Non Comedogenic Makeup – what you need to know before buying

Everybody wants a makeup that gives flawless sheen and conceals any imperfections. However nobody wants makeup that clogs pores or makes skin oily and acne prone.  This is why you should look to buy products that are non comedogenic. The unique comparison charts below, and the analysis that follows will help you decide which makeup is best for you, and shed some light on which are the best makeups for those that want great results without the clogged pores! We all have our own personal preferences, but everybody wants the best products with the least amount of hassle – this is where the chart below can help. We’ve done the hard work for you so you can get the best product with the least amount of effort on your part! For more in depth information about any of the products listed below see our makeup reviews page→. Click the product picture to be taken directly to the corresponding amazon page for more details and purchase options.

This is just the top 5 foundations, click Here for the full comparison chart.

Top 5 Non Comedogenic Foundations

Rating /5
Non Comedogenic rating /3
Manufacturer claims Non Comedogenic?


This is just the top 5 foundations, click Here for the full comparison chart.

This is just the top 5 moisturizers, click Here for the full comparison chart. 

Top 5 Non Comedogenic Moisturizers

Rating /5
Non Comedogenic score /3
Manufacturer claims Non Comedogenic?


This is just the top 5 moisturizers, click Here for the full comparison chart. 

-     Chart Key

Price; how expensive the product is – $ is low cost, $$ is medium cost and $$$ is high cost. These are approximate scores based upon average prices on

Non Comedogenic Score; This is a unique matrix whereby each product is given a score out of 3, depending on the amount of non comedogenic and comedogenic ingredients it contains. A product with a score of 3 is very good and does not contain any of the comedogenic ’ingredients to avoid’ (see list below); a product with a score of 2 contains some ‘bad ingredients’ but also some of the more favourable natural ingredients too; a product with a score of 1 contains many of the ‘ingredients to avoid’ and none of the natural ingredients that you should look out for.

Amazon user rating; the average rating given to the product (out of 5) by users on Amazon.

Manufacturer claim; whether or not the manufacture of the product claims it is non comedogenic.

-       What is Non Comedogenic Makeup? For those of you that don’t know, Non Comedogenic Makeup (NCM) is makeup that contains specific ingredients that are proven not to clog or block pores. The term comedogenic derives from the word ‘comedo’ which is a type of acne skin lesion that occurs when oil and dead skin becomes trapped within hair follicles (colloquially referred to as blackheads, among other things). A number of ingredients have been proven not to lead to blocked pores, some of which are outlined below and it is these that should be listed in any NCM you buy.

-       Why you should use Non Comedogenic Makeup Blackheads, acne and other skin lesions can develop due to a number of factors, including overactive glands, abnormal shedding of skin cells and an excess of dead skin and oil that builds up in pores. This can all happen naturally and irrespective of your skin care regime. However, the use of certain types of cosmetics can dramatically escalate the problem. In particular the use of chemically laden makeup, foundation and other creams and lotions can lead to the blocking of pores, and subsequently the development of spots and blackheads. Using NCM helps to alleviate and prevent skin problems such as these.  

-       The problem of product claims The problem with buying and using makeup labelled as NCM is that no approved regulatory standards exist regarding the labelling or the type of ingredients used in cosmetics that make the claim to be NCM. Essentially, any company can label their product as NCM, regardless of what it contains! They could even do this if it contained ingredients that are well known to cause break-outs! As a consumer you obviously want to ensure that you are getting what you pay for, particularly as NCM labelled cosmetic products can be more expensive that regular makeup. One way to do this is to look in detail at the ingredient lists on the back of the product (not just the active ingredients mentioned on the front label) and avoid purchasing the product if the chemicals and oils that are known to cause breakouts are present. To help you do this the lists below outline the most common ingredients that you want to avoid, and those that you should look out for as they have non comedogenic properties.

-         The solution Looking at the two ingredient lists at the bottom of this page and examining cosmetic labels for these ingredients before you purchase is a perfectly acceptable method for checking that you get what you want – a makeup that doesn’t clog pores. It is however time consuming and can be confusing when the number of ingredients involved are so high. A much simpler method is to look at the unique comparison chart above, where the hard work has been done for you.

-        Comedogenic Ingredients to avoid:



Bismuth oxychloride;

Sodium chloride;

Cetylated Lanolin;

Also; Algae Extract, Butyl Sterate, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Butter, Coconut Oil, Colloidal Sulfur, Corn Oil, D & C Red #17,21,3, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Isocetyl Stearate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Laureth 23, 4, Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid, Octyl Palmitate, Octyl Stearate, Oleth-3 PEG 75, Lanolin PEG 16, Lanolin PEG 8, Stearate, Propylene, Glycol Monostearate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Soybean Oil, Wheat Germ Oil.

-       Non comedogenic Ingredients to look out for: Although no ingredients can officially be labelled as non comedogenic due to the lack of regulatory standards, there are a number of ingredients that you should look out for due to their NC properties:

Aloe vera extract; well known to have soothing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Chamomile flower extract; contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help with smooth looking skin.

Jojoba seed oil; a natural moisturizer that does not block pores.

Calendula flower extract; anti-inflammatory that soothes irritated skin.

Witch hazel extract; a natural astringent that keeps skin hydrated.

St. John’s wort extract; antioxidant compound that reduces inflammation and dry skin.

Tea tree extract; Natural antibacterial compound that maintains the skin’s pH balance.

Willow bark extract; a natural alternative to salicylic acid which exfoliates and de-clogs the skin.

Bentonite; a natural clay that gets rid of toxins in the skin.

-      Your turn Now that you have seen the options and reviewed our top picks for the best non comedogenic foundation and moisturizers on the market, its up to you to pick what meets your needs, is in your price range, and is the overall best fit for your needs. As you know, new makeups are being created and reviewed all the time by manufacturers.  For this reason, the comparison chart above will be updated as new products become available and need to be added to the list. Equally, if you feel like we missed a product that you feel needs to be included on the list, please let us know in the comments below.

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