Non-comedogenic cosmetics are products which have been tested on the oily skins of human volunteers or inside
rabbit ears. These products are less likely to cause blackheads (open comedones) or whiteheads (closed comedones) in patients. However, no single product is non-comedogenic for everyone.
For example, a person with very oily skin may still get skin breakouts from products that another person with mildly oily skin may find non-comedogenic. A better term may be non-acnegenic rather than non-comedogenic, but this is not so widely used. It is important to test a new product on your own skin rather than rely on the label, before using it freely.
There are moisturizers labeled oil-free which have a very thin consistency. These have been tested in old animal models and have been proven to be oil-free. Most people who are acne-prone or who have oily skin do not even need these products. There are moisturizers labeled non-comedogenic which are usually thicker than the oil-free products, these may
be suitable when the ambient humidity is dry. When the patient is exercising or if the air is hot and humid, these moisturizers may be comedogenic.
There are some products, which are suitable for oily skin, most liquid cleansers are not as helpful for oily skin as bar soaps or synthetic detergents. Some deodorant soaps or cleansers may be helpful for oily skin. Care must be taken not to over dry the skin with a strong cleanser for fear that the skin will re-bound with extra oil. Often a good gentle face bar soap, or gentle cleansers such as will be more likely to allow for patient satisfaction.
When the patient actually has acne and not just oily skin, many acne cleansers are available and many companies have cleansers made specifically for acne. There are benzoyl peroxide cleansers in the form of 5 and 10 % bar soaps and liquid cleansers, which are very effective in controlling acne breakouts.
Foundations for acne prone skin are often formulated to be like a shake lotion the color contents settle on the bottom while the opaque or clear solution is on the top. The bottle is shaken before the foundation is applied, these are the least elegant oil free cosmetics. Most foundations remain mixed together but are not heavy or thick. It is not necessary to have poor coverage in foundations for oily or acne prone skin. Titanium dioxide is the ingredient which allows for better coverage, and that ingredient is not oily, varying amounts of starch and kaolin will thicken up the products without causing acne.
For those who actually have acne prone skin, the addition of 1-2% salicylic acid may be partially therapeutic. For patients who need a blotter for the excess oil in their skin, extra amounts of starch, kaolin, and polymers which absorb sebum may be added.
The active ingredients of sunscreens UVB blockers such as Cinnamates, Octocrylene, Salicylates, and UVA blockers such as Benzophenones, Parsol 1789 (avobenzone), micronized zinc or titanium dioxide, are not themselves comedogenic. These ingredients can be incorporated into foundations, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and oil-free bases. The least comedogenic sunscreens are usually formulated into gel formulations.