What does Non-Comedogenic Mean?
Comedogenic ingredients are those that can clog up your pores and result in Comedones. A comedo (plural comedones) is the name given to a hair follicle within the skin that has become clogged up. Comedones are whiteheads and blackheads and are a common characteristic of early acne. The hair follicle shows as a pore, and can be clogged by excess oil, dead skin cells and other impurities. Open comedones are prone to oxidization, which discolors all the impurities clogging the pore, and are known as blackheads. Whiteheads on the other hand are closed comedones and display themselves as small white spots, potentially causing the development of blemishes and worsening of acne.
If are prone to breakouts or suffer from acne, it is best to look for non-comedogenic ingredients.
Using makeup or skincare with Comedogenic ingredients will continue to make breakouts worse, starting a vicious cycle of trying to cover congestion with products that cause it.
Comedogenic ingredients are used in a variety of products from makeup and sunscreen to cleansers and moisturizers and therefore it is essential that you are aware of these when you are selecting products.
Comedogenic ingredients are usually classified with different levels. Some are strongly comedogenic and others less likely to cause problems.
The fact that all of us tend differently to ingredients is why this is the case; what works for one person might trigger breakouts in another. You may find all of these ingredients fine on your skin but there are still some ingredients that are strongly linked with causing breakouts.
Comedogenicity is a complicated process that can vary from individual to individual. One interesting observation is that human sebum is itself comedogenic. A substance can be comedogenic for several reasons. It can contribute directly to the formation of a plug in the hair follicle. This could potentially occur with a substance that triggers the coagulation of free sebum.
A substance could also be comedogenic because it triggers an allergic reaction and/or inflammation. Substances like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) are common ingredients in topical preparations and but can cause allergic reactions in some individuals and are generally considered comedogenic.
When looking at ingredients, look at what is in the first few ingredients, as ingredients are listed in order of quantity. If a comedogenic ingredient is at the end of a list, the quantity is likely to be so small as to not cause issues for most people.
So, the main ingredients to watch out for are:
- Isopropyl Isostearate
- Myristyl Myristate
- Acetylated Lanolin
- Coconut butter/oil
- Cocoa butter
- Pigments & Dyes (red in particular)
- Coal Tar
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Coconut Cocoa oils and butters are very commonly used on skincare and haircare products, in-fact there is a huge craze around coconut oil. The beauty of our exotic superfruit oils such as buriti, açaí, cupuaçu, babassu, andiroba is the fact that they have high fatty acid content, and in particular linoleic acid. The higher the linoleic acid content the least comedogenic the ingredient is. Our oils and butters also possess great anti-inflammatory properties which make great sensitive skin best friends.
Oils that are high in linoleic acid (an Omega-6 fatty acid) are best for those concerned with acne and breakout-prone skin. Individuals with acne have been shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin surface lipids (source). Note that it is not an internal deficiency, as most people actually consume too much Omega-6, so topical application is best.
Linoleic acid is an Omega- 6 essential fatty acid that the body cannot produce on it's own, it must be taken in by outside sources. Topical application of oils high in linoleic acid.
But as far as propensity to blemishes is concerned, it is very important to remember to cleanse and remove your makeup fully – even on days when you are not wearing much. Unclogging and cleansing can take time and it is recommended that you make a habit of cleansing daily. Cleansing with a sulfate-free cleanser or bar based on organic ingredients will not only help to remove impurities, but will also help to avoid irritability and inflammation. We have put together fantastic whole body cleanser and bar.
Avoid using harsh scrubs as these can aggravate and irritate your skin. Instead use gentle cleansers alongside gentle exfoliators to help remove excess oils and dirt. Our Exfoliating and Brightening Mud was especially formulated for folks with sensitive skin and propensity to blemishes. We utilized the best of nature, using high omega 6/fatty acid rich superfruit oils. We also use Açaí seeds as the exfoliator agent, a gentle, microbead-free & antioxidant-rich exfoliator; as well as Amazonian White Clay which is known as the world's most perfect beauty ingredient given its ability to remove impurities while silmulteneously removing oiliness and dry patches for a flawless, mattified look.
For those of you with acne prone skin who are looking for a safe oil to use on your skin, check out our Brazilian Glow Radiance & Renewal Multi-tasking Oil made with linoleic fatty acid rich oils & Argan plant stem cells to give you a non-comedogenic alternative to skin, hair, nail hydration while providing fabulous anti-aging benefits
If you prefer to opt for an emulsion formula, check out our Moisture firming repair butter, made with Cupuaçu and Murumuru butters, both high in Omega-6 Fatty Acids. And fun fact: Cupuaçu butter is more moisturizing than both Shea Butter and Lanolin. It's vegan and sustainably harvested, so good for you and good for earth.
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