Oily Skin? These 6 Foundations Won't Clog Your Pores

Amy Lewis


When it comes to keeping acne, breakouts and large pores at bay during the day, non-comedogenic foundation is the way to go. Why? Because the formulas have been developed to avoid clogging your pores and prevent the cyclical drama of covering up your blemishes only to create new ones. But before we dive into our pick of the very best non-comedogenic foundations on the market, let’s break down what it all means, starting with: What are comedones, anyway?

So the medical name for a clogged pore (pores, by the way, are just hair follicles) is a comedo. Comedones can be either open, aka a blackhead, when the oil and bacteria clogging the pore have become oxidised by the air and changed colour, or closed, aka a whitehead, which is buried just underneath the skin. If you tend to have larger, more open pores on your face, then slathering on heavy makeup every day is going to congest your skin, resulting in more comedones—no matter how thoroughly you cleanse and exfoliate. So it’s a good idea to look for non-comedogenic formulas, which swap traditional makeup ingredients for lighter, less oily alternatives that’ll be less likely to sit in your pores and cause blockages.

One word of warning, however; much like the term hypoallergenic, there’s currently no approved industry regulation of non-comedogenic standards. In other words, there’s no official test or checklist a product needs to meet before it can sport the label. That’s why it’s super important to do your research. Now, what might clog the pores of one face may not necessarily affect another in the same way (which is why regulation is so difficult), but it’s a good idea to check the ingredients list for heavy or thick oils and emollients such as cocoa butter, coconut oil (or butter), isopropyl myristate, isopropyl isostearate, acetylated lanolin and myristyl myristate, which are all known clogging culprits.

Keep scrolling for the Byrdie edit of the best non-comedogenic foundations.

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