If You're Breaking Out and Don't Know Why, This Foundation Might Be to Blame


(Image credit: @taniasarin)

I can't tell you how many acne-prone folks I talk to who still struggle with breakouts despite doing all the right things to clear up their skin. If this is you, listen up. Your foundation could be clogging your pores. Sure, cultivating a skincare routine is important, but it's easy to forget that your makeup routine might need vetting, too. Switching to a noncomedogenic formula (meaning it won't clog your pores) can be a game changer. Some even contain specific acne-fighting ingredients to help curb any new pimples.

Although using a foundation with one or two comedogenic-leaning ingredients won't automatically clog your pores, it's good to be aware of what's in your formula so you can identify any potential acne triggers and make adjustments accordingly. Everyone's skin is different, and I can't even 100% guarantee that even some noncomedogenic formulas won't break you out, but the below foundations are at least much less likely to. Keep scrolling if you're in the market for a noncomedogenic foundation. We have a few tips on what to look for in your next foundation and are sharing our favorite formulas.

What to Look for in a Noncomedogenic Foundation

This is self-explanatory, but when shopping for a foundation that won't clog your pores, you should check that it's labeled "noncomedogenic," meaning it contains no potential pore-clogging ingredients. You can check for this by heading to Acne Clinic NYC's website, where you can copy and paste a beauty product's ingredients list to check if it contains anything comedogenic. (It's so easy and has been a complete game changer for me and my online shopping ventures, TBH). One or two potential pore-clogging ingredients in a product won't always make for a comedogenic formula, but it's still a great tool for awareness. Everyone's skin reacts to a product differently. If you know that your skin is extra sensitive, it's a good idea to check for comedogenic ingredients. The main culprits I've found in foundations are usually soybean oil, coconut oil, coconut alkanes, and algae. 

Instead, you'll want to opt for lightweight, hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe, squalane, and jojoba oil. If you're also acne-prone, you may even want to try a foundation that contains things like salicylic acid to help fight breakouts. Take a look at all our favorite noncomedogenic foundations below.

Best Overall: Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech Foundation

Saei Glowy Super Skin Hydrobounce Serum Foundation

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation


(Image credit: @nataliemckeough)

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation

Almay Clear Complexion Foundation

Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation


(Image credit: @tobimakeup)

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Acne Control Foundation

Up Next: 16 Foundations That Are Superior to All Others If You Have Acne-Prone Skin

Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.