Comedogenic ratings for common ingredients

A lot of products these days use buzzwords such as “organic” and “non-comedogenic” to appeal to more health-conscious customers, but what does that actually mean for your skin and in particular, acne prone skin?

Natural oils and waxes are often found in many ‘organic’ cosmetics but can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to clogging pores and causing acne. Even popular ingredients like coconut oil and cocoa butter can cause MASSIVE breakouts in acne prone skin, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about the ingredients in the products you buy.

Natural and/or organic does not automatically mean suitable for your skin.

*Use this free resource as a guide in determining which oils and waxes are safe for use on your face and even body:

Comedogenic (meaning it does not cause acne by clogging pores).

Rating Scale (comments mine):

0 – Won’t Clog Pores (excellent)
1 – Low risk of clogging pores (good)
2 – Moderately Low risk of clogging pores (still pretty good)
3 – Moderate risk of clogging pores (might be ok but be very careful, especially if acne prone)
4 – Fairly High risk of clogging pores (will probably cause a problem)
5 – High risk of clogging pores (highly likely to cause a problem).



Almond Oil – 2
Apricot Kernel Oil – 2
Avocado Oil – 2
Argan oil – 0
Camphor – 2
Castor Oil – 1
Cocoa Butter – 4
Coconut Butter – 4
Coconut Oil – 4
Corn Oil – 3
Cotton Seed Oil – 3
Emu oil – 1
Evening Primrose Oil – 2
Flaxseed oil / Linseed oil – 4
Grape Seed Oil – 2
Hazelnut Oil – 2
Hemp Seed Oil – 0
Hydrogenated castor oil – 1
Hydrogenated vegetable oil – 3
Mineral Oil – 0
Mink Oil – 3
Olive Oil – 2
Peach kernel oil – 4
Peanut Oil – 2
Petrolatum – 0
Pomegranate oil – 1
Rosehip oil – 1
Safflower Oil (Carthamus tinctorius) – 0
Sandalwood Seed Oil – 2
Sesame Oil – 2
Shark Liver Oil – 3
Shea Butter – 0
Soybean Oil – 3
Sunflower Oil – 0
Sulfated castor oil – 3
Tamanu oil – 2
Wheat Germ Oil – 5

Oils that are TERRIBLE for acne prone skin

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Beeswax – 2
Candelilla Wax – 1
Carnauba Wax – 1
Ceresin Wax – 0
Emulsifying Wax NF – 2
Jojoba Oil – 2
Lanolin Wax – 1
Sulfated Jojoba Oil – 3

(This list is ongoing so you may want to check back periodically as more ingredients are added; You can either bookmark the post in your browser or (if you hover over the image below)you can pin it to your Pinterest board for safe keeping.)


Oils that are safe for acne prone skin

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*Please keep in mind that other factors can also affect how an ingredient affects your skin. Things like whether or not an ingredient is an irritant or allergen should also be considered.


Sources: Beneficial Botanicals, Face Reality Pore Clogging Ingredients LIst.


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