When you have acne-prone skin, finding the right foundation is hard — and when you finally do, you never want to let it go. The process of scouting the perfect formula in the first place means paying close attention to a few qualifiers: level of coverage, texture, finish, and the potential for clogging pores. That's where the term "non-comedogenic" comes in.
"'Non-comedogenic' is a term used to describe a product that will not block pores and promote acne," says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital. Not to be confused with oil-free products — as most, but not all oil-free products are also non-comedogenic, Dr. Zeichner explains — non-comedogenic translates to being free of pore-clogging ingredients, whereas oil-free applies to products that do not contain petrolatum, but can still contain alternative oils.
Most dermatologists do stand by the recommendation to look for non-comedogenic formulas, but the claim itself is actually flawed: There is no approved industry regulation for that label. Some brands place the term on their products based only on the fact that they don't contain certain individual ingredients known to block pores, without actually testing to prove that the formula doesn't cause breakouts. That’s why it’s crucial to still look at the ingredients list, even if the the product boasts the non-comedogenic claim.
To help cut down on the time you spend deciphering the itty-bitty print on the back of the bottle, we've researched the products that don't just say they're non-comedogenic, but actually don't include common skin-clogging culprits (like petrolatum, which Dr. Zeichner says is the biggest offender). The best non-comedogenic foundations on the market, ahead.
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