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.
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!