What is Non-Comedogenic

Skin Savvy – Comedogenic ingredients to avoid.

Are you struggling with congested skin and breakouts? Do you want clear and healthy skin? Yep, me too. If you suffer from congested skin, big pores, and breakouts, a Non-Comedogenic skincare routine will quite literally transform your skin. Find out below what non-comedogenic skincare actually is and what ingredients you should avoid.

Our complexions have a lot to answer for.

When we are having a good skin day we feel great. We can take on the world.

However, when we are having a bad skin day it can have a serious impact on our confidence and self-esteem.

We are all individuals and our skin itself varies from person to person. Bad skin days vary. What seems like a bad skin day to me, may be a good skin day for others.

However, everything is relative. Regardless of the varying skin concerns, we all want the same thing. Healthy, clear skin.

Whilst there are a multitude of skin types, conditions, and concerns (you can take my skin type quiz here if you are unsure what your personal skin type is) The concern we will be focusing on today, is congested skin.

What is congested skin?

Congested skin happens when our pores get clogged. Usually with excess oils and dead skin. Lovely!

Our skin regenerates every month and when it does so, dead skin cells collect on the surface.

If left to sit there, our dead skin cells make friends with our oils and make themselves at home in our pores.

In addition, many skincare products can contain ingredients that are known to clog pores and cause congested skin.

If you have congested skin you will notice large pores, blackheads, and some whiteheads too.

Congested skin can lead to breakouts, acne, uneven skin texture, and an orange peel type skin appearance.

If you would like to learn what is the best skincare routine for congested skin, see my post here which details exactly what ingredients you DO need and provides some product recommendations too.

What does Non-Comedogenic mean?

If a skincare product states that it is non-comedogenic, this basically means the skincare product does not contain any known ingredients that could potentially clog pores.

Most Non-Comedogenic skin care products are oil-free. However be careful as, just because a product states it is oil-free, does not mean it is non-comedogenic.

What to look out for.

Several years ago, due to my own skin concerns, I started to research Non-Comedogenic skincare. (If you are interested in taking a look at my own skin battles and how I have cleared it, I have a post here.)

I found that a lot of the Non-Comedogenic offerings were very basic and rather boring. I didn’t want to use a basic skincare routine. I didn’t want boring skincare.

This was the beginning of a very long and extensive period of researching, trialing, and testing. It was both expensive and eye-opening.

I learnt the following:

The use of the word ‘non-comedogenic’ is not regulated by any laws.

Therefore any skincare product can ‘claim’ that it is non-comedogenic to a certain extent.

This really bothered me. I found it almost immoral. We as consumers were trusting these brands and taking them at face value. I found so many products that ‘claimed’ that they were Non-Comedogenic, but were not.

We are then helplessly using these so-called ‘non-comedogenic’ products and becoming increasingly frustrated as they are not helping our congested skin? In fact, some of them make it worse.

When you are really struggling with your skin, feeling low and so self-conscious, the fact that these brands sell themselves to people who are vulnerable and desperate to clear their skin, as a Non-Comedogenic product, in my opinion, is very disappointing.

However, there are still a lot of brands that have some integrity regardless of laws and regulations. These brands clearly state which of their products are Non-Comedogenic and which are not.

Whilst I cannot change any laws or fight the system, I can provide you with a full list of all known comedogenic ingredients. This way you will be able to check a skincare product before you buy it. Regardless of whether it states it is non-comedogenic, check the ingredients against the list below.

Comedogenic ingredients.

The following list details ALL known comedogenic ingredients, taken from the Acne Org website:

  • Acetylated Lanolin
  • Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol
  • Algae Extract
  • Algin
  • Beeswax
  • Butyl Stearate
  • Carrageenan
  • Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20
  • Cetyl Acetate
  • Chlorella
  • Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish Moss or Carageenan Moss)
  • Coal Tar
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Alkanes
  • Coconut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Colloidal Sulfur
  • Cotton Awws Oil
  • Cotton Seed Oil
  • Corn oil
  • D & C Red # 17
  • D & C Red # 21
  • D & C Red # 3
  • D & C Red # 30
  • D & C Red # 36
  • Decyl Oleate
  • Dioctyl Succinate
  • Disodium Monooleamido
  • Ethoxylated Lanolin
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE
  • Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate
  • Hexadecyl Alcohol
  • Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil
  • Isocetyl Alcohol
  • Isocetyl Stearate
  • Isodecyl Oleate
  • Isopropyl Isostearate
  • Isopropyl Linolate
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Isopropyl Palmitate
  • Isostearyl Isostearate
  • Isostearyl Neopentanoate
  • Jojoba wax
  • Kelp
  • Laminaria Digitata Extract
  • Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)
  • Laureth-23
  • Laureth-4
  • Lauric Acid
  • Mango Butter
  • Mink Oil
  • Myristic Acid
  • Myristyl Lactate
  • Myristyl Myristate
  • Octyl Palmitate
  • Octyl Stearate
  • Oleth-3
  • Oleyl Alcohol
  • PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate
  • PEG 16 Lanolin
  • PEG 200 Dilaurate
  • PEG 8 Stearate
  • PG Monostearate
  • PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate
  • Plankton
  • Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Red Algae
  • Seaweed
  • Shark Liver Oil
  • Shea
  • Shea Butter
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Solulan 16
  • Sorbitan Oleate
  • Soybean Oil
  • Spirulina
  • Steareth 10
  • Stearic Acid Tea
  • Stearyl Heptanoate
  • Sulfated Castor Oil
  • Sulfated Jojoba Oil
  • Talc
  • Wheat Germ Glyceride
  • Wheat Germ Oil
  • Xylene

To Summarise.

There are a LOT of ingredients mentioned in the list above and I know it can all seem a bit overwhelming. Are there even any ingredients left!? Are there any skincare products we can use!?

The answer is a big fat yes!

I have spent the last 8 months creating a downloadable FAQ which details skincare and makeup products for all aspects of your routine that are Non-Comedogenic and safe to use. Please sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when this FAQ will be published. (I am almost there, I promise)

In addition, there are several websites that provide a useful tool that lets you input an ingredients list of any skincare or beauty product and will advise if the product is safe to use. It takes seconds and is well worth a go. I use this one.

I know how difficult it can be dealing with problematic skin and if you need any advice or just a friendly ear from someone that has been in your shoes please feel free to email me at natalie@knackered40.com. I will always respond and try to help wherever I can.

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