comedogenic oils

Oils That Might Be Clogging Your Pores

So, we know two things.

One. We know our skin needs moisture to stay healthy and glowing for us.

Two. We know one of the best places to get that moisture is from natural oils.

We know all that. In addition to this, we’ve spent a good chunk of our time finding the best oils to use. The ones that boast of the greatest benefits to our skin. Now, this is very good. No one wants to be slathering on oils with no benefit whatsoever on their body. But there’s something you might have missed in your finds. And that is, not every oil works for every skin type or every part of the body.


Not every oil works for every skin type


What do I mean by this? Well, I’ll be introducing you to a word/concept, I’ve mentioned a lot but I’m yet to dive into.



Now that word ‘comedogenic’ means tending to clog/block pores, think heavy. It comes from the word comedo, which means a clogged pore or comedos for plural. Your pores are tiny holes on your skin which contain sebaceous glands. When we use comedogenic substances, we clog these pores, which result in breakouts and acne.

Like I’ve said severally, the skin on our face is a lot more reactive to dirt and foreign substances than on the rest of us. That’s why it can easily react to certain products or substances.


Comedogenic Oils

A few oils, as nourishing as they seem, are comedogenic and although the rest of your body might handle it quite well, your face might be a whole different matter. Besides that, skin differs. Certain oils that are said to be comedogenic might not cause any trouble for some people, but cause a lot for others.

Therefore it is necessary to understand your skin first and know what works for it. Generally, if you have acne-prone skin (oily skin type mostly) or sensitive skin, it is advised you avoid using comedogenic oils on your face.

There are a lot of equally -if not more- beneficial oils out there that are noncomedogenic.



Comedogenic Ratings

Luckily for us, there is a rating called the comedogenic scale to help us better understand and classify the extent of an ingredient’s tendency to clog. It starts from 0 through 5. 0 being your safest bet with practically no ability to clog, and 5 (although rare) extremely clogging. To fully benefit from this scale and work with it, it’s advised you read the ingredient label of any product you’re buying. Although if you’re using a single essential/carrier oil, it makes it easier to identify the rating.


A comedogenic rating of 0 — is completely non-comedogenic and cannot clog pores at all.

A comedogenic rating of 1 — might clog pores but rarely.

A comedogenic rating of 2 — won’t clog most people’s pores but might ‘purge’ some faces.

A comedogenic rating of 3 — depending on your skin type, most people will breakout.

A comedogenic rating of 4 — very high probability to breakout but it still depends on the skin.

A comedogenic rating of 5 — rarely find oils of this rating, but it promises guaranteed breakout.


List of Popular Oils and the Comedogenic Rating


Coconut Oil 4
Coconut Oil (Fractioned) 2/3
Shea Butter 0
Argan Oil 0
Hazelnut Oil 1 – 2
Olive Oil 2
Sunflower Oil 0 – 2
Coconut butter 4
Cocoa butter 4
Amla Oil (India Gooseberry Oil) 1
Almond Oil 2
Grapeseed Oil 1
Neem Oil 1/2
Sesame Seed Oil 3
Safflower Oil 0
Jojoba Oil 2
Flax Seed Oil 4
Avocado Oil 3
Soybean Oil 4/5
Goji Berry Seed Oil 0/1
Carrot seed Oil 4
Hemp Seed 0
Evening Primrose Oil 2/3
Castor Oil 1
Rosehip Oil 1
Palm kernel Oil 4
Baobob Seed Oil 1/2
Marula Oil 3/4
Sea Buckthorn Oil 1
Red Palm Oil 4
Mango Butter 2
Moringa Oil 4
Mineral Oil 0
Wheat Germ Oil 5



QUIK NOTE: This rating may vary depending on the method of extraction, processing, etc. The comedogenic rating of some oils like Aloe Oil (Aloe infused) depends majorly on the carrier oil used in processing. 



Other Popular Substances and Their Comedogenic Rating


Aloe Vera 0
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate 5
Beeswax 2
Kaolin 0
Sodium Chloride 5
Cetearyl Alcohol 2
Vitamin A 1-3
Talc 1





Using this scale, you should be able to determine what oil might be best for your skin type. Oily and acne-prone skin should stick to oils of rating 0/1. For those with dry and mature skin could easily get away with using those of rating 3. For normal and combination skin type, a rating of 2 should be all right. If you’re looking for a more detailed oil recommendation based on skin type check here.


Another thing to Note

If your face feels sticky or looks too shiny after applying your oil/moisturizer, you’re most likely doing something wrong. You just need a few drops to do the trick, you don’t need to drown your skin in products, okay?


That’s it! I hope this has helped you to better understand these things. If you started breaking out because of a particular product or oil, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s fake or you were scammed. Your skin might not just agree with the contents and their comedogenic rating. Despite that fact, make sure the brand uses quality ingredients, no be every oil dey the same level. Making it a habit to check the ingredient and label and ask whether it’s safe with your skin type.


Have you ever had such experience with oils or other products? Let me know!

Till next time!





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Heyy! It’s your favourite Nigerian skincare addict.

Hope you and your skin are good and living your best life. I'm thrilled to have you on this never-ending journey with me! When you can't find me here, I'm definitely nose-deep in a book or on Ig. Let's stay in touch?

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