My journey with my skin has been a long and complicated one.
When I turned 20, I was initiated into the world of adult acne and learning very quickly how hard it is to navigate.
I’ve seen dermatologist after dermatologist, researched everything under the sun, tried numerous different routines, and nothing seemed to work long-term.
With my wedding being just one year away, I became so desperate for an answer and came across an acne specialist out of Austin. I joined their acne boot camp, and after just one month, my skin already looks better than it has in over five years – and we’re just getting started!
I have so much more to share about this acne journey, but today, I wanted to share one incredibly important step to make if you too are struggling with adult acne: CHECK YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE!
Okay, chances are, if you’re deep into your acne journey, you already know the basics of non-comedogenic makeup products. But, what I learned recently, is that it goes beyond a label of “noncomedogenic” – you have to check the ingredients!
My skin coaches created such a great tool for scanning ingredient lists to ensure that your products are free of acne-causing ingredients, linked here if you want to try it.
And let me tell you: the results might shock you. I had many, MANY non-comedogenic makeup products that actually were guilty of acne-causing ingredients.
But, one thing I also learned from this is that a LOT of clean makeup products contain acne-causing ingredients, like oils, algae, and more natural, but pore-clogging additives.
That left me in a tricky spot. Of course, I wanted to eliminate acne-causing, pore-clogging makeup products, but I also wanted to keep my routine as clean as possible. You guys KNOW clean beauty and clean living are so important to me, so I was determined.
Today, I am so excited to share my new and improved clean, acne-safe, noncomedogenic, and non-pore-clogging makeup routine! I searched high and low for products that wouldn’t break me out and were as clean as possible, and after putting these two the test over the past few weeks, I think we’ve found some winners!
(And if you’re looking for a quick list, scroll all the way to the bottom!)
Clean + Acne-Safe Makeup Routine
Noncomedogenic and Acne-Safe Primer
BareMinerals Prime Time is free of all acne-causing ingredients and sets the perfect base. To determine how clean a product is, I always run it through the EWG Skin Deep database and the Think Dirty app. For both, the lower the score, the cleaner the product!
Over on EWG, BareMinerals Prime Time is ranked 2 and on Think Dirty, it’s ranked a 3 – both scores are in the green zone!
Non-Pore-Clogging, Acne-Safe Foundation
Truthfully guys, it was HARD to find a clean and acne-safe foundation. Most clean foundations have pore-clogging ingredients, and most non-comedogenic, acne-safe foundations weren’t the cleanest.
But surprisingly enough, a good ole drugstore find swept in to save the day! Enter: NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. Free from all pore-clogging ingredients, and it scores a 2 on EWG and a 4 on Think Dirty. I think this is a great option for everyday use. I am picky with foundations, and am having a hard time setting aside my beloved Estee Lauder Doublewear, which sadly has one pore-clogging ingredient – but everything in moderation, right? I certainly won’t be tossing it, but instead saving I’ll be saving it for more important days and nights. Foundation is SO key to your makeup routine.
I did find during my research that Lancome Teint Idole Foundation is acne-safe too, so I’ve added it to my list to try! I’ll keep you posted.
Acne-Safe Concealer with Clean Ingredients
Ding, ding, ding! We have three winners in this category! All free of any pore-clogging ingredients, our budget-friendly Elf 16-Hour Camo Concealer ranks 2 on EWG, Dermablend is also a 2, and BareMinerals BarePro Conealer is also a 2! (Love the Think Dirty App, but it’s database isn’t as big as EWG – these three weren’t in the app.) Lots of great clean concealer options here.
Clean Beauty Bronzer Free of Pore-Clogging Ingredients
This Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer was one of my routine staples prior to putting my routine to the pore-clogging test, and I was SO thankful it passed with flying colors! It’s such a beautiful, blendable bronzer, and a lot of bronzers are filled with talc, which can cause breakouts – but not this one! You’re golden here. It gets a 3 on EWG and a 5 on Think Dirty. Could it be cleaner? Yes, but, it’s such a strong, effective bronzer, and 3 and 5 scores are still pretty good! But, this leads me to my next point.
For a cleaner alternative, Honest Beauty’s Glow Powders are so beautiful! Above is a darker shade perfect for bronzer, and a lighter shade great for highlight. But, these are much more of a subtle touch of color and glow, so I think these are great for no-makeup makeup looks, or a more natural look. They get a 2 on EWG!
But, I saved the BEST OF LAST! I had never tried out any products from PUR before, but after struggling to find blushes, bronzers and highlighters free of talc and other pore-clogging ingredients, while also clean, I came across this 4-in-1 Skin Perfecting Palette and decided to give it a go.
AND IT CHANGED EVERYTHING. It is SO GOOD. If you only get one thing from this clean and acne-safe makeup routine, make it this PUR palette. The colors are a bit darker than they look online. I was thinking about getting the medium, but I am so glad I got the light. The pigment is incredible and it’s so long lasting. This is a new STAPLE for me!
Noncomedogenic Blush with Clean Ingredients
I’ve got two blush recommendations for you! For something more subtle, the Bareminerals Bounce and Blur Blush is a great clean makeup staple. (And, Hailey Baldwin stand by it, soooo…). It definitely does have a blurring effect! Since it’s newer, it’s not get on EWG or Think Dirty, but most Bareminerals blushes get a 2 or 3.
Also, I am going to rave about the PUR 4-in-1 Skin Perfecting Palette again – the blush looks like more of a baby pink, but when it goes on your skin, it looks much more coral, and it’s STUNNING!
Talc-Free Highlighter Perfect for Acne-Prone Skin
It was challenging to find a highlighter free of pore-clogging ingredients! A lot of them have talc, and if they didn’t have talc, they had butters or oils. BUT, I have a budget-freindly option for you: the Honest Glow Powder I talked about above! Such a pretty, subtle glow.
But for a more pigmented highlighter, I am going to rave about the PUR 4-in-1 Palette again… (please don’t get sick of me saying this!)
Noncomedogenic and Clean Setting Powders
We’re getting towards the end of our routine with acne-friendly setting powders! BareMinerals Mineral Veil is SUCH a classic and you can’t go wrong. However, in the hot, Houston summers here, I like something a little lighter, and just started testing W3LL Beauty’s Bio Baked Brightening Powder. I am loving it for under my eyes too! BareMinerals gets a 1 on EWG and a 3 on Think Dirty; W3LL get’s a 2 on EWG and a 3 on Think Dirty. Both are awesome clean makeup options!
Clean and Acne-Safe Setting Spray
Shown above, I LOVE Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Water! “Primer Water” sounds misleading, because it’s an incredible setting spray. But it has a double use: you can use it to prime, too! Too Faced’s Hangover Setting Spray also is acne-safe, so once I run out, I will probably finish my bottle, and then decide on which one to re-order, but I tell ya: I am SO impressed with Smashbox! It gets a 5 on EWG and an 8 on Think Dirty, so not the cleanest, but I don’t use it every day. Meanwhile, Too Faced’s Hangover setting spray also gets a 5 on EWG and an 8 on Think Dirty.
Noncomedogenic and Clean Lip Products
And last but not least: let’s talk lip products that won’t break you out! And this one was hard. SO many lip products are filled with acne-causing ingredients. If you don’t break out around your mouth, then the coast is clear for you, but if you are suseptable to acne around your lips, here is my new go-to routine: lip liner and vaseline! Simple as that!
ColourPop’s Lippie Pencil gets a 2 on EWG and is free of any pore-clogging ingredients. Line your lips, fill it in just a tap, give it a pop, pop, pop and then good ole Vaseline adds such a pretty seal and shine.
Clean and Acne-Friendly Makeup Routine Breakdown:
- BareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer
- NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop 24HR Full Coverage Matte Foundation
- e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer
- bareMinerals BAREPRO 16-HR Full Coverage Concealer
- Dermablend Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer
- PÜR 4-in-1 Skin-Perfecting Powders Face Palette In Fair/Light
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer
- BareMinerals BAREPRO Bounce and Blur Blush
- Honest Beauty Luminizing Glow Powder
- W3LL Baked Brightening Powder
- BareMinerals Mineral Veil
- Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer Water
- ColourPop Lippie Pencil
- Vaseline Lip Therapy