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How Do I Choose the Best Non-Comedogenic Makeup?

By Kathleen Howard
Updated May 21, 2024
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Non-comedogenic makeup is makeup specially formulated to avoid clogging users’ pores and causing acne. The most popular types of non-comedogenic makeup are foundation and concealer, since these products are usually applied to acne-prone areas of the face. To choose non-comedogenic products, you must learn to evaluate a product’s list of ingredients. Non-comedogenic makeup should be free of irritants and pore-clogging materials. Instead, these products should contain gentle ingredients that work to improve the health of the skin.

There are several potentially irritating ingredients that are commonly included in makeup formulas. Many products contain silicone, synthetic fragrances, bismuth oxychloride and parabens, which are used as preservatives. These ingredients are known to irritate the skin, which can lead to redness, swelling and acne. Shimmery makeup products that contain mica can also clog pores and cause irritation. If you have sensitive skin, look for products that do not include any of these ingredients in their formula.

When choosing certain types of makeup, especially non-comedogenic foundation and concealer, it is also important to avoid several different oils, as these substances may clog pores. Lanolin and isopropyl myristate are two commonly used oils that can penetrate the skin and get lodged in the pores. Other oils, less frequently used, can have the same effect.

While many oils can cause breakouts, it is important to understand that some oils are non-comedogenic. Sunflower oil, safflower oil, and hemp seed oils will not clog pores. If you have dry skin, products that contain these ingredients can help you keep your skin moisturized and healthy. While many people associate oil with breakouts, oil-free products are not always the most beneficial choice.

Other ingredients to look for when choosing the best non-comedogenic makeup include aloe, kaolin clay and bentonite. Aloe protects against irritation and inflammation, while kaolin clay and bentonite absorb oil from the skin. Vitamins, plant extracts and other antioxidant-containing ingredients are also beneficial. These ingredients protect against free radical damage and improve the health of the skin.

In addition to choosing non-comedogenic makeup, acne sufferers should make sure to choose non-comedogenic cosmetics. A cosmetic is any product applied to the skin in order to enhance a person’s attractiveness. Moisturizers, self-tanners and other skin care products can all be considered cosmetics. Using non-comedogenic makeup is not always enough to prevent acne. Including only non-comedogenic skin care products in your daily routine will help you avoid unwanted breakouts.

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Discussion Comments

By OeKc05 — On Jan 09, 2013

@wavy58 – Yes, it's important to look at the ingredients. I love products that contain aloe, because they don't dry out my skin.

The more natural the ingredients are, the more likely it is that the makeup won't irritate my pores. Synthetic ingredients and preservatives are usually bad.

I buy all my makeup from a store that sells natural products. They only sell non-comedogenic makeup.

By Oceana — On Jan 08, 2013

I like makeup that is water-based. I used a light makeup a few years ago that was water-based, and I loved it.

It spread on so easily, and it didn't cake up or slide off. I never got rashes or bumps from it. I was bummed when the company stopped making it.

By feasting — On Jan 07, 2013

I think you just have to go through trial and error with makeup and find what works for you. Some products that aren't non-comedogenic might work just fine for some people, while others could suffer breakouts from them.

I used a makeup with heavy coverage and had no problems with acne. However, my best friend used the same kind of makeup, and she suffered constant breakouts.

When she finally figured out that the makeup could be causing them, she switched to a more natural non-comedogenic foundation, and slowly, her skin returned to normal. So, everyone's skin is different.

By wavy58 — On Jan 07, 2013

I always thought that the majority of makeup was made to be non-comedogenic. I've seen so many ads for foundation and powder that have bragged about how the makeup won't clog pores.

I suppose you really do have to look at the ingredients, though. It might just be that the actual list of ingredients could contradict the ad's claim of the product being non-comedogenic.

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