The Comedogenic Ratings for Your Favourite Oils & Butters
from Holistic Health Herbalist
I had a real issue with coconut oil and products that used coconut oil for my face. I broke out and until I started using coconut oil when straightening my hair, I did not put the two together. It was my forehead breaking out (never happened before) that made me realize I cannot use coconut oil on my skin and that was when I started researching oils and came across the website Holistic Health Herbalist and her excel sheet with a detailed breakdown of every carrier oil and butter. I chose to list the most popular.
April Anderson Just Another Natural Nut
An oil that has a comedogenic rating of 0 is widely believed to be non comedogenic and will not clog your pores.
A comedogenic rating of 1 signifies a slight chance that the oil will clog your pores.
A comedogenic rating of 2 tells you that the oil will not clog pores for MOST people, but some will begin to notice clogged pores or a “purge” in some cases.
A comedogenic rating of 3 is where a lot of people will break out using this oil, but a lot of people may not break out depending on their skin type.
A comedogenic rating of 4 suggests that MOST people will break out using this oil unless they have a good tolerance for it. This largely depends on a number of skin type factors.
A comedogenic rating of 5 is basically a guaranteed chance of breaking out. Very very few people can tolerate oils labeled as a 5, but they do exist!
ARGAN OIL 0
Argan oil is the holy grail oil for many and for good reason! It boasts some pretty amazing skin reparative benefits along with the very low chance of clogging pores. Another reason to reach for this oil is for its ability to treat acne and acne scars. Argan oil regulates the production of sebum which helps prevent further breakouts and its Vitamin E content helps fade scars and smooth out the skin’s texture. Suitable for most skin types.
HEMP SEED OIL 0
Hemp seed oil has amazing skin softening and moisturizing properties that are perfect for those with oily sensitive skin types. It also reduces redness and inflammation associated with acne breakouts and is a great treatment for eczema, psoriasis, and dry, itchy skin. This oil has really balanced my skin’s oil production and that’s really saying something because I normally have VERY oily skin. Well tolerated by all skin types. This oil should be kept in the fridge.
SAFFLOWER OIL 0 (high linoleic only)
Safflower oil has a silky feel on the skin and is highly moisturizing. It’s high linoleic acid content makes it a perfect oil for the OCM as it will help break up blackheads and other impurities in the skin. It absorbs easily and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
SHEA BUTTER 0-2
Shea butter is really interesting because even though it has a high stearic acid content, it doesn’t seem to break people out. Sure, there ARE people who react badly to use it, but overall, many find that shea butter is an amazing oil to use during the cold, dry winter months. It’s heavy and leaves a greasy feel on the skin after applying so you only need the tiniest bit. It forms a protective layer on the skin that reduces inflammation and smooths rough skin. It is especially good for elbows, knees, and heels.
SUNFLOWER SEED OIL 0-2 (beware of Hi-oleic acid sunflower oil as it will clog pores)
This is a great oil to start out with if you’re unsure about where to begin. Most skin types respond well to sunflower oil as it helps keep your skin balanced and moisturized while fighting acne causing bacteria. It’s also great at fighting the signs of aging!
BELOW ARE THE RATINGS FOR THE TOP 21 OILS & BUTTERS
CASTOR OIL 1
Castor oil is an essential for many who use the OCM (though not for myself as I find it much too drying). It has strong detox and purging properties. It also increases cell turnover which is why it is used as an acne treatment. Due to its ricinoleic acid content, castor oil is a very drying oil and must be diluted before using it on the skin. It is suitable for oily skin types but may cause purging and detox of the skin.
GRAPE SEED OIL 1
Well suited for most skin types and has a low chance of clogging pores. Grape seed oil is rich in Vitamin E which helps tighten and moisturize the skin. It reduces inflammation, redness, and accelerates the healing of acne. This is a very light oil that absorbs easily without a greasy residue.
NEEM OIL 1-2
Neem oil is an amazing oil to use for acne prone skin due to its potent anti-bacterial properties. It reduces inflammation, redness, and irritation while protecting and moisturizing the skin. I find that it has a heavier, oilier feel when applied so I generally mix a few drops into another carrier oil to prevent that “oil slick” look. This oil is better suited for drier skin types for this reason but can still be used for oily skin when mixed with other oils. Neem oil has a strange pungent odor like “boiled peanuts” so keep that in mind before going on a date with it on your face!
APRICOT KERNEL OIL 2
Apricot kernel oil is a favorite oil among those with combination to dry skin types. It absorbs into the skin well, is anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial which makes it a valuable ally against acne causing bacteria.
JOJOBA OIL 2
Jojoba oil is a holy grail acne treatment for many because it mimics the consistency of our own sebum. It has a light moisturizing feel and absorbs well into the skin. Most skin types tolerate jojoba well but will often experience a “purge” of toxins when they begin using it. Normally, this purge will end in a few weeks, revealing clear pores and revitalized skin. This oil is more suitable for oily skin types as it helps balance the production of excess oil.
MANGO BUTTER 2
Mango butter is an excellent moisturizer for the skin. It combats dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other dry inflamed skin conditions. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and soothes rashes, insect bites, and sunburns. If you have dry skin, mango butter may work well for you as it has a lower chance of clogging pores compared to cocoa butter.
OLIVE OIL 2
Olive oil contains potent anti-oxidants and squalene; a lipid that is also found in our skin cells. This squalene is what makes olive oil to well received by most skin types as a nourishing and moisturizing addition to their beauty routine. Using it in your daily regimen has been shown to reduce the signs of aging, smooth skin texture, and hydrate dry skin conditions. It reduces inflammation and brings down redness making it perfect for acne sufferers who lean more on the drier side.
PUMPKIN SEED OIL 2
Pumpkin seed oil fights acne from the inside out due to its rich zinc and selenium content but it’s also gaining popularity topically. It hydrates, renews, and increases the firmness of skin while fighting acne causing bacteria and preventing scars. Suitable for most skin types and has a low change of clogging pores.
SWEET ALMOND OIL 2
Sweet almond oil is a great oil to use for dry acne prone skin due to its emollient properties. It’s great for regenerating skin cells because it penetrates damaged cells and softens them allowing for better hydration. Sweet almond oil is suitable for sensitive skin types that are dry.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL 2-3
Taken internally, evening primrose oil has the amazing ability to help balance our hormones and for most of us, this is a big deal when you have acne! Applying this oil topically has also been shown to improve cellular structure in the skin, reduce inflammation, and promote elasticity. This oil is excellent for oily acne prone skin types but may not work well for those with dry skin.
AVOCADO OIL 3
Avocado oil is suitable for drier acne prone skin types but may still clog pores. However, if your skin tolerates this oil, it is amazing for hydration and skin tone renewal. Since it is a heavier oil, it may be best suited for use at night. Avocado oil is said to diminish pore size and remove impurities from the skin over time.
SESAME SEED OIL 3
Sesame oil is another oil that has potent anti-bacterial properties that good for wound healing and killing acne causing bacteria. It is also a fair sun protectant. It’s overall, a pretty balanced oil, but the stearic acid causes it to be a bit comedogenic for a lot of people. It may leave an oily residue on the skin.
COCOA BUTTER 4
Cocoa butter is a semi solid to solid oil that is extremely moisturizing for dry chapped skin. Its high stearic and oleic acid content makes it a comedogenic oil for most skin types and is more suitable for use on the body a deep moisturizer. Some use it sparingly around the eyes as an effective anti-aging eye balm or on rough patches of the skin. Not suitable for acne prone skin.
COCONUT OIL 4
This oil is a favorite among many for its amazing health promoting and beautifying properties. It smooths skin and reveals a fresh glowing complexion for those who tolerate it well. Most however, do not tolerate coconut oil well on their face, so if you have acne prone skin, you may want to steer clear of this oil. Coconut oil is rather heavy and may be better used at night. Suitable for very dry skin types.
PALM KERNEL OIL 4
Palm kernel oil has a feel and texture similar to coconut oil. It makes the skin naturally soft and glossy and deeply moisturizes even the driest skin. It is also used to condition cracked heels and dry cuticles with great results. This oil will break out most skin type if used on the face. Suitable for those with very dry skin.
SOYBEAN OIL 4-5
Soybean oil is a high comedogenic oil that most people can’t tolerate. But for those who can, it’s a good oil for sun protection and its anti-oxidant properties. It improves skin tone and in very few individuals, can actually help clear their acne but that may be due to its phytoestrogen content. Generally not a good oil to use for acne prone skin.
byimage by Stock Snap
These are the ingredients in a very popular store purchased bath bomb
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), citric acid, popping candy(Isomalt, lycasin, carbon dioxide), fragrance, cream of tartar (potassium bitatrate), water, peppermint oil, grapefruit oil, vetivert oil, cedarwood oil, sodium laureth sulfate, lauryl betaine, titanium dioxide, synthetic, fluorphlogopite, tin oxide, silica, limoneone, linalool, yellow 10 lake , yellow 5 lake, blue 1, red 28, iron oxides
Now I am not going to get into what's wrong with that list of ingredients (that's for another conversation) but I will point this out
There is only 1 ingredient in that entire list that will benefit your skin and hair in that whole list of ingredients.
1/4 TO 1 CUP
INTO YOUR WARM BATH
IS ALL YOU NEED
1/4 TO 1 Cup poured into the bath while the water is running can ......
There is are no other ingredients in that bath bomb that benefit you and the money you save by not needing something that gives you a one minute thrill of the fizz is astounding. If you use a bath bomb once a week and switch over to just baking soda that is over $300 in saving a year.
Oh and did I mention all citric acid, the ingredient that gives you that sensational fizz, is processed from black mould!
I don't have products in my bathroom cabinet, I have oils and butters and olive oil is one of them. To learn more about the properties in olive oil that benefit your skin and hair check out the Ingredients I Use page.
What olive oil can replace in your skin can hair care regiment.
Hand, Hair & Body Soap - a handcrafted bar of olive and coconut can eliminate the use of hand soap, body soap and shampoo. Get the recipe here to make your own or get the pre-measured kit here
A little interesting tidbit.....I have used the handcrafted bar soap for over a year (with coloured hair) and the one major thing I noticed, I no longer get knots or tangles in my hair. I am able to run a comb or a brush through no matter if it is the first day or washing my hair or the next or the next (I wash my hair every 4 to 5 days. It seems to get better as the days go on).
Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment - Put about 1 cup of olive oil in a glass mason jar and place in a pot of boiled water (just enough water to cover about 1/2 up the jar) and let sit until your olive oil is warmed (do the 'not to hot' test by placing a small amount on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is not too hot to use on your head). Pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and working from the scalp to the ends generously apply the olive. Keep repeating until your have worked the olive oil into all areas of your scalp to the tips of your hair. Put a lid on the leftover oil, mark on the jar what it is and put away for future use on your hair. Leave on for about 20 minutes. Wash your hair.
Lip Scrub - why buy lip scrub when it is one of the easiest things you can make. It's just sugar and oil...that's it. To get your recipe and instructions on use click here
Make up Remover - It's simple, pour some olive oil into a jar. Label it 'Make-Up Remover' and place it alongside all of your other skincare products and use like you would any of the 'off the shelf' make-up removers. I know it doesn't make sense but pure oils are perfect for dissolving make-up and washing it away while unclogging your pores and moisturizing your skin, making it much safer to use than a soap-based remover
Shine Serum - Got fly-aways on your second day hair. a few drops of olive oil will help with that. Just use after styling by placing a few drops in the palm of your hand, gently rubbing your hands together and then lightly run your hands along your hair, starting the top and working towards the bottom. Don't overdo the oil but if you have long hair you might need a few more drops.
Face Serum - You can use it on it's own for your face and neck in place of a daily moisturizer but I like to add a few more oils to really help me with my 'older' skin. For me I use a 2 oz. coloured bottle and add 2 Tbsp of sunflower seed oil, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp. of hemp seed oil and 1 tsp. of castor seed oil. Put on lid, label it and put alongside your other skincare products Always gently shake before using. Add a dime sized portion to the palm of your hand, dip your fingers in and gently apply to your face. Repeat if necessary. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for it to settle before putting your make-up.
Do you know how much money you have just saved by keeping it simple!
long before it was cool to be a minimalist, live a sustainable life, become a zero waste warrior we just called it simple living or what some could not resist calling us....'those damn hippies....not much has changed in the years since except the wording...now some can not resist calling us.... 'those damn natural nuts'...hence the name Just Another Natural Nut!