Whether you suffer from acne, have oily, sensitive or even dry skin, a non-comedogenic concealer is perfect for worry-free touch ups. In this article, we compare creams, liquids and mineral powders from leading brands to help you find the right one for your skin. We've even ranked the top 8 best in the UK available to buy on Amazon, Boots and John Lewis!
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Any ingredient which is likely to cause blocked pores can be termed ‘comedogenic’. Therefore ‘non-comedogenic’ concealers are products containing ingredients that won't clog your pores.
Many cosmetics claim to be ‘non-comedogenic’, but there are no official guidelines that state what such products should or should not contain. Some products labelled as such still contain ingredients which can block our pores. That’s why we’ve put together this article to help you find a product which lives up to its name!
What's in a concealer is what makes it effective for your skin. Products on the market today contain a wide variety of ingredients, from plant-based to skin-safe chemicals. What you need to look for is a concealer with gentle ingredients which won’t clog your pores and cause surprise breakouts when all you wanted was to disguise them!
Salycilic acid, otherwise known as beta-hydroxy acid or BHA, has a molecular makeup that's oil soluble. This helps it to penetrate deep down into the pores, without clogging them. Once there, it is then able to loosen the bonds between skin cells, acting as a mild exfoliant and a real a blessing for those with acne-prone skin.
Other ingredients which may help a non-comedogenic concealer provide extra benefits for your skin include aloe vera, which is anti-inflammatory and soothes redness and irritation, and tea tree oil, which is anti-bacterial and can calm inflamed pores. Camomile and calendula both have antiseptic properties which help them reduce the spread of acne and encourage existing marks to fade.
If your concealer has a high alcohol content it's likely to be very drying for skin. Once skin becomes dried out, it goes into sebum-producing overdrive. This leads to excess oil and, ultimately, clogged-up pores! Talc is another drying ingredient to watch out for, which can have a negative impact on cell renewal and the overall appearance of your skin.
Silica is found in many products, and is a naturally occurring mineral. Silica's potential benefits for oily skin is that it's absorbent and prevents light reflection, giving a matte look. However, this tricky mineral is also an abrasive, which can irritate sensitive skin and exacerbate dryness.
On the other hand, a moisturising concealer that's heavy in oils can also lead to blocked pores. Avoid concealers with a very thick consistency and ones with a high oil content, as these can build up on your skin and result in worsening any acne you already have.
Some people’s skin will become irritated by concealers containing silicones. These are ingredients ending in -cone, -conol, -silane or -siloxane. While silicones give concealers their smooth finish, it’s worth being aware that aggravated pores can often become inflamed and infected, causing the very blemishes you were hoping to avoid.
Another ingredient which can cause irritation, particularly for sensitive skin, is bismuth oxychloride. A compound of metal, chlorine and oxygen, it creates a silky texture and luminous glow. However, some skin types can have a bad reaction to this ingredient, resulting in tiny sore bumps and even cystic acne.
We recommend that you always check the packaging and proceed with serious caution if you’re trying a concealer containing these ingredients for the first time.
When you pick a non-comedogenic concealer, ideally you want to look for one with a relatively short ingredients list. The fewer ingredients you put onto your skin, the less chance you have of blocking or irritating pores and the better overall appearance you will achieve with your make-up.
At the same time, it's almost impossible to find a concealer with a so-called ‘perfect’ ingredients list. A key thing to remember when comparing formulations is that the higher an ingredient appears on the list, the more of it there will be in your product.
So, if you see comedogenic ingredients appearing within the first 10 or 12 ingredients, the product will have a fairly high concentration. However, if they are further towards the end, you can usually rest assured that there is a nearly negligible quantity in your concealer.
Concealers are available to buy as liquids, powders and creams. Each type has its own benefits and disadvantages when it comes to ease of application, coverage and how non-comedogenic it will actually be!
The downside is that even those billed as non-comedogenic may contain ingredients such as preservatives and stabilisers, which build up on the skin and trap dirt - making them more clogging than other options.
On the other hand, unlike liquids which ooze freely into every nook and cranny, a light, creamy concealer with suitable ingredients will play less havoc on pores overall.
Possibly your best bet when it comes to finding a non-comedogenic option is a mineral powder concealer. Powders may initially appear to be too translucent or fine to cover dark circles and blemishes, but mineral versions can be gently built up to create full coverage without suffocating your pores.
Best of all, the ingredients lists for mineral concealers will often have as few as four or five ingredients. So you can limit the amount of potentially clogging ingredients you put on your skin.
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NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Silky Smooth Concealer in a Vast Range of Shades
Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer
A Bargain Fix for Breakouts
Bare Minerals Blemish Remedy Concealer
A Waterproof Concealer for Daily Wear
Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer
Build Up Gentle Coverage While Nourishing Your Skin
Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Concealer Stick
Treat and Conceal Acne Prone Skin
NYX Professional Makeup
NYX Professional Makeup High Definition Concealer Wand
Lightweight Coverage for Sensitive Skin
CLINIQUE ANTI BLEMISH clearing concealer
Blemish Clearing Concealer With Salicylic Acid
Barry M Cosmetics
Almay Clear Complexion Concealer
Moisturise and Conceal With Vitamin E
Though this product contains silica, it does boast the anti-inflammatory properties of camomile. So not only will it cover your spots, but help to reduce swelling and redness.
This products blends seamlessly into the skin, both on top and underneath makeup. And while kaolin can prove drying for certain skin types, when paired with the small percentage of seed oils, it reduce shine by balancing sebum production.
Boots' Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Concealer Stick contains two of the best anti-bacterial and inflammatory natural ingredients for treating acne-prone skin. This makes it an excellent choice for helping to heal breakouts as they appear, rather than just covering them up.
While this is perfect for applying to problem areas around the forehead, cheeks and chin, you'll want to avoid putting it too close to your eyes. This is because the active ingredients may cause stinging and irritation. It also only comes in one shade, which is a shame.
This specially formulated concealer is directly aimed at clearing acne breakouts. It promises to deal with the clogged pores that lead to spots, while keeping them covered up at the same time.The added bonus of salicylic acid makes this an excellent choice for anyone with spot-prone skin.
One drawback is that the colour range doesn’t cater to darker skin tones, which is disappointing. Here’s hoping the brand works towards a more varied and inclusive selection of shades as soon as possible!
Choosing cosmetics can be a real minefield for those of us with oily and acne-prone skin! You want to look your best and experiment with new looks, but how can you guarantee your kit isn't going to further aggravate your complexion? Check out these other articles for more advice and recommendations on selecting the best acne-safe makeup in the UK.
We hope after reading this article you will be able to find the perfect non-comedogenic concealer for oily and acne-prone skin. Remember that everyone’s skin is different, so it’s always worthwhile to try out a few different products before you settle on the right one!
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: NARS｜NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
No. 2: Maybelline ｜Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer
No. 3: Bare Minerals｜Bare Minerals Blemish Remedy Concealer
No. 4: Lily Lolo ｜Lily Lolo Mineral Concealer
No. 5: Boots｜Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Concealer Stick
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