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What Does Non-Comedogenic Mean? user skyfaller

Source: user skyfaller

Trying to understand all the terms skin care and cosmetics brands throw around can be pretty difficult, and there’s one word that is especially confusing — non-comedogenic. Even the pronunciation is difficult; think long o, long e, long o, short e, short i.

What it really comes down to is a long word that means it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. Usually, the products that tend to make this claim are moisturizers, foundations and powders. These products tend to have oils in them (like mineral oil and hydrogenated vegetable oil) that can cause breakouts, especially for those who have oily or acne-prone skin.

Products that claim to be non-comedogenic often substitute these oils with alternative moisturizing agents, like almond oil, olive oil, evening primrose oil and safflower oils. These oils don’t sit on the skin or in the pores, but absorb quickly. Some products forgo the oils altogether.

The problem with skin care and cosmetics touting non-comedogenic is that it’s not a guarantee that you won’t break out. Everyone’s skin is so unique. Irritation and inflammation can occur for a variety of different reasons and bacteria can be introduced into the pore despite the type of product you’re using.

So, just because a product says it’s non-comedogenic doesn’t mean you won’t ever breakout. But it’s definitely a step in the right direction.



  1. elena mercado
    Posted September 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Im 40 and i have little bumps especially around both of my eyes,its embarrasing.they dont have the white stuff in it. But it is still called Milia. How do i know what type of skin I have, and what type of moisturizers I should us under my eyes.

  2. Jacqueline Cheney
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Sometimes Milia don’t have the white appearance, but they are still small cysts filled with dead skin cells. As far as figuring out your skin type, the best way is by checking how the skin looks and feels. If it’s dry, it will be pretty obvious, you may notice more wrinkles and tight, flaky skin. If it’s oily (which is usually the case with people who have Milia) then it will look shiny or feel greasy, even around the eyes. However, regardless of your skin type, most eye moisturizers are very gentle to that delicate skin. If you have oily skin, an oil-free gel formula is best (like Obagi Elastiderm Eye Gel). If you have dry skin, a cream is best (like HydroPeptide Eye Concentrate). I hope that helps. Good luck.

  3. Kay
    Posted October 13, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I have heard that Milia is called adult acne. I have the problems around my mouth and have had them removed at the Dermo’s office, it does hurt a little. Tried at home once, will not do that again. My sister has it by her eyes.

  4. Jacqueline Cheney
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Milia is not adult acne, although sometimes they can look like small whiteheads. They are often found around the lips and eyes. It is best for your doctor to remove them. Check out my post on Milia for more information.

  5. Janet
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I have rosacea, and have been told to use a non-comedogenic make-up. So far,I have found none that specifically state they are non-comedogenic. What are some brands? Thanks.

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