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Non-comedogenic. It’s a mouthful, right? As intimidating and clinical as this term may sound, it’s actually a very verbose way of saying that the product in question won't clog your pores.
This is useful to know for several reasons, but mostly because nobody wants clogged pores, and especially not from their skincare or makeup products. Clogged pores are the jumping-off point for a host of skin issues—breakouts, rough texture, uneven tone, you name it. When you use a formula that is specially created to prevent these issues, you’ve got a non-comedogenic formula. While it’s not a bad idea for anyone to try a non-comedogenic formula, they’re especially great for those who have oily skin, or are prone to whiteheads or acne, says Dr. Jessie Cheung, a dermatologist in Willowbrook, IL.
Here, find our picks of the best non-comedogenic moisturizers for all skin types.
Best Overall: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
You’ve gotta love a good classic. Beloved by dermatologists and beauty aficionados alike, this popular formula is a no-brainer. Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, it works for all skin types—even acne-prone or easily irritated skin. Users enjoy how it leaves their skin feeling supple and refreshed, but without that greasy or oily feeling. To that point, Cheung notes that it, “mimics your skin’s natural oil composition, without feeling greasy or heavy.”
Best Balm: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm
Creams are great, but for skin concerns that require heavy-duty solutions, there’s the balm. Rich, thick, and packed with major hydrators, this overnight balm should be the last skincare product applied in your regimen as it seals everything in. One user notes that after consistent use, her complexion looked less splotchy and more even.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer
With a citrusy grapefruit scent, this breakout-banisher clears and prevents blemishes over time. Because this potent formula is made with salicylic acid, apply a thin layer over the affected area. Start with once a day and gradually build up to three times daily. Although it can cause drying of the skin (salicylic acid is powerful, after all), users report that their skin doesn’t feel dry or taut after use.
Best for Aging Skin: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin and oil often found in anti-oxidant blend topicals or moisturizers. It also helps soothe the skin and protects the lipid barrier.
Restore your skin’s natural radiance without irritating it. With essential lipids, oils, and vitamin E, this powerful formula does a slew of amazing things for your skin. With every application, you're improving its elasticity, plumping fine lines and wrinkles, protecting against free radical damage, and smoothing the complexion. Users love how rich and luxurious the texture feels against the skin.
Best for Body: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry Sensitive Skin
Emollients serve as softening and moisture-locking agents, like kinds of butter, oils, esters, lipids, and fatty acids. It can also be used to describe a category of products that contain these ingredients, like lotions, creams, and ointments.
While we love the richness of this cream, the best thing about it is that you can literally find it anywhere. From your local drugstore to Amazon, this cream is super accessible. Packed with emollients and humectants, the formula essentially draws and binds water to your skin to keep it plump and hydrated all day long.
Best with SPF: Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++
Target blemishes and signs of aging with this lightweight moisturizer from Murad. This fast-absorbing moisturizer is designed to keep pores clear and the skin glowing. Along with all of these benefits, it contains the highest level of UVA protection PA+++ so your skin will be safe from sun damage and signs of premature aging.
Best for Combination Skin: Bliss Drench & Quench Cream-to-Water Hydrator
This transformative formula changes its consistency from cream to water once it hits the skin. With over 10,000 marine micro-droplets, it hydrates from the moment it seeps in and lasts all day long. Reviewers not only appreciate the unique formula and texture but also how versatile it is for multiple skin types. We like it most for combination skin because it provides an intense, but gentle moisturization that feels weightless.
Best for Dry Skin: Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.
Is your skin thirsty, dehydrated, and losing its elasticity? With four types of hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and olive oil, this intensely hydrating formula locks in moisture. Because of its moisturizing properties, it’s a great option for not only dry skin types but also mature skin. It works to help firm the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles. Plus, we love that it doubles as a makeup primer as it sets a seamless base.
Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer
Bring your skin back to a healthier state with this daily moisturizer. Its ultra-gentle formula makes it perfect for even the most sensitive skin. It’s also chockfull of good-for-skin ingredients like natural ceramides, prebiotic thermal water, and vitamin B3. It’s equal parts soothing, calming, and hydrating—making it a three-hit wonder.
Best Gel: Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream
Quick absorption, grease-less feel, and a dewy finish are just some of the benefits of this formula. Turn back the clock with ingredients like ashitaba and citrus unshiu peel extract—both of which encourage youthful, super soft skin. Moisturize while targeting dullness and fine lines with this lightweight gel cream.
Best Luxury: Tatcha The Water Cream
Rich in nutrients and botanicals, this ultra-plush formula feels like heaven on the skin. Infused with high-quality green tea, algae, and protein-packed rice, it deeply hydrates and restores a healthy radiance. As if it wasn’t luxurious enough, it also includes a hint of 23-karat gold, for the ultimate gorgeous glow.
If you’re prone to clogged pores or breakouts, you definitely need a non-comedogenic moisturizer in your life. You can’t go wrong with the classic CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which won’t clog pores, despite how nice and hydrating it is. If you’re battling breakouts, try the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer; if you want an option with built-in sun protection, go for the Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++. And if your skin falls more on the combination end of the spectrum, you’ll love the Bliss Drench & Quench Cream-to-Water Hydrator.
What to look for in a non-comedogenic moisturizer
Additional exfoliating acids
Cheung says that formulas that contain alpha- and/or beta-hydroxy acids are great, especially for those with oily skin, as they help gently exfoliate and help further dissolve excess oil.
You don’t want the moisturizer to clog pores, but you do want it to hydrate. Cheung says choosing moisturizers with humectants, lightweight hydrating ingredients that attract water to and trap it in the skin, are ideal to look for in non-comedogenic formulas. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are two of her faves.
How we test non-comedogenic moisturizers
Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain products; you can read more about our product review methodology here.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any non-comedogenic makeup from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.