Non-Comedogenic Makeup: How To Easily Spot it and Achieve Clear Skin

Makeup is supposed to mask your skin to make you feel confident and beautiful. But what if these same products are aggravating your skin, clogging pores and causing breakouts? In that case, say hello to your new best friend: Non-comedogenic makeup.

Now, this isn’t just a fancy word — it’s the answer to your skincare woes.

Non-comedogenic makeup will make you look beautiful and radiant when you apply it. But it also helps your skin breathe and feel comfortable, without staying behind in your pores for TOO long.

But what does it mean? And how can you spot non-comedogenic makeup products? Read on to find out…

So What Does “Non-Comedogenic” Mean?

“Non-comedogenic” means that “this product shouldn’t clog your pores.” The term refers to not causing a “comedone”. This is the earliest form of acne, or clogged pores you might notice as little bumps on your skin. Those of us with acne prone skin may be more sensitive to specific ingredients.

Ingredients in makeup and skincare are tested to find out where they fit on the comedogenicity scale. This scale ranks ingredients from 0 to 5. 0 means less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts. And 5 means more likely to do so.

Ingredients with a comedogenic rating of 0 to 2 are considered “non-comedogenic”. However, a lower number doesn’t guarantee that it won’t clog pores and cause acne, because no agency regulates this scale!

womans-hand-holding-bottle-of-foundation-near-shelf-of-makeup-cosmetics This is How to Easily Spot Non-Comedogenic Makeup

5 Ways to Easily Spot Non-Comedogenic Makeup

Now that we know the importance of non-comedogenic makeup to clear, acne-free skin, it’s time to discover how to identify one.

Here are five simple tips that can help you out!


The most concrete way to know whether a product is non-comedogenic or not is to read the ingredients list. This doesn’t only apply to foundations and concealers. In fact, blushes and essential oils contain pore-clogging ingredients as well.

A previous study that tested a bunch of potential comedogenic ingredients compiled a comprehensive list that individuals with acne-prone skin should look out for.

Some of these ingredients include:

·isopropyl myristate and its derivatives

·Propylene glycol-2 (PPG-2)

·myristyl propionate


·octyl stearate

·octyl palmitate

·isocetyl stearate

·D&C red dyes

Of course, this isn’t 100% accurate. Even if an ingredient is considered non-comedogenic, it may still cause bumps and acne on your skin. Or, some “non-comedogenic” ingredients may cause reactions on your skin.

So use the ingredients list as a guide, instead of a surefire way to identify non-comedogenic makeup correctly all the time.


You aren’t alone in the quest for non-comedogenic makeup and skincare. So if you find a new product you’re dying to try, search for its ingredients online. Then copy and paste them into this nifty pore-clogging ingredients checker.

The checker will let you know where the product lies on the comedogenicity scale. Remember: If the level is between 3 and 5, it’s best to avoid the product (no matter how tempted you are to buy it!)

Are you using the right makeup brush for each step of your beauty routine? Check out our article here to find out!

Complete Guide to Makeup Brushes title card, with a woman holding a fan brush


Another trick to spot pore-clogging ingredients and makeup is to feel the texture.

This is especially true for oils and moisturizers. Those that tend to be on the thicker side will be bad and heavy for your skin. That’s because they may congest it and clog the pores.

If you have acne-prone skin, you should use gel or water-based creams as a rule of thumb or a hydrating gentle cleanser. These tend to be much safer for your skin.

If you are a fan of oils, we’ve got bad news for you. Most of them tend to be comedogenic and cause breakouts.

Some of these include beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, glycerin, cocoa butter, avocado oil, palm oil, and flaxseeds. You can find out more from this list.

Check out Pbelle’s Top Picks for Non-Comedogenic Products


Why don’t makeup companies put a huge “WON’T CLOG YOUR PORES!” sticker on their non-comedogenic products? Actually, some do! Some makeup and skincare products have buzzwords like “non-comedogenic” or “for acne-prone skin” listed on their packaging.

But while these products are a great place to start, we need to keep in mind that there’s no guarantee they’re non-comedogenic.

Sometimes, brands do it because it’s the trendiest thing or what would sell to customers. Especially since these terms aren’t regulated by any agency at all!

You’re now equipped with the knowledge to outsmart them, though. This means you should double check by going over the ingredients list or using the pore-clogging ingredients checker.


We are all different with unique skin types. What would suit you isn’t guaranteed to suit someone else — even if both your skin types look and feel the same.

So how do you know for sure that “non-comedogenic” makeup won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts? It’s simple: Test it!

If you’re nervous about trying a product on your whole face, you can perform a patch test first. You start by applying a drop of product to a small patch of skin such as on your hand or cheek.

Let the product sit there for a day or two to see if your skin reacts negatively to it. If your skin starts to feel bumpy during that time, the product may not be suitable for you.

Now, this test isn’t perfect. But it can give you some peace of mind if you were hesitant to try out a new product.

If you don’t want to patch test, proceed with caution when using a new product. If your skin starts to act up, remove that new product from your routine.

Use Non-Comedogenic Makeup As A Benchmark

While no product is guaranteed to not clog your pores, you can use non-comedogenic makeup as a benchmark to stay safe. By checking the ingredients list, you can determine whether a particular product is a friend or a foe.

Remember, not every product is suitable for each skin type. By using the ones that seem to suit your specific type, you can find yourself on a successful journey towards clear, acne-free skin. Good luck 🙂

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