7 Best Foundations with Salicylic Acid for Tackling Acne

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Y’all have heard about salicylic acid, the beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) great at unclogging pores, reducing sebum, and dry breakouts, speeding up healing. Most folks with oily and acne-prone skin types are already loyal to this star ingredient. You surely have on your vanity countertop a salicylic acid-infused cleanser or a toner with salicylic acid that works to keep pimples and excess sebum at bay. But as long as you’re a makeup fan and use foundation on a daily basis, an idea came to you: what if I’d use a foundation with salicylic acid?

Foundation is that product that stays in contact with your skin the entire day, so using a salicylic acid-infused one is a brilliant idea. Indeed, the foundation can be a double-edged sword. But as long as you’re using a formula suitable for your skin, there’s no room for worries. Salicylic acid is a life-saver for whoever struggles with excessively oily skin and pimples caused by clogged pores and excess sebum. In my recent attempt at finding the best foundation with salicylic acid, I discovered a few formulas that will definitely live up to your expectations. 

Is salicylic acid foundation good for acne?

The best salicylic acid foundations are a goldmine for acne. Since salicylic acid unclogs pores by breaking down the bonds between dead cells and balances sebum production, it’s definitely one of the best ingredients in a foundation for acne-prone skin.

By removing excess oil and dead cells buildup, salicylic acid unclogs pores, diminishing the chances of breakouts from appearing. 

Tough, here’s something important to know before slathering your skin in one of these best foundations with salicylic acid. This acid tends to dry the skin, so you shouldn’t use it with other acne-fighting treatments that include salicylic acid. Furthermore, make sure you hydrate your skin before layering the salicylic acid-infused foundation and after you take it off. Dehydrated skin may bring the sebaceous glands into overdrive, making them produce even more sebum, hence, more chances of breakouts. 

The best salicylic acid foundations

Here, the best salicylic acid foundations that’ll help unclog pores, balance oil, and heal blemishes while covering imperfections for a flawless look.


Clinique Best Salicylic Acid Foundation

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

As the name suggests, this foundation comes in handy for those who have acne-prone skin. It’s infused with salicylic acid and a few sources of antioxidants, such as caffeine and vitamin E, to help treat existing breakouts while leaving a matte finish, ideal to offset a greasy look. Clinique Acne Solutions foundation is oil- and fragrance-free, non-acnegenic, and sweat-resistant, goes on creamy, and blends seamlessly for a flawless look all day long. Shortly, it’s by far one of the best foundations with salicylic acid, ideal for acne sufferers.


bareMinerals Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation

bareMinerals Skin-Clearing Loose Powder Foundation

If you struggle with acne caused by excess oil, this powder foundation is what you need as the powder absorbs excess sebum, making the skin look shine-free with a matte finish. And since it’s filled with salicylic acid, it aims to heal breakouts by fighting bacteria and unclogging pores. Not only that, but this foundation packs honey, amino acids, green tea, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, to balance sebum and nourish the complexion. You not only get a lightweight powder foundation that gives ample coverage with a feathery feeling, but also skincare that soothes, all in an organic formula.


Oxygenetix Acne Control Foundation

Oxygenetix Acne Control Foundation

Oxygenetix made this foundation as an acne treatment, the reason it’s filled with 2% salicylic acid. It doesn’t dry out the skin since it has an aloe-gel base, meant to soothe and hydrate, plus a complex that supports collagen production and fast skin recovery. Moreover, the foundation spikes grapeseed extract known to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and yeast extract, which has a calming effect that soothes problematic skin. Everything is in a breathable formula that gives full coverage and a natural finish, making it one of the best foundations with salicylic acid.


Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Powder Foundation

Vichy Dermablend Covermatte Powder Foundation

This is another clean powder formula that packs acne- and sebum-fighting ingredients. Salicylic acid and zinc unclog pores, balance sebum levels, and heal breakouts, while vitamin E and Vichy mineralizing water strengthen the skin and keep it moisturized. The mineral pigments create a natural, velvety matte finish, hiding imperfections and blurring pores, leaving you with a smooth skin texture.


Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup

Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup Foundation

This liquid foundation leaves a soft, natural finish, and it’s infused with 0.5% salicylic acid to counteract excess oil and pimples. Its lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic formula is ideal for acne-prone skin that fights breakouts, prevents future blemishes, and controls shine. As a bonus, Neutrogena SkinClearing Foundation contains retinyl palmitate, chamomile, aloe extract, and vitamin E to give your skin a little extra TLC every time you wear it.


Almay Make Myself Clear Foundation

Almay Make Myself Clear Foundation

Almay Make Myself Clear Foundation is a multitasker that not only diffuses imperfections but aims to prevent breakouts apparition by regulating excess oil. The addition of aloe juice, chamomile, mushroom extracts, and proteins work to maintain the skin hydrated, which in turn, balances sebum. Available in 14 easy-match shades, it’s easy to find the perfect one for your tone.


Acne Fighting Foundation

e.l.f. Acne Fighting Foundation

If you’re on a budget and looking for the best salicylic acid foundation, you just found it. This product works to cover, heal, calm, and control breakouts and does so with the help of acne-fighting salicylic acid and tea tree oil. There’s more: the formula includes witch-hazel, aloe vera, and camphor oil, three ingredients known to relieve irritations, inflammations and improve skin appearance overall. Natural finish in a lightweight formula that provides full coverage without smearing throughout the day.


Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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