Is your skin hating hydrating? Get the scoop on non-comedogenic moisturizers.
It’s a beauty battle as old as time. You breakout, so you use a drying product to kill bacteria. Your face is now dry, so you glob on some moisturizer. The moisturizer clogs your pores, and you breakout again.
Stop the cycle! It’s high time you researched the top non-comedogenic moisturizers for clear, hydrated skin.
What Does Non-Comedogenic Mean?
Non-comedogenic is a big word that simply means “not pore-clogging.” In fact, “comedo” is the medical term for clogged pores.
The real question is, “What does non-comedogenic mean to the beauty industry?” As you may or may not know, the FDA does not regulate the beauty industry as strictly as it does food or drugs. Therefore, non-comedogenic is another term, along with “all natural” and “organic” that is virtually meaningless when you see it on a label without a certification next to it. There is simply no set standard for what it means.
Don’t lose hope yet! Fortunately, you’re the kind of person who does her research. On top of that, everyone’s skin reacts differently to different products. In this guide, we will teach you what to look for when buying a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Top Offending Oils & Butters In Comedogenic Products
Oils and butters tend to be the biggest pore-clogging offenders. Keep an eye out for these ingredients, as they are the most likely to result in a breakout.
As a rule, we do not recommend any products with silicone. The addition of silicone to a moisturizer is more of a marketing tactic than a skin-friendly solution. Silicone is added to make your skin feel smoother. It does this by leaving a layer of silicone on your skin, trapping sweat, bacteria, and dirt. While your skin may feel soft and moisturized, silicone dries out your skin in the long run. Lastly, it’s difficult to wash off, leaving bacteria sealed in your pores.
If you’ve read our blog before, you already know the dangers of synthetic fragrances. Non-comedogenic moisturizers will never have synthetic fragrances. That’s because manufacturers of comedogenic products are not required to list all of the ingredients that go into synthetic fragrances.
For a single fragrance, the list of chemicals can be anywhere from 20 to 80 different chemicals. You may unknowingly be exposing your skin to harmful ingredients like phthalates, a type of chemical used to melt PVC pipe – that is common in low-grade skin care products.
Have you ever put on a lotion that was so light and fluffy, it felt as if it was cooling your skin? This may have been the result of alcohol in your moisturizer. Alcohol is another additive used specifically to create a feel of weightlessness. However, alcohol evaporates quickly (hence that cooling feeling), taking your skin’s natural oils and moisture with it. It’s pretty counterintuitive to put alcohol in a moisturizer, but here we are!
Cocoa butter has a time and a place, neither of which is in a non-comedogenic moisturizer. While it is a great moisturizer for areas of your body where breakouts are unlikely, its thick texture is known to clog pores and cause breakouts on your face, back, and chest. It is oily in nature and can be hard on acne-prone skin. For a truly non-comedogenic moisturizer, skip the cocoa butter.
Non-Comedogenic Moisturizer Alternatives
Now that you know what to avoid, let’s get into what to look for instead. Here are some nutrient rich ingredients you’ll find in non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is a life-saver for acne-prone skin. It’s been shown to limit sebum production – the oil that causes breakouts – and is anti-inflammatory. Green tea extract is naturally lightweight, so there’s no need to add alcohol to it. And it smells nice, to boot!
A much lighter alternative to cocoa butter, shea butter is a safe base for non-comedogenic moisturizers. Unlike cocoa butter, shea butter quickly absorbs into your skin. It doesn’t linger on top, clogging pores. As a result, it feels lightweight and skin drenching as soon as you put it on.
This incredibly moisturizing oil is quickly gaining popularity in the beauty industry – and rightfully so. While we steer clear of many oils as they are often comedogenic, argan oil is a safe bet as a non-comedogenic moisturizer. This ingredient is rich in fatty oils and nutrients, such as omega-6 and vitamin E. As an anti-inflammatory brimming with antioxidants, argan oil is thought to slow the aging process, as well.
You’ll find jojoba oil in top-notch non-comedogenic moisturizers. Why? Because it’s chock full of B vitamins, vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Jojoba oil is particularly helpful for folks with rosacea, eczema, and otherwise dry, damaged skin. It appears to reduce redness and encourages skin repair. Furthermore, it absorbs quickly into the skin so as not to clog pores.
Top Non-Comedogenic Moisturizers for Each Skin Type
For Dry Skin – Hydra Drench Cream by 100% PURE
Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Sustainable, Philanthropic
Do you suffer from excessively dry, cracking skin? This chia seed gel may be the cure to what ails you. Rose petal extract will cleanse and soothe your skin upon application, while the naturally hydrating properties of chia seeds settle in to moisturize and tone your skin. Scented with a blend of organic essential oils, this non-comedogenic moisturizer looks, feels, and smells like a traditional moisturizer.
For Oily Skin – Face Cream by Mad Hippie
Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Sustainable, Philanthropic
Mad Hippie is an up-and-comer in the vegan beauty world. This product contains argan oil, green tea extract, aloe vera, and a variety of other nutrient and antioxidant packed natural ingredients. We recommend this one for oily skin because it contains coconut oil. Coconut oil can be comedogenic for other skin types, so normally we’d say steer clear. However, for people with oily skin, coconut oil can be an incredible moisturizer that works with your skin’s natural oils.
For Acne-Prone Skin – Ultra Repair Cream by First Aid Beauty
Cruelty-Free, Free from Alcohol, Parabens, and Phthalates
Ultra Repair Cream can be a godsent non-comedogenic moisturizer for acne-prone skin. It’s not just oils that lead to breakouts. Dry skin could be causing your acne woes. With a light base of shea butter and the soothing effects of oatmeal and allantoin, this moisturizer may help calm your skin without clogging your pores.
For Sensitive Skin – Squalane & Probiotic Gel by Biossance
Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Sustainable
Squalane is a gentle non-comedogenic moisturizer that goes on weightless and is quickly absorbed. It can be used as a detoxifier and may also encourage collagen production. Be mindful of the products you purchase with squalane. It can be plant derived (like this one) or extracted from the livers of sharks (which is neither cruelty-free nor sustainable). Biossance made this product to be extra gentle for sensitive skin, adding probiotics to help strengthen your natural skin barrier.
For Combination Skin – Omega+ Complex Moisturizer by Paula’s Choice
Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free, Sustainable
For combination skin, this non-comedogenic moisturizer packs a lot of skin-quenching punch. This whipped cream utilizes the powerful benefits of shea butter and omega-3, 6, and 9 oils to nourish skin and quell breakouts. In addition, plant oils and botanical antioxidants, passion fruit and guava, strengthen the moisturizing barrier of skin to prevent it from drying out.