Comedogenic: 4 comedogenic products + 4 tips to avoid

“Comedogenic” and “non-comedogenic”: These terms appear on many cosmetics. But what does that actually mean? We explain the properties of comedogenic and non-comedogenic products and give you tips for the right care products.

Anyone who has ever bought a skin care product or make-up must have stumbled across the terms “comedogenic” or “non-comedogenic”. These terms indicate whether the product may trigger blemishes when used. We will inform you about comedogenic substances and give tips on how to avoid them.

Which means comedogenic

Anyone who has ever had to deal with annoying skin blemishes would like to avoid the formation of new pimples and blackheads. Maybe one or the other has even heard that they should use a non-comedogenic product for this. However, very few are aware of what this expression really means.

“Comedogenic” generally refers to ingredients in cosmetics that promote the formation of blackheads or comedones in the pores . They clog the pores and thus promote the formation of acne. Non-comedogenic products, on the other hand, do not have this effect.

Quite a few ingredients can be classified as slightly comedogenic. However, there is often disagreement as to which substances are really comedogenic. In particular, the moisturizer Vaseline found in many care products creates potential for conflict. While some are convinced of the compatibility of the substance, others advise against using Vaseline, especially with oily and impure skin .

How a skin reacts to an ingredient is often related to the individual skin. While some users tolerate an active ingredient very well, others react with skin impurities. Incidentally, the determination of the comedogenicity of a substance is not based on human experience but on animal experiments, namely the rabbit ear model . Here the fabrics were tested on the very sensitive rabbit ears. Substances that reacted slightly comedogenically in this test sometimes caused no intolerance at all in human skin. Especially if these substances are only contained in minimal amounts in a cosmetic product, it can be assumed that they do not clog the pores and are tolerable.

These substances are comedogenic

In general, there are a few categories of substances that cause skin impurities particularly easily. Many of the substances that fall into this category are comedogenic and can clog pores. Therefore, you should rather avoid these ingredients.

Animal fat

Animal fats are very rich and can cause blemishes on the face, especially with oily and combination skin. However, dry skin types can benefit from the highly nourishing properties of animal fats, as can body skin. This category includes the ingredient lanolin or wool fat.

vegetable oils

Vegetable oils also have a comedogenic effect in many cases, although they are often used in skin care. They give the skin a lot of moisture and keep it supple, but they can also clog the pores. That is why they are particularly suitable for more mature skin types that no longer produce enough fats themselves. However, some lighter oils such as jojoba oil and rosehip oil are also suitable for impure and oily skin, as they are quickly absorbed and do not lie heavily on the skin. Dry skin types can also benefit from care with rich care oils. However, if you have acne and impure skin, you should refrain from using coconut oil , cocoa butter or olive oil .

mineral oils

Products made from mineral oils such as vaseline are under discussion. Not only because they may be comedogenic, but also because they are harmful to the environment. However, mineral oils provide the basis for a variety of care products such as silicones and, of course,  Vaseline .

Palm oil

Palm oil also has a comedogenic effect, but at the same time forms the basis of a wide range of ingredients in cosmetics. The oil itself is also used in various cosmetics. Palm oil not only has a comedogenic effect, similar to mineral oils, the production of palm oil is often at the expense of the environment.

Avoid comedogenic products

Especially with impure, oily and combination skin you should avoid comedogenic products in order to get an even complexion. There are numerous alternatives that you can incorporate into your grooming routine instead.

Use non-comedogenic conditioners

Although a large number of vegetable oils have a comedogenic effect, there are still numerous care oils that are not comedogenic and are suitable for the care of oily, impure and combination skin. These include the following oils:

  • Argan oil : This care oil, traditionally from Morocco, is absorbed particularly quickly by the skin and provides a great deal of moisture. Although argan oil is particularly suitable for dry skin, other skin types can also benefit from the care oil. It makes the skin appear firm and supple and is absorbed particularly deeply into the skin so that it can also supply moisture to the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Rosehip oil : Rosehip oil is recommended in many places for the care of blemished and greasy skin, as it contains a particularly large number of unsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid. Similar to argan oil, it absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave a greasy film; so it doesn’t clog pores.
  • Jojoba oil : Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is suitable for skin care in many ways and is extremely well tolerated. It contains valuable vitamins such as cell protection vitamin E , provitamin A and valuable B vitamins. It moisturizes all skin types without clogging the pores. In addition, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, which can be particularly helpful for acne and skin blemishes. Instead of triggering new blemishes, jojoba oil can actually fight them.
  • Shea butter : Although shea butter also provides ample moisture, the butter does not have a comedogenic effect and is therefore also recommended for skin blemishes. The fat obtained from the shea nuts contains numerous valuable ingredients with great properties such as allantoin, which promotes inflammation and has a cell-regenerating effect, vitamin E, which as a so-called free-radical scavenger protects the cells from harmful environmental influences, and linoleic acid, which has a skin-soothing effect and can stabilize the skin barrier.
  • Hemp Oil : Hemp oil is also great for skin care as it is non-comedogenic, instead providing a glowing complexion and deeply moisturizing the skin. Dry skin in particular benefits from the moisturizing oil. At the same time, it protects the skin from harmful environmental influences and can even prevent premature skin aging.
  • Grape seed oil : Cold-pressed grape seed oil contains numerous antioxidants and omega-6 fatty acids, which can optimally care for the skin. It provides a lot of moisture, absorbs quickly and protects the cells from possible damage. The care oil is not only suitable for dry skin, but also for oily and combination skin, as it does not clog the pores and can even regulate the flow of sebum.

Look for comedogenic substances on the INCI list

The INCI list describes the list of all ingredients used in a cosmetic. Here the ingredients are often listed under a specific name, which often does not allow you to identify the actual substance, even though you are aware of its comedogenicity. Coconut oil is often listed under its English name Coconut Oil or even Cocos Nucifera . You will find mineral oils under the designation Paraffinum Liquidum and silicones under numerous terms such as dimethicone , polysiloxane and cyclomethicone . Palm oil hides behind the name Ethylhexyl Palmitate , while parts of the oil are also found in substances such asCetearyl Alcohol and Myristyl Myristate .

With this variety of designations, it is often difficult to keep track. It is therefore advisable to use products with only a few ingredients that you at best know or can easily check. Even if the designations seem incomprehensible at first, you should not be put off by them. You can quickly find out about them online and verify their comedogenicity . Natural ingredients such as vegetable oils seem to be recommended at first glance, but “natural” does not necessarily mean better. Many vegetable oils clog the pores and trigger unsightly blackheads or comedones.

Because rich oils settle on the skin and are difficult to absorb, sebum is less able to drain away, while dead skin cells are less easily detached. They collect at the exit of the pore and the skin becomes calloused. At the same time, the sebum, which is supposed to keep the skin supple, can no longer flow out of the pore and accumulates there. A blackhead appears.

Use non-comedogenic makeup

Not only should your skincare preferably be non-comedogenic, but your makeup should also be made with non-comedogenic ingredients so it doesn’t clog pores. Impure, oily and combination skin in particular should make sure when choosing make-up that it is a special product. Sometimes you can even use a product that contains active ingredients that can promote the healing of acne, such as zinc .

Often, non-comedogenic products are specifically labeled on the packaging, but there is no legal regulation as to when a product may call itself comedogenic. If you want to be sure that only non-comedogenic ingredients were used, you should check the INCI list. Note, however, that many conventional cosmetics use silicone , as this substance fills the pores and ensures a more even complexion. In addition, silicones ensure that the make-up lasts longer on the skin.

If these factors are not important to you, you can use natural make-up . Natural cosmetic make-up relies on the use of natural vegetable oils. Again, you should make sure that these are non-comedogenic vegetable oils to avoid skin impurities. As an alternative to liquid make-up, you can also use mineral make-up . This make-up is powdery and does not require the addition of oils. It is therefore particularly suitable for oily, impure and combination skin.

Pay attention to the individual needs of your skin

Even if a product is labeled as “non-comedogenic” and you have checked the ingredients yourself, the product can still cause blemishes on your skin. Every skin reacts differently to certain ingredients and tolerates some substances less well than others. Therefore, you should approach new active ingredients rather slowly and test them on an inconspicuous area of ​​skin before you apply them to your skin over a large area.

You can not only check their comedogenicity, but also whether the substances irritate your skin. This is especially important if you’re using active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid , or retinoids, which can severely dry out and make skin sensitive. While some skin types get along well with more aggressive active ingredients, dry skin in particular reacts very sensitively to such substances. On the other hand, dry skin usually copes better with comedogenic substances, since the pores here usually clog less easily.

But especially if you already suffer from skin blemishes such as pimples and blackheads or even acne, you should refrain from using comedogenic substances and products, as they can further aggravate your complexion and promote the formation of further skin blemishes.

 

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