Using natural oils on your face has a lot of benefits – they can moisturize and nourish the skin, giving you a gorgeous glow.
But if you’ve ever struggled with oily skin or clogged pores, you’re probably a little horrified of the idea of putting an oil on your face.
It’s true that some oils are comedogenic, meaning they can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. But not all oils are created equal.
In fact, some oils are non-comedogenic, meaning they don’t clog your pores at all. Others are only slightly comedogenic and work well on most skin types. Meanwhile, others are very comedogenic and should rarely be used on the skin. Argan oil is a very popular type of oil to be used in beauty products.
So, is argan oil comedogenic? Argan oil is one of the least comedogenic oils on the planet, meaning it does not clog your pores at all. However, it’s important to understand your skin type and how it will interact with argan oil (or any oil) before you decide to put it on your face.
In this blog post, we will get into the details of what it means when oil is comedogenic, what different ratings of comedogenicity are, and whether or not it’s safe for you to use argan oil if you are prone to breakouts.
What Is Comedogenic Oil?
When an oil is described as “comedogenic,” it refers to how likely an oil is to clog pores. When pores get clogged they can become comedones, which is where the word comedogenic comes from. Comedones are essentially blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
Oil comedogenicity is not binary. There is a spectrum along which all oils fall – from least comedogenic to most comedogenic, and everywhere in between. I
n fact, there is a whole ranking system that exists in the skincare community that rates each oil based on how likely it is to clog pores.
Oils are rated from 0-5 based on how comedogenic they are. Here are some popular oils ranked:
- Rated 0 (does not clog pores at all): argan oil, safflower oil, hemp seed oil, mineral oil, Abyssinian seed oil
- Rated 1 (not likely to clog pores): calendula oil, castor oil, rosehip oil, squalane oil, blackberry seed oil, cucumber seed oil, grapeseed oil, pomegranate seed oil
- Rated 2 (sometimes clogs pores): almond oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, acai berry oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, mango butter
- Rated 3 (likely to clog pores): avocado oil, chia seed oil, fractionated coconut oil, sesame seed oil
- Rated 4 (very likely to clog pores): carrot seed oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, flax seed oil, marula oil
- Rated 5 (highest likelihood of clogging pores): wheat germ oil
The ratings are based on several factors, primarily the oil’s composition and reaction to oxidation. The more oleic acid an oil has, the more comedogenic it is. And the faster it oxidates, the more likely it is to cause breakouts as well.
As a general rule, people with acne-prone or oily skin should avoid highly-comedogenic oils, while people with drier skin types can typically handle all oils pretty well.
Everyone’s skin is a little bit different, so you should look at this rating system as a general guide, not as a concrete rule.
Argan Oil On Your Skin
You’ve probably noticed that argan oil is rated at a 0 for comedogenicity, which means it does not clog pores at all.
Argan oil is sourced in Morocco. It’s made from the argan tree kernels and has dozens of different uses. It can even be used in food!
In the beauty industry, argan oil is highly loved as a hair and skin oil. It’s extremely nourishing and rich in vitamin E, linoleic acid, fatty acids, and various antioxidants.
It can moisturize and soften the skin, and even helps reduce acne.
Can Argan Oil Clog Pores?
Because it’s rated 0 on the comedogenic scale, argan oil is not likely to clog your pores. In fact, it’s one of the least comedogenic oils known to man!
However, it’s important to remember that oil comedogenicity is not an exact science, especially since everyone’s skin reacts to things differently.
While argan oil is not likely to clog your pores, if you have particularly sensitive skin or you are allergic to some compound within the oil, it can cause bumps and irritation.
If you haven’t used argan oil before, make sure to start slow and patch test it before fully committing. That being said, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have any sort of negative reaction from argan oil. It’s one of the best-tolerated oils out there.
Can Argan Oil Cause Acne?
Because argan oil is non-comedogenic, it’s very unlikely to cause acne. In fact, some of the compounds in argan oil can actually help reduce acne and inflammation!
If you have acne-prone skin, you shouldn’t be afraid to use argan oil. It’s not known for causing acne or irritating the skin.
As mentioned above, you should still patch test the oil on your skin before you start using it regularly, just in case you have any sensitivities to it.
Everyone is different and you can’t know how your skin will react until you try a new product.
Is It Safe To Use Pure Argan Oil?
You can buy argan oil in its pure form at most beauty retailers. It’s also often added to moisturizers, serums, and creams.
It’s perfectly safe to use pure argan oil directly on your skin. You can use it as a final step in your skincare routine to lock in moisture and help other products sink in better.
Simply rub some of it in your palms and gently spread it over your face, making sure to avoid the eyes. Argan oil is has a lightweight texture and it won’t leave you feeling greasy.
It’s also safe to use products containing argan oil. If you are using creams and moisturizers that contain argan oil, you probably don’t want to use extra argan oil on top of that.
However, if you have extra dry skin, it probably won’t hurt to add some extra argan oil even if you’re already getting some in your regular beauty products.
What Skin Types Is Argan Oil Best For?
While argan oil is safe and effective for most skin types, it’s important to understand your skin type and any current skin issues you’re dealing with in order to figure out if an oil or another ingredient is going to work for you.
There are five commonly recognized skin types. You can figure out your skin type by simply observing how your skin behaves – after all, you know your skin better than anyone else.
Below are the five main skin types, their characteristics, and how well argan oil typically works with each skin type:
Argan Oil And Normal Skin
We consider you lucky if you have a normal skin type. You’ll know your skin is normal if it’s not particularly dry or oily, meaning you’re not shiny all over and you don’t have flaking skin.
A good test to figure out if your skin tends to be oily or dry is to gently wash your skin in the morning and then go for the rest of your day without putting any products on it. No moisturizer, no toner – nothing.
After a couple of hours, take a look in the mirror. Does it look shiny? If yes, you might have excess oil production. In this case, put a light tissue to your t-zone – your forehead, nose, and chin – and see if any oil gets absorbed into the tissue. If there is visible oiliness on the tissue, you likely have oily skin.
If that doesn’t happen, check it for dryness. Smile wide and wiggle your eyebrows up and down. Does your skin feel tight and sore when you do that? If yes, you could have dry skin. Look closely: do you have any dry flakes or cracks?
If not, congratulations! You have normal skin. That means your skin can naturally hydrate itself without overproducing oil. You likely don’t have too many acne breakouts and your skin generally behaves.
When it comes to argan oil, normal skin tolerates it very well. Argan oil is light enough to provide protection and additional moisture without overhydrating the skin. Since it’s non-comedogenic, you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores or causing breakouts.
Argan Oil And Dry Skin
If you tried the above test and your skin feels tight when you don’t wear any moisturizer for a few hours, you likely have dry skin.
Other signs of dry skin are flakes and patches of roughness on the skin. Dry skin can really benefit from a daily oil in addition to moisturizers. You should also avoid harsh cleansers and soaps.
When it comes to argan oil, it works really well on dry skin. It doesn’t irritate the skin further and nourishes it with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. You can feel free to use the pure form of argan oil and spread it over your skin at the end of your skincare routine in the morning and evening.
Argan Oil And Oily Skin
You’ll know you have oily skin if going product-free for a few hours results in you having a shiny t-zone, a propensity towards breakouts, and clogged pores.
Oily skin is more likely to develop acne in response to hormonal changes, aging, and new beauty products. Your pores are usually larger than you’d like and often filled with blackheads.
If that sounds bleak, maybe this will make you feel better: oily skin doesn’t age as quickly as other skin types, so at least you’ll retain your youthful appearance longer than everyone else!
If you have oily skin, you’re probably worried about putting any kind of oil on it. But argan oil can actually help your skin.
Argan oil can give your skin the moisture it needs so that your pores don’t need to produce as much sebum. And since argan oil is non-comedogenic, it won’t clog your pores and result in breakouts.
Additionally, argan oil can have soothing properties, so it can actually help reduce any inflammation you’re already experiencing from any acne you have.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to put oils on an oily face, there are some oils that are very good for oily skin types, and argan oil is one of them.
Argan Oil And Combination Skin
Combination skin is similar to normal skin, except that it has different areas of the face that are more oily and others that are drier.
Usually, the t-zone is oily, and the areas around it are dry.
Argan oil can help balance the oil production on the face and help even everything out. Because it’s non-comedogenic, it’s safe to use on the oily parts of the face without the risk of clogging your pores.
Argan Oil And Sensitive Skin
You probably know if you have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is prone to things like burning, irritation, redness, rosacea, and contact dermatitis.
If you have sensitive skin, you probably have to be very careful with adding new products to your skincare routine as you regularly have unpleasant reactions.
Is argan oil safe for you? Usually, yes. Most people with sensitive skin tolerate argan oil very well. Argan oil can provide relief and reduce inflammation that your skin so often experiences.
However, our advice to everyone who has sensitive skin is to be very careful with new products, especially something as potent as natural oil.
You might want to start by using a moisturizer that contains argan oil to see how your skin responds to that before you jump straight into using 100% pure argan oil.
What Is The Least Comedogenic Oil?
The least comedogenic oils are those that are rated 0 on the comedogenicity scale.
Here are some of the least comedogenic oils:
- Argan oil
- Safflower oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Mineral oil
- Abyssinian seed oil
As you can see, argan oil is one of the least comedogenic oils in the world. There are a few other oils on that list, and they are often added to skincare products. However, argan oil is probably the most popular oil on that list.
That being said, there are some oils that are rated 1 on the scale, which are still known for being non-comedogenic. Although they are not as non-comedogenic as the oils that are rated 0, they are still great for most skin types.
These oils include:
- Calendula oil
- Castor oil
- Rosehip oil
- Squalane oil
- Blackberry seed oil
- Grapeseed oil
If you’ve been thinking about incorporating argan oil into your beauty routine, you should give it a try. Being completely non-comedogenic, argan oil won’t clog your pores or give you pimples.
But it will hydrate, soften, and nourish your skin like crazy. There is a reason this little oil from Morocco has blown up so much in the skincare and haircare industries.
It packs a lot of nutrients and vitamins while having a light and delicate consistency. It doesn’t make you look oily and absorbs into your skin quickly. It’s safe to use even on sensitive skin.
There are other non-comedogenic oils on the market, but argan oil is the most popular, and the easiest to obtain. It’s also the most well-tolerated oil, so almost everyone can benefit from it.
If you find that you don’t love the way it makes your skin feel, you can simply use it on your hair or your nails – it’s one of the most versatile beauty oils out there!