Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Swears By These Non-Comedogenic Products to Prevent Acne

In a new YouTube video, she shared how she investigates whether a non-comedogenic product will actually live up to its claim.

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images

If you're prone to acne, choosing skin-care products can be a minefield–even products that seem super promising can contribute to breakouts. In an effort to cater to her acne-prone skin, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has come up with a way to vet products, and she's letting everyone in on what she looks for as well as what she's been using.

In a new YouTube video, Huntington-Whiteley explained why she's been trying to only use non-comedogenic products. Quick refresher: "Non-comedogenic" products are products that don't contain ingredients known to cause comedones, a fancy word for clogged pores. When the clogged pore remains open at the surface, it's an open comedo or blackhead; when it's completely closed off, it's a whitehead. Simply put, non-comedogenic products are designed not to clog pores.

Huntington-Whiteley's interest in non-comedogenic products stems from dealing with everything from severe acne to minor breakouts over the years, she explained. She started having trouble with acne after giving birth in 2017, including stubborn whiteheads, she shared.

Recently she's started learning more about treating acne-prone skin and has adjusted her skin-care routine accordingly, Huntington-Whiteley continued. But her product research goes beyond checking for a "non-comedogenic" label, which doesn't guarantee that a product won't have potentially pore-clogging ingredients, she says in the video. It's true: "As with most skin-care, the term 'non-comedogenic' is not regulated," says dermatologist Sandy Skotnicki, M.D., author of Beyond Soap. "There are guidelines, but not strict regulations." She recommends that people with acne-prone skin still look for non-comedogenic products, but notes that it won't necessarily guarantee an acne-free existence. "Something could be labeled non-comedogenic and it could still be problematic," explains Dr. Skotnicki. Plus, "one product may not be a problem, but when you stack multiple used together on the face, they clog pores altogether. This can lead to some acne issues." (Here are some signs that could mean you're using too many beauty products.)

So, when considering non-comedogenic products, Huntington-Whiteley said she pastes their ingredient lists into an Acne Clinic NYC tool that IDs any pore-clogging ingredients. She also cross-checks a list of common pore-clogging ingredients (including algae extract, kelp, and red algae, among others) that she received from celebrity esthetician Biba de Sousa. And, if you really want to do a deep dive into the topic of non-comedogenic skin-care, Huntington-Whiteley recommended Acne Rx by James E. Fulton, M.D., Ph.D. (who co-developed Retin-A, aka retinoic acid), a book that gave her a "deeper understanding into acne" and "buried a lot of myths" surrounding skin-care, she said.

If you can't be bothered with all that research (same), Huntington-Whiteley also shared 10 of her favorite non-comedogenic products that meet her standards. Here are a few highlights:

* SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 (Buy It, $128, is a non-comedogenic moisturizer containing cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids, which hold together the "bricks" of your skin barrier.

* Exfoliation can help prevent build-up within pores, and Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser (Buy It, $39, contains lactic acid, a gentle exfoliant that plays nice with sensitive skin.

* Another exfoliating product, ZO Skin Health Oil-Control Pads Acne Treatment(Buy It, $62, contains acne-fighting salicylic acid.

* Huntington-Whiteley said Image Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50 (Buy It, $44, hasn't caused her issues. It's meant to offer protection from blue light and doubles as a moisturizer.

* A soothing and hydrating pick, iS Clinical Hydro Cool Serum (Buy It, $94, is one of the model's longtime favorites. "I can't say enough good things about this product," she said in her video, "I've been using it for about six years now and it's been really great for me with my skin issues." (January Jones is a big fan of iS Clinical serums, too.)

If like Huntington-Whiteley, you've had quite the acne journey, her favorite non-comedogenic products and resources might be worth looking in to.

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