Pimples happen and life goes on, but that doesn’t make blemishes any less frustrating to deal with. Chronic breakouts can impact your self-esteem, and even the occasional rogue red spot can make you feel deflated.
When dealing with breakouts, it’s important to take a treat and perfect approach. You’ll want to reach for the best makeup for oily skin to cover blemishes, visibly reduce shine, and make skin look smooth and poreless. A mattifying primer, our best-selling* CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 40, and internet-famous Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder will come in handy for all the above.
Meanwhile, sticking to a consistent skincare routine for oily skin and blemish-prone skin can help reduce the appearance of clogged pores for a clearer-looking complexion overall. When you use skincare and makeup products that work better together—and work better for your skin type—you’ll see the difference!
Not sure where to start? We’re answering your most pressing questions about how to cover up pimples with makeup and detailing a foolproof skincare routine for oily skin that’ll put you on the path toward a clear- and bright-looking complexion.
How Do I Keep My Makeup on with Oily Skin?
Whether you’re dealing with a larger breakout or you just want to cover up a few spots, it’s important to use the best makeup for oily skin that won’t clog your pores. That begs the question: How do you know if your makeup is causing your breakouts? We’re so glad you asked! (You did ask, right?)
Common signs makeup is causing breakouts include:
- Breaking out within a few days after using the makeup.
- Noticing your skin clears up when you stop using certain products.
- Experiencing tiny breakouts around your lips from gloss or lipstick.
- Seeing a smattering of small whiteheads and pimples versus cystic breakouts.
- Experiencing breakouts only in the areas where you applied the makeup.
Along with avoiding products that can trigger breakouts, here’s how to hide pimples with makeup using our best makeup for oily skin:
1. Apply a Mattifying, Smoothing Makeup Primer
Once you’ve completed your skincare routine for oily skin (we included a full regimen below if you’re still perfecting yours!), follow up with a thin layer of oil-free primer. This helps mattify your complexion, conceal pores, smooth skin, and lock makeup in place.
Our top pick for this is Your Skin But Better Makeup Primer+ Oil-Free, which does all the above while boosting hydration, leaving skin looking glowy and gorgeous. Along with refining the appearance of pores, the formula helps keep oil at bay throughout the day and ensures your makeup lasts longer. You only need a tiny amount before applying foundation.
2. Use a Long-Lasting, Oil-Free Foundation
Choosing the right foundation makeup for oily skin is a must for those with blemish-prone complexions. Applying the wrong foundation can make or break your look, either resulting in super shiny skin throughout the day or potentially clogging your pores and causing breakouts. Neither is ideal, obviously!
We formulated CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 40 specifically for people with oily and blemish-prone skin. This full-coverage foundation instantly covers up blemishes, lingering pimple marks, and other areas of discoloration while helping absorb excess oil throughout the day. You can apply a touch more foundation to trouble zones for extra coverage. Plus, it works brilliantly with our oil-controlling, pimple-busting skincare products.
3. Finish With a Pore-Minimizing Powder
Once you’ve finished applying your primer and CC+ Cream, seal the deal with a game-changing finishing powder that helps create flawless-looking skin while setting your makeup in place.
A cult-favorite product among makeup lovers and a product that received viral attention, Bye Bye Pores Pressed Setting Powder helps create an airbrushed, smooth, natural makeup look. You’ll be able to see a very notable difference immediately after applying—pores visibly disappear and you’re left with a soft and smooth filtered-like effect. As a bonus, it helps keep oil production under control throughout the day.
Step-by-Step Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin
Knowing how to cover up pimples with makeup is helpful, but also make sure you’re following a tailored skincare routine for oily skin. Sticking to a blemish skincare regimen is truly a non-negotiable when dealing with congested skin and pimples, and simplicity is often the best approach for clearer-looking skin. In fact, you can edit your pimple-prone, oily skin routine down to three simple steps.
1. Wash with a Gentle, Hydrating Cleanser
Wash your face every morning and evening using a gentle, hydrating cleanser suitable for sensitive, blemish-prone skin. At night, this step helps sweep away oil, dirt, makeup, and skincare products applied during the day. In the morning, it can help rinse away oil or dirt along with residue from products you applied the evening before.
Using Confidence in a Cleanser is the perfect way to begin your skincare routine for oily skin. Free of soap, alcohol, and sulfates, the formula combines the power of a foam cleanser with a hydrating serum. Plus, it's formulated with ceramides to help reinforce the skin barrier and hyaluronic acid to support elasticity.
Did You Know? IT Cosmetics’ founder Jamie Kern Lima created the brand because she struggled with redness and sensitive skin. She wanted to develop a line of confidence-building products suitable for everyone, particularly those with the most sensitive skin types.
2. Apply a Pimple-Busting Treatment
When it comes to skincare for pimples, incorporating an effective blemish treatment into your routine is one of the most helpful steps you can take. Bye Bye Breakout Salicylic Acid Acne Serum is a pimple-fighting powerhouse formulated with 2% salicylic acid and 3% lactic acid to gently exfoliate the skin’s surface. The addition of postbiotic ferment supports calm, balanced skin.
Mighty as it is, this lightweight and layerable serum is very gentle. You can use it daily as part of your skincare routine for oily skin.
Why salicylic acid is so important for oily and blemish-prone skin:
- Helps unclog pores
- Promotes a clearer-looking complexion
- Curbs future breakouts
- Visibly improves redness
3. Apply a Lightweight, Oil-Free Moisturizer
Oily, blemish-prone skin still needs hydration, so don’t skimp on this important step. After your serum application, reach for a lightweight, oil-free gel moisturizer that delivers long-lasting hydration without feeling heavy on skin.
Our favorite moisturizer for oily skin is Confidence in a Gel Lotion Oil-Free Moisturizer, a water-light formula that absorbs lightning fast for a weightless feel. Not only does it help hydrate and balance your skin, but it also smooths the look of fine lines and leaves your skin looking gorgeous and soft to the touch. It’s the perfect final step of your skincare routine both in the evening and before applying makeup.
Did you know that dirty makeup brushes can cause breakouts, too? Make sure you’re washing your brushes at least once per week, but ideally after each use. Follow this simple guide on how to clean makeup brushes. Once you’re finished there, review the top ingredients for blemish-prone skin.
*Source: The NPD Group/U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Makeup Product Sales, January-December 2021.