Non-comedogenic skincare products can help reduce your risk of a breakout, but they're not a guarantee of acne-free skin.
A veritable avalanche of skincare products, from lotions to foundations, are marketed as 'non-comedogenic'. 'Comedone' is simply the scientific term for a clogged pore, whether open (blackhead) or closed (whitehead).
Thus, non-comedogenic products are formulated to clog your pores less and lower your overall risk of breakouts. Acne is an inflammatory condition caused by excess sebum, bacteria, skin sensitivity, and a host of other factors, so no skincare product can completely eliminate the risk of acne.
Are Non-Comedogenic Products Better?
Non-comedogenic products aren't guaranteed not to clog your pores. Instead, they simply contain fewer of the ingredients that are commonly known to block pores. Everyone's complexion is different, though. A product that's fine for your friend to use might be highly irritating on your skin.
If you're not sure what's causing your breakouts, consider keeping a skincare diary so that you can eliminate problematic ingredients. In the meantime, use non-comedogenic products to reduce your risk of a breakout.
But remember: you can still have problems with non-comedogenic products. It's more important to be familiar with your own skin than it is to buy exclusively non-comedogenic items.
Many people think that 'non-comedogenic' is synonymous with 'oil-free', but some oils are beneficial to your skin. L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil, for example, conditions the skin but is free of some ingredients—including certain oils—that tend to congest. If you're interested in trying skincare oils, non-comedogenic products are definitely the way to go.
Is It Ever a Bad Idea to Use Non-Comedogenic Products?
Unlike some other products formulated to reduce acne, non-comedogenic products are unlikely to trigger skin issues. For example, salicylic acid—a common anti-acne ingredient—tends to trigger dryness and excessive peeling of dry or sensitive skin when used incorrectly.
You'll see no such adverse reactions from non-comedogenic products, unless they also contain an acne medication. Read the label first to know exactly what you're putting on your skin.
Amplifying the Effectiveness of Non-Comedogenic Skincare Products
Non-comedogenic products don't treat acne on their own. Instead, they're simply less likely to trigger new breakouts. You'll get better results if you use acne treatments, cleanse daily, and avoid picking or popping pimples.
Contrary to what you might think, a good moisturising routine also has a place in your acne-fighting arsenal. When skin becomes too dry, it can become flaky while simultaneously producing excess oil. The flakes trap the oil, and together they trap bacteria and other impurities in your skin, causing acne.
Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you leave it on your skin overnight, so wash off your makeup at the end of each day.