Non-comedogenic. It’s a mouthful, right? As clinical as this term may sound, it’s actually very easy to explain. "Simply put, non-comedogenic moisturizers contain ingredients that won't clog or block your pores," says certified aesthetic nurse specialist and a board-certified nurse practitioner, Christine Adams. Clogged pores are the jumping-off point for a host of skin issues—breakouts, rough texture, uneven tone, you name it.
But a non-comedogenic formula, specially created to prevent these issues is great for those who have oily skin, or are prone to whiteheads or acne, says Dr. Jessie Cheung, a board-certified dermatologist. But anyone can benefit from using a non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
Our top non-comedogenic moisturizer pick is the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. Its nourishing formula contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid for hydrated, healthy skin. We also love the more affordable Urban Hydration Bright & Balanced Gel Moisturizer, which works to soothe the skin and fade dark spots, without clogging your pores.
To find the best non-comedogenic moisturizers on the market, we conducted hours of research, looking through hundreds of reviews and evaluating each product on their active ingredients and their ability to hydrate—without clogging pores or causing breakouts. With recommendations from an aesthetic nurse and dermatologist, and after considering multiple options, we chose these 12 top-rated formulas as the best of the best.
Here, find our picks of the best non-comedogenic moisturizers for all skin types.
Best Overall: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Who else recommends it? The Strategist, NBC News, and Verywell Health all picked CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
What do buyers say? 86% of 82,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
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. Cheung notes that it, “mimics your skin’s natural oil composition, without feeling greasy or heavy," making it one of her favorites.
Reviewers of this product can attest to this, commenting that they enjoy how it leaves their skin feeling supple and refreshed, but without that oily feeling. That hydration is coming from the hyaluronic acid that's present in the formula, alongside three types of ceramides to further moisturize and strengthen the skin barrier.Because it has these naturally soothing ingredients, it's almost guaranteed that this moisturizer will be a beneficial addition to your skin care routine.
Price at time of publish: $18
Active Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid | Skin Type: Balanced, dry | Size: 12 or 16 ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"This cream is especially good for those with extremely dry skin, or skin that dries out halfway through the day. One application will last the entire day." — Jen Adkins, Product Tester
Best Budget: Urban Hydration Bright & Balanced Aloe Vera Daily Gel Moisturizer
Helps fade dark spots
If you're unsure what to look for when shopping for non-comedogenic formulas, Adams recommends "aloe vera, vitamin C, and glycerin." This lightweight pick contains two (aloe vera and glycerin), and is extremely affordable. Plus, the plant-based moisturizer works to heal the skin and can even help fade dark spots, without clogging your pores or creating breakouts.
Price at time of publish: $10
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera leaf extract, cucumber extract, glycerin, castor oil | Skin Type: Combination, oily, acne-prone, sensitive | Size: 2.5 fluid ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes
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. This potent formula is made with salicylic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid that has anti-inflammatory properties and works to reduce acne. Because salicylic acid can be strong for some, you only want tot apply a thin layer over the affected area. Start with once a day and gradually build up to three times daily. Although it may cause drying of the skin, users report that their skin doesn’t feel dry or taut after use.
Price at time of publish: $9
Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid | Skin Type: Acne-prone | Size: 4 fluid ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"There was an unexpected pleasant perk of using this moisturizer on my décolletage. It zapped a couple of small whiteheads on my chest that had been there for a while after three applications day and night." — Bianca Lambert, Product Tester
According to Adams, all skin care ingredients fall somewhere from 0 to 5 on the comedogenic rating scale, which shows how likely a specific ingredient can clog your pores. Some examples of ingredients that land at a 0 are vitamin C, glycerin, and aloe vera. Not all oils are potentially comedogenic, either. For example, evening primrose oil scores a 2 on the comedogenic rating scale. Coconut oil, on the other hand, a known occlusive, is rated at a 4.
Best Balm: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm
Can be used on lips, elbows, knees
Creams are great, but for skin concerns that require heavy-duty solutions, a balm might be more effective. Rich, thick, and packed with major hydrators (like plant oils and beta-glucan), this overnight balm should be the last skincare product applied in your regimen as it seals everything in. One reviewer noted that after consistent use, her complexion looked less splotchy and more even.
Price at time of publish: $40
Active Ingredients: Olive, almond borage, and linseed oils | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive, dull | Size: 1 ounce | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Aging Skin: SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
Protects against free radical damage
Has fragrance from essential oils
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. Containing 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.
Price at time of publish: $136
Active Ingredients: Ceramides, natural cholesterol, fatty acids | Skin Type: Dry, balanced, oily, combination, sensitive | Size: 1.6 fluid ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"I noticed right away that each time I apply the cream my pores look smaller and my skin looks smoother. It’s almost like I am applying a blurring primer or soft-focus filter to my face." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester
Best Luxury: Tatcha The Water Cream
Wears well under makeup
Might not be hydrating enough for super dry skin types
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.
Price at time of publish: $69
Active Ingredients: Japanese wild rose, Japanese leopard lily, hadasei-3 complex | Skin Type: Combination, oily, mature | Size: 0.34 or 1.7 fluid ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
What Our Testers Say
"After the product was absorbed, my face felt fully hydrated, yet it was almost as if I hadn’t used anything at all—nothing felt uncomfortable, which was a dream come true for my oily skin." — Ashley Rebecca, Product Tester
Best for Body: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
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.
Price at time of publish: $15
Active Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, vitamin E, glycerin, panthenol, niacinamide | Skin Type: Dry, sensitive | Size: 1, 3, 8.8, 16, or 20 ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best with SPF: Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++
Might not be hydrating enough for super dry skin types
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 UVA protection PA+++ so your skin will be safe from sun damage and signs of premature aging.
Price at time of publish: $54
Active Ingredients: Kombucha defense, avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, oil-control complex | Skin Type: Balanced, oily, combination, dry | Size: 1.7 fluid ounces | SPF: 30 | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
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 moisture that feels weightless.
Price at time of publish: $18
Active Ingredients: Purified micro algae, hydrozome, vitamin C, milk thistle oil, passion fruit seed oil, German chamomile | Skin Type: All | Size: 0.5 or 17. ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best for Dry Skin: Dr. Brandt Hyaluronic Facial Cream
Improves sagging and fine lines
Doubles as a makeup primer
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.
Price at time of publish: $72
Active Ingredients: Multi-hydrating HA4 complex, peptides, lactic and glycolic acid, shea butter, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, centella asiatica extract | Skin Type: All | Size: 1.7 ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
Reviewers note that it can pill
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.
Price at time of publish: $16
Active Ingredients: ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin, LPR prebiotic thermal water | Skin Type: All | Size: 2.5 ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Gel: Fenty Skin Instant Reset Brightening Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream
Blurs appearance of pores
If you prefer a lightweight moisturizer over a heavier formula, this overnight gel-cream will be perfect for you. Formulated with niacinamide and kalahari melon oil, it's able to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin while you sleep so that you wake up to a complexion that looks like new. Reviewers noted that it didn't irritate their acne-prone skin, and it also didn't clog their pores like some night creams tend to.
Price at time of publish: $42
Active Ingredients: Niacinamide, kalahari melon oil, hyaluronic acid, aloe barbadensis leaf juice| Skin Type: All | Size: 1.7 ounces | SPF: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
If you’re prone to blackheads 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 hydrating and nourishing it is to the complexion. For a wallet-friendly option, try the Urban Hydration Bright & Balanced Aloe Vera Moisturizer, which has aloe and cucumber extracts to soothe the skin while moisturizing.
Meet the Expert
- Christine Adams, MBA, MSN, NP-BC, CANS is a certified aesthetic nurse specialist and a board-certified nurse practitioner, having expertise in dermatology and plastic surgery. She is the founder and CEO of SkinSplendid, a medical spa in New York City that offers aesthetic treatments.
- Jessie Cheung, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Cheung Aesthetics & Wellness, a medial spa and skin treatment center with offices in Willowbrook, Chicago, and New York City.
What To Look for in a Non-Comedogenic Moisturizer
Additional exfoliating acids
Dr. 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. Excess oil and sebum can cause the pores to be clogged, which can lead to breakouts.
You don’t want the moisturizer to clog pores, but you do want it to hydrate. Dr. 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. Tatcha's The Water Cream is a splurge-worthy pick packed with humectants like glycerin, earning a spot on our list. The water-based Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer is also ultra-hydrating—and you can score it for under $10.
What does non-comedogenic mean?
Formulas that are non-comedogenic simply don't contain components that can clog your pores, says Adams. She says this is important especially for those who have acne-prone or oily skin, as clogged pores can exacerbate these issues and worsen skin.
How can I tell if a moisturizer is non-comedogenic?
According to Adams, all skin care ingredients fall somewhere from 0 to 5 on the comedogenic rating scale, which shows how likely a specific ingredient can clog your pores. So, an ingredient rated 0 is non-comedogenic and one that's rated 5 is very comedogenic.
Some examples of ingredients that land at a 0 are vitamin C, glycerin, and aloe vera, so look for those while shopping for a non-comedogenic moisturizer. We love Urban Hydration Bright & Balanced Aloe Vera Daily Gel Moisturizer, our best budget pick, for being chock full of humectants like aloe vera, which rates a 0 on the comedogenic scale.
Adams warns to stay away from certain oils and butters, such as coconut oil and cocoa butter, which can be pore-clogging—especially when used together. However, some oils are pretty low on the comedogenic scale, so make sure to do your research before buying.
What skin types should use a non-comedogenic moisturizer?
All skin types can benefit from using non-comedogenic moisturizers, but they're especially helpful for oily and combination skin types, says Adams. "Dry skin types can tolerate more higher scaled comedogenic products, such as oils, but I would still be cautious with using too many," she says. No skin type is insusceptible to clogged pores, so you'll still want to be careful when adding those formulas to your routine.
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