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Indice de comédogénicité huile de carthame

Is safflower oil among the so-called comedogenic vegetable oils?

The use of safflower oil is becoming increasingly popular in facial care. However, for those with oily or acne-prone skin, a common question arises before incorporating a vegetable oil into their skincare routine: is it comedogenic? Let's explore together in this article whether this is the case with safflower oil.

Published March 15, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What is a comedogenic oil?

An oil is referred to as comedogenic when its application on the skin can potentially lead to the formation of comedones. These are oils with a thick and greasy texture that can clog the skin's pores. The sebum can then no longer flow properly, and pimples, blackheads or whiteheads may appear. Individuals with acne-prone skin are particularly sensitive to comedogenic ingredients, as their topical application may exacerbate their skin problem.

The comedogenicity of a vegetable oil is assessed on a scale of 0 to 5. A rating of 0 means that the ingredient is non-comedogenic and a score of 5 indicates a highly comedogenic effect. This classification was established in 1983 by Dr. MORRIS and his team based on studies on rabbit ears. The appearance of the follicles, the presence of hyperkeratosis, and the manifestation of inflammation after use were particularly observed. The principle of comedogenicity was subsequently re-evaluated in order to be more suited to human skin. Several criteria are taken into account today:

  • The sensitivity of oil to oxidation : A high level of unsaturated fatty acids in the composition of a vegetable oil tends to make it vulnerable to oxidation. Conversely, a high concentration of antioxidants has a protective effect. The sensitivity of a vegetable oil to oxidation can be directly correlated to its comedogenicity index, with fragile ingredients being more comedogenic.

  • The texture and thickness of the oil : a vegetable oil that penetrates quickly and easily into the epidermis generally has a low comedogenicity index. These oils, which have a strong affinity with the skin, are referred to as dry oils and are primarily composed of omega-3 and omega-6. The greasier oils, which are more comedogenic, tend to contain omega-9 instead.

  • The oil extraction process : An oil derived from a cold-press extraction method is often less comedogenic than an oil extracted with a solvent. Indeed, unlike other extraction methods, cold-pressing requires neither chemical treatment nor exposure to high temperatures, which preserves the active ingredients in the oil and prevents their oxidation.

Key Takeaway : An oil with a rating of 0 or 1 is recommended for individuals with oily or blemished skin. For normal to combination skin, it is possible to use an oil with a rating between 0 and 3. Finally, dry skin types are free from restrictions and can utilise all types of vegetable oils.

Safflower Oil: Comedogenic or Not?

Thesafflower oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant. It has a lovely orange hue and emits a subtle hazelnut fragrance. Safflower oil is rather light, having a dry touch and a comedogenicity index of 1. Therefore, it is suitable for all skin types, including those prone to blemishes. Thesafflower oil has numerous benefits for the skin and is particularly renowned for its moisturising, nourishing and healing properties. It can be used on the face to strengthen the hydrolipidic film, protect the skin and prevent skin ageing, without fear of blemishes appearing.

However, as mentioned earlier, the comedogenicity of an ingredient also depends on its quality. Therefore, we recommend that you ensure the safflower oil you wish to use has been obtained through cold pressing and stored away from light in a tightly sealed bottle. Furthermore, the principle of comedogenicity is not an exact science and an ingredient that is comedogenic for one person may not necessarily be so for another.


  • STAVRIANEAS N. G. & co. Comedogenicity of Cosmetics: A Review. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (1996).

  • DINARDO J. & al. A reassessment of the comedogenicity concept. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2006).

  • ERGONUL P. G. & OZBEK Z. A. Cold pressed safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) seed oil. Cold Pressed Oils (2020).


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