What does non-comedogenic really mean?
We've talked about common beauty buzzwords before. Terms like hypoallergenic, natural, and chemical-free are thrown around without having much meaning at all. In fact, there is no regulation of these terms and they can be used to make the product more enticing without any repercussions.
One of the most commonly used buzzwords in beauty and skin care is "Non-Comedogenic".
The medical definition of comedogenic is tending to clog pores especially by the formation of blackheads. Non-comedogenic, in skin care speak, implies that a product will not block pores, leading to acne breakouts. It's a term slapped on product bottles with wild abandon in the beauty industry.
5 Skin Care Truths
- A product called non-comedogenic can still cause acne.
- The FDA does not regulate the term non-comedogenic.
- There is no accredited standard or test to determine whether an ingredient is truly non-comedogenic.
- The only test at this time being used to see if a product may be likely to cause pore clogging is by animal testing on the ears of lab rabbits. Ethical issues arise from this method of testing, obviously, and the fact remains that bunny ears and human skin are not the same.
- My skin is not the same as yours. Yours is not the same as mine. We all know that human skin is not one size fits all. For example, you may break out if you use a product with coconut oil, while I may not. Your skin might be dry. Mine could be oily. My pores may be larger. Yours could be smaller. Do you see what I mean?
The Bottom Line
What we do know is that certain ingredients may be more likely to clog the pores. Bismuth oxychloride, for example, is an ingredient used in mineral makeup that is commonly an acne-causing culprit, as is Propylene Glycol Monostearate in skin care.
Instead of trying to avoid certain ingredients based on a "list" of what may or may not be pore-clogging, my best advice based on 23+ years in the skin care industry is this:
- Make sure you have a consistent skin care routine. Cleanse, tone, and moisturize daily with facial skin care products with good for you ingredients like Seed Advanced Botanicals.
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day. The environmental debris on our fingers, the phone, and anything else we may touch against our skin can transfer bacteria.
- Wash your pillowcases often. Think about it. You have your face touching your pillowcase for several hours in a row. Your pillowcases collect dirt and bacteria. Just by sleeping against a dirty pillow case, you may be clogging your pores.
- Are you washing your makeup brushes regularly (weekly)? Makeup brushes are a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. If you are not washing your brushes often, you are transferring sebum from the bristles back onto your skin every time you apply your makeup.
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