Nothing puts a damper on an otherwise fierce makeup look than acne, specifically those spots that seem to come out of nowhere just to ruin the masterpiece you’ve created. Whether it’s a no-makeup-makeup look or a recreation of your favorite YouTuber’s most extravagant beat, there is just one product that can swoop, or should we say, swipe, in to save the day: concealer. Yes, the stuff you put under your eyes to cover up bags and dark circles is also great at handling a couple of other makeup to-dos, including disguising blemishes, contouring, and providing the lightest of coverage when you want to take a break from your foundation.
The best concealer, especially when you want to target acne and blemishes, is smooth and easy to blend. And extra points if it’s made with ingredients that help get rid of acne altogether, like, say, exfoliating salicylic acid, or antioxidants that strengthen the skin barrier against bacteria and other environmental stressors.
Still, even with the singular goal of addressing breakouts, the menu of all-around best concealers is enough to leave you feeling overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve already searched high and low for the best formulas for covering acne—none of which will leave your blemishes cakey or more irritated than they were before applying them.
How We Found The Best Concealers For Acne
We know what matters when it comes to shopping for makeup, which is why we pulled together this list by consulting our proprietary algorithm. Ultra-smart and unbiased, this tool pinpoints the best products by analyzing the type of data you can trust: product reviews from top beauty editors, expert recommendations, and social media buzz. Say bye-bye to blemishes and discover your perfect match ahead.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Face Masks For Acne. Opening image: @narsissist
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury has a couple of cult-favorite products under her belt, including the Magic Away Concealer. Like many of her other products, it's infused with skin-loving ingredients that target common concerns—think plant extracts that reduce the appearance of fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness.
APPLICATION TIP: Apply this with a sponge on top of your foundation or directly onto the area with your finger, softly blending in.
MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The color range and affordable price aren’t the only reason shoppers love MAC’s longwear concealer. It is also sweat- and water-resistant for day-long coverage, and the fragrance-free formula has been dermatologically tested to ensure that it doesn’t cause more acne while it covers.
APPLICATION TIP: Apply this with a brush and tap it in for fuller coverage. For a softer look, move your brush in light circles.
Dermablend Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: When you have sensitive skin, full coverage can be a turn-off. No need to worry with Dermablend’s formula—it’s alcohol-free, dermatologically tested, and concentrated enough for a little to go a long way. And though it has a matte finish, it's still hydrating thanks to vegetable glycerin.
APPLICATION TIP: Lightly dot this concealer onto the area and use a shade or two lighter than your skin tone if you want to highlight.
Neutrogena Skinclearing Blemish Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: It should come as no surprise that Neutrogena’s concealer is a skincare-first formula. This concealer is oil-free and infused with salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates underneath the skin to clear debris and help prevent future blemishes. Plus, like all other Neutrogena staples, it has been tested and approved by a dermatologist.
USER REVIEW: “I've been using this stuff for years—it's a holy-grail product for me. I don't see any point in covering up a blemish unless you're also trying to clear it up. This blends seamlessly into my skin and definitely helps to clear up blemishes while it covers. Super easy.”
Dior Forever Skin Correct Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Rosacea can be a real vibe-killer, and if you have a blemish as well, finding a concealer that properly addresses both can feel like an uphill battle. Dior’s concealer is one of the few options that makes the impossible possible, because it's infused with wild pansy, an ingredient straight from nature that smooths, moisturizes, and balances complexion in one fell swoop.
APPLICATION TIP: Make the most use of the sponge applicator, which can be manipulated to get those hard-to-reach spots and cover larger areas in need of full coverage.
NYX Professional Makeup HD Studio Photogenic Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Vegan and less than $10? NYX’s drugstore concealer is a literal dream for shoppers with a drugstore budget and expensive taste. The formula is lightweight and non-comedogenic yet emollient-rich, so it doesn’t dry out the skin whether it’s naturally oily or not. In addition to a skin tone-specific range, there are also a couple of standout shades for addressing specific concerns.
APPLICATION TIP: Use the lavender shade to brighten a dull complexion or the green shade to neutralize redness and cover acne.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The radiant finish of Nars’s concealer is why all these years later, it still tops best-of lists. The blend of botanicals hydrates and reduces redness while mineral and light-diffusing powders blur fine lines and keep the skin from looking greasy. You won’t find a more perfect combo of ingredients.
APPLICATION TIP: Apply this with the applicator or your fingers. Just be sure to go up three shades from your normal concealer shade if you want to use it as a highlighter.
Maybelline New York Fit Me! Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: This affordable concealer is oil-free, fragrance-free, and has been tested allergy-, dermatologist-, and ophthalmologist-tested. In other words, it's an easy and straightforward option for any and every skin type.
APPLICATION TIP: The formula is also infused with soothing chamomile, making it an especially attractive option for addressing rosacea on the cheeks.
Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Multi-Use Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Dark under-eye circles are notoriously difficult to conceal, which is why Maybelline added goji berry and haloxyl to this formula, both of which hydrate and help even out skin tone. The concealer is also oil- and fragrance-free, in case you have sensitive skin and need to be picky.
APPLICATION TIP: Take full advantage of the click and blend applicator for creating coverage minus the mess.
Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Rihanna’s makeup line is known for its expansive skin tone range, and the concealer is no exception. The sweat-resistant, matte-finish formula is celebrated for its ability to provide full coverage without creating cakey creases under the eyes and elsewhere.
USER REVIEW: “It’s been so hard to try and find a concealer that perfectly matches my skin tone. They were always either too light, too dark, or too red, but this one is beautiful! The color matches perfectly, not to mention how great the formula is! I wore it for a night out with friends and it held up very well.”