If you buy something through the links, I may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you). Read the full disclosure here.
I independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you buy something through the links on the site, I may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you). For more information, read the full disclosure here.
You’ll come across more than a few big words as you delve into the world of beauty. And it can be challenging to figure out which products are best for you and your skin type — especially for anyone who isn’t a scientist or a skincare expert.
In the spirit of breaking boundaries and making beauty accessible to everyone, this guide has the answers to your burning questions. What does non comedogenic mean, which non comedogenic products should you try, and more, is what you’ll learn in this post.
Unsurprisingly, non comedogenic products feature in Hailey Bieber’s skincare routine. And, who knows, they might feature in yours soon. Let’s dive in.
What Does Non Comedogenic Mean?
To put it simply, non comedogenic products are those that are specifically designed and formulated so they don’t clog your skin’s pores. That means the ingredients in non comedogenic skincare products are light and gentle and allow your skin to breathe.
Often, hydrating and revitalizing products contain synthetic ingredients or heavy oils that can block your pores, causing breakouts or excessive oil production. While heavy oil products have their place in the world of beauty, they can be harmful to anyone with sensitive or acne-prone skin, especially after prolonged use.
Non comedogenic products aid hydration and protect your skin’s natural barrier without clogging your pores. In fact, the best non comedogenic ingredients can help kill pathogens on your skin, protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, and reduce excess oil.
The Best Non Comedogenic Ingredients
Before getting into the best non comedogenic products, you should get familiar with some of the best non comedogenic ingredients. You can look for these ingredients in any skincare product you buy, whether it be makeup, moisturizers, hydrating serums, or body washes.
Vitamin C products are generally fantastic for reducing swelling and redness on your skin. Even better is that it’s an antioxidant, which encourages collagen production, keeping your skin vibrant and youthful.
Vitamin C is non comedogenic, so while you’re enjoying all those benefits, you don’t have to worry about your pores blocking up.
Tip: Try this Glossier Vitamin C serum for radiant skin and reduced signs of aging.
Zinc oxide is an ingredient in many makeup products, especially foundations. This is because zinc oxide has soothing properties and even offers UV protection. In fact, most products that offer SPF 15 contain zinc oxide.
Often, even light sunscreens can block your pores and leave your skin feeling greasy. On the other hand, zinc oxide is non comedogenic, so it generally feels more lightweight on your skin and is unlikely to cause breakouts.
Tip: Why not protect the environment while protecting your skin? Zinc oxide is safe for the ocean, which is why it’s a key ingredient in coral reef safe sunscreens.
I promise it’s not as scary as it sounds. Many of your skincare products, especially spot treatments, face washes, and moisturizers, may contain salicylic acid. It helps brighten your appearance by encouraging your skin to shed dead cells.
Salicylic acid can be harsh on sensitive or dry skin because of its oil-reducing properties. However, for oily or pimple-prone skin, its non comedogenic nature is a huge benefit.
Tip: Try this Paula’s Choice gentle exfoliant with 2% salicylic acid to clear pimples and blackheads without causing flaky skin.
Although witch hazel sounds like something you’ll only find around Halloween, it’s actually used in many products for acne-prone skin. Witch hazel has excellent soothing properties but is mainly used as an anti-inflammatory.
In skincare products, witch hazel soothes redness and reduces swelling without thinning the skin or clogging your pores. Mixing witch hazel with aloe vera is wonderfully soothing if you’ve spent the day in the sun.
How to Know If A Product Is Non Comedogenic?
In short, it’s almost impossible to know whether a product is entirely non comedogenic unless you’re willing to go through every ingredient in it. This is because the definition of non comedogenic is a little vague. It actually refers to the likelihood that a product will block your pores.
In medical terms, a blocked pore is called a comedone. Common ingredients in skincare products are rated on a scale of 0–5. The higher the number is, the higher the chances are that your pores may get clogged.
Generally, values of 2 and below are unlikely to cause clogged pores. So products containing ingredients with these scores are considered non comedogenic.
Perhaps the simplest way to check if a product is non comedogenic is by checking the manufacturer’s website or the comedogenicity of the first few products on the ingredients list. These are usually the ingredients with the highest concentration in the product.
Does Non Comedogenic Mean Oil-Free?
No. Non-comedogenic does not mean that a product is oil-free. In fact, many natural oils are non comedogenic. These oils can be great for locking in your skin’s moisture without blocking your pores. They also often contain essential fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants.
What Makes An Oil Comedogenic?
You might think that all oils are the same; they leave your skin feeling greasy and are not suitable for your pores. While some oils can have those effects, there is a use for comedogenic oils; they can be very hydrating and helpful in the dry winter.
Comedogenic oils are not necessarily harmful but rather have the potential to block your pores. Of course, this is dependent on more than one factor. For example, people with oily and pimple-prone skin are more likely to be affected by comedogenic oils.
Don’t be fooled. Comedogenic oils are not necessarily thick and gloopy oils. Comedogenicity actually has nothing to do with the oil’s thickness and has everything to do with two fatty acids called linoleic acid and oleic acid.
Linoleic acid tends to be more suitable for all skin types, as it is lightweight and easily absorbed by the skin. However, in acne or pimple-prone skin, there is often a deficit of linoleic acid, which can also contribute to blocked pores.
Oleic acid is protective and offers an excellent solution for dry skin by locking in your skin’s moisture. Unfortunately, creating an external protective barrier also tends to lock up your pores and trap dirt and sebum beneath the outer layer of your skin. Comedogenic oils have a higher concentration of oleic acid than linoleic acid.
Which Oils Are Comedogenic?
Comedogenic oils are the ones you want to avoid using on your face, especially if you have acne or pimple-prone skin. This is because these oils are likely to block your pores and cause breakouts. And let’s be honest; no one wants that.
Avocado oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and palm oil are a few comedogenic oils you might have heard of. While these oils might work wonders by hydrating and nourishing your body or hair, using them on your face is not advisable.
Which Oils Are Non Comedogenic?
Non-comedogenic oils are light on the skin. They can have many effects, like exfoliation, renewal, or rehydration. And they don’t block your pores or cause dirt and body oils to get trapped in your skin. Almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, and hempseed oil are all-natural, non comedogenic oils that are great for your skin.
How To Find the Right Non Comedogenic Product for Your Skin?
So, now that you know which oils to look out for and which to avoid, how do you choose a suitable non comedogenic product for your skin? Below are a few things to consider:
- What is your skin type?
- What does your skin need?
- Is your skin acne or pimple-prone?
With the above questions in mind, you can find a product that best suits your skin. The most commonly needed products are for dry and oily skin types prone to pimples or acne.
The first step would be to find a non comedogenic range of products and choose one with the appropriate hydration or oil control ingredients.
The Best Non Comedogenic Products
Many great products are available today for just about every skin type. But, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to sift through hundreds of products. So, here is a quick list of some of the best non comedogenic products for different skin.
Remember, it’s always best to consult your dermatologist before trying a new product if you have very sensitive skin or any skin condition.
- For oily skin: Neutrogena oil-free moisture
- For dry skin: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (Or check out these Hyaluronic acid serums)
- For acne/ pimple-prone skin: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Anhydrous Serum
- For aging skin: La Roche-Posay Anti-aging Serum
Are You Ready To Find the Best Non Comedogenic Products?
Now you’re equipped with everything you need to know about what non comedogenic means, how to find the perfect product for you, and what to stay away from.
No matter your skin type or needs, there is a wide range of suitable products out there, and the perfect one is waiting for you. Remember, finding that life-changing product can take a while, but the result of healthy and happy skin is well worth the effort.
Hopefully, this guide on what does non comedogenic mean was helpful to you and will help you find the right products for your skin.
Looking for something to make your skin look young and even-toned? These effective retinol serums are your golden ticket to youthful skin.