Noncomedogenic Skin Care and Make Up

A reader Simran asked me yesterday - What does Noncomedogenic mean? 

I hope the post below helps :) 
Noncomedogenic is a term applied to oils, lotions, and skin creams that do not block pores.
Non-comedogenic cosmetics are tested on the oily skins of human volunteers or inside rabbit ears. These products are less likely to cause blackheads (open comedones) or whiteheads (closed comedones) in patients. However, no single product is non-comedogenic for everyone.
Noncomedogenic products are also sometimes referred to as non-occlusive. The theory behind using lotions that are noncomedogenic is that by not blocking pores, they will reduce the incidence of pimples.
While there is some evidence that noncomedogenic products may, by not blocking pores, reduce acne, this has not been proven in clinical trials and has not been tested by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Much evidence exists, however, which attests to the value of noncomedogenic products. Occluded pores are more likely to produce acne, particularly if one is prone to acne. However, some forms of acne result from more than one cause, like the presence of a high number of streptococcus bacteria on the skin. In such cases, using a noncomedogenic product may not significantly reduce acne.
If making one’s own skin care products, the best choices of noncomedogenic oils include almond, olive, evening primrose, peanut, safflower, and sunflower oils. Oils like corn, castor, cottonseed and hydrogenated vegetable oil will occlude the pores somewhat. Oils made from coconut, cocoa butter, and wheat germ are considered very occlusive.
Many makeup products can clog the pores of the skin, or leave skin excessively greasy. This can lead to skin irritation and breakouts, and is also likely to exacerbate any existing skin problems. For this reason many people choose to use noncomedogenic products, which are makeup products that do not clog pores.
Noncomedogenic products are also called non-occlusive makeup products, and are particularly suitable for people with acne or sensitive skin. In addition to foundations, skin care products such as cleanser and moisturizer are also available as noncomedogenic formulations. Many noncomedogenic cosmetics are also oil-free, which further helps to reduce acne in people with oily skin.
Skincare With Non-Comedogenic Cosmetics
There are plenty of oil-free and thicker moisturizers available in the market today that are non-comedogenic, however if you are exercising or if the air is hot and humid (think Mumbai weather), these moisturizers may become comedogenic.
 Care must be taken not to over dry the skin with a strong cleanser for fear that the skin will re-bound with extra oil. Often a good gentle face bar soap, (e.g. Neutrogena bar, Dove, Oil of Olay) gentle cleansers such as Cetaphil lotion, should be good enough

When the patient actually has acne and not just oily skin, many acne cleansers are available. Neutrogena, Clinique, Clearasil, Clean and Clear and many other companies have cleansers made specifically for acne. There are benzoyl peroxide cleansers in the form of 5 and 10 % bar soaps and liquid cleansers, which are very effective in controlling acne breakouts.

Look for foundations with titanium dioxide which allows for better coverage, and is not oily, varying amounts of starch and kaolin will thicken up the products without causing acne and also help absorb excess oil. The best example of this is Lacto Calamine lotion

The addition of 1-2% salicylic acid may be partially therapeutic. Revlon concealors are formulated with salicylic acid.
The active ingredients of sunscreens UVB blockers such as Cinnamates, Octocrylene, Salicylates, and UVA blockers such as Benzophenones, Parsol 1789 (avobenzone), micronized zinc or titanium dioxide, are not themselves comedogenic. The least comedogenic sunscreens are usually gel formulations

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  1. Hey!!Reader Simran here!Haha!
    Thanks for the was really helpful!!Now whenever I will but some skin produst I will look out for those oils!!

  2. I love the scientific knowledge that you give in your posts. I get to learn so much for you. Thank you so much. :)

  3. do you know any pressed powders which are non comedogenic? when ever i use a compact my face tends to breakout...

    the above knowledge was very infomative

  4. @ Simran: Hey! Yr welcome :D :D

  5. @ Rati: Thks so much *blush* :D :D... just glad to be of help :)

  6. @ Vinita: The maybelline whitestay UV compact claims to non - comedogenic/ non pore clogging.

    Even Ponds makes a similar compact, but I have not tried it tho :D

  7. The ponds one made me break out -bad :(

  8. @Vinita: Ohh... Thks for sharing that with us :)


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