The best non-comedogenic foundations that'll make blocked pores a thing of the past

For anyone on the lookout for the best non-comedogenic foundations, these are our in-house beauty expert's favorite tried and tested formulas

a collage image with some of the best non-comedogenic foundations, including products from NARS, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and YSL
(Image credit: Future)

The best non-comedogenic foundations should give you great levels of coverage and photogenic skin, without leaving it shiny or breaking out in a sea of blemishes—given that non-comedogenic beauty products are meant to avoid clogging your pores.

When it comes to finding the best foundation, non-comedogenic beauty products are important, because we all know that using regular foundation on oily and acne-prone skin can feel like a vicious cycle; the more we use it, the more it aggravates our skin, but the more we break out, the more we need to cover up.

During our research, we found that Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk ticked all the boxes, with its shine-free, natural-looking glow and buildable coverage. Or, if you’re looking for something more full-coverage, then the Yves Saint Laurent All Hours will give you a substantial-finish without the heaviness that usually comes with thick formulas. You'll find options for all skincare concerns below, with our honest reviews of the best non-comedogenic foundations out there.

Meet the Expert

  • Dr. Maryam Zamani is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, Facial aesthetic doctor and Oculoplastic Surgeon who gained her medical doctorate from the George Washington University School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Parish Acharya is an Aesthetic Doctor at London Marylebone’s Waterhouse Young clinic with over 10 years of experience as a maxillofacial surgeon and doctorates in both medicine and dentistry.

How to choose the best non-comedogenic foundations for you

When choosing the best non-comedogenic foundation for you, the main thing to look at is the ingredients list.

More sheer water-based formulas will leave you with a natural look rather than the dreaded caked-on effect. And of course, those who are plagued with oily skin will benefit from anything that boasts a matte finish.

  • Sensitive skin types should choose oil-free formulas—"For people with sensitive, problematic, or reactive skin, it is worth opting for oil-free formulas and stay away from full-coverage, long-wear formulas," advises aesthetic doctor Dr. Maryam Zamani (opens in new tab). "Always consider skin type, skin concerns, the season, skin tone match, and desired coverage." Dr. Parisha Acharya, Aesthetic Doctor at London Marylebone’s Waterhouse Young clinic, adds, "Your ideal foundation should be lightweight, water, gel, or aloe-vera based. Bonus points if it contains salicylic acid for acne-prone individuals. Look for terms like hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic but remember these terms are not necessarily regulated so still be vigilant of the ingredient list."
  • Acne-prone skin types should choose non-drying formulas—If you're an acne-sufferer who needs a higher coverage, try and look for something that is non-drying so it won’t catch on your blemishes and start flaking off throughout the day. 
  • Combination skin types should opt for hydrating formulas—Things start getting a little trickier when you have both oily and dehydrated skin, so in that case, it’s best to look out for anything containing hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and any emollients, which will pack hydration into your skin without clogging up pores with something heavier.

So, after getting to grips with what non-comedogenic actually means, and whether to go non-comedogenic foundation vs oil-free foundation, we tested foundations for all the above skincare concerns, to provide honest and impartial views on your next makeup bag purchase.

How we tested the best non-comedogenic foundations

Our tester tried out each foundation for several days in a row. During tests, she assessed:

  • Ease of application
  • Texture and comfort
  • Whether it soaked into pores
  • Whether pores were blurred
  • How flattering the finish was
  • What the shade range was like
  • How long it lasted

Our tester also spoke to skincare experts to further her understanding of what she should look for in each formula in terms of texture and ingredients. When deciding which products to test, our tester tried a range of the most popular and bestselling non-comedogenic foundations on the market, as well as formulas from trusted brands and products that made exciting claims about their results.

Meet the tester
aleesha badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Despite having quite oily skin, I'm lucky in that I'm not too prone to spots and blemishes. However, in hand with my oily skin comes relatively large pores, which can often see foundation sink into them. I also have quite dehydrated skin, meaning it needs water-based products, rather than oil-based products. I usually opt for water-based foundations, or anything relatively sheer or satin-textured, but also appreciate more robust formulas that are useful for evening out skin tone and disguising my large pores. Being from a South Asian background, I have to pay close attention to shade spectrum, as I can often struggle to find a perfect match to my medium-tan, warmish but somewhat-neutral skin tone.

The best non-comedogenic foundation as reviewed by our in-house beauty expert

Giorgio Armani luminous silk foundation bottle

(Image credit: Giorgio Armani)
Best non-comedogenic foundation for most skin types

Specifications

Coverage: Buildable medium coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 40 shades and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
Added extras: Micro-fil™ technology

Reasons to buy

+
Satiny, non-shiny finish
+
Natural-looking glow
+
Lightweight but tactile texture
+
Customizable coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
On the pricier side

Those with oilier skin may be put off just by the name, but don't be! Thanks to the addition of non-comedogenic emollient Isododecane—a texture-enhancing ingredient that promotes a lightweight, matte finish—this buildable formula gives a satiny finish without leaving any grease or shine in its wake.

Thanks to its strong pigment, this customizable fluid also manages to hide any sign of pores, redness, or blemishes with just one layer of product—despite its very comfortable sheer-esque consistency, which our tester found lasted through many a long heatwave day. The satin nature of the formula also allows for some flexibility when it comes to shade-matching, as our tester found that a range of different shades actually suited her skin in a very flattering way.

It also bestows the subtlest of glows thanks to its patented "micro-fill" technology that uses light-reflecting particles combined with a transparent powder. This is a real all-rounder that should work well for most skin types, be it dry or oily.

See our full Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation review

two bottles of Yves Saint Laurent all hours foundation next to each other—one with the cap on and one without

(Image credit: Yves Saint Laurent)

2. Yves Saint Laurent All Hours

The best full coverage non-comedogenic foundation

Specifications

Coverage: Full coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 30 shades and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
Added extras: SPF20

Reasons to buy

+
Full-coverage but natural finish
+
Dewy but grease-free glow
+
Applies and blends smoothly
+
Long-lasting
+
Non-drying

Reasons to avoid

-
Can develop shine throughout wear

Full coverage and non-comedogenic don't often go together, but this foundation seems to tick both boxes with aplomb. This is great for those acne-prone and oily skin types who want to stick with their thick formulas. Our tested found that it fully hid any imperfections, while even leaving a tiny hint of the best bits of your skin (i.e. freckles and beauty spots), so that it doesn’t look like you’ve just caked on face paint.

It brushes on smoothly and gives a flushed glow, which is something you wouldn’t expect from a high-coverage fluid. It can develop a little bit of shine throughout the day on oilier skin types, but that’s simply due to the dewy texture that makes it suitable for a wider range of skin types. Our oily-skinned tester found that a dusting of her favorite translucent finishing powder (Laura Mercier by the way) remedied any unwanted shininess.

L'Oreal Paris true match foundation bottle

(Image credit: L'Oreal)

3. L'Oréal Paris True Match Liquid Foundation with SPF and Hyaluronic Acid

The best purse-friendly non-comedogenic foundation

Specifications

Coverage: Buildable medium coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 40 shades and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
Added extras: Hyaluronic Acid, aloe vera extract, vitamin blend, SPF17

Reasons to buy

+
Long-wearing
+
Buildable pigment
+
Smooth texture

Reasons to avoid

-
Shiny throughout wear
-
Slightly off colours

Maybe it's the magpies in us but we often overlook more reasonably-priced options for more premium options—but with L’Oréal Paris hailing from the same house as more luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Armani, and IT Cosmetics, its formulas are on par with some of the most expensive on the market. And that’s certainly the case for this buildable staple that glides on smoothly and lasts all day. Its coverage is easily buildable and the infusion of hyaluronic acid leaves skin soft and stops the formula from drying out on the skin.

It did come up a bit shiny as the day went on so could maybe do with a little dab or a touch of powder on top—and be sure to color-match thoroughly, as the shades can come up slightly different to what you might expect. Overall though, this option could easily disguise itself as a high-end pick, making it easily one of our best non-comedogenic foundations.

Laura Mercier flawless fusion ultra longwear foundation bottle

(Image credit: Laura Mercier)

4. Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear foundation

Best non-comedogenic foundation for oily skin

Specifications

Coverage: Medium to full weightless coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 30 shades and suitable for all skin types, especially normal to oily
Added extras: Water-resistant

Reasons to buy

+
Effective coverage without being heavy
+
Blurs pores
+
Matte finish without cakiness
+
Comfortable to wear
+
Didn’t leave marks on clothes

Reasons to avoid

-
May be too matte for dry skin types

Known for their incredible Pure Canvas range of primers and their famous loose setting powder, this is one brand that knows how to ace a base. And we love the substantial but lightweight coverage this beauty gives—especially to oily and combination skin types, which is one it's one of our best non-comedogenic foundations.

It keeps oil at bay throughout the day, and the finish is matte without being cakey. The formula is also sweat, water, and transfer-resistant, meaning it didn’t leave any pesky orange marks all over our white T-shirts. We are also kind of obsessed with how it conceals large pores, getting to work quicker than Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. It bestowed our tester with the kind of magic oily skin types usually think impossible...

Nars cosmetics sheer glow foundation bottle

(Image credit: Nars)

5. NARS Cosmetics Sheer Glow

Best non-comedogenic foundation for dry skin

Specifications

Coverage: Sheer, buildable coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 40 shades and suitable for normal to dry skin types
Added extras: Vitamin C, antioxidants, turmeric extract

Reasons to buy

+
Blur imperfections
+
Dewy glow
+
Skin-loving formula
+
No greasy residue

Reasons to avoid

-
Can become shiny

A skincare-makeup hybrid that most beauty fans will have tried at least once, Sheer Glow boasts a concoction of skin-loving ingredients while doing its job as a silky foundation. The sheer formula is more pigmented than you might expect, so does a good job at blurring imperfections, while the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula leaves skin dewy and glowing without any greasy residue.

It’s packed with hydration so it can develop some shine after a few hours, but it’ll definitely leave dry skin with a healthy finish. This cult favorite has all the benefits of a respectable moisturizer along with the coverage of a pretty solid foundation.

Anastasia Beverly Hills luminous foundation foundation bottle

(Image credit: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous Foundation

Best non-comedogenic foundation for a solid color match

Specifications

Coverage: Medium coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 50 shades and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
Added extras: Water-resistant, vegan-friendly

Reasons to buy

+
Fresh finish
+
Shine-free glow
+
Easily buildable
+
No dry patches
+
Perfect colour match

Reasons to avoid

-
Didn’t last all day—needs a setting powder
-
Expensive

As society learns and progresses, face makeup is thankfully getting more and more inclusive—and this sterling product is proof of that. With a finish that’s actually remarkably similar to our Giorgio Armani favorite, it gives a glowy shine-free, medium coverage look that can be layered for more coverage. And, the vast range of shades allows you to really personalize the color that you’re getting.

It has the kind of fresh finish that leaves you looking like you’ve just had a facial, and won’t flake into any dry patches of the face. Our tester's one and only niggle was that it did start to show signs of wear after a few hours, settling into pores and fine lines and sporting a bit of shine, so perhaps not one for those with an abundance of very visible pores or it could be one to pair with a finishing powder or setting spray.

Lancome teint idole ultra spf15 foundation stick without the lid on and wound up to show the light beige color

(Image credit: Lancome)

7. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra SPF15 Foundation Stick

The best non-comedogenic foundation stick for an on-the-go finish

Specifications

Coverage: Full, buildable coverage
Shades and inclusivity: Comes in 25 shades and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
Added extras: Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Reasons to buy

+
Buildable coverage
+
Easy to apply
+
Blends seamlessly
+
Healthy, oil-free finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Pores weren’t blurred
-
Some shine throughout wear
-
Some flaking on dry patches

Perfect if you're time-poor or just like (or have to!) applying your make-up on the move. It takes just seconds to apply, gliding onto the skin and then blending in seamlessly with a buffing brush or blending sponge.

It gives just the right amount of coverage for a healthy flush, without looking too greasy and covers up imperfections nicely. It doesn’t have the airbrushed matte glow of others we’ve seen and can develop some shine throughout the day while also minimally flaking on dry patches after a few hours, but good for any on-the-go afternoons as it stays put until evening.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is deputy editor and beauty & fashion lead for My Imperfect Life, where she heads up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. Previously she was shopping writer for woman&home and gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including, Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. When she’s not testing new products, Aleesha spends her time soaking up the newest bestsellers and Netflix releases, learning about different wines, attempting new languages and travelling as much as she can.