Choosing The Best Makeup Brand To Cover Acne

Choosing The Best Makeup Brand To Cover Acne

makeupHonestly the best advice I can give you is to not even wear makeup at all because having nothing on your skin will always be the healthiest way. However, I know from personal experience how fantastic makeup can be to cover spots, so while your acne is healing there are some types of makeup that you can confidently wear without it making your skin worse.

I often get asked for advice on makeup brands but brand-wise I’m not really the best person to ask because when I’m shopping for makeup I do a lot of research to find a good one then stick with it for years. But I can tell you a few important tips that will definitely help you to find the best ever makeup that’s just right for you.

1. Only wear mineral makeup

I’ve blogged a bit about this one in the past. Mineral makeup is a gift from heaven for acne prone skin. So if you’re currently using any liquid foundations, go and throw them away because they’ll do more harm than good.

Mineral makeup is better because it sits on the surface of the skin so does not and will not clog your pores which means it won’t make your acne worse. I wore mineral makeup every day when I was clearing my skin and I managed to go from severe acne to clear skin while wearing mineral makeup every day. So this just proves that the makeup did not make my skin worse. Having said that, I did make sure I washed it off every night before I went to bed or even earlier if possible.

2. Don’t be cheap

There’s usually a reason why expensive brands are expensive – they’re better quality. And in my personal experience mineral makeup is never very expensive because it lasts such a long time. My mineral makeup lasts me at least a year which comes to about 15 US cents a day which is definitely not a lot of money at all.

It’s also worthwhile investing in a good quality brush and looking after it with regular cleaning. A good quality brush will last a lot longer which will save you from having to by another one too soon.

My brand is Minerelle and I highly recommend it if you’re in Australia because it’s local, natural and very good quality. It was also made by a red head so I am a tiny bit biased! If you’re in Brisbane you can get your color matched by Ananda from Vitale Natural in Paddington which is where I go. Let Ananda know I sent you :)

3. Do some research

The best way to find a good makeup brand is to get a recommendation from someone who is already using a good one. Ask your friends and family, especially those who’s makeup always looks great. Then jump on the Internet, do a Google search and check brands out on MakeupAlley.

I found my brand by reading an article in an Australian health and wellbeing magazine about mineral makeups, doing a bit of research and reading testimonials from others that were using it. Then I got a color test by Ananda to make sure it sat well with my skin. I’ve been using it now for over two years and I’ve never looked back!

4. Get a professional to match your color

makeupEver since I started wearing makeup I’ve always had my color matched by a professional and it’s been so worth it. Have you ever seen girls wearing makeup that looks really obvious? When you can actually see the makeup on their face?

You don’t want that so get some professional help and get your color properly matched. Usually you can look the brand up on the net and they’ll have a list of stores that sell the makeup and which stores do a color match. If you can’t get professional help for a brand that you’re really interested in, then see if you can get samples to trial before you buy. Get a few different colors that sound right then experiment at home. Get a friends opinion and most importantly – match the color with natural sunlight. So apply a bit and go and stand outside and see how it looks.

Sometimes even when you’re at home a little makeup is okay

I’m not sure if this really is the best advice, but it worked well for me and it’ll probably work well for you too if you have a skin picking problem.

When I’m at home and I have acne I look in the mirror a lot. I stop at every mirror that I walk past and study my skin. This is a horribly bad habit and whatever you can do to stop this obsession is a good thing. So even if I’m at home and I have some spots, I will very lightly cover them just to get the redness away. This make a glance in the mirror not so bad and it stops me from obsessively peering at my skin throughout the day. Anything to get your mind off your skin and away from skin picking is a positive. Just don’t overdo the makeup, let your skin breath.

Don’t pack it on

This is a really great tip and a very important one for you to remember. I’ve seen a lot of girls with acne that wear way too much makeup. By really packing it on and making it look too obvious you’re just making your skin looks worse.

Natural, subtle and light are the way to go and this is easily achievable with mineral makeup. Use the powder as a concealer first on your spots, then very lightly layer the makeup until you’re happy with it. Checking your complexion in natural light is also a good thing too because it’ll make sure you don’t put too much on. Most often you’ll find with mineral makeup that one layer is enough.

If you haven’t seen them already, I’ve recorded a series of videos on how to apply mineral makeup which are worth watching if you’ve never used mineral makeup before. At the bottom of that page I’ve also listed most of the makeup and acne articles I’ve written which are worth a dig around- How To Apply Makeup To Cover Acne

Know when to stop

You’ll probably find that when your skin starts to naturally look a lot better you’ll forget to wear makeup in the morning or you’ll even prefer not to wear it. Spending as much time as possible without wearing makeup is a good thing because it lets your skin do its natural thing.

But if you find yourself in a habit and still applying makeup on a “around the house” Sunday when your skin is clear, maybe you need to force yourself to have a day without it every now and again.

I rarely wear foundation makeup. Only when I go out and even then not every time. But I do apply a small amount of mineral makeup on a spot if I have one. I dab a small amount of the powder onto my spot with my fingers, then gently rub it in until the redness is gone and the mineral makeup is blended in so that nobody can tell I’m actually wearing it. For me this is a great way to cover any spots I may have while still making my skin breath and still showing the world my natural skin tone (hey, I love my freckles and want to show them off!).

If you’ve got a favorite brand of makeup let us know about it, it’ll definitely help somebody else in your local area. And of course I’d love to hear your acne covering tips and tricks too.

48 comments… add one

  • Aurora

    I just discovered an amazing mineral make up called RMS. It comes in recycled glass containers with a metal lid and follows Fran’s advice: “If you can’t eat it don’t use it”. Its a cream mineral make up too! Yay! As I was perusing the RMS site I discovered that the Live Live store in New York that Fran talks about visiting and where she discovered the Bee Yummy Skinfood thats raved about on High on Health carries the RMS Beauty line in store so it must be some good stuff! Check out the impressive list of ingredients thats proudly listed on their website: Coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, bees wax, jojoba oil, castor seed oil, argan oil, propolis extract, non-GMO Vit E oil, Rosemary extract, Centella extract, vanilla… Only the Lip2Cheek color “smile” contains .5% of a synthetic color ingredient and its fully disclosed! Any way just wanted to pass on my skin’s joyful RMS discovery :)

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  • Hannah

    Anita where can I buy Andrea Biedermann? I am in Germany and would really like to give her range a try.

  • bree

    omg tht make up is so exspensive lol

  • Jan

    Hi Fran! Have you heard of Suki Tinted Active Moisturizing Foundation? Its got great raves and organic (i think).

  • Ann

    i am in india and my skin tone is dark full of acne, plz suggest me smtng useful..

  • Caitlin

    I just wanted to mention that I do not like Bare Minerals. I’ve tried it numerous times, but here are my problems:
    - They only have four shades to match. I understand some may fit the shade, but I personally think they need more colors. My stepmom is not fair skinned, but she is a tad darker. She chose the light shade, and when I tried it on (I’m in the same skin range as her) it looked ORANGE.
    - It has SO many fine glitters in it, there’s no way it looks natural. I saw them under florescent lights, imagine how bad it would be outside. I don’t like seeing glitter all over the skin personally, it just gives the appearance of makeup. I do play up my eyes, but I like when my skin looks more natural.

    I really suggest you guys check out tinted moisturizers. Look up reviews to see if they have more moisture or more tint, I know some brands have tinted moisturizers but they really work like foundation. Cover Girl Aqua Smoothers are really sheer but work wonderfully, Laura Mercier is very popular for hers too. If you use a primer, this can help keep liquid, cream, and mousse foundations from seeping into your pores. I’ve never had a problem with liquid foundation, so I’m okay with it.

  • lin

    hey everyone does the neutragena micro clear technology makeup work as if you never ever ha acne before in your life? oh yeah another thing you guys can buy the book how to acne free in three days its all natural and stuff as they get permenant results for life its by chris gibson

  • Ashley

    Does anyone know what to do about mineral makeup making your skin more oily? Have any tricks or tips?

  • Ashley

    I bought it from a store that I cannot return it to either. Why would a mineral based makeup put ingredients that irritate the skin!! I think I might try Sephora’s Mineral makeup, it has good reviews and I can go pick out a colous vs. online shopping. The saga continues haha

  • Christina

    I bet your break out was at least worsened by Pur Minerals… I used to use this make up years ago and it really disrupted my skin and prevented skin healing (likely attributed to the ingredient bismuth oxychloride). My skin was an absolute mess while using this makeup.

  • Ashley

    Hi Jasmine: I’m thinking about trying Everyday Minerals. Last week I bought Pur Minerals and have had the absolute worst break out of my life. I’m not sure if it was the makeup or a combination of a bunch of things. I have hormonal/stress related acne and have to cover it to feel comfortable out in public. Ugh!

    Sandra: Do you recommend products from Estee Lauder for acne prone skin? I think i’m willing to buy any kind of makeup that isn’t going to break me out. So frustrated at this point.

  • Sandra

    Not wearing makeup is never really an option for those with acne problems (though I wish it was). People are judgmental and rude, so if you are going out, you don’t want people staring at the acne. Here are two of the best solutions I’ve found: An oil absorbing powder called Mattify! Loose Powder for Sensitive Skin and Estee Lauder Max Cover Foundation. Brush the powder on first (as a primer to protect pores), then apply the foundation, then apply more powder (as a setting powder & to absorb more oil). Make sure to avoid any type of makeup -including minerals-that contain Bismuth Oxychloride. This can be very irritating on oily skin and can make the skin itch. I learned that one the hard way!

  • Jasmine


    I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and I purchase my mineral make-up online. I’ve tried some stuff from stores around here like Physicians Formula (can be bought at Superstore & Shoppers), but I reacted poorly to it. I really LOVE EveryDay Minerals (access their website at Their base foundation is AMAZING & people keep commenting on my “flawless” face (the makeup does a great job at covering my acne scars & the few weekly zits that pop up on my face). I have to admit that I do not love their eyeshadows, but they’re inexpensive so I can’t complain much. Oh, and you can order a FREE sample (I think it costs like $3.50 for shipping & handling) of different shades so that you can pick which colour works best for your skin before you buy a larger container. For the record, I also don’t like their lipsticks. BUT THEIR BASE FOUNDATION IS AWESOME & RIDICULOUSLY INEXPENSIVE! Shipping is VERY reasonable too… like approximately 10% of the order amount. Delivery takes about 3 weeks to Canada, in my experience. Hope this answer helped you!

  • Ashley

    Does anyone have a favourite that can be found in Canada? I’ve never tried Mineral Makeup and would like to get into it.

  • kristal

    I have two favorites, I forgot to mention. First is RMS Beauty “un” coverup, it is a really unique brand completely organic made with cold pressed oils. The other is Afterglow Cosmetics. As a fellow acne struggler, I have tried just about everything and these two are absolutely the best I’ve found, check them out!

  • Diana

    hi …amazing write-up i must say… and the advice on wearing a bit of makeup at home to stop urself from lookin in the mirror…that’s simply superb! n it makes perfect sense…as long as u dont overdo it that is! i have mild acne… and get so annoyed at myself for lookin in the mirror constantly to check for new breakouts. the best advice is to leave it alone.. (but sometimes it’s jus so darn hard to do! ..) but jus let go…and the skin should clear up on its own. they say that the more u dont want a problem to happen… the more it happens!! so jus steer clear of THINKIN about it too much.
    also.. drink 3 litres of water a day… it has def helped my hair texture too… i’ve seen the results…and my face is smoother and softer too. i dont even use moisturizer. acne marks, if any, will also clear up… so till the time it’s completely gone, i’ll continue to use mineral makeup… the brand i use is Sephora Mineral Double Compact Foundation. it’s really simple…light…. and u dont have to apply too much either.
    So kudos to Mineral Makeup…and here’s a tip to all acne-prone people out there. : it’s NORMAL…and it WILL clear up…. so jus be patient…but dont use anything other than PURE mineral makeup…. look out for ‘ non comedogenic’, ‘oil free’, ‘paraben-free’, ‘allergen-free’..and also free from the ingredient ‘bismuth oxychloride’. that’s it! and you’ll soon be on the road to clear skin. :)

  • hK

    Oh and dimethicone is in most hair products too!

  • hK

    I personally would not rec Minerelle it made my skin red. I though have never found a foundation that doesn’t break me out.

    A lot of research has lead me to find out I can’t wear mica or dimethicone! 2 ingredients that are bad for acne prone skin, you can google and find out for yourself. This isn’t the case for everyone considering some acne sufferers can use these ings without problems and they are lucky since pretty much every foundation contains them.

    Anyways just wanted to share incase it helps someone to realise they too also need to avoid these ings.

  • kristal

    Has anyone tried Dr.Houchka’s Translucent liquid makeup?

  • Ida

    Hi, has anyone tried Bella Pierre mineral make-up? I use Lily Lolo at the moment and it’s fine, though I spotted that Fran uses Bella Pierre. I wondered if it was better? There’s no stockists in Northern Ireland for me to go and get colour checks.

  • Nina

    I have very oily t-zone with acne. After I wash my face in the morning it gets oily after 2 hours :( and nothing helps! I would like to know if mineral makeup is good for oily skin?

  • I also had a long struggle with finding the perfect makeup. When I was 17 I went on roaccutane for a year but suffered some sort of reaction to it, and my skin has never really recovered. I have super sensitive, fair skin with large pores that is constantly breaking out.

    I was initially using a mineral makeup product that contained bismuth, and omg, it was the worst experience. It made my face itchy and red and gave me cystic acne on parts of my face. It took me a while to work out that it was my makeup because I thought mineral makeup was supposed to be great for the skin, and was constantly changing my cleansers/ moisturisers etc. Fran, you are completely right- make sure you research you makeup! Thats how I found out that my makeup was causing more damage to my skin. Apparently real mineral makeup should have less then 7 ingredients.

    Personally I love Everyday Minerals. You have to buy it online from the US so you cant get colour matching but there are so many different shades of foundation colours available and you can buy sample packs for $2.50. When buying it for the first time I just got lots of different samples to find the best colour for me. Also with EM you can get a free sample pack with every order which has up to 4 samples in it.

    You can also choose Matte, semi-matte, intensive or original glow formulas to go with your skin type. There are also powder concealers available that I find work really well in covering up my acne scarring.

    Em foundation is also bismuth free and only has up to 5 ingredients. Also, unlike a lot of other mineral makeup brands EM has great shades of bronzers, blush, eyeshadows etc available, all of which I have found to be skin friendly and really pretty products.

    When you find a good makeup its such a relief!

    Hope this helps!

  • EVE

    Hi, i use Derma-Lishes Minerals………………I LOVE IT, my skin doesnt go dry or flaky and it has a natural glow, that I cant get with anything else…..Its free from all the crap…….The reason I was told pure minerals dont give good coverage is because they a natural, but if you wet some in the palm of your hand with water, it works like a concealer, that doesnt block your pores, dab it on your spots and let it dry………….Go australian made.

  • Sian

    I use ‘Nature’s Minerals’ from The Body Shop, available in several countries (I am in the UK). I have not tried other mineral make ups, so have nothing to compare it to. It doesn’t contain Bismuth Oxychloride. I’ve had a quick look on makeup alley and it has mixed views. I would agree that it doesn’t give great coverage, but it may work for you.

  • Anita

    I second Charlotte on Andrea Biedermann. They got a professional there too who helps you choosing the right color for your foundation :) I was very surprised how friendly and caring they are. There are many colors to choose from too!

  • amy b

    Thanks Christina. My sisters naturopath told her that all sunscreen is bad for your skin even natural sunscreen. Though, of course he recommended using it when in the sun. but i’m not always in the sun when wearing makeup and i wanted to find mineral makeup without spf.
    thank you very much. Atleast it’s chemical free.


  • Christina

    amy b, to my understanding the minerals in mineral make up provide the spf naturally by creating a physical layer of protection on the skin, it is not a chemically-based spf. There seems to be varying beliefs re: how much sun is too much; but it is nice to catch a few rays for the vitamin D and other health benefits it provides. Perhaps you could try applying a light dusting of mineral powder as a compromise?

  • amy b

    hey does anyone know of a great mineral makeup without spf?? it’s in everything. i don’t need it all the time. it’s not good for your skin.

  • What do you think about Bismuth Oxychloride? I notice minerelle does not have it, I have used bare minerals, but am looking for an alternative.

  • Henrieta

    This is my favourite brand of NZ mineral makeup. The foundation has done wonders for my skin and I love all the other products on this site.

  • izzy

    hey fran! i was just wondering if you’ve seen the youtube video where the guy tests how good your mineral foundation by seeing if it float in water or not ( do you know how that works?

    :) thanks!

  • amy b

    (correction) i actually obsesses about my diet but i still have a candida issue.

  • amy b

    i have acne scars that are from years ago like three years ago and there is still a little red dot or purplish. and i do not pick or pop. family and friends say its because i have almost transparent skin even though i have the ability to tan. i eat ok i don’t know wy i scar so bad. a lot of red on my face i have to do a little more layering with makeup but with mineral makeup it doesn’t look caked on. does anyone have redness or spots that seem to stay forever even after the whitehead is gone???

    p.s. i use bare minerals/bare essentials
    open to try different. i use bee yummy skin food (it’s awesome!)

  • agnei- There are many different brands, do a search and see if you can find a natural one :)

    Francesca- Oh wow, that’s a shame. I guess there’s an ingredient in there that perhaps you’re allergic to?

    christina- Minerelle does not contain bismuth oxychloride

  • christina

    P.S. Kitty would you tell us which skin care line (medical grade which is 100% natural and chirally correct) you use? The 3 lines I am familiar with are Cosmedix, Sircuit, and Osmosis…

  • christina

    I was using mineral make-up for years; I thought it was great because of natural-looking coverage and spf… but I started to notice that my blemishes were seeming to never really heal fully and appeared more like sores before flaring up again. I read that an ingredient found in many mineral make-up formulas, bismuth oxychloride, can interfere with wound healing which I believe was happening to me. I know many people swear by mineral make-up, but it was not right for me…I would try it again if I could find a formulation w/o bismuth oxychloride.

  • Shannon

    I feel the same way sometimes, Elena. I don’t know what to do about it except to go against it and just do it, you know?

  • Kitty

    Hi Shannon, yeah you and I must make up a weird minority of people that have a hard time with mineral makeup, even the Jane liquid minerals…. lol :) so many ppl rave about that product! And yes very exxxy. I kept the box so I would always have the ingredients handy – in theory it should work and the ingredients are really nourishing and anti-aging too…

    Like you I eat only totally natural foods, I eat about 60% raw diet and at least 60% of my diet is organic. And as I said I now only use medical grade skincare which is 100% natural and chirally correct. Keep up your healthy diet as it does pay off – I’m 37 and I am always told I look 10 years younger and always get asked if I’ve “had work done” lol :D

    I see my dermal therapist this week and I may give her minerals a go – they are called Derma-lishes – they apply OK when she applies them, but still nothing wonderful…

  • Shannon

    You’re right Kitty, I tried my old Jane Iredale makeup again (which I remember was quite expensive) and it highlighted my bumps and gave me super sheer coverage.

    To be honest, the best mineral make up I’ve ever used, and the best coverage I’ve gotten from any kind of makeup is Bare Naturale by Loreal, but it just obsorbed too much oil from my face, and it sits it right on top – which is my problem with all the mineral make up I’ve tried.

    I’m disappointed we all have these issues with mineral makeup. I eat virtually only all natural foods, I used homemade scrubs and stuff, and I would love to use natural make up (since I wear makeup everyday), but it just never worked out for me. Though I KNOW it’s great for others cause it looks wonderful (and natural like it’s supposed to) on my mother.

  • Kitty

    Francesca, you’re not alone! I love the concept of mineral makeup, but on me it just looks stupid, even when applied by a professional or facialist, and no matter what brand I try and I’ve tried many from Jane Iredale, Bella Pierre, Bare Escentuals, then a lot of the lesser known names too. It dries my skin out and irritates and makes my skin look patchy and flaky, and I use very good medical grade skincare…

    Shannon, the Jane Iredale liquid makeup is basically the same as regular mineral makeup, it’s little balls of mineral powder encapsulated in base of water, aloe and hyaluronic acid… I actually have this product and a lot of people (especially on Makeup Alley) rave about it, but for me I get the same sort of coverage as regular mineral makeup, it’s still difficult to blend and get good coverage…

    Oh how I wish I could find the perfect mineral makeup for me!

  • Francesca

    I can’t use mineral make-up at all, I’ve tried two different brands (Everyday minerals and Lily Lolo) and both gave me a nasty reaction and contributed to making my acne worse, cysts and bumps all over my cheeks, the lady at the make-up counter told me it looked more like an allergic reaction and I agreed.

    From reading reviews on makeupalley I see I am not alone, it may be great for some but as with every product, some skin does react adversely to it. It’s a shame as I really like the idea of mineral make-up :[

  • Jasmine

    Fran, you should consider adding this line of makeup to your store! I would invest in this makeup! Although I guess figuring out the right colour for your skin tone would be an issue.

  • elena

    Has anyone ever been embarrassed to go to a make-up professional because you have a lot of acne and scars?

  • ups…my post disappeared ..

    One more time then ;-)
    I looove mineral make-up! So many colors, so many concealers, sparkles – of one wishes or matte finish.
    No clogging for me whatsoever, perfect coverage.
    And, I shop with, always buying small jars that last months! for $ 2.50!

    Whoever made this whole mineral make-up popular is my eternal friend!

    All the best! Marta aka Rawvolta

  • agnei

    hmm, I just wonder, about Minerelle – their powders contain Dimethicone – am I wrong that it is not natural and bad for skin, esp. acne prone?

  • Charlotte

    If there is anyone who lives in Germany, my local recommendation for mineral-makeup made in Germany is makeup from Andrea Biedermann. You can order your makeup, and samples, on:

  • Shannon

    What do you think of liquid mineral makeup like Jane Iredale’s?

    I love the coverage I get from mineral makeup, but it always seems to make my skin look oily… Is there something I can do about that besides packing on a layer of finishing powder ever hour or so?

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