Tired of searching for the right foundation to cover your acne blemishes and scars, make your skin glow, and stay on all day? We were, too, and that's why we decided to take matters into our own hands. Our editors researched the most popular foundations for acne-prone skin on Japanese e-commerce sites like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping. Then, we tested each foundation in-office for the following:
1. How good the finish looked
2. How well it stood up to sweat and oil
The result is our top 9 list, a detailed explanation of how we tested each foundation, and some tips on how to find a foundation that's perfect for you.
Here are the top nine foundations we tested out in our head office, ranked by their durability and finish. Be aware that some prices have simply been converted from the original Japanese prices for your viewing convenience.
|Japanese||コーセー ヴィセ リシェ ヌーディフィット リキッド|
|Japanese||24h cosme 24 ミネラルスティックファンデ|
|Japanese||ネイチャーズウェイ ナチュラグラッセ クリームバー ファンデーションN|
|Japanese||ネイチャーズウェイ ナチュラグラッセ クリアパウダー ファンデーション|
|Japanese||資生堂インターナショナル dプログラム 薬用スキンケアファンデーション（リキッド）|
|Japanese||アテニア フュージョン スキン ファンデーション ラスター フィニッシュ|
|Japanese||資生堂インターナショナル dプログラム 薬用スキンケアファンデーション（パウダリー）|
|Japanese||常盤薬品工業 ノブ リキッドファンデーションUV|
Visee Richer Nudy Fit Liquid
24 Mineral Stick Foundation
naturaglace Cream Bar Foundation N
naturaglace Clear Powder Foundation
d Program Medicated Skincare Foundation
Fusion Skin Foundation Luster Finish
d Program Medicated Skincare Foundation
NOV Liquid Foundation UV
Mineral Moist Foundation
Our Top Choice! A Breeze to Apply and Covers Acne Blemishes and Scars
A Reliable Foundation to Target Redness
Layerable Foundation to Conceal More Than Just Acne
Lasts Long Without Drying Out or Giving Up Coverage
Great for Acne-Prone, Dry, or Sensitive Skin
Covers Acne Redness but Not Enlarged Pores
Moist Powder Foundation for Sensitive or Irritated Skin
A Heavy Texture, but it Stands Up to Sweat
Covers Redness but Does Nothing for Texture
|Japanese||コーセー ヴィセ リシェ ヌーディフィット リキッド||24h cosme 24 ミネラルスティックファンデ||ネイチャーズウェイ ナチュラグラッセ クリームバー ファンデーションN||ネイチャーズウェイ ナチュラグラッセ クリアパウダー ファンデーション||資生堂インターナショナル dプログラム 薬用スキンケアファンデーション（リキッド）||アテニア フュージョン スキン ファンデーション ラスター フィニッシュ||資生堂インターナショナル dプログラム 薬用スキンケアファンデーション（パウダリー）||常盤薬品工業 ノブ リキッドファンデーションUV||オンリーミネラル ミネラルモイストファンデーション|
|Amount||1 oz.||0.25 oz.||0.42 oz.||0.39 oz.||1.06 oz.||0.88 oz.||0.37 oz.||1.06 oz.||0.35 oz.|
|Classification||Cosmetic||Cosmetic||-||Cosmetic||Medicated product||Cosmetic||Medicated product||Cosmetic||Cosmetic|
To get a more informed opinion, we asked hair and makeup artist Rika Fujiwara to help us test out the foundations.
We put each foundation through two tests to check for the following:
We then gave them a score from 0 to 5, then combined them into an overall score.
To test out the finish of each foundation, we asked Ms. Fujiwara to apply the makeup to one of our models and judge how well each foundation covered blemishes and how dewy of a finish it had.
Certain foundations in our ranking, like the d Program one, were great at covering not only existing acne and acne scars, but they also reduced the appearance of large pores in the nose area. They also didn't feel too heavy, giving them a great balance.
Foundations that feel heavy can actually make your face appear larger, so it has an unnatural finish. We understand the feeling of wanting to completely cover acne and acne scars, but we recommend going for just enough coverage to divert attention from blemishes rather than going for complete coverage.
Next, we wanted to see how durable each foundation was.
We spread each foundation on a piece of artificial skin and sprayed a mixture of horse oil and water to mimic the effect of sweat. Then, we saw how much of each foundation remained intact.
If you want a foundation that will stand up to the test of sweat, you'll probably be safer with a liquid or stick foundation. Ones that are heavy and adhere firmly to your skin will usually do the job, too.
The only thing you need to be careful of is putting on too much. With any foundation, applying too much product could cause it to melt not only from sweat, but also from excess oil being secreted from your skin.
Here are four things to look out for when choosing a foundation for your acne-prone skin.
The number one thing to confirm in a foundation is whether or not it can even out your skin texture. Then you can start to worry about how well it covers redness and conceals pores.
However, foundations with high coverage tend to look heavy, and in turn this can age your skin. What you should look for is a balance of decent coverage and a dewy, glowing finish. You can see some examples of these in our ranking above!
Durability is also an important factor to consider when looking for a good foundation, which is why we tested it out! They won't budge or smudged even when faced with sweat and oil.
Ultra-adherent foundations and waterproof formulas tend to be the most durable. This can be pretty difficult to judge unless you try them out, though, so you can narrow down your options a bit by looking at our ranking.
If you want to know which shade is right for you, we recommend testing it out on the area where your face meets your neck. That will help you see how well the shade blends in or stands out in a natural way.
Choosing the wrong shade can make your face appear larger, paler, or older than it actually is. Your hands tend to be tanner than your face, so we recommend testing it out on your neck instead.
Getting a foundation that offers some sort of UV protection is a must! It lets you skip the extra step of putting on sunscreen under your makeup. However, that doesn't mean you should always go for a higher amount of protection.
If you spend at least an hour outside everyday between your commute and lifestyle, look for those higher numbers. But if you're mostly indoors, you can get away with a lower SPF and PA count.
If you're looking for even more great Japanese products to stock your makeup drawer with, here are some suggestions!
Your foundation will hide your acne, but it can't heal it! That's why you should keep some effective acne treatments on hand. Here's one that uses benzoyl peroxide, recommended by skin and beauty content creator Shannon Bruno.
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