While it’s important to allow acne prone skin a chance to breathe at night, you can still wear makeup during the day that conceals pimples without inhibiting your skin’s healing process. Follow these steps to achieve flawless looking makeup coverage for your acne prone skin.

Things You'll Need

START WITH CLEAN SKIN: Clean your skin with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip skin of its natural moisturizers (many dermatologists recommend Cetaphil). Wash with lukewarm water (hot water will strip your skin of nutrients) and pat dry (don’t rub) with a clean wash rag. Keep several wash rags nearby and use a clean one each day to prevent spreading pore-clogging bacteria.

APPLY ACNE TREATMENTS: Now apply any acne treatments you use directly onto clean skin. Allow a minute or so for the medications to be absorbed.

APPLY A SUN PROTECTANT MOISTURIZER: Next, add a good, all over moisturizer with at least SPF 15. What’s that you say? With your oily skin moisturizer is the last thing you need! In fact, dry skin will trigger your glands to produce more oil in an effort to rehydrate the skin. So by keeping the skin properly hydrated in the first place, you allow your skin to spend more time glowing and less time making grease! The SPF will protect your skin from the sun’s UV radiation, which can cause premature aging, dull looking skin and an increased risk of skin cancer.

ADD PRIMER (Optional): If you have scars from previous pimples or struggle with dry or uneven skin, a makeup primer can increase skin’s firmness and help foundation go on smoother. If using, place a small dollop on each side of your nose and smooth outwards.

CONCEAL BLEMISHES: Now you can lightly apply concealer to your broken out areas. Ideally, try to use a concealer that you can apply using cleaned fingertips. However, if your concealer requires the use of an applicator sponge, use a clean one each time (you can buy extras at your local drug store). Leave the concealer on the blemish for 5-10 seconds before blending to allow time for it to adhere to its spot. Green hued concealers do a great job of offsetting aggravated pimples (Green offsets red). However, if you have dry, flaky blemishes, you may want to go with a traditional concealer that is one shade slightly darker than your normal skin tone. The green hue can get caught behind flaky skin and fail to blend in completely. (You don’t want your pimple looking like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas!).

TIME FOR FOUNDATION: If you wear foundation, apply it now. (You can skip foundation altogether if using mineral face powder). Gently smooth on foundation using light layers to allow your skin to breathe.

FINISH UP WITH FACE POWDER AND YOUR COLORS OF CHOICE: Add a dusting of facial powder and finish up with your blush, eye shadow or lipstick of choice.

REMOVE MAKEUP BEFORE SLEEPING: Your beauty rest will stay true to it’s name if you remember to remove your makeup and remoisturize before heading to bed. Follow the same washing tips listed in step one. Then follow up with your acne medication and a moisturizing night cream. Not just for wrinkles, night cream will help your face heal from blemishes and provide you with smoother, healthier skin come morning time.


  • When choosing makeup for acne prone skin, ensure that it is oil free and “noncomedogenic” (ie, it won’t clog pores). Some makeups even contain small amounts of benzoyl-peroxide to combat acne. Just be careful if you are already putting acne treatment on under your makeup, as too much medication could dry out skin and end up further aggravating your pores.