There seems to be a lot of fear in the makeup community regarding BB creams for acne. Many people have the impression that since BB creams are oily moisturizers, they must be bad for people with acne-prone skin. However, this is simply untrue. You see, moisturizers are designed to lock in your skin’s moisture. Your skin produces oil due to a number of reasons. Some of these reasons may include stress, pollution, poor diet or pollution. Oil that is produced this way by your skin is not linked to hydration. To be clear: It is not a signal that your skin needs to be hydrated.

Your skin’s natural oil should not be confused with the oils in BB creams. In this post, I will go over some of the things you need to know when selecting a BB cream for your acne and point out a few products that has worked great for me.

Our Picks for the Best BB Creams For Acne

BB CreamKey Features
Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream- Oil Free
- Hypoallergenic
- Non-comedogenic
- SPF 30
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream- 9 Shades
- Water Resistant (40 Mins)
- SPF 25
- Non-comedogenic
- Hypoallergenic
Holika Holika Pore Clearing BB Cream- 4 Shades
- SPF 30
- Not Cakey
- Great on Oily / Acne Skin
- Medium Coverage
The Face Shop Clean Face Oil-Free BB Cream- Sensitive Skin Ok
- Oily and Acne Skin Ok
- Light to Med Coverage

Why Do Some BB Creams Cause Acne Breakouts?

For those of us who suffer from acne, we know how hard it is to decided if we should wear any makeup. Afterall, who doesn’t want to cover up their blemishes and acne scars? However, when we think about the cosequences of acne breakouts, we get really frustrated and nervous.

You may have heard that BB Creams are the “Holy Grail” of beauty products. Sure, they are a great for many people and many of my clients have had success using them. However, it’s important to understand that not all face makeup are created equal. Throughout my professional makeup career, I have seen cases where clients breakout because they used the wrong type of BB Cream for their skin.

According to dermatologist Dr. Arielle Nagler, acne development is caused my excess oil production, bacteria and clogged pores. Therefore, in order to find a BB cream that works for your acne, it must:

1) Control Excess Oil

2) Kill Acne Causing Bacteria

3) Be non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pore)

The perfect BB cream for your skin must be able to do the above 3 things effectively. Its important to realize that each individual is different. Just because a BB cream works for your friend, it doesn’t mean that it will work the same on you.

But that’s not all…

The way you apply your BB cream might also be a cause of acne. Many people think that they need to apply a ton of layers of product in order to cover acne or acne scars. However, this is simply not true.

Top makeup artist Robin Black told Allure magazine that adding too many layers can actually emphasize your skin’s texture, which brings more attention to your acne.

If you want to make sure that your new BB cream won’t cause breakouts, look for BB creams that are oil free, non-condemogenic and contains acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid (Read sections below for more details). In addition, avoid BB creams that contain silicones, alcohol, lanolin and oils.

 

How Do I Cover Acne Scars With BB Cream?

 

The way you use a BB cream is different than the way you use a foundation. BB creams usually have a lighter coverage than foundations. Depending on how red your blemishes are acne are, I recommend using a concealer to cover the trouble spots first and then applying BB cream on top. Doing it this way ensures that you are not applying too many layers of BB cream.

BiiBiiBeauty is a youtube makeup guru who suffers from acne. She promotes makeup routines that are great for covering blemishes. Her results look natural and beautiful.

Here are the general steps to follow when applying BB cream on your acne:

1) Start with a non-comedogenic mineral powder. The powder provides a bit of light coverage and also helps to soak up excess oil.

2) Layer on BB cream. Start with thin layers and blend it into your skin. Focus on the trouble areas first and work outward. Gradually build up the makeup until you get the coverage that you want.

3) Lock in your BB cream by dusting on a layer of non-comedogenic loose powder. Use a light hand while doing this beacause too much pressure will create an unnatural, mannequin-like finish.

 

What Ingredients In BB Creams Can Treat Acne?

The ingredients list is probably the first thing you read when considering a new BB cream. But with all the scientific words and terms, what are the actual ingredients that you should look out for?

Dr. Zeichner told Cosmopolitan magazine that people with acne-prone skin should look for products that are oil-free and water based. Furthermore, products contain dimethicone (a form of silicone) are great because they help to absorb oil and minimizes the appearance of large pores.

Another great ingredient to look out for is salicylic acid because it does a great job at eliminating acne causing bacteria and helps to dissolve excess oil. According to WebMD, the regular use of salicylic acid can help to diminish the appearance of breakouts and prevent blemishes.

There’s more….

If you are serious about your acne, look for ones that include aloe and retinol. Aloe is incredibly soothing to those dealing with breakouts. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that encourages rapid cell turnover and the production of new skin cells.

Our Final Recommendations

Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream
aveeno bb cream
This is a great drugstore BB Cream for acne and it’s worked well for me. It comes in a big 2.5 ounce (75ml) bottle. This BB cream is oil free and provides a sheer coverage. It works well for people with fair to light skin tones. It’s SPF 30 which is great if you’re looking to spend the day in the sun. It comes with a pump too!

People with super sensitive skin should test a bit of this on their skin first before using. I’ve had a client who suffered from minor blemishes after using this product. However, this didn’t happen often and it certainly did not happen to all of clients. For the price and function, Aveeno offers quite a competitive BB cream which is worth checking out!

 

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream
best bb cream for acne
If luxury is on your mind, then you certainly wouldn’t want to pass out on this BB cream from Jane Iredale. Sure it’s a bit pricier than your average drugstore brand, but this foundation is worth every dollar you spend on it. First, it’s SPF 25 and water resistant for up to 40 minutes. It is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. It works great even for people with sensitive skin. It’s been tested clinically and by dermatologists. Seriously, this BB cream has got every feature in the bag.

But there’s more…

My clients have reported that the coverage on this is fantastic and works great even for full coverage applications. Best of all, there are 6 shades available which is a lot more than your average BB cream brand.