Reader Question: What's the best foundation to use if I'm breaking out?

Hi Liz and team! I've been breaking out lately and my skin is reddish from both tiny pimples and cystic bumps that just won't quit. I've already seen my derma and gotten medication. So...I know that I shouldn't be wearing foundation but I do a lot of face time with clients. It's not an option at work. What foundation can I use? - Rhea

Hi Rhea! Sad to hear about this. I'm glad you've seen a professional already and I'm looking forward to positive results for you soon! We also have some articles about acne management that you may find useful. To answer your question, I have two recommendations that might work for you. They are both formulated for sensitive skin, offer coverage and conceal redness, and - as it happens - proudly Pinoy.


The Ellana Loose Minerals Foundation (P499) is kind to skin because of its all-natural mineral ingredients blended with Vitamins C and E. Try this if you're looking for something that's preservative-free, fragrance-free, and with zero fillers (i.e. additional ingredients that are not really required in the formula, but helps to lower cost)! Its actives are zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which help to calm down skin and function as a physical barrier against the sun. 

The Ellana foundation also offers heavy, long-wearing coverage that can last on even the oiliest of surfaces. It can cover up minor blemishes and major redness without causing irritation. Of course, your mileage might vary (YMMV) but I'd like to think that this foundation isn't famous for nothing! I first found this, wow, sometime 2008 or 2009? I have a bunch of other foundations but I still use it to this day - especially when I'm breaking out. Here are my complete swatches for your reference.

Shop Ellana online at and in their physical counters

The Happy Skin Zit Zapper Second Skin Cream (P1,299) is a silicone-free, sheer coverage liquid foundation that has 2% salicylic acid in the formula. Salicylic acid helps to dry out pimples. You can apply it separately for more concentration, but it's rare to have this active into the makeup itself!

The silicone-free nature of this foundation is a boon to those who are particularly sensitive to it. Silicone is not a "bad" ingredient per se, it's just that in certain concentrations it has a tendency to clog pores and irritate some people's skin! It's also rare to find silicone-free face products here in the PH so this is a godsend if silicone breaks you out.

The coverage of the ZZ Cream is sheer, and so it comes in only one shade. It's enough to get an even glow and to take down redness, though you might need to use a concealer afterwards. Actually, you may want to set it with the Ellana Loose Foundation powder for max coverage and acne control!

Shop Happy Skin online at or at their physical counters.

Hope you found my recos useful, Rhea! How about you guys, which foundations do you gravitate towards when your skin is acting up?