I personally have been through severe acne, and I know how a touch of concealer can help to build confidence. If toning down the look of acne or acne scars on your face can make you feel more confident, I would say go for it.

The most important you must remember is to cleanse off makeup thoroughly with a makeup remover and facial wash.

I would recommend that you use a night cleansing oil like Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Cleansing Oil. Pump it on a piece of wet wipe (choose the ones made for babies as they are more suitable for sensitive skin), and use it to swipe off makeup. Follow that with your facial cleanser.

Why a cleansing oil?

A lot of makeup now have long-staying abilities so you need an effective makeup remover to “cut” through the long-lasting formulas to make sure there is no makeup build-up on your skin.

So how do we apply foundation on acne-laden skin without aggravating the skin? Here’s how.


#1 Moisturise Appropriately

First of all, do not use too much moisturiser for your face. (When your skin is overly moisturised, its pores can become clogged, leading to acne.)

Hydrate your skin with an alcohol-free toner and your preferred serum. These formulas are usually moisturising enough that you may not need a dedicated face moisturiser.

You should only use a moisturiser on skin areas that still feel dry after you have used your toner and serum.


Also read: REVIEW: Try this toner to hydrate, brighten and soothe skin


#2 Prime Your Skin

Use While you need priming products, you should also use less products to avoid product build-up on the skin.

So instead of using a separate sunscreen, skin-smoothing product and primer, pick a makeup primer that smooths the skin.

Pick one that has Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and can resist sebum.


TRYMakeup Primers with SPF:

Sunplay Skin Aqua Sarafit UV Floral Essence SPF50+/PA++++, $16.90, exclusively available at Guardian

Estetica Est Lab Sunshield SPF 50


Moisturiser-primer that has no SPF
(these are for those who break out with SPF products, or for use at nighttime):

(From left to right) M.A.C Mineralize Timecheck Lotion; NYX Pore Filler.


Also read: Pimple guide: Where it is on your face and what it says about your health, according to TCM physicians


#3 Apply Foundation

Wear foundation that is designed for medium to high coverage and has skin-smoothing properties so you would not be tempted to add more layers of foundation on your skin.

Here are some foundations that I love; they can stay put in our humid weather, and resist the sebum produced by your skin:


[For oily to very oily skin]

(From left to right) Shiseido UV Protective Liquid Foundation SPF 42, Stila Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer.


[For combination-oily skin]

(From left to right) Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint


#4 Use Concealer

Avoid waxy concealers that comes in a solid tub or a stick form. These are more likely to worsen the condition of your skin and may give you more pimples.

Always gradually build the coverage for your concealer – applying too much concealer could highlight imperfections on the skin.

You want to focus on toning down the appearance of the acne.

Here are some concealers that gives you good coverage (you only need one layer of concealer with these), and are buildable.


(From left to right) M.A.C Pro Longwear Concealer, Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer.


#5 Set the Makeup

Set the concealer with a natural-finish loose or compact powder. Choose one that disappears into your skin, and can resist facial sebum so you get that smooth no-makeup makeup look.


Powder to set makeup:

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder


Powders for touch-up purposes:

[For combination-oily skin] YSL Beauty Poudre Compact Radiance Perfection Universelle

[For oily skin] Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder Oil-Free

[For oily to very oily skin] M.A.C Blot Powder/Pressed