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Is my blush non-comedogenic? How to choose the best blush for your skin type

Whether your skin is acne-prone or not, it’s important to use non-comedogenic makeup products.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 7, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
Various Blushes
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 7, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Blush is a popular item in many makeup kits as it gives cheeks a natural-looking flush. Typically, it’s applied to the apples of the cheeks and then blended out towards the temples and jawline. 

There are countless kinds of blush to choose from, whether you opt for a cream or powder formula. To complicate matters, blushes can be comedogenic—meaning some may contain ingredients that can cause acne by clogging up the pores of our skin. So finding the right one for your skin can be complicated! Here’s the rundown on non-comedogenic blush, so you can find the right products to keep your face looking clear while adding a splash of color to your cheeks.

Comedogenic vs non-comedogenic—what does it mean?

Comedogenic products contain ingredients which are known for clogging pores. Coconut oil is one example, and it’s important to avoid these types of ingredients when choosing a blush or any other kind of skincare product, as they can lead to breakouts.

On the other hand, non-comedogenic products are specially formulated not to clog pores and are generally less likely to stick around on skin after cleansing, so when using them, you don’t have as much to worry about regarding breakouts

Simply put, the term “non-comedogenic” means that a product doesn’t contain any of the most commonly known pore-clogging ingredients. Non-comedogenic products are sometimes called “non-acnegenic.” You may also see them labeled with the claim “does not clog pores”—in the context of ingredients in skincare products and cosmetics, they basically mean the same thing. Some examples of non-comedogenic ingredients are petroleum and mineral oil.

Non-comedogenic blush comes in a variety of formulas, including powder, cream, mousse, and liquid, and they’re long-lasting so they won't smudge or fade easily, which makes them a good option for all-day wear. They are generally easy to apply and blend, making them great for those who don't have a lot of experience with makeup application.

Smiling Woman Holding a Makeup Brush

Finding the best type of blush for your skin

Blushes come in many different colors and tones, but they also come in different types.

  • Powder blushes—good for oily skin; the powder tends to absorb excess oil and leave a natural, matte finish. 

  • Cream blushes—good for drier skin types; cream formulas often include moisturizing ingredients that hydrate and nourish the skin. 

  • Liquid blushes—provide a natural and dewy finish, good for those with dry skin as well.

  • Mousse blushes—provide a lightweight texture and can be easily blended for a natural-looking finish.

But don’t feel like you have to stick with just one type or color of blush. Depending on what look you’re going for, you might want to carry several in your kit. For a more dramatic look, try a blush with a higher pigment concentration. Or, for a more subtle, natural look, choose a blush closer to your natural skin tone that will enhance your look.

How to apply non-comedogenic blush

So you’ve found a non-comedogenic blush (or three) that you love and they look great on your skin. Luckily, applying this product is a relatively simple process. As a general rule, always follow the directions on the packaging for your specific product. 

First, you can use a brush or just use your (clean!) fingers to apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks. Then blend the color outward towards your temples. For a more natural look, the color should be blended up towards the hairline. Finally, blend the color downwards, towards the jawline.

When applying tinted cosmetics or products with pigment, it's best to start with a small amount and gradually build up to the desired intensity. You can always add a little more color, but if you start with too much out of the gate, you’ll have to wash and start all over. Multiple washings and applications may lead to irritation and breakouts, even if your blush is non-comedogenic.

It's best not to use a sponge to apply tinted products like blush because sponges can absorb too much product and lead to patchy application. You can use a setting powder to help keep your blush in place all day and prevent fading, avoiding the need for reapplication later in the day.

It’s important to remember that many cosmetics are water-resistant, which means that simple soap and water aren’t going to cut it. But you don’t want to scrub to remove these products, as that can lead to irritation. You should use a good makeup remover, like Curology’s Micellar Makeup Remover, to remove blush and other cosmetics from your skin at the end of the day.

Find the best products for your skin

When it comes to makeup, non-comedogenic blush is a must-have for many folks. With so many different options to choose from, you should have no problems finding one that complements your skin tone with ease and with less worry about future breakouts. Just make sure you have a good makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer, and you should be all set!

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If you want to take the guesswork out of your skincare, Curology’s team of licensed dermatology providers is here to help. Founded by a board-certified dermatologist in 2014, Curology specializes in the treatment of acne, rosacea, and aging concerns tailored to fit your individual needs. Sign up at Curology today* and take the first step on your personalized skincare journey.

FAQs

Do all cosmetics cause acne?

Not at all! You can wear many different kinds of cosmetics, even if you have acne-prone skin. But it is important to find non-comedogenic products that also won’t cause irritation or dryness.

Can you wear blush if you have acne?

Yes! But you should definitely look for non-comedogenic blush options and find a good makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer. Curology can help you find a personalized skincare solution to fit into a self-care routine that works for you.

What kind of blush is good for acne-prone skin?

For those with acne-prone or oily skin, powder blush is a great option.

• • •

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

*Cancel anytime. Subject to consultation. Results may vary.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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