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Skincare 101

What Oils Won't Clog My Pores?

Do you only have to think about facial oils or a cream foundation to recoil in horror? 

If clogged pores or acne prone skin are a big problem for you, then the oils in these and many beauty products could be a serious no-no for your skin

As most of us know, clogged pores lead to pimples, and pimples lead that never-ending cycle of concealer, face washes, scrubs, and worrying that yet another breakout is about to ruin your day/week/month.. 

The good news is that you can reduce clogged pores and pimples by being smart with the products you use in your daily routine.

In this article, we'll take a look at how the oils in your skincare and makeup products could be clogging your pores, and how using non-comedogenic products can make all the difference to your skin.

The Truth About Oils

With so many natural oils available, it can be a challenge to know which ones will work well with your skin and which will make it break out.

The problem with many skincare and makeup products is that they contain oils that could cause your pores to become clogged and blocked. So, why add oil in the first place? Well, oils and butters can help to create the right texture and also help you to blend, smooth, or massage products into your skin. Oils are present in many skincare and makeup products, including cleansers, moisturizers, cream blushers, foundations, and even eyeshadows. In fact, it can be quite difficult to avoid oils them when buying skincare and makeup products. The trick lies in knowing which oils are good for your specific skin type.

If you're using products that are causing your skin to break out, you may need products that contain non-comedogenic oils (more on this in a moment). The good news is that with a little tweaking of your skincare and makeup routine, you can say goodbye to clogged pores and hello to clean, clear and radiant skin.

Non-Comedogenic For the Win

Have you heard of comedones? It's a fancy term used to describe clogged pores. Comedones can take many forms, including whiteheads, blackheads, and skin-tone-colored pimples. When your pores become clogged with debris, dirt, or oil, these pimples can appear seemingly out of nowhere and with no warning. Products that contain comedogenic oils are more likely to cause your skin to breakout, whereas products containing non-comedogenic oils are less likely to cause breakouts. It's right there in the name.

Non-comedogenic oils help to keep oily skin acne-free and dry skin supple and comfortable. These oils don't clog pores and instead allow the skin to breathe, stay clear of breakouts, and remain hydrated. Some non comedogenic oils also have anti-inflammatory benefits and can contain essential fatty acid, vitamins, and antioxidants, all of which can work independently or together.

Which Oils are Non-Comedogenic?

You'll find non-comedogenic oils in many products, including skin creams and moisturizers. Some are used as carrier oils for essential oil and other ingredients while others can be applied directly to the skin. There are many non-comedogenic oils available on the market, so you might want to experiment with them a little to see which one suits you.

Before we take a look at the many non-comedogenic oils that might be best for your skin, let's look at an easy way you can navigate the wide spectrum of products and oils available and identify the ones that are right for you. Fortunately, there's a cheat sheet you can use known as the comedogenic scale. This scale ranks oils and butters based on their likelihood of causing your pores to become clogged.

What is the Comedogenic Scale?

The comedogenic scale is a great tool to use if you're looking for products that won't block your pores and cause breakouts and acne. The scale uses a numbering system starting at 0 and ending in 5. Here's how those numbers apply:

  • 0 - won't clog pores
  • 1 - very unlikely to clog pores
  • 2 - moderately low likelihood to clog pores
  • 3 - moderate likelihood to clog pores
  • 4 - fairly high likelihood to clog pores
  • 5 - high likelihood of clogging pores

By experimenting with different non-comedogenic oils, you can find those that are best for your skin. To help you get off to a good start, we've listed some of the best options and their non-comedogenic values.

Grape Seed Oil

Grapeseed oil comes in a range of colors depending on the type of grapes it's made from. This natural oil is packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and linoleic acid, all of which are great for the skin and beneficial for healing wounds, too.

Rating on the Non-Comedogenic Scale: 1

Sunflower Seed Oil

Lightweight in texture, sunflower seed oil is commonly used as a carrier oil but also on its own. It's high in vitamin E, beta-carotene and fatty acid, which together are essential for repairing the skin's natural barrier.

Rating on the Non-Comedogenic Scale: 0-2

Neem Oil

This non-comedogenic oil has a strong but not unpleasant odor and is also high in antioxidants. It's commonly used for medicinal purposes in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and has good antibacterial properties. If you suffer from acne but want products that won't cause further breakouts, neem oil is a good ingredient to look out for.

Rating on the Non-Comedogenic Scale: 1-2

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil can work wonders on dry skin. The vitamin C and E and fatty acids it contains help to keep the skin supple and smooth. It has a rich and earthy scent and is commonly found in moisturizers and body oils.

Rating on the Non-Comedogenic Scale: 0

Sweet Almond Oil

A favorite in massage oils, sweet almond oil is lightly scented and gentle to the skin. If you suffer from very dry skin or dry skin conditions such as psoriasis, you might want to consider products containing this oil. The high levels of fatty acids make this ultra-hydrating oil perfect for use as a facial oil or all over the body.

Rating on the Non-Comedogenic Scale: 2

Choosing Non-Comedogenic Products For Your Skin Type

There are five main skin types. Knowing yours will help you to determine which non-comedogenic ingredients are right for you so that you can choose products with confidence.

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, look out for products that won't strip away the natural oils from your skin. These products should provide hydration and help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Oils that won't clog pores in normal skin types include grape seed oil, argan oil, hemp seed oil, and mango butter.

Dry Skin

If your dry skin feels tight and uncomfortable, you need products that will give you adequate hydration without causing scaly or flaky patches. You should avoid harsh cleansing products and consider ingredients that attract moisture to the skin, such as hyaluronic acid. Good non comedogenic oils for dry skin include pistachio oil, almond oil, olive oil, and neem oil. If you suffer from especially dry skin, look for products containing mango or shea butter.

Oily Skin

If you hate the shine that oily skin gives to your complexion, tweaking your skincare regime could be the best thing you do for your skin. Oily skin can also be more prone to breakouts and acne, but on the plus side, oily skin usually shows fewer signs of fine lines and wrinkles. Even though putting more oil on your skin may sound crazy, some oils can actually be very beneficial to this skin type. Look out for products that include evening primrose oil, rosehip oil, jojoba oil, hemp seed oil, and grapeseed oil.

Sensitive Skin

Dry, itching, burning, and redness are all typical hallmarks of sensitive skin. You might also suffer from flare-ups of rosacea, contact dermatitis, and other skin conditions. However your sensitive skin affects you, you'll need products that don't make things worse. Good oils to choose for keeping the balance include almond oil, blackcurrant seed oil, hazelnut oil, and watermelon seed oil.

Combination Skin

If you have combination skin you'll have a mixture of oily skin and dry skin. For example, you may have dry skin on your cheeks while your t-zone is more prone to shine and breakouts. In these cases, you may need two different moisturizers to address your oily and dry areas. To keep your pores unclogged, be sure to exfoliate once a week. The best non-comedogenic oils for your skin type include borage seed oil, raspberry seed oil, pecan oil, and evening primrose oil.

Choosing Non-Comedogenic Makeup

Finding a good non-comedogenic foundation can be a challenge. If you're fed up with the vicious circle of using your regular foundation only to be plagued by pimples the next day, a non-comedogenic foundation is definitely the right choice for you. Look for foundations that are lightweight and water or gel-based. Sheer foundations will give you a radiant and dewy natural look rather than that dreaded caked-on effect.

How to Introduce Non-Comedogenic Products into Your Routine

If you have been using the same products for years, it might be an idea to gradually introduce new products into your routine. In doing so, you can experiment with different oils and see which ones suit your skin type and give you the best results. It's a good idea to do a spot test first on your inner wrist, especially if you suffer from sensitive skin. Organic oils with no added ingredients are often the best choice. These will be of a high quality that is pure, unprocessed, and really beneficial to your skin.

Whatever your skin type, if you suffer from problematic skin and regular breakouts or acne, switching to products that contain oils that won't clog pores should help to alleviate these problems and get you on the right track to clearer and more manageable skin.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency