When you have oily, acne prone skin, having skincare, or makeup break you out is the very last thing you want to happen. Knowing that certain types of skincare can cause you spots is one thing, choosing the non-comedogenic skincare from the comedogenic skincare is a complete other ballgame.
… here are a few teasers for you my friend.
Do not rely on skincare which tells you it’s non-comedogenic. Aka it does not block your pores.
Do not search Google for the best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin (more about this very soon).
…and do not use skincare with coconut oil in it… even though you’ll find more than 100 sites recommending it for oily, acne prone skin.
Instead, be sure to use and bookmark this 1 very handy non-comedogenic skincare finding tool. It takes less than 10 seconds – promise.
Come find out all my friend…
What Does Non-Comedogenic Mean?
Your oily, acne prone skin is prone to acne because plugs of dead skin and oil get stuck inside your pores. When this happens, acne causing bacteria grow, thrive and inflame your skin. Boom – you have spots, pimples and acne.
Whether you suffer from blemishes, whiteheads, spots, pimples or acne, all types of spots start in your pores.
Imagine each of your pores like a Lego bucket. You have a triangle hole for the triangle Lego block, a rectangle hole for the rectangular Lego block and a circle hole for… you guessed it, the circular Lego block. If you tried to put a circle in the rectangle hole – nothing would happen. If you tried to put a circle in the circular hole – pop, it’s straight in and as much as you shake, it’s not coming back out.
Skincare that uses non-comedogenic ingredients is like Lego situation number 1. The skincare ingredients are either too big to get stuck into your pores or too small to stay there. They either never get in, or they have no hope of sticking inside.
But… searching for non-comedogenic skincare online, will not always have you picking-up a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Choosing a Moisturiser that Won’t Cause Breakouts
Finding the phrase non-comedogenic on your skincare does not always mean your skincare is non-comedogenic. Crazy ‘eh. See, the descriptions of the best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin are like a human being’s CV. They’re designed and spoken by the skincare product itself.
Sure, there are some parts of the label which are regulated. This is like the school you went to, the grades you got. It can be checked. This is true for the skincare ingredient list, the weight and the expiry date.
Then, there are other parts which aren’t as checkable… like the little league football team you helped organise or coach every Saturday. The 5am hour long yoga session you do each morning. The other language you’re fluent in… and hope no-one from your future interviews will ever know.
This is like the claim non-comedogenic.
It’s not regulated. There’s no standard test a skincare product needs to take to prove it. There’s no non-comedogenic skincare certificate of proof.
The second thing you might try when looking for the best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin is typing that exact phrase into Google. While Google is extremely helpful (we love you Google), most product round-ups you find will not be scientifically vetted as great for acne prone skin. Instead they’ll have been chosen because a PR company sent the magazine editor a sample and suggested it as the best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin.
— Cheryl Woodman (@HonestyForSkin) 23 October 2017
Instead of using either of these 2 tactics, you want to be vetting your skincare for non-comedogenic ingredients… which is actually incredibly simple.
How to Find the Best Moisturizer for Acne Prone Oily Skin
Skincare which will not get on with your oily, acne prone skin, is classed as being comedogenic. A rating scale which runs from 0 to 5 with 0 being completely non-comedogenic and 5 being extremely comedogenic.
Coconut oil rates as a 4.
When you have oily, acne prone skin, you’ll want to avoid skincare containing ingredients with high comedogenic ratings e.g. avoid skincare with ingredients rated as 4’s and 5’s.
How do you tell? By using a tool called CosDNA.
CosDNA scans a skincare ingredients list for you… in a second. It goes like this…
1) You find a product you think your oily, acne prone skin will love… it might even say non-comedogenic.
For an example I’ll use one of the approaches I’m recommending not to try… just to see what we get. I’m going to type, ‘best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin’ into Google. These are the results I see…
2) You find the ingredients list of the product you’re thinking of buying. If it’s not listed on the site, type “Ingredients + name of your product” into Google.
The first product I see is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Kiehl’s products are actually one brand which are hard to find the ingredients list of – you won’t find them in full on the Kiehl’s site. Let’s give this a go. I’m typing ‘Ingredients list + Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream’ into Google. This is what I get…
…and we have it. The ingredients list of Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream has been shared on a site called MakeupAlley. This is a great place to look for ingredients lists, you’ll often find someone has shared them here.
3) You copy and paste the ingredients list.
4) You go to the CosDNA site. You click on ‘Analyze cosmetics’.
5) You paste the ingredients list and click ‘Analysis’.
6) You have results! You scan the acne column for highly comedogenic ingredients i.e. ingredients listed as a 3, 4 or 5.
Result: So what do you see my friend? Would you rate this as the best moisturizer for acne prone oily skin? In my book this is a no. While the first few ingredients are non-comedogenic, do you see that 3 and 5? We have a skincare ingredient called PEG-8 stearate which has a comedogenicity rating of 3 and a skincare ingredient called Myristyl Myristate which has a comedogenicity rating of 5. Both of these skincare ingredients are in the top half of the Keihl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Out of 39 ingredients, these 2 comedogenic ingredients take places 8 and 10.
Comedogenicity ratings tip: Skincare ingredients are listed in order of quantity – just like food. If you find a comedogenic ingredient high in the ingredients list, it’s likely the formula will aggravate your acne. If you find it right down the bottom, it’s likely so diluted, it won’t have an effect.
How to Find a Non-Comedogenic Moisturiser
Let’s do this again. Say you’ve seen my recent article’s on The Ordinary game changing skincare range, and you want to know if their hydrating moisturiser, the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA could be used on your acne prone oily skin.
Psst!… using this CosDNA method to find you the best moisturiser for acne prone oily skin, does not limit you to products which declare they are for acne prone oily skin.
1) We find the moisturiser.
2) We copy the ingredients list. This time directly from The Ordinary’s website.
3) We bring up the CosDNA website, click Analyze Cosmetics, paste our ingredient’s list in and finally click Analysis. This is what we get…
What do you think my friend? Would you buy this moisturiser for your acne prone oily skin? In my opinion, I would give this a tick. Out of all the ingredients in this list, only 2 have a comedogenicity rating and out of these 2, neither are rated as 3, 4 or 5. Meaning there are no currently known moderate to highly comedogenic skincare ingredients used in The Ordinary’sNatural Moisturizing Factors + HA.
How to Find Non-Comedogenic Skincare
Whether you’re on the hunt for a non-comedogenic sunscreen, non-comedogenic makeup or non-comedogenic skincare, a quick CosDNA test will quickly find you answers. Choosing skincare this way will make sure you’re skincare routine is not the cause of pimples, spots and acne. It will also help you avoid using products which may irritate your acne.
You can use these simple non-comedogenic skincare steps for any skincare product you can find the ingredients list to. If it’s not searchable online and you really want a comedogenicity answer before buying, all you need to do is email the company’s customer happiness team. They’re under a legal obligation to share it with you, but even if they weren’t, I’m sure they’d share it with you anyway. If not it’d all be a bit #MysteryFood.
How have you been finding the best non-comedogenic moisturiser for your oily, acne prone skin type? Have you done a CosDNA test before? Have more questions about how best to use this non-comedogenic finding skincare tool? Come chat to me in the comments below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.