Comedogenic Ratings and Oils

When we think of oily faces, what is the first thing that comes to mind? More than likely, it is acne. Are oils actually good for our faces, or will they clog our pores? If oils are good for our faces, why do we use things like oil blotting sheets, oil-free lotion, and oil stripping cleansers? The truth is, many oils do not cause acne. Instead, they prevent and could even end acne forever! Dry and normal skins types also benefit from using oils because they allow the skin to retain its moisture, prevent wrinkles, and maintain a barrier against the environment.

Are you really sure this “oil” thing works??

If deliberately putting oil on your face still doesn’t make sense, you can think of it like food. If you consume unhealthy food like soda, fried chicken, and french fries, your body will most likely gain weight and your skin will become dull. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are an excellent addition to diets and will promote a healthy glow and body overall. Both of these are foods, but one yields a far more desirable result than the other. The same thing applies to oils.

Remember, you cannot just choose any random oil in the grocery store. Vegetable oils are not the best beauty products on the market. Instead, there are other natural oils meant for facial skincare such as rosehip seed and sea buckthorn oil.

How Will Oils Improve My Skin?

By choosing the right oils you could dramatically improve the quality of your skin! If you have oily skin, you might have noticed that even after repeatedly washing your face, your face always returns to its oily state. This is because your face is constantly producing oil to compensate for the oil that is being removed. By using oils after cleansing (preferably with a natural cleanser such as plain yogurt and oatmeal), you will replace the “bad” oil that your face produces with “good” and natural oils. If you apply oils to your face, it will no longer have to produce its own oils to keep your face moisturized.

On the other hand, dry skin types need oils to maintain the skin’s moisture. Generally, dry skinned peoples develop wrinkles easier and faster than those with oily skin. Individuals with dry skin, including me, have trouble warding off those flakes of dead skin, especially during the dry winter months. Therefore, oils are essential for our skin to maintain its elasticity and youth.

Those with normal skin need oils to prevent premature aging and keep their skin in the best condition possible. Don’t think that you’re off the hook because your skin is just right…

No one can escape the trials of time, but we can decrease its impact on our skin.

Comedogenic Ratings

If you have been looking into using natural oils for skincare, you have probably stumbled across this term and wondered, “what in the world is a comedogenic rating?” Don’t worry, the first time I saw this word I thought that I had entered some kind of science class. Luckily, it is not as complex as it sounds. A comedogenic rating is simply a number on a scale from 0-5 that describes an oil’s likelihood to clog pores, 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.


0 – Will not clog pores

Hemp seed oil, Safflower oil, Argan oil

1- Low probability

Grape Seed oil, Rosehip oil, Sea Buckthorn oil, Babassu oil, Apricot Kernel oil, Baobab Seed oil,

2 – Moderately low

Neem oil, Borage oil, Brazil nut oil, Jojoba oil, Sweet Almond oil, Tamanu oil, Evening Primrose oil,

3 – Moderate

Avocado oil, Chia Seed oil

4 – High

Cocoa butter, Coconut oil

5 – Almost certain to clog pores

Wheat Germ oil

Searching For the Right Oil

Now, that you have all of this information, it is time to link it together and apply it to your skin type.

Oily skin

About 75% of 15-20-year-olds and 40-50% of 20-40-year-olds suffer from oily skin. The good news is that you don’t need to have oily skin until you grow out of it, or even worse, for the rest of your life. Oils with a comedogenic rating of 0-1 are excellent in promoting clear and pimple free complexions. My personal favorite is Hemp Seed oil which healed my skin in less than a week after my horrifying experience of coconut oil clogging my pores.

Dry skin

60-70% of the population experiences dry skin at least once in their lifetime. Oils with a rating of 2-3 are ideal for people with dry skin.

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, you can experiment and find success with a wide range of oils. I recommend that you stick to oils with a comedogenic rating of 0-3. It is always best to start low and then work your way up the ratings if you feel like you would like more moisture.

Combination Skin

People with combination skin can either use different oils for different parts of their faces according to its needs or use the lowest comedogenic rating for the two of your skin types. For example, if your T-zone is oily (the skin on your forehead, nose, and mouth area) and your cheeks are dry, you can apply hemp oil to the T-zone and avocado oil to your cheeks. Or, if your whole face is consistently oily and dry, use lighter oils first (comedogenic rating of 0-1) and then heavier oils if you feel like your skin can handle it.

Oils With a Rating of 4-5

These oils are infamous for clogging pores. However, there is a small, select group of individuals that can tolerate these heavy oils. Coconut oil is the most popular oil in this range. Even though many people proclaim its numerous benefits, I advise you to proceed with caution. Before smothering this tropical oil all over your lovely face, try a small patch first and see if there are any reactions. I blindly believed the statements that people spouted all over the internet and my complexion paid the price. After the first night, I applied coconut oil, my face had a few bumps here and there, but nothing to be too alarmed of. I thought that my face would learn to tolerate the coconut oil and it would get better over time… Boy, I have never been so wrong in my life. I continued to use coconut oil the next night and then the night after that, and by the end of the week, there wasn’t even a decent square inch on my face that wasn’t affected by it! After this, I quickly learned that I coconut oil has a very high probability of clogging pores… NO WONDER!!! Anyways, I ordered a bottle of hemp oil as soon as possible and my skin slowly began its recovery in the following week. Needless to say, I will never be trying that again.

If you would like to learn more about my experience with coconut oil, click here. 

Other Factors

Don’t forget that what you put in your body is just as important as what you apply to your face! It’s hard to have a clear complexion if you only drink a tiny sip of water and eat a bunch of chips every day. Try to incorporate plenty of water, fruits, and vegetables into your diet as well as using oils for your face for the best results possible.

One more thing…Beauty sleep!! People who are sleep deprived do not only have the urge to stuff themselves with junk food, but also do not give their body enough time to regenerate and prepare itself for the next day. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes the body to produce the stress hormone: cortisol, which can cause the skin to degenerate faster. I don’t even need to explain those dark half moons that appear under our eyes and make us look like zombies…

Have Fun!

Now that you know how the oils benefit our skin, you can have fun experimenting with them. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them below and I will be happy to answer them!

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