Foundation is an essential part of many people’s everyday makeup routines. Using it can create a beautiful, smooth complexion whilst hiding spots and blemishes, and can make you feel more confident! From lightweight powders to liquids for full coverage, there is a plethora of drugstore and high-end foundations available online. However, while foundation is often used to hide pimples, some can end up clogging your pores and create further skin problems.
For any type of skin, whether it being acne-prone, oily, dry, or sensitive, it is extremely important to look for non-comedogenic foundations that will cover your skin well while leaving it spotless. In our ranking, we'll introduce the best foundations in the UK that won't cause acne, from brands such as L’Oreal and Estée Lauder, available to buy on Amazon, John Lewis, and Boots.
A qualified Beauty Therapist and Makeup Artist. I provide professional makeup services for all occasions, whether it be for a bride on their wedding day or backstage at a photo shoot. I also enjoy teaching through hosting live talks on my social media, masterclass events, and 1-1 training. My favourite style of makeup is most definitely vibrant. I love a colourful eyeshadow palette... or 10!
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Claire is a qualified Beauty Therapist and Makeup Artist; she provides professional makeup services for all occasions from bridal to backstage at photo shoots. Claire also teaches masterclass events as well as 1-1 training, and when she gets the chance, enjoys sharing her expertise hosting live talks on her social media. She's a big fan of the vibrant style and loves a colourful palette... or 10!
When the blockage in your pores deepens, it can cause acne, although acne is not always a result of comedones. Therefore, calling a product ‘comedogenic’ means that it is likely to block your pores, and ‘non-comedogenic’ means that it will not.
While many products will call themselves ‘non-comedogenic’, there are no official regulations or official standards for non-comedogenic products. Products may say that they are ‘non-comedogenic’ even if they do contain a number of comedogenic ingredients. Therefore it is extra important that you, the buyer, know what to look for if you want to buy a non-comedogenic foundation!
Ingredients such as alcohol, talc, kaolin, silica, and nanoparticles can dry out your skin, which can in turn then lead to excess oil production and clogged pores. They can also cause skin irritation and flakiness. Irritating ingredients to look out for include silicones, synthetic fragrances, bismuth oxychloride, and lauroyl lysine.
Like 'dimethicone', silicones include ingredients ending in -cone, -conol, -silane, or -siloxane, and give foundation that silky consistency. However, they can be difficult to wash off completely, which can also lead to skin irritation. Whether your skin reacts to silicones or not depends on the person, so if you have been fine with silicone products in the past your skin might be fine with them in your foundation.
When you understand what your skin type and conditions are, your journey begins on the research front. It’s absolutely beneficial to educate yourself on what ingredients are making up the products you’re using daily.
But it doesn’t stop there. To avoid the effects of what comedogenic ingredients can cause with repetitive use. Always ensure your skincare routine includes a pre-cleanse, this will loosen and remove traces of stubborn makeup, skincare products and SPF before you cleanse your skin. Toning after your cleanse will also help rid pores of any hidden nasties that may still be lurking.
I know we’d like to think that all ingredients derived from nature will be better for our skin (as opposed to synthetic ingredients created in a lab). Unfortunately, just because they are natural, doesn’t make this so.
To add onto this list, Hemp, Tea Tree, and Rosehip oil also promote hydration, have anti-inflammatory properties and aid with scar fading.
Keep it simple! By selecting a product with fewer ingredients, in a sense, you are sliming the chances of a reaction. And if a reaction does occur, it will be easier to target the source as there are limited components involved.
Even if a product does have a few comedogenic ingredients, if they are listed towards the bottom of the ingredients list, only small quantities are included so they may not affect your skin as much. On the other hand, products with very comedogenic, irritating, or drying ingredients towards the top of the list should be avoided.
As explained, the ingredients of a higher percentage and most active will be at the top of the list, towards the bottom are ingredients with a lower volume.
So if the product contains less desired ingredients (such as silicones, alcohol or fragrances) and they are listed towards the bottom of the list, they won’t pose as much of a threat to your skin. But this doesn’t mean they won’t have some negative impact on the skin instantly or over time.
Thick, heavy coverage foundations are more likely to clog your pores than thinner liquid foundations or powder foundations, while even thin liquid foundations can cause breakouts for some people. On the other hand powder foundations do not seep into your skin like liquid foundations, but sit on the surface of your skin, making them less likely to clog pores and cause acne.
The lightweight consistency of mineral powder foundations helps you to get a sheer, natural finish and means that they are also easy to reapply during the day. However, those who want heavy coverage may find powder foundations to be too light. They can also be difficult to apply on drier skin, and they may highlight your fine lines and wrinkles.
On your search for a foundation, it is often favourable to use lightweight consistencies to avoid blocking the pores. A sheer liquid or mineral powder foundation will typically provide a light to medium coverage.
Powder will suit most skin types, especially oily or acne-prone. But for drier skin with flaking, texture and fine lines the results may not be as desirable; this is where a sheer liquid foundation would offer a smoother finish.
However, these thick foundations can cake up during the day due to warm weather and sweat. They also clog pores more easily as they seep into your skin more than powder foundations.
Liquid and cream foundations perform better than a powder when it comes to drier skin types, as it doesn’t highlight problem areas, provides hydration and a natural luminosity to the skin.
But for an oilier complexion, this formula will need setting with a powder as it has a tendency to move throughout the day. In addition, without thorough removal, full-coverage foundations can lie in the pores and create a build-up of bacteria, so make sure you have a good cleansing routine to go with it.
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Mineral Foundation SPF 15
A Perfect Full Coverage Non-Comedogenic Mineral Foundation from a British Brand
Original Loose Powder Foundation
A Simple, Loose Powder Mineral Foundation that Will Not Block your Pores
Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 25
A Natural Mineral Foundation to Hide and Prevent Breakouts
Covergirl + Olay
Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
A Hydrating Non-Comedogenic Foundation for Those on a Budget
Paris True Match Foundation
A Budget, Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation that Perfectly Matches Your Skin Tone
A Soothing Treatment Liquid Foundation that Boosts Healing
Cover Creme Full Coverage Foundation
A Creamy Foundation to Conceal All Skin Problems
Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50+
Heaps of Hydration in One Foundation
Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation Makeup SPF10
A Long-Lasting Liquid Foundation That Won't Cause Acne
Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup
A Liquid Foundation to Cover and Heal Blemishes
This popular liquid foundation by Estée Lauder has over 60 shades, so there's surely a shade to suit your skin tone, and it claims to stay in place for 24 hours! What's more, this foundation doesn't include any acne-causing ingredients, and is oil-free, meaning that its matte consistency helps to control oily skin.
Being fragrance-free, the Double Wear foundation is also suitable for sensitive skin. However, while it doesn't contain drying ingredients, there are no ingredients that are beneficial to the skin. In addition, as a long-lasting foundation, some reviewers say that it can be too drying on the skin, but if it works for you, join the thousands of devotees to this foundation and add it to your makeup bag!
While we've listed some of the best non-comedogenic foundations, there are countless more fantastic foundations available online nowadays - from cruelty-free options to those that won't irritate sensitive skin. You may want to continue the search by glancing through our other recommendations if you're not convinced.
Even if one foundation works well for someone, it might not necessarily be ideal for you, so make sure to test out different varieties and ingredients to figure out what your skin likes best.
Author: Brigid Bernard
No. 1: Lily Lolo | Mineral Foundation SPF 15
No. 2: bareMinerals | Original Loose Powder Foundation
No. 3: Inika | Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 25
No. 4: Covergirl + Olay | Simply Ageless 3-in-1 Liquid Foundation
No. 5: L’Oreal | Paris True Match Foundation
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