin is the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. This primer treats existing breakouts on the skin, while providing a flawless makeup application, so you can be confident that your skin is being taken care of while looking great.

Colour Corrector for Acne-Prone Skin

Struggling to hide your blemishes and discolouration without caking on makeup? A trusty colour corrector is what you need! Colour correctors are a great way to camouflage bumps and scars as they counteract and neutralize imperfections without having to layer on tons of makeup. Simply apply the product to areas that you have acne or pigmentation and blend it in well.

The best colour corrector for acne-prone skin is the Natural Collection Correct and Concealer stick. It’s enriched with chamomile to soothe and protect the skin. Try it out and to see it make the biggest difference in your makeup game.

Suggested Article: Adult Acne: Causes and Ways to Get Rid of It Once and For All.

Concealer for Acne-Prone Skin

Murad Acne Treatment Concealer stick.Concealers can do wonders in covering up skin imperfections. However, a good concealer should have a natural finish so your skin still looks like your skin, but better. For acne-prone skin, it is important to look out for concealers that are not only oil-free but also wax-free to avoid leaving a cakey finish. Murad’s Acne Treating Concealer is not just your average concealer and does much more than just covering up blemishes.

This creamy concealer contains acne-fighting salicylic acid to prevent pimples from appearing.

So, treat your skin with this product for long-lasting coverage, so your blemishes stay hidden while being healed.

Foundation for Acne-Prone Skin

You may pack on your foundation to cover your blemishes, but this actually does more harm than good. Overloading product onto your face can suffocate your already clogged pores to leave your spots looking worse than they actually are. It is essential to make sure you stay away from heavy foundations that can trap dirt and clog pores to lead to even more blemishes.  The good thing is that Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup does the complete opposite of this. It is packed with great ingredients such as hydroxydecanoic acid to control the spread of blemishes on your skin while covering existing ones. The lightweight and oil-free formula will make you feel like you are bare-faced.

Suggested Article: Clogged Pores: How to Prevent and Minimize Congested Pores for Smooth Skin.

woman with foundation dollops on one side of her face.

Blush for Acne-Prone Skin

Blush is great to add an instant rosy glow to your cheeks. However, if you use the wrong formula, it can draw attention to your imperfections. Blushers that are made of natural ingredients are great for battling blemishes. 

It is best to avoid power blushes as powdery formulas can absorb the moisture in the skin to make it appear dry and flaky, making imperfections look more prominent. A good option for a natural, gentle blush is Glossier’s Cloud Paint. This gel-cream blusher is fragrance and paraben-free, therefore it shouldn’t irritate your skin. The lightweight formula hydrates the skin to keep it moisturized. In turn, this helps to reduce breakouts for a seamless finish that lasts all day long.

Products to Keep Makeup Lasting All Through the Day

You can keep your makeup lasting throughout the day without having to constantly touch up. We show you how you can do this by using the right products and caring for your skin. We have listed our top products to really lock your makeup into place, while still looking after your skin to treat your acne.

Finishing Powder

A good finishing powder is a great way to set your makeup. It helps set the makeup into place and extends the wearability of it for longer.

You may think using powder on the acne-prone skin will dry it out and emphasize imperfections, but with a powder such as Mario Badescu’s Special Healing Powder, there is no need for that worry! Specially formulated with sulphur-based powder, this magical powder absorbs and controls excess oil without drying out the skin, while reducing redness and irritation caused by breakouts. Simply dust this over your complete makeup to keep it in place all day long without having to worry about it touch-ups.

Setting Spray

If you still aren’t keen on applying powder to your face, why not try using a setting spray? Setting sprays are formulated to keep your makeup smudge-proof to maintain it all day.

woman spraying her face with makeup setting spray.

A setting spray for acne-prone skin should always have a formula that is known to hydrate and nourish. A product that does this and more is Urban Decay’s De-Slick setting spray. This setting spray minimizes the appearance of pores and is oil and paraben-free to reduce the chances of irritating the skin. Simply mist it all over your face once you have finished applying your makeup to keep everything locked into place without feeling or looking cakey.


To learn more about how to care for acne-prone skin, click here to read our article on Adult Acne: Causes and Ways to Get Rid of it Once and For All.

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