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Non-Comedogenic Makeup Picks to Give Your Sensitive Skin a Break

Risk-free glam that you and your skin will enjoy.

woman sitting on bed applying powder foundation to her chin
Stocksy

We all love playing around with makeup, but sometimes, your full face beat causes acne. And if you have sensitive skin, certain ingredients can cause flare-ups and create an even worse situation. Well, you can leave those issues in the past with non-comedogenic makeup.

To help you discover the best non-comedogenic makeup available, we consulted skincare experts for their guidance. We also researched 16 picks aligned with their advice.

What Is Non-Comedogenic Makeup?

Non-comedogenic makeup products do not contain pore clogging ingredients, and are safe to use without fear of possible breakouts or congested pores, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Diana Madfes, M.D. They allow your skin to breathe, and don’t cause excess oil, adds cosmetic chemistry and esthetician Elina Fedotova of Elina Organics Spas. “It does not create a greenhouse effect by clogging the pores with synthetic, petroleum-based ingredients and heavy oils. In other words, it is light, breathable, and usually a water-based formulation," she says.

How to Shop for Non-Comedogenic Makeup

Anyone can use non-comedogenic makeup, but those with acne, combination, or oily skin will likely experience its main benefit — meaning fewer breakouts and congested pores. To help you shop smartly, we found a few of the most common ingredients that you’ll likely stumble upon while looking for non-comedogenic makeup.

Best Non-Comedogenic Ingredients

  • Zinc oxide: According to Fedotova, most non-comedogenic makeup contains zinc oxide as the main pigment. "Zinc oxide helps to kill pathogens and has a soothing and calming effect on the skin, as well as reduces breakouts and absorbs excess oil," she says.
  • Titanium Dioxide: Madfes is a fan of titanium dioxide, a sunblocking ingredient that is safe to use on delicate skin, doesn’t leave behind a dreaded white cast, and helps block both UVA and UVB sun rays. (UVA rays cause signs of aging, while UVB rays are known for causing sunburns.)
  • Salicylic acid: It removes excess oil, unclogs pores, and exfoliates your skin, revealing a brighter, more even-toned complexion.

Worst Non-Comedogenic Ingredients

If you're looking to go down the non-comedogenic route with your makeup, Fedotova suggests steering clear of heavy moisturizing ingredients.

  • Heavy oils like mineral and avocado oils are great for hydrating dry skin (especially in the winter), but acne-prone, combination, and oily skin types will likely experience acne from using products containing these ingredients.
  • Ingredients that end in cone, such as dimethicone, an occlusive silicone-based ingredient found in everything from primers and creams to hair products.
  • Petroleum jelly is a mix of mineral oils and waxes that help seal moisture into your skin, which will contest your pores.

Now that you've had the crash course on these gentle cosmetics, check out 16 of our favorite non-comedogenic makeup picks aligned with their skincare advice.

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1
Best Powder Foundation
Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder
Maybelline

We love this powder foundation from Maybelline for a variety of reasons. First off, its mild formula provides an even finish to your skin without the weight and thick feel of a liquid foundation ... all without causing breakouts. Second, the price tag is under $1o — how could you beat that?

More: Why I'm Obsessed With These New Beauty Products

2
Best Setting Powder
Face Powder
COTY AIRSPUN
Now 18% off

If you don't want your makeup to crease or smudge off, using a setting powder is non-negotiable.

Thankfully, this under-$10 pick will get you and your makeup under control. Its non-comedogenic formula can work as a final finish to setting your makeup, or you can even use it on its own as a lightweight foundation. The results: a smoother, softer finish to your skin, sans the dreaded flash-back.

3
Buildable Coverage
Born This Way Foundation
Too Faced

This foundation will give you all of the coverage you need without clogging your pores. Its oil-free, buildable formula allows you to use as little or as much foundation as you need, without making your skin feel irritated or suffocated.

Plus, this foundation comes in 34 shades to choose from, so you'll be able to find your match in no time.

4
Most Nourishing
Clean Fresh Skin Milk Foundation
CoverGirl
Now 32% off

Opt for this affordable, non-comedogenic foundation from CoverGirl on days when you want light coverage. The 100% vegan formula is made with nourishing, good-for-you skincare ingredients like hydrating coconut milk and soothing aloe vera extract. It also has a creamy texture, and doesn't cake when you build up the coverage.

5
Red Carpet Glow
Luminous Silk Foundation
Armani Beauty

Yes, $64 is a lot of money to invest in a foundation, but Armani Beauty's most iconic makeup product is seriously worth your money. It's incredibly lightweight, blends like a dream, and offers light-to-medium buildable coverage. When you wear Luminous Silk Foundation, your dull complexion will become extremely glowy and healthy-looking. It also doesn't cake, settle in fine lines, or oxidize.

“My biggest skincare vice is falling asleep with makeup on my face,” admits our beauty editor Nicole Saunders. “When I do this, most foundations will cause my pores to become visibly congested, and I’ll no doubt experience acne. Luminous Silk Foundation, on the other hand, has never once caused my oily skin to break out.”

6
Best Luxe
Acne Control Oxygenating Foundation
Oxygenetix

We love a budget foundation just as much as the next person, but sometimes, you gotta invest in luxury makeup. Oxygenetix's unique foundation is infused with aloe vera, which helps calm inflammation and redness, while salicylic acid decongests your pores. It's also formulated with ceravitae complex, which helps your skin absorb more oxygen, as well as promotes skin cell production and healing.

This foundation is well-loved by makeup artists and celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, who mixes the shades Honey and Almond to get her perfect color match. "I swear that this is one of the things that helped really get my skin together,” Kardashian said in her Vogue Beauty Secrets video.

7
Best Mineral Foundation
Original Foundation SPF 15
bareMinerals

When it comes to clean, irritant-free beauty, bareMinerals is the O.G.

This foundation has been a bestseller for years, with its gentle, easy-to-use formula that's created with just five vegan mineral ingredients. You won't find any unnecessary additives, binders, fillers, or talc in this foundation — just clean complexion coverage that stands the test of time.

8
Best Shade Range
Teint Idole Ultra Liquid Foundation
Lancôme

If you can't seem to find your perfect shade anywhere, this liquid foundation is definitely worth a try. Its long-lasting formula comes in an impressive 50 shades, and it will leave you with a flawlessly matte finish, no matter your skin tone. Plus, it also contains SPF 15 for a sun-protection boost.

9
Best for Body
Quick-Fix Body Foundation
Dermablend

Let's be real here — body acne happens, and it's a real pain to deal with. So, while you're waiting for your bacne flare-up to calm down, feel free to cover up any unsightly zits and hyperpigmentation with this body foundation stick.

Its full-coverage formula can even out unsightly varicose or spider veins, stretch marks, scars, bruises, and burns without clogging pores or causing irritation. This thick formula can even conceal tattoos!

10
Best for Acne
SkinClearing Oil-Free Liquid Foundation
Neutrogena
Now 29% off

Who said you have to shell out tons of money for a good foundation? This one from Neutrogena is probably one of the best formulas we've ever come by, and it costs around $10!

This liquid foundation gives you a full-coverage finish, but won't clog your pores, thanks to the addition of exfoliating salicylic acid. We swear your pores will feel and look invisible after using this drugstore favorite.

11
Best Tinted Moisturizer
Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
Laura Mercier

Why use foundation and moisturizer when you can get both jobs done with one product? This oil-free, tinted moisturizer comes in 20 different shades to choose from, and blends seamlessly into skin. The results? Lightweight, breathable coverage without any breakouts.

12
Best of Clean Beauty
Babassu Foundcealer Foundation
Tarte

Looking for a clean, green beauty routine? Then add this vegan, hypoallergenic foundation to your roster. Its customizable finish allows you to use as much or as little as you’d like, and it’s also rich in skincare saviors like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

No color-changing oxidization, fine lines, or “cake face” from this foundation — just clear complexions and a featherweight feel.

13
Lightest Coverage
Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation
ILIA

Looking to even out your skin tone? Then, this lightweight, tint-in-serum is perfect for you: It instantly absorbs into skin to give your complexion a smoother, even tone, while a blend of hydrating hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide plump and moisturize for a more youthful appearance. “These ingredients are safe for all skin types,” notes Madfes.

Plus, it contains broad-spectrum SPF 40 to guard your precious pores from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

14
Best Bronzer
Murumuru Butter Bronzer
Physicians Formula

The name says it all: This buttery bronzer has been a fan favorite of both drugstore beauty obsessives and luxury mavens alike, thanks to its rich, velvety formula. Its pigment won't cause any harm to your delicate complexion — just expect chiseled cheekbones and faux post-vacay warmth on your skin.

15
Best Primer
Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
Dr. Brandt Skincare

Under every great foundation is an even greater primer, which is why we're obsessed with this one from Dr. Brandt Skincare. This pick acts as a two-in-one pore refiner and makeup primer to minimize the look of pores while mattifying the skin for a clear and even canvas for your foundation.

Not wearing any complexion makeup for the day? Feel free to swipe this salicylic acid-infused formula on by itself for an oil-free, matte finish to your complexion.

16
Best Concealer
Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer
Estée Lauder

OK, you have your foundation, but what about your concealer? If you're trying to make the full switch into the world of non-comedogenic makeup, then this concealer is an essential.

Its buildable formula comes in 19 shades to choose from, and its oil-free formula works to mattify skin for a grease-free look. It’s also infused with natural minerals and emollients to condition skin, so it never creases or feels dry.

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