The Best Mineral Make-up for Acne-prone Skin?

I’m a HUGE fan of full-coverage mineral foundation for my day-to-day make-up. Here’s why:

Which Mineral Makeup to use on Acne Prone Skin
Some of my mineral make-up – the packaging gets grubby easily…

Ingredients: I prefer its relatively simple ingredients compared to some of the scary chemicals (parabens and preservatives) found in other foundations.
Mineral make-up can often be used by the most sensitive skin (even ones
that have undergone intensive beauty treatments like chemical peels).
Since it’s non-irritating, it’s perfect for acne-prone skin (like mine!)
Simplicity: with full coverage, I don’t need to use a separate
concealer to mask my blemishes. I just increase the intensity of powder
over blemished areas.
Some people find loose powders hard to work with – however, I find it
easier and neater than liquid foundation. The “swirl, tap, buff” method
is super easy – and with the right brushes (I HIGHLY recommend this one for dense coverage and this one for a glowing finish), it only takes me three minutes to get an even finish.
Powders can have bulky containers and if they don’t close properly, you
could end up with powder EVERYWHERE! However, most companies have
improved their packaging, offering secure closures and pressed compact
versions. Furthermore, I usually don’t need to carry my make-up around,
as I find one application lasts the whole day, and I only need to use blotting papers to touch up.

I’m currently using Everyday Minerals Pressed Powder in Olive Medium (previously reviewed here). I adore it – full coverage and completely non-irritating BUT it’s been discontinued, and I don’t like its replacement – so I’m on the hunt for new mineral make-up. (For shade reference, I’m NC35 in MAC).


1) Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Foundation ($27 for 0.3 oz)
MUA rating: 2484 reviews (2.9/5) 
My shade: Golden Medium or Medium Beige 
Potential irritant: Bismuth Oxychloride in the original formula 
My thoughts:  Great color range – with over 20 shades to choose from. While this is one of the most popular and easily found mineral brands, it doesn’t work for me. The original formula makes my face irritated (due to the Bismuth) while the matte formula doesn’t provide enough coverage to mask my blemishes. I do love this brand though – my must-haves include the Tinted Mineral Veil, Well-rested Eye Brightener and the Handy Buki Brush.

2) Everyday Minerals Semi-Matte Formula ($12.99 for 0.19 oz)
MUA rating: 506 reviews (3.9/5)
My shade: Buttered Tan or Golden Medium
Potential irritant: reformulated with Lauroyl Lysine (derived from Coconut oil)
My thoughts:  My current pressed powder foundation is perfection – it provides full, long-lasting coverage without looking powdery or cake-y. As my compact is running low, I recently ordered foundation sample kits – and found that they did not provide the same coverage or finish as before. After googling reviews, I discovered that EM changed their foundation formula (adding Lauroyl Lysine) – leaving many former fans wondering why they replaced a star product with an inferior and irritating one.

3) Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 ($35 for 0.34 oz)
MUA rating: 487 reviews (4.0/5)
My shade: Classic Beige 
Potential irritant: Also contains some Bismuth Oxychloride but reportedly not as much as Bare Minerals 
My thoughts: Love the finish of this foundation – it contains Pearl Powders that make your skin look airbrushed and glowing- it is seriously amazing! However, it doesn’t provide adequate coverage and my hyperpigmented acne scars show through. Would highly recommend it if you already have blemish-free skin, but I can’t use it at the moment.


1) Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base ($50 for 9.9g)
MUA rating: 558 reviews (4.0/5)
My shade: Unknown 
My Thoughts:  I’m SO attracted to this because of the pressed formula and reviews of full-coverage (highly pigmented with no need of a separate concealer!) – although it is the most expensive mineral foundation I’ve researched.  It is only stocked in salons or online, so I’m going to have to find a local salon and try it on in person to find my shade. (Update: Reviewed here)

2) Cover fx Powder FX Mineral Powder Foundation ($35 for 0.12 oz)
MUA rating: 11 reviews (4.5/5)
My shade: Unknown
My Thoughts: I’ve heard that Cover FX is a great brand for easily irritated skin. However, according to the brand’s website, this product only provides medium (not full) coverage. It’s easy to find – my Shoppers Drug Mart stocks it – if they give samples, I’m definitely going to give this a try.

3) Alima Satin Matte Mineral Foundation ($25 for 0.24 oz)
MUA rating: 390 reviews (4.1/5)

My shade: Unknown 
My Thoughts:  A lot of former Everyday Minerals users are switching to this brand – on the plus side, it’s creamy and non-irritating – unfortunately, it reportedly only provides light to medium coverage. I may order sample sizes from the brand’s website to see how this works for me.

4) Pur Minerals Pressed Powder Foundation ($26 for 0.28 oz)
MUA rating: 536 reviews (3.9/5)
My shade: Tan
My Thoughts: Another mineral brand stocked at my local Shoppers Drug Mart (love easy to find make-up). Am a little hesitant about it’s ingredients (which include Bismuth Oxychloride and Shea Butter) – but apparently it works for others with acne-prone skin, so I may give it a try.

Do you have any suggestions for full-coverage mineral make-up? 


Which Mineral Makeup to use on Acne Prone Skin


  1. alison*elle
    June 22, 2012 / 8:59 pm

    I only use mineral foundation as well! I used to use Everyday Minerals but stopped when they changed their shipping. Now my HG is the Laura Mercier but I agree, it definitely doesn't give FULL coverage.xo, alison*elle

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 23, 2012 / 5:06 am

      For a while Everyday Minerals shipping was super-expensive, but I think they've switched back to cheaper options…if only they'd switch back to non-Lauroyl Lysine formulas next!

  2. Louise @ cosmetic bee
    June 23, 2012 / 2:15 pm

    I use Jane Iredale's PurePressed Mineral Foundation – it is hands down the best I have ever tried. I tried out Cover FX's mineral foundation but it turned orange on me after a few hours wear. I have also tried Pur Minerals but found the coverage more sheer. I will check out the Laura Mercier one next time I am in Sephora. Thanks for the reviews!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 24, 2012 / 2:24 am

      Louise – where do you buy your Jane Iredale? I really want to try it on in person before I buy it online. When my skin clears up, I'm totally using the Laura Mercier one – hope you like it. Thanks for your thoughts on Cover FX and Pur Minerals – VERY helpful 🙂

  3. Canadian Beauty
    June 24, 2012 / 3:28 pm

    I use the matte bareminerals foundation and I love it, but I use it with concealer for dark marks and blemishes. I purposely did not go for the original bareminerals foundation because of the bismuth- thanks for this great and informative post!!!CHECK OUT MY CoverFX GIVEAWAY!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      June 27, 2012 / 5:23 pm

      What concealer do you use under the Bare Minerals? A mineral one? For some reason, concealer always makes my blemishes look worse!

  4. LoveT.
    June 28, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    Love Mineral Make up :)i´m a new FollowerLovely Greetings!

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 23, 2012 / 3:35 am

      Thanks for following!

  5. deborah
    July 23, 2012 / 3:27 am

    EM's Olive Medium in Intensive was my perfect color as well! I'd bought 10 jars of it when I first discovered it because I was so excited to having finally found my color but I reached my last jar last month. Going on to the EM site was heartbreaking, and now I'm searching for my perfect color match again. I tried MAD Minerals but it was far too peachy in comparison. Have you tried Meow Cosmetics yet? I'd love to know how your search goes.

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      July 23, 2012 / 3:38 am

      I haven't tried Meow cosmetics yet – am currently trying Jane Iredele & Purely Cosmetics. Will definitely update with my latest findings – thanks for reading!

  6. Anonymous
    October 21, 2012 / 1:29 am

    I have been "blessed" with fair, oily, acne prone skin, unfortunately. You name it, I've tried it – just about every product out there, which, in itself, is not so good for my skin. I just discovered Hyaluronic acid completely by accident. I am impressed!!! I use the Lady Soma Renewal Serum, where hyaluronic acid is the main ingredient. I've had this really bad breakout on the side of my neck since July, that would just not go away. Since I began using the Lady Soma Serum, they're healing and going away. YAY!!!I use it morning and night. My skin is soft, no longer oily and I have not have any new breakouts (even when my time of the month came).I am becoming a life long customer. I love this stuff.

  7. Anonymous
    October 26, 2012 / 12:33 am

    Mineral Hygienics is also a great product. I use it on my cilents with touchy skin. I also love young blood. I have not ever used BM but I have heard from ppl that it is a great product. I love your post so keep up the great job Pleae visit my blog and let me know what ull think :)

  8. kristin
    December 12, 2012 / 10:05 pm

    I just found your blog, but I was wondering if you've heard of/tried Melange cosmetics? I use that as my everyday, and I think it has really good coverage. Not sure if I'm in love with the finish though. I haven't tried a lot of other brands, so I'd be curious to hear your opinion of how it compares!

  9. Jess Toons
    February 8, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing this article, I couldn't agree more. I was on the hunt about a month ago for the best mineral powder foundation. I went to the mall with my sister and went to the bareMinerals store. It has changed my life for the better. I haven't had better makeup in my whole life. I love this stuff!

  10. Liuba
    April 2, 2013 / 3:06 pm

    Hey there! I have used Bare Minerals, but it increased acne problems – I never had acne before that! There is lots of stuff out there without bismuth, I'm now switching to Signature Minerals (looks really natural AND very affordable, I ordered the free sample kit) and Faerie Organic (also ordered a kit to try). Will see how that goes, but I am staying away from any bismuth – it clogs pores and I start having acne, generally it is not so good for skin.

  11. Anonymous
    September 10, 2013 / 10:53 pm

    I use Citrus Clear's face wash before applying makeup. It has definitely helped reduce my acne, and leaves my skin refreshed. On occasion I will use Citrus Clear at night after removing makeup, if I wore my makeup for longer than usual. It should work for you too – and it has no harmful chemicals and is super gentle!

  12. Anonymous
    October 7, 2013 / 4:09 pm

    I use Cover FX Mineral powder and love it! I just recently switched over from Pur Minerals. I have very oily skin and I found that the Pur Minerals left me with a shine all day, as for Cover FX, it has a anti-shine ingredient in it and the powder stays put all day with minimal anti-shine.

  13. Vivian Westwood
    November 19, 2013 / 10:02 pm

    I bought Citrus Clear products for my 17 yr old son. His skin is sensitive. The Citrus Clear Spot Treatment has cleared up his acne in about two weeks without burning, peeling, or redness. He also says the smell is GREAT – and for acne products that is so rare!

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