In all those moments in the skin care aisle—scanning product labels and hoping, this time, you’d find something that would finally clear up your breakouts—you probably saw the claim ‘non- comedogenic.’ You may have wondered what it means and if you really need to use non- comedogenic products on your breakout-prone skin.
What’s surprising for many is that some products labelled ‘non-comedogenic’ can actually irritate your skin. If you have breakout-prone skin, what do you need to know?
WHAT ARE NON-COMEDOGENIC PRODUCTS?
By definition, a non-comedogenic product is one containing oils that have a low likelihood of clogging pores. Sounds great, right? Especially for breakout-prone skin. The reality is ‘non- comedogenic’ is an unregulated label - and while there is a comedogenic scale of 0-5 (five being highly likely to clog pores), the scale was developed using inconsistent markers. Unfortunately, this makes the scale—and label—unreliable. What’s more, the scale doesn’t account for the myriad of other factors that influence how your unique skin may react to a particular oil.
Knowing all of this, how can you ensure that a particular skincare product is best for your breakout prone skin?
HOW TO LOOK BEYOND THE ‘NON-COMEDOGENIC’ LABEL
When you’re trying to determine the true quality of a non-comedogenic product, consider these questions:
1. What oils are being used in the product?
Not sure which oils are non-comedogenic and which oils are best for breakout-prone skin? Here are some of the less-known oils that won’t clog pores:
- Argan oil
- Black cumin seed oil
- Black pepper oil
- Cranberry seed oil
- Grapefruit oil
- Neroli oil
- Orange oil
- Rosehip oil
Oils that may be best to avoid if you have breakout-prone skin, especially if you find them high on the ingredient list are:
- Coconut Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
- Moringa Oil
- Palm Oil
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Soybean Oil
2. How high is the oil concentration?
An oil that is high on the non-comedogenic scale may not clog pores when used in small amounts. In other words, just because a product contains say, coconut oil, doesn’t mean you have to write it off. Just be mindful of where it lands on the ingredient list.
3. What are the other ingredients? Can non-comedogenic products cause breakouts?
The non-comedogenic label focuses only on oils. It can still contain other ingredients that might irritate breakout prone skin, such as harmful chemicals and preservatives.
How do you know for sure if a product is non-comedogenic? Since it’s hard to tell with some mass-produced products, the best way to know if a product is truly non-comedogenic is to choose a maker you trust—one that uses only non-toxic, plant-based ingredients and crafts in small batches because these higher-grade ingredients have a shorter shelf life.
It’s about selecting products with clean, natural ingredients but it’s also about finding a formulator that’s taken the time to formulate products for specific skin types. Specific formulations that include ingredients such as rosehip and black cumin, for example, naturally and gently help reduce oil production breakouts.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO FIND PRODUCTS FOR YOUR BREAKOUT-PRONE SKIN
1. Know your skin type
Knowing your skin type is so important. Do you know yours? If not, we have two ways to help:
- Read our article Understanding Skin Types
- Take our Skin Quiz
2. Explore some of Om’s products for breakout-prone skin:
3. Try samples
Our mini face care kit for blemish-prone skin is the perfect size for a low-commitment trial as you look for your just-right skin care routine.
4. Master crucial skin care steps
Read about special considerations for exfoliating skin that’s prone to breakouts.
WHAT ELSE COULD BE CAUSING BREAKOUTS?
Sometimes it’s about the products you’re using on your skin. Sometimes it’s about what’s happening below the surface: nutrition, hydration, sleep, hormones, exposure to toxins: They all play a part in skin health.
What your skin craves most is all the goodness of whole foods, water, rest and plant-based skincare free of toxins. Give your skin the care it deserves inside and out—and your complexion will show it.
Want to take the guesswork out of finding just the right skin care routine? Shop our totally clean, non-comedogenic line of skin care by skin type and take advantage of minis and mini kits formulated for blemish-prone skin.