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Are vegetable oils comedogenic?

Are vegetable oils comedogenic?

Brimming with vitamins and essential fatty acids, vegetable oils are effective and accessible beauty allies. However, while they hydrate and soften the skin, they can also clog pores and encourage the formation of spots and blackheads. To better guide you, here is everything you need to know about the potentially comedogenic effect of vegetable oils used in cosmetics.

How can you determine if an oil is comedogenic?

One point that needs to be checked before purchasing a vegetable oil is its comedogenicity index, especially for combination to oily skin types. To clarify, an oil is said to be comedogenic if it promotes the formation of comedones (spots, blackheads, etc...), particularly by clogging the pores. Each vegetable oil has a comedogenicity index, obtained after analysing its freshness, its rate of penetration into the skin, and its level of oxidation. To date, vegetable oils are measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 5:

  • Index 0: This indicates that the oil is non-comedogenic and is ideal for combination to oily and blemished skin. Among these oils, we have those of argan, hemp, baobab, jojoba, camellia, hazelnut, prickly pear, carrot or sunflower.

  • Index 1 to 2: This category includes oils that are minimally comedogenic, among them are sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, apricot oil, castor oil, black seed oil, grape seed oil, plum or sesame oil.

  • Index 3 and 4: Oils with a comedogenicity index of 3 or 4 are quite comedogenic. We can find therosehip oil, flaxseed, borage, coconut, chia or cottonseed.

  • Index 5: A vegetable oil with an index of 5 is a highly comedogenic oil, such as wheat germ oil.

Thus, it is advised for combination to oily skin types to use vegetable oils with a low index between 0 and 2, while normal to dry skin types can utilise oils with indices ranging from 0 to 5.

Another concept to consider: solid and viscous oils to the touch are the most comedogenic. They tend to clog the pores. Instead, opt for oils with a lighter and more fluid texture. Furthermore, favour vegetable oils over mineral oils, which are known to be much more comedogenic. Therefore, make it a habit to scrutinise the packaging of your vegetable oils and observe the texture of the oil to determine which one suits your skin type. Ultimately, combination to oily skin types prone to blemishes should not refrain from using vegetable oils, but simply choose the most suitable one.


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