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What are the Different Types of Noncomedogenic Products?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated May 17, 2024
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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.

Clogged pores cause skin problems partly due to a build-up of the oil which the pores produce. This oil, called sebum, is secreted by skin pores and helps to keep the skin moisturized. If pores become clogged with makeup, dirt, or any other substance, the oil is trapped within the pores. As the oil builds up, the pore can become irritated or infected, causing acne or pimples to develop. Using noncomedogenic products helps prevent these problems by reducing the likelihood that pores become clogged.

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.

Several different types of noncomedogenic products are available, including various foundation formulations. Noncomedogenic varieties of liquid, powder, and mineral offer plenty of variety for people of all skin types. This is particularly important because even if a cosmetic product is labeled as noncomedogenic it may not reduce pore clogging for every skin type. Dry and oily skin responds differently to various cosmetic products, because the skin’s natural oils affect the way in which cosmetics react on the skin.

When it comes to oily skin, for example, choosing an oil-free noncomedogenic product is the best way to help reduce clogged pores. For dry skin that produces smaller amounts of sebum and other natural oils, choosing an oil-free formula may make the skin drier. For this reason it’s important to match foundation type to skin type when choosing noncomedogenic cosmetics.

Skin cleansers and moisturizers can also be obtained in noncomedogenic varieties. People with oily skin that is prone to acne are often hesitant to use moisturizers because they make the skin feel more oily or greasy. This can actually lead to more skin irritation, rather than less. Choosing a noncomedogenic oil-free moisturizer helps solve this problem by providing the skin with moisture while reducing the likelihood that pores will become clogged.

Although these skin care items are suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin, noncomedogenic products are not guaranteed to prevent irritation, acne, or other problems. Many people with sensitive skin try a number of cosmetic and skin care products before finding a brand or brands which work with their skin type. For people who don’t benefit from using these types of cosmetics, a visit to a dermatologist may help solve any remaining skin problems.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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