Breaking it Down: What Does Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic Mean?

Breaking it Down: What Does Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic Mean?

For those with sensitive skin like me, reading labels and checking what will be going on my face really matters.

The product can be super expensive but if it isn’t formulated to at least be either Non-Acnegenic or Non-Comedogenic, I’ll be seeing bumps on my face within a couple of days or less. And even when it’s Non-Acnegenic or Non-Comedogenic, it can be a hit or miss but the chances of breaking out are significantly reduced.


So if you’re like me and are unfortunate enough to have quite sensitive skin, keep reading…


Now when it comes to the terms Non-Acnegenic or Non-Comedogenic, many people use the terms synonymously even though they are different.


Let’s break it down…


To proceed in defining and differentiating these two terms, let me start by defining certain phrases in-between: 

  • Acne – This is an inflammatory condition basically on the skin which is caused by a lot of  oil on your skin and dead skin cells that clog your skin pores. Acne, which is a whole other  topic, can be very stubborn to deal with, when possible, prevention is key.
  • Blackheads – This is a situation when your skin produces excess oil that combines with dead skin in the pore (pores are those tiny openings in the skin, for some people they are clearly visible while for others a very close look would reveal the openings) which eventually forms a clog that makes it enlarge. Once this oil is trapped by the dead skin cells, it oxidizes. And once it is exposed to air, it results in a blackhead.


Having defined Acne and Blackheads above, we can go further in explaining what Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic means. But before that…


Defining Acnegenic and Comedogenic:

  • Acnegenic Means products that have a high possibility of acne or pimples breakout.
  • Comedogenic From the word comedogenic, we get the word ‘come done,’ which literally means ‘blackheads.’ This is a type of imperfection which forms on the skin and forms as a result of clogged pores; they can be one of the mildest forms of acne. To give a conclusive definition we refer to products that a high tendency of clogging pores and also causes blackheads.


Non-Acnegenic vs. Non-Comedogenic




Now that we know the background behind the two terms let’s get to what it really means!

  • Non-Acnegenic on the other hand is a term that refers to a product formulated to be less likely to cause acne or pimple outbreak on the skin. These products or cosmetics do not have ingredients that are harsh or that could irritate the skin, no oil content and fragrances; in fact, it can reduce the build-up of oil on your skin. This reduces the risk of acne formation.
  • Non-Comedogenic is the opposite of what comedogenic is, which is products that are less likely to cause clogging in pores and blackheads. Many of these products have a high content of vitamin A (retinol) or salicylic and citrus acid. 


Now knowing what Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic means, we can take a quick look at the differences between Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic.


Having done research on these two terms in question, I discovered that there isn’t too much difference between Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic, the two terms play almost the same roles dealing with skin blemishes. However, there are still one or two dissimilarities:

  • Non-Acnegenic simply implies that it won’t cause pimples or acne. Products with such labels tell you that using them will not have any allergic reactions on your skin that would result in a breakout such as acne or pimples.
  • Non-Comedogenic means that products with this label, contains ingredients that will not cause blackheads and whiteheads, it leaves no clog pores on your skin, I would like you to note that these products are not totally oil free, in fact, they may still have oils in them.
  • Non-Acnegenic is oil free. Thereby reducing the possibility of acne or pimple breakout.
  • Non-Comedogenic does not clog pores and like mentioned above is not totally oil free.




To look beautiful and maintain beauty takes a lot of work. You need to care for your skin and be gentle on it. What you apply to your skin matters so much. In order to avoid such, you are on the lookout for products that are Hypoallergenic (depending on how your skin takes it, means that products may or may not give you allergic reaction.), Non-Acnegenic ( as defined above; simply no breakouts), Non-Comedogenic (also implies as we earlier mentioned, products that do not clog pores and no breakouts) some evidence has claims that it is good for women that want to improve their looks. Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic products are said to be sub-categories of hypoallergenic.

Keep this in mind when trying to maintain that beautiful skin.

Unfortunately, most products are animal tested (by a Dermatologist) and therefore it implies that it cannot guarantee what reaction your skin will have. What doesn’t cause clog pores, acne or breakouts of blackheads to an animal might be otherwise to a human. Your skin cannot be same as an animal, so be careful when choosing the right cosmetics or skincare products to use.

There are no approved or regulated guidelines or standards for these terms as used by a particular company, not even by the United States Food and Drug Agency(FDA).

So while the two terms should be used as a general guide, but like I mentioned earlier there is no guarantee that you won’t breakout from using a product claiming to be either Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic.

As much as oils are great for the skin, you will need to go for oil-free products; it will help maintain your skin’s essentials. Do not use bar soap or any other skincare products that clog pores. The ingredients in a bar soap that keep it solid can clog skin pores.

Remember to be gentle on your skin, avoid using waxy and heavy cosmetics, protect yourself from sun damage which can weaken the skin and cause sunspots and wrinkles.

You should also consider this point very important. Avoid sleeping overnight with cosmetics on your skin. Neglecting to remove all of your makeup before sleeping can make clogged pores worse. Also, have you heard that a night with makeup on can cause you to age a whole 7 days?!

Well there it is. A hopefully simple break down of what Non-Acnegenic and Non-Comedogenic means. So if you have sensitive skin that keeps breaking out, check the label on products and see if you can save yourself a few breakouts and even bucks.


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