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
Pros: Noncomedogenic, blends easily, contains fermented arnica to reduce redness and skin irritation.
Cons: May be a bit too drying for dehydrated or dry skin.
I never run out of good things to say about this foundation. It's labeled as a medium-coverage foundation, but I'm always impressed by how well it camouflages active acne, scars, and uneven texture with just a few dabs. In addition to being noncomedogenic, it also contains fermented arnica to reduce redness and skin irritation.
Customer Review: "This foundation covers my sun damage without feeling heavy or caked. It truly works beautifully!"
Saei Glowy Super Skin Hydrobounce Serum Foundation
Pros: Lightweight, extremely hydrating, silicone-free,
Cons: May be a bit too dewy for some.
This is hands-down my favorite foundation at the moment. I love that the formula is noncomedogenic and silicone-free and contains added skincare ingredients to hydrate, plump, and brighten the skin. It's also one of the only foundations that won't break me out or leave my skin feeling dry a few hours after applying.
Customer Review: "I have been using this for more than a month, and it has become my favorite foundation. It gives medium coverage, and is really dewy and gives the skin a plump glass skin finish."
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation
Pros: Budget-friendly, matte finish, noncomedogenic, great for oily skin.
Cons: May be too matte for dry skin.
As far as drugstore options go, this noncomedogenic foundation from Maybelline takes the cake. It's especially great for oily, acne-prone skin because it offers a matte finish and molds to your skin to camouflage texture and pores.
Customer Review: "Lightwight, blends well, and affordable!! Definitely will purchase again!"
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare
Pros: Noncomedogenic, contains hydrating skincare ingredients, helps gently exfoliate the skin to brighten it and unclog pores.
Cons: May be too radiant for those who like a matte finish.
Like Saie's formula, this foundation from It Cosmetics is noncomedogenic and contains skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, HEPES acid, and vitamins E and B5. The HEPES acid in this formula is a standout ingredient because it gently exfoliates the skin, making it appear brighter and helping to unclog pores.
Customer Review: "LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Highly recommend if you're looking for a new foundation. It lasts all day, looks extremely natural on the skin (no-makeup look right here), does not settle into pores or wrinkles, shade matches like a dream, and feels very comfortable on the face. In fact, it feels like you're not wearing any makeup, which is a huge plus for me. I don't need to powder because it doesn't get oily (and I use sunscreen under this). But [it] looks radiant. I think the best way to use this is just with fingers, and it blends in just like a lotion would. The ONLY downside is that the dispenser is messy, but I manage by keeping the bottle flat while pumping. Also, it is marketed as medium coverage, which you can get by using more product, but it's definitely versatile and can be applied super sheer/light instead."
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation
Pros: Noncomedogenic formula features Advanced Airwear Technology for lightweight and long-lasting full coverage with a matte finish
Cons: Expensive, may be too matte for dry skin.
This noncomedogenic foundation from Lancôme is one of the best matte options on the market. Advanced Airwear technology keeps your skin comfy and soft (not tight or itchy like some long-wear formulas). It's also infused with lightweight, hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and moringa seed extract to keep skin from getting too dry throughout the day.
Customer Review: "I've been using this foundation, and it leaves a very natural skin-like finish with just [a] little product. It's really matte and doesn't get cakey."
Almay Clear Complexion Foundation
Pros: Budget-friendly, provides a soft matte finish, contains 1% salicylic acid to help fight breakouts, prebiotics promote smoother, healthier skin over time.
Cons: Salicylic acid may be too harsh for some skin types.
Designed specifically for acne-prone skin, this noncomedogenic foundation contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts. Prebiotics promote healthier skin over time, while aloe hydrates and calms redness.
Customer Review: "I have been using this product for many years. Even before it got its current packaging. I have very sensitive and acne-prone skin, and this foundation is really great. It's just enough coverage to hide imperfections and even the skin tone without looking cakey or heavy. It's also really nice because it dries down to keep you from getting oily but doesn't cause your skin to become dry. I also really appreciate that it's fragrance-free. I hope you always keep this foundation available because it is definitely my holy grail!"
Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Weightless Foundation
Pros: The noncomedogenic formula contains calming botanical ingredients and offers breathable and lightweight medium coverage.
Cons: Might be too runny for some.
This foundation from Rare Beauty is serum-like in its texture and totally weightless. It also contains a botanical blend of calming lotus, gardenia, and water lily to help soothe and calm any redness on the skin. It's one of my favorite formulas and blends out so beautifully.
Customer Review: "[You can't] go wrong with this foundation! I've used multiple foundations, but I finally found the right shade with this brand. My second time buying it, and I won't ever change it. The only downside is that it is very liquidy and can get everywhere easily."
Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation
Pros: Oil-free, noncomedogenic, offers a luminous finish, micro-fil technology allows color pigments to lay flat for seamless blending.
The hefty price tag of this iconic foundation is really the only fault I (and any makeup or skin pro I consult) can find with it. It does just what the name suggests by creating an even, satiny, luminous finish that reflects light beautifully on the high points of your face but never veers greasy, thanks to the oil-free composition. There are tons of shades to choose from, it lasts all day long with nary a crease or crack, and it's super buildable, so you can layer or sheer it out to your heart's content.
Customer Review: "I'm in love with this foundation! I have acne-prone skin and am super oily, and this works so well for me! I use the E.l.f. Power Grip Primer underneath, and it gives me light to medium coverage (buildable) and looks natural!"
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation
Pros: Hybrid skincare-foundation formula is noncomedogenic and offers full coverage and a matte finish to help keep skin hydrated throughout the day.
Cons: May not be hydrating enough for dry skin.
This weightless and long-wear foundation is noncomedogenic but also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with Replexium technology.
Customer Review: "Honestly, this is full coverage and makes my skin glow. I'm getting a darker shade for when I tan."
Oxygenetix Oxygenating Acne Control Foundation
Pros: Noncomedogenic, lightweight formula, contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts, and aloe vera soothes and calms redness and skin inflammation.
Oxygenetix is known for its acne-friendly treatment foundations, so it's hardly a surprise it makes some of the best noncomedogenic options money can buy. Aloe vera keeps skin cool, calm, and collected, while other strategic additions like salicylic acid clear blocked pores and help prevent future breakouts. We also appreciate that the brand makes a few different iterations. While the above is geared toward acneic skin, the brand also makes a hydration-rich version that comes in two different undertone options—yellow or blue.
Customer Review: "This foundation offers coverage while looking natural. It is so lightweight you don't even feel you are wearing makeup. [It's] excellent for acne-prone skin. The only downside: It is pricey."