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.