For those of you who suffer from acne, or have blemish prone skin – high five yourself if this sounds familiar: your skin is bad, so you start wearing more foundation, or a heavier one. This results in even worse skin….or, at least, skin which never seems to heal.

Yep, that’s probably most of us at one point or another. It’s one of the worst vicious cycles out there, and goes against everything you are told about ‘leaving your skin to breathe’ and other well-meaning but highly impractical advice. Because for some, spending the entire day bare faced isn’t the dreamiest prospect (I count myself in this list!)

I have pretty icky skin, and over the past three months it’s got even worse. I’ve had breakouts with a capital B, and spots so painful I miss my old raggedy skin. It’s true what they say, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone ‘eh?

So it’s safe to say that I have tried a fair few foundations in my time, and always come back to two or three classic formulas. They aren’t the trendiest, and they probably won’t make you feel as though you are a cool beauty insider. But they also won’t make your already-grumpy-skin even more angry, and that’s all that matters, right?

I should add a bit of a disclaimer here – these foundations are all perfect for my particular brand of skin, which is to say that your skin may not suit it….BUT I will clearly explain the benefits so you can make a decision yourself. Also – please don’t buy anything without trying it on your skin first, shade matching online is really tricky!

Three Amazing Foundations

Travel Beauty - foundation for acne prone skin, bare minerals close up

Bare Minerals Original Foundation SPF 15

Shade: Beige

An oldie, but a goodie. The whole mineral thing was big business a while back, but seems to have fallen out of favour recently. I can see why, the cons to mineral makeup can be annoying — it can be drying, a little cakey and like any powder foundation, a little more painstaking to apply.

It also contains SPF, which for a photo-finish is never a good thing….but you can just use a different foundation for Instagram heavy days.

But the pro’s are so PRO. It’s finely milled, almost like dust so the effects can be flawless when properly applied (just use a good brush and buff, buff, buff.) It’s non-comodogenic, which anyone with skin prone to breakouts will know as the holy grail  label for skincare and makeup. All it means is that it won’t clog your skin up. Actually some BM devotees think you can sleep in your mineral foundation, so ‘breathable’ is the formula. I don’t recommend this, but I promise you the foundation won’t add to your breakouts.

It actually helps calm mine down, and I don’t need to apply as much to cover spots up. Winner.

Travel Beauty - foundation for acne prone skin, clinique foundation closeup

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation

Shade: Fresh Honey

Clinique gets a really bad rep sometimes. For those who only remember the clinical green tubes of scrubby seven-day scrub, toilet stripping toner and sometimes bland fragrance-free moisturisers, the brand is synonymous with dull, and harsh. But most of my best-loved beauty products are Clinique.

I may not be a Dramatically Different devotee (regardless of the hyaluronic acid ‘plus,’) but I can’t live without my Moisture Surge Intense,  and there is no parting me from my Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, which is better than any other cleanser I have EVER used.

And when it comes to foundations, I often go back to Clinique. There isn’t a foundation of theirs I’ve used and haven’t liked but Anti-Blemish is the best one when my skin is in mega breakout mode. Also non-comodogenic and oil-free, the formula also has the added benefit of containing salicylic acid — known to zap them pesky spots. So I turn to this when my skin is hideously spotty, I tend not to use it any other time. Because it can be drying, and because my skin is dehydrated (lacking in water, not oil) it is counterproductive to use it when my skin is behaving.

Travel Beauty - foundation for acne prone skin, tube of foundation

Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation

Shade: Beige

This is a new addition, and one that was kindly sent to me. It’s an American brand created for doctors to use on post laser-treatment patients suffering from scarring. The formula is ‘breakthrough’ in that it has a jazzy Oxygen complex called Ceravitae, which means skin is able to breathe and heal.

The formula is very light, and you need to build it up to get a good coverage but it is nice on the skin. It’s also an SPF 25 formula, so I wouldn’t recommend for pictures but I would recommend it as a great every day foundation. I use it with concealer, and it takes a bit of extra work to cover up heavy breakouts but it keeps my skin clear however much I layer on.

A neat, light little tube adds to the perfect-for-travelling element. I can’t bear having to decant products for travel!


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Please note that some of these products are PR samples. All views are my own.