10 Top Non-Comedogenic Shampoos for Less Breakouts

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Do you still get breakouts no matter how hard you try to care for your skin? And not just on your face. Your scalp and neck too.

This might be caused by the shampoo that you’re using. It sounds crazy that a product meant for cleaning your hair could be causing breakouts, but it happens.

Woman with long hair washing her hair with shampoo

Fortunately, there’s a solution! Non-comedogenic shampoos have a gentle and mild formulation that can still effectively clean your hair and scalp but won’t cause irritation and breakouts.

If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, here are 10 top non-comedogenic shampoos to try out.

Neutrogena T-Gel Therapeutic Shampoo
Editor's Choice
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Reduces scalp inflammation
  • Contains coal tar extract
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo
Premium Pick
  • Contains an amino-acid complex to effectively but gently cleanse
  • Created with MIT technology
  • Healthier hair in just one wash
OGX Refreshing Scalp + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
Budget Pick
  • Contains tea tree oil, peppermint, and witch hazel
  • Refreshing deep cleanse
  • Sulfate-free and paraben-free

10 Top Non-Comedogenic Shampoos

Check out our top 10 picks of the top non-comedogenic shampoos on this list:

Neutrogena T-Gel Therapeutic Shampoo

Thoroughly cleanse your hair with an effective shampoo that is dermatologist-recommended and gentle on your scalp.

Key benefits: Immediate relief for itchy scalp; safe for daily use; combats dandruff


  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Reduces scalp inflammation
  • Contains coal tar extract 

Experience lasting relief from a dry and itchy scalp with this effective shampoo that cleans your hair while keeping breakouts at bay.


This potent therapeutic shampoo by Neutrogena, a trusted skincare brand, is an ideal pick if you’re looking for non-comedogenic hair cleansers.

It effectively cleanses and is gentle on sensitive skin, preventing breakouts. Formulated with non-comedogenic ingredients, it uses salicylic acid to combat acne, clear pores, and address dandruff.

Despite a slight medicinal smell, its benefits, including being fragrance- and preservative-free, make it perfect for sensitive skin.

CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo

A gentle, high-performing shampoo that combats many scalp issues while ensuring clean and healthy hair.

Key benefits: Clinically tested; protects the scalp’s natural oils and retains moisture; softens skin and unclogs pores


  • Formulated by physicians
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Combats dandruff and itching

A gentle but highly effective shampoo that’s perfect for sensitive skin and an acne-prone scalp.


For those with acne-prone and dandruff-prone skin, consider CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo.

Its non-comedogenic formula effectively tackles dermatitis and folliculitis, addressing dandruff concerns.

Suitable for all hair types, this fragrance-free shampoo removes excess oil, clears dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and enhances skin health. It’s also gentle for sensitive skin and can even be used on facial hair.

Garnier Fructis Hydra Recharge Shampoo

Recharge your dry hair with high-performance, lightweight hydration that cleans your hair without damaging your scalp.

Key benefits: Lasting hydration; leaves hair silky smooth for days; protects against split ends


  • Contains goji berry beads
  • Contains vitamins B3 and B6
  • Smells sweet

This supercharged shampoo offers effective cleaning with a lightweight formulation.


Garnier’s Hydra Recharge Shampoo is a lightweight formula powered by superfruits like goji berry, kiwi, and passionfruit.

Infused with encapsulated beads, it replenishes moisture without weighing hair down. The revitalizing formulation intensely hydrates dry, brittle hair, leaving strands soft and silky for two days.

Enjoy the natural light and sweet citrus scent!

OGX Refreshing Scalp + Tea Tree Mint Shampoo

Deeply nourish your strands with a fresh combination of tea tree and mint for a fresh, invigorating wash.

Key benefits: Antibacterial and anti-fungal; moisturizes and nourishes; stimulates hair growth


  • Contains tea tree oil, peppermint, and witch hazel
  • Refreshing deep cleanse
  • Sulfate-free and paraben-free

This refreshing shampoo is not only gentle on the scalp but gentle on the pocket too.


OGX’s affordable shampoo is a gentle and effective choice for those on a budget.

Non-comedogenic and suitable for daily use on all hair types, it combines tea tree oil, witch hazel, and peppermint to combat dandruff and itching while keeping your locks hydrated.

The mild scent adds a refreshing touch, and OGX, a popular and reliable brand, offers various acne-friendly hair products, like non-comedogenic shampoos and conditioners, at budget-friendly prices.

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

This medical shampoo is the perfect choice to combat scalp problems and keep strands clean and soft.

Key benefits: Actively treats damaged scalp; maintains hair’s pH balance; relaxing and pleasant fragrance


  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Anti-fungal
  • Good for colored or treated hair

Get strong, manageable locks with regular use of this medicated anti-dandruff shampoo.


Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo effectively relieves scalp itching, dryness, and dandruff with clinically proven ketoconazole.

Suitable for all hair types, it’s also a non-comedogenic hair product for curly hair and colored hair as it soothes irritated skin, adds moisture, and cleanses without drying curls.

With recommended twice-a-week use, it’s cost-effective, providing a thick, foamy lather that leaves hair manageable, soft, and shiny.

SEEN Skin-Caring Shampoo

Get dermatologist-approved benefits from this gentle shampoo, which cleans the hair while protecting the scalp.

Key benefits: Reduces frizz and breakage; color-safe; promotes hair health


  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Developed by a dermatologist
  • Good for sensitive skin

Enjoy a luxurious lather and effective cleaning with this doctor-recommended shampoo.


Developed by Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin, this non-comedogenic shampoo unclogs pores, strengthens strands, and minimizes frizz and breakage with bisabolol and hemisqualane.

Cruelty-free, color-safe, and vegan, it’s free of sulfates, dyes, phthalates, preservatives, and pore-clogging oils, making it ideal for acne-prone scalps.

Its natural formulation and effective cleansing power make it a fantastic non-comedogenic shampoo.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo

A hydrating shampoo that gently cleanses and protects the scalp and provides visibly healthier and shinier hair.

Key benefits: Delivers high shine; strengthens hair; protects against environmental stressors


  • Contains an amino-acid complex to effectively but gently cleanse
  • Created with MIT technology
  • Healthier hair in just one wash

Clean your hair and protect your scalp with a shampoo backed by science and technology.


This MIT technology-based non-comedogenic shampoo, a past beauty best, provides visible improvements like thicker, cleaner, and healthier hair from the first use.

Ideal for dull, dry hair, it enhances shine by up to 68% while strengthening strands.

The amino-acid formulation cleanses gently, preserving natural oils and protecting against environmental stressors — suitable for an acne-prone scalp. Additionally, it prevents dandruff and ensures hydration.

Vanicream Medicated Dandruff Shampoo with Pyrithione Zinc

This safe OTC pyrithione zinc shampoo is non-comedogenic, battles dandruff and dryness, and is safe for sensitive skin.

Key benefits: Sulfate-free formula; good for all skin types; fights dryness and acne


  • Fragrance-free
  • Medicated for sensitive skin
  • Dermatologist-tested and recommended

Combat dandruff and dryness with this shampoo, specifically medicated for sensitive skin.


This is a good choice if you want a powerful shampoo to combat dandruff and dryness. Plus, it isn’t harsh and won’t potentially cause breakouts.

This shampoo is created by dermatologists and contains 2% pyrithione zinc, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, helping to effectively clean the scalp while soothing it at the same time.

It’s also fragrance-free, so there’s no overpowering smell or less potential for irritation. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for acne-prone scalp and sensitive skin.

Tea Tree Special Shampoo

Revives damaged hair and provides intense hydration and shine.

Key benefits: Invigorates locks with refreshing tea tree; soothes while cleansing; provides luster and shine


  • Vegan and paraben-free
  • Full of natural ingredients
  • Helps repair oily and acne-prone scalp

An invigorating and gentle cleanser that revives lifeless strands and leaves them refreshed and clean.


Tea Tree Special Shampoo, one of the most popular non-comedogenic shampoos, fights breakouts, dry scalp, and dandruff with its anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.

It clears residue, buildup, and debris from the scalp, strengthening strands and nourishing hair.

Suitable for all hair types, it combines tea tree oil and peppermint for scalp soothing, while natural lavender promotes a sweet and fresh scent, combats breakage, and stimulates new hair growth.

Regular use yields thicker and healthier hair.

Clear 2 Perfection Nourishing Shampoo

Clean your hair with a mild but effective exfoliating shampoo.

Key benefits: Restores hair radiance and bounce; effectively cleans tresses; also effective against neck and back breakouts


  • Enzyme-rich formula
  • Expertly formulated
  • Unique botanical blend

The C2P haircare products help clean the hair and protect your scalp and skin too.


As part of the C2P hair care system, this non-comedogenic shampoo blends science and skincare, effectively cleansing hair while caring for the skin.

When paired with the C2P non-comedogenic conditioner, it works to prevent acne on the scalp, neck, forehead, and back.

Its breakout-fighting formula, enriched with enzymes and antioxidant-rich extracts, cleans pores, nourishes hair, reduces inflammation, and strengthens strands. Regular use promotes stronger, healthier locks.

What Is a Non-Comedogenic Shampoo?

When you have acne-prone or oily skin, your scalp tends to excrete a lot of oil and block the hair follicles, often resulting in dry, brittle, or dull locks and breakouts on your scalp.

Non-comedogenic means that a product contains no ingredients that can potentially block or clog the pores. It still effectively cleans and hydrates the hair, but it does so without blocking hair follicles.

Aside from not clogging pores, they can actively unclog them too while removing any buildup on the scalp. 

The best part is that there are several non-comedogenic hair products you can use with your shampoo, including non-comedogenic conditioner, non-comedogenic leave-in conditioner, and non-comedogenic hairspray.

Benefits of a Non-Comedogenic Shampoo

Now that you know what non-comedogenic shampoo is, you may wonder why you should invest in this gentle hair cleanser. Here are the main benefits of non-comedogenic shampoos:

Prevents Breakouts 

The primary benefit of non-comedogenic shampoo is to prevent breakouts on the scalp. Thanks to their milder formulation, these products won’t clog the scalp and block hair follicles, resulting in less scalp acne.

Cleans Hair 

Despite being more gentle than other shampoos, non-comedogenic variants are just as effective when it comes to cleaning the hair and removing dirt from the strands.

Fights Existing Breakouts 

Alongside preventing new breakouts, most non-comedogenic shampoos also contain ingredients that combat existing breakouts and help promote hair health.

Removes Product Buildup and Gently Exfoliates 

Many non-comedogenic shampoos are excellent at removing product buildup and dirt from the scalp. Most also contain antioxidants and anti-fungal ingredients that help slough off dead skin cells.

Maintains Hair’s Natural pH Level 

Non-comedogenic shampoos are formulated to help maintain the scalp’s pH level to ensure cleaning without drying the scalp or your tresses.

A woman is washing her hair in the shower.

How To Tell if Your Shampoo Is Non-Comedogenic

The best way to tell if a shampoo is non-comedogenic is to look at the product’s ingredients and avoid products with ingredients that are comedogenic.

As a rule of thumb, the top non-comedogenic shampoos should not contain the following: 

  • Sulfates 
  • Silicones
  • Cocoa butter
  • Shea butter
  • Petroleum-based ingredients (like paraffin wax)
  • Artificial fragrances 
  • Alcohol 

The above ingredients can cause irritation and dryness that can cause breakouts and acne.

The list of comedogenes is quite long and extensive. The ones we listed are the most common to avoid in shampoo, but you can also check out the full list here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have To Use Non-comedogenic Shampoos and Conditioners Together?

Not necessarily, but using an acne-safe shampoo and conditioner together is always better.

After all, you are already caring for your scalp with a mild shampoo; you don’t want to contribute to product buildup by using a conditioner that may contain harsh chemicals or oils.

Using the right shampoo and conditioner together gives your hair and scalp the top chance to stay healthy and breakout-free.

Should I Use My Non-comedogenic Shampoo Every Day?

This depends on your particular needs. The best way to treat your breakouts, if you have them, is to wash your hair daily or, at the very least, every time your hair becomes greasy or sweaty, like after exercise.

Since non-comedogenic shampoos are gentle, they typically won’t dry out your scalp or cause damage to your strands.

But see how your hair reacts too. If your strands get too dry, you can try shampooing every other day instead.

woman washing hair with shampoo in a shower with blue tiles

Non-Comedogenic Shampoo Cares for Both Your Hair and Your Scalp

Breakouts are bad no matter where they happen on the body. While we are used to stockpiling products that can combat acne on our faces, we don’t often remember to buy products for other body parts.

It’s also important to care for the skin on our scalp, neck, back, and more.

To help keep your scalp acne-free, invest in a good but gentle non-comedogenic shampoo that can clean your hair but keep acne at bay.

With an acne-safe shampoo, your scalp will be healthier and happier while your mane stays shiny and smooth.

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  • Michelle Alejandro

    Michelle has had a lifelong love affair with makeup. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications /Journalism, she began an illustrious career as a writer. Michelle penned a beauty and lifestyle national newspaper column for over a decade and became the Beauty Editor for Chalk Magazine and Editor-in-Chief for Metro Weddings for over nine years, working with some of the biggest makeup artists and trusted beauty brands in the business. During this time, she also completed a course in Creative Artistic Makeup Design and worked as a freelance makeup artist, beauty editor, and writer.

  • Anna Mastenbrook

    Amanda Mastenbrook is an accomplished beauty professional and salon owner with a decade of experience in the industry. Educated at NDSU and licensed from Josef's School of Hair Design, she's a master of color and balayage. Amanda founded The Chair in 2015 after launching a successful mobile spray tanning service. Known for her award-winning avant-garde styling and expertise in toning, she continues to redefine beauty standards and client satisfaction through her work.

One Comment

  1. Can you ply recommend some non comedogenic hair conditioners as these are even worse for causing acne than shampoo.


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