There has been a shift in the skincare industry to include more naturally derived products and companies have been listening. Almost every brand has some type of natural or sensitive skin geared line. In an effort to counteract the damage of free radicals in our environment, natural is the way to go!
Extracted oils hold the keys to delivering anti aging results and clearing your complexion. On the other hand not all oils are created equal. While it's true that oils can be used to remove excess oil, certain oils will further compound and lead to more frequent breakouts. There is one identifier that can help you determine whether an oil will be beneficial or troublesome for your complexion: comedogenic.
What Is A Comedone?
Now this term is something you've probably come across when reading the label of any skincare product. Some labels with list non-comedogenic as one of the features of their products. You read this, knowing its a check mark to look for but not so much understanding why. Put simply a comedone is a clogged hair follicle underneath the surface of skin that has been filled with oil aka acne.
The development of acne starts with clogged pores due to excess sebum production paired with bacteria on the surface of the skin leading to (sometimes painful) whiteheads and blackheads. You may be tempted to pop your pimples, but the best thing you can do is just wait it out or spot treat. Sifting through the ingredient list of products can help you determine if the added oils will cause breakouts.
There is also skin type to take into consideration, now those with oily skin should be more cautious around comedone causing oils. That's not to say they should avoid them all together; but, rather use sparingly.
How To Spot The Difference
Conveniently a rating system developed by dermatologists numerically ranks each oil on a variety of factors to categorize. This system is simplified to 1-5 ranking system with 5 ranking high on the comedogenic scale.
So for example, coconut oil has a ranking hovering around 4, which would deem it fairly high on the scale. While coconut oil has a rich serving of fatty acids that promote hair growth, using it on skin would increase your chance of a breakout dramatically. On the other hand argan oil has a ranking of 0, which makes it a perfect all over body oil to use or carrier oil for more potent oils.
- 0-Lowest (Will not cause a breakout)
- 2- Moderately Low
- 5-Highest (Will cause a breakout)
Low Ranking Oils (Non-Comedogenic)
High Ranking Oils (Comedogenic)
- Coconut Oil (4)
- Wheat Germ (5)
- Algae Extract (5)
- Linseed (4)
- Test a small patch of skin to determine if product will react to comedone
- Read labels carefully and where they are listed (those in higher concentrations will be listed first and so forth)
- Avoid/use sparingly comedogenic causing oils