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6 Foundations for Oily & Acne Prone Skin in India

This post lists foundation options in the Indian market for oily, combination and acne prone skin types. The biggest factor in compiling this list has been that a foundation should not cause acne. Once a foundation passes that test, you can make it work for you with some creativity. This list has been carefully compiled and is a good place to start your search for non-comedogenic liquid foundations.

If your favourite foundation did not make this list, please remind us in the comments below and we’ll add it here.

If you are looking for face powders, see this post for reviews of face powders (compacts) for oily skin in India.

Liquid Foundations in India for oily acne prone skin

Foundation Coverage and finish Suitable for Not suitable for Price
Max Factor Second Skin Foundationmaxfactor-second-skin-acne Light to medium dewy finish, thick formula works for highly acne prone skin, blends quite easily, plumps up pitted acne scarring somewhat, does not accentuate peeling skin, formula adapts to skin colour will not cover dark pimple marks, can look shiny on very oily skin, formula separates in bottle Rs. 860 for 30 ml
Revlon Colorstay Foundation Makeup with SoftFlex SPF 6 (Oily / Combination Skin)revlon-colorstay-foundation-acne Medium to full coverage with matte finish popular choice for oily skin, survives long hours on hot sunny days, oil control for very oily skin, covers dark pimple marks well difficult to blend, can look cakey if applied thick, mix with moisturizer for a natural look, works for oily skin but hit-or-miss for acne prone skin Rs. 800 for 30 ml
Revlon New Complexion Foundation (DermaBreathe)revlon-new-complexion-acne Light to medium coverage with matte finish, thin watery formula works for highly acne prone skin, water based foundation, oil-free foundation, budget foundation, daily use foundation limited shade selection, not buildable, settles in pores if skin is dry, highlights peeling or dry patches – pre-moisturizing a must Rs. 560 for 35.5 ml
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundationbourjois-healthy-mix-acne Medium coverage with dewy finish, liquidy formula looks natural, yellow undertones, covers redness of acne scars, smooths out pitted scarring to some extent, better suited to acne prone skin dry from using acne treatments as it brings life back into the skin can look shiny on very oily skin, not suitable for hot sunny days Rs. 1100 for 30 ml
Chambor Sheer Delight Ultra Matt Oil Free Foundationchambor-sheer-matte-foundation-acne Light coverage with matte finish, thick formula labelled non-comedogenic, natural look for daily wear, yellow undertones, blends easily, long-wearing, oil control limited shades, hard to find, will not hide dark acne marks, can highlight peeling or dryness on skin – moisturizing before hand a must Rs. 745 for 30 ml
Inglot YSM Cream Foundation (Young Skin Makeup)inglot-ysm-foundation-acne Light to medium coverage with dewy finish, creamy formula warm shades available, natural look for daily wear, blends easily, oil control only at Inglot stores or online, will not hide dark acne marks, can highlight peeling or dryness on skin – moisturizing before hand a must Rs. 970 for 30 ml

A mention worthy foundation not included in the list is Lakme Absolute White Intense Skin Cover SPF 25. Lakme Absolute foundation is water-based, oil-free and contains vitamin B3 (good for fading dark spots). This lightweight foundation has a creamy consistency, gives a semi-matte finish and near full coverage. It blends easily and has been generally reported to be fine for acne prone skin. The price is Rs. 575 for just 15 ml plus the possibility of a white cast in flash photos.

If you want your skin to look smoothed out, choose thicker foundations over watery ones. Creamy formulas plump up the skin and subdue the appearance of pitted scarring to some extent. Creamy formulas are also easier to blend than thin watery ones.

foundations-acne-prone-skinWatery formulas such as Revlon New Complexion can get into pores and make them appear larger. They also don’t do a good job of evening out the pitted scarring, but just settle in the depressed scars.

Revlon New Complexion is pretty good in other respects though, and the way to get around these problems is to first use a non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Even better is to mix the foundation with a face cream or moisturizer. This will:

  1. ensure easy blending and buildability
  2. prevent foundation from sinking into pores
  3. plump up pitted scarring due to moisture absorption
  4. smooth out dry patches and skin peeling

Mix half foundation, half moisturizer so you don’t lose much on coverage. Try not to mix with a sunscreen based moisturizer or you will get a whitish mask look.

Makeup artists often suggest using a primer underneath your foundation for a smooth finish. Primers are infused with silicones (e.g. dimethicone, methicone) that make makeup glide over skin smoothly. While silicones can smooth out wrinkles and acne scarring, they also sit as a layer on the skin.

Sheer foundations any good?

Some of the best foundations in the market only offer sheer to light coverage. How can that be enough to hide acne scars? The secret is to use a thin layer of a light-medium coverage foundation all over the face. Then use a full coverage concealer to hide dark pimple marks or acne scars. These two together will give you a naturally flawless look.

So which is a good concealer in India for acne prone skin?

Two of the best Indian concealers for acne prone skin come from a single brand – Colorbar. Colorbar Instant Coverup Stick Concealer (Rs. 425 per stick) and Colorbar Full Cover Concealer (Rs. 495 per 5gm pot). The stick concealer provides medium coverage whereas the pot concealer is good for full coverage.

The stick formula blends very easily and can double up as an under eye concealer. The pot concealer is ideal for covering red, inflamed acne and brown acne scars.

SPF in foundations necessary?

It is best not to rely on the SPF in foundations to double up as sunscreen. They are mostly just added as an after thought and are not sufficient to provide full spectrum coverage your skin needs. Foundations with SPF are also more likely to cause breakouts.

In general, a foundation without sunscreen is a better choice. For best sun protection, use a separate medicated, non-comedogenic sunscreen available in the Indian market.

If you are going out during the day, you can apply sunscreen, then foundation on top. That way you will be able to use the foundation for evenings too, without the fear of it looking whitish in flash photos or artificial light.

High-end foundations for acne prone skin

Among high-end foundations, Clinique and MAC are two brands worth a try. Although MAC does not specifically state that their foundations are non-comedogenic, MAC Studio Fix fluid has been reported to be suitable for oily skin. Another good one is MAC Face and Body Foundation. Clinique has a whole range of anti-acne skin care and makeup products including foundations.

Foundations commonly reported to cause pimples

While we are on the topic of foundations for acne prone skin, how can we leave out ones that are not?

  1. Lakme Invisible Finish Foundation
  2. Lakme Silk Naturelle Daily Foundation
  3. Revlon Touch & Glow Moisturizing Makeup (plus it is too pink for Indian skin tones)
  4. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Cream Makeup
  5. Revlon Photo Ready Makeup (shimmery, sinks into pores, face turns oily)
  6. L’Oreal Matte Morphose Foundation
  7. L’Oreal True Match Liquid Foundation
  8. Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation
  9. MaxFactor Lasting Performance Foundation
  10. MaxFactor Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation
  11. Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Foundation (oily face, breakouts)
  12. Lakme Face Magic Daily Wear Souffle (no coverage, transfers to clothing)
  13. L’Oreal Paris True Match Minerals Foundation
  14. Lotus Herbals Naturalblend Swift Makeup Stick Concealer
  15. L’Oreal Paris True Match Concealer

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