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From using clarifying masks to soak up excess sebum, to washing their faces with a salicylic acid cleanser, those who have acne-prone skin typically put a considerable amount of thought into their beauty routines. However, one product category that many people tend to gloss over is setting spray. There are many different types of setting sprays on the market, but makeup artist Ashley Rebecca tells Elite Daily that the best setting sprays for acne-prone skin are ones that help mattify the complexion (meaning, they remove unwanted shine).
Ashley Rebecca is a New York City-based makeup artist whose celebrity clients have included Jamie Alexander and Jared Leto. Rebecca frequently does the makeup for editorial shoots, advertising campaigns, and television shows, and is also a regular contributor to Byrdie.
What To Look For In A Setting Spray For Acne-Prone Skin
People with acne-prone skin might want to table any hydrating setting sprays, since they can add perhaps *too* much moisture to an already oily complexion. Instead, Rebecca says that matte setting sprays “are beneficial due to the fact they keep skin matte and help control oil production, which is common in acne-prone skin.” Rebecca explains that by controlling oil production, your pores are less likely to become clogged, and as an added bonus, mattifying setting sprays ensure that your skin isn’t so slick that makeup melts off throughout the day.
How To Use Setting Spray
Despite various TikTok trends that say you can use setting spray before your foundation, the best way to apply a mattifying setting spray is still the good old-fashioned way: after your foundation. After you’re done with your makeup, hold the setting spray roughly 6 inches from your face and mist it on. If you want extra hold for those long-haul days, you can use a setting powder before applying your setting spray.
Shop The Best Setting Sprays For Acne-Prone Skin
Here are the best setting sprays for acne-prone skin, stat:
- The Multi-Tasking One: e.l.f. Matte Magic Mist & Set
- The One With Over 50,000 5-Star Ratings: NYX Matte Finish Fini Mat Makeup Setting Spray
- The Heavy-Duty One: Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Matte Setting Spray
- The One That Costs Less Than Four Bucks: Rimmel London Stay Matte Fix & Go 2-in-1 Primer & Setting Spray
1. The Multi-Tasking One
- Has an ultra-mattifying finish.
- Helps to calm inflammation in the skin.
- Contains antioxidants to ward off free radicals.
- Cruelty-free and vegan.
- If we’re being nit-picky, the spray *could* let out a finer mist.
If you’re especially tired of blotting your skin and/or worrying about redness, consider adding e.l.f.’s mattifying setting spray to your routine. This setting spray combines its shine-reducing powers with arctium majus root, which has been shown to help treat acne, especially inflammatory types. But that’s not all — the spray also contains vitamins B and E to add an extra layer of antioxidant protection against free radicals. Basically, this product helps control excess oil production, decreases inflammation, and protects against free radicals — all for about the same price as an oat milk latte.
Key Ingredients: Arctium Majus Root, Vitamin B, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 2 oz.
Relevant Review: “Great for oily skin and it has an unbelievable purchase price. I order 2 bottles at a time that lasts about 3 to 6 months depending on how often you use it. It doesn't irritate my skin and it's very light. Very compact so you can carry it in a small bag when traveling. Great buy”
2. The One With Over 50,000 5-star Ratings
- Contains niacinamide to promote a brighter complexion.
- Feels breathable on skin.
- Cruelty-free and vegan.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and where there’s an overabundant amount of rave Amazon reviews, there’s a well-respected product. NYX’s mattifying setting spray is a breathable option for those who are looking to balance their skin’s oil production and prolong the life of their makeup — it purportedly helps your makeup stay set for a whopping 16 hours. And if you’re a fan of products that combine makeup and skin care, this formula contains niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) to promote a brighter, more even complexion, something that can be especially beneficial for acne-prone skin types.
Key Ingredients: Niacinamide Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 2 oz.
Relevant Review: “I have sensitive, eczema prone and acne prone skin and this is one of the only setting sprays my skin agrees with.”
3. The Heavy-Duty One
- Contains a patented Temperature Control Technology to lower the temperature of makeup, resulting in less melting.
- Our expert recommends this formula.
- This setting spray is pretty large and might not fit into most makeup bags.
- Contains fragrance, to which some people are sensitive.
Rebecca recommends this iconic mattifying setting spray for acne-prone skin types because it’s a lightweight, smudge-proof, and transfer-resistant option that soaks up excess oil, even over full-coverage makeup. So, how has this setting spray remained a fan favorite for years? Urban Decay’s All Nighter spray contains the brand’s patented Temperature Control Technology, which lowers the temperature of makeup so that there’s less of a chance of it melting off via sweat, excess oil production, or heat. If you have a special event or are just looking for something to get you through your active work day, this formula’s 16-hour wear time will be your ticket to having your makeup look just as great at the end of the day as it did right when you applied it.
Key Ingredients: Aloe Leaf Juice, Tocopherol Cruelty-Free: Yes Size: 4 oz.
Relevant Review: “I have tried several brands. Even brands more expensive. But still keep coming back to this one. I even asked a beauty expert about setting sprays and she said to not waste my money on any other brand and to only buy this one. It is also the only one that does not make my skin break out. The bottle will last you forever, so it is also an amazing deal.”
4. The One That Costs Less Than Four Bucks
- It’s the most cost-effective option on this list.
- Can be used as a setting spray or as a primer.
- Contains fragrance.
Looking for an easy way to downsize your cosmetics collection? Rimmel London’s Fix & Go 2-in-1 is both a setting spray and a primer, so you’ll only need this one product to both prep and set your makeup. This two-in-one product mattifies skin to reduce oil while ingredients like sodium PCA and urea gently hydrate skin throughout the day. And if you’re looking for something to diminish redness, this formula contains cucumber, too.
Key Ingredients: Cucumber Extract), Urea, Sodium Hyaluronate Cruelty-free: Yes Size: 3.4 oz.
Relevant Review: “[Love it. I have oily skin and it is difficult to find a good matte setting spray. But, after a few sprays of Rimmel Fix & Go, I don't have to worry. This product works and definitely stays in place all day. I now have no makeup marks on my blouses.”
Ashley Rebecca, a New York City-based makeup artist
Observational study of Arctium lappa in the treatment of acne vulgaris, by Anjali Miglani and Raj K Manchanda; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24931753/
Phytochemical and therapeutic potential of cucumber, by Pulok K Mukherjee, Neelesh K Nema, Niladri Maity, and Birendra K Sarkar; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23098877/