Beauty Oils That Won’t Clog Pores

December 19, 2014By 12 Comments

beauty oils that won't clog pores

Since I’m always going on and on about how much I love and rely on beauty oils to help my skin look young and fresh, I thought I’d quickly go over which oils are the best for your skin (i.e. the ones that won’t clog pores). Believe it or not, there are a lot of oils that have antiseptic and sebum balancing characteristics that actually fight acne (e.g. jojoba, rosehip, and castor)—I know, seems counterintuitive to slather oil on your face to fight zits, right? Oils are also the BEST moisturizers (and wrinkle fighters!) because there are zero filler ingredients and they are chock full skin-lovin’ yummies like antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.

Basically, the oils that can clog pores are referred to as comedogenic, and the ones that won’t clog pores are referred to as non-comedogenic (these are the ones you wanna slather all over you face and body). So to recap, comedogenic = acne & blackheads (bad); non-comedogenic = clear skin (super awesome)!

Comedogenicity is rated on a scale of 0 – 5, like this:

1 – Low
2 – Moderately Low
3 – Moderate
4 – Fairly High
5 – High

Beauty Oils & Their Comedogenic Ratings

Non-comedogenic (these are perfect for face & body):
Hemp seed oil – 0
Petrolatum – 0
Safflower oil – 0
Shea butter – 0
Sunflower oil – 0
Low Comedogenic Properties (OK to use on face & body):
Calendula oil – 1
Castor oil – 1
Grape seed oil – 2
Pomegranate oil – 1
Rosehip oil – 1
Sea buckthorn oil – 1
Med. Comedogenic Properties (OK to use on face & body):
Almond oil – 2
Apricot kernel oil – 2
Avocado oil – 2
Baobab seed oil – 2
Borage oil – 2
Evening primrose oil – 2
Hazelnut oil – 2
Olive oil – 2
Pumpkin seed oil – 2
Sesame oil – 2
Tamanu oil – 2
Vitamin A palmitate – 2
Vitamin E – 2
Comedogenic (may clog pores):
Cocoa butter – 4
Corn oil – 3
Cotton seed oil – 3
Soybean oil – 3
Wheat germ oil – 5

Have you tried using straight up oils or a combinations of oils as part of your skincare routine (and if so, which ones)?

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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Comments (12)

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  1. selina says:


    I enjoyed the article but have a comment and a question. I noticed safflower and sunflower oil is rated as a 0 on the comedogenic scale, but…both safflower and sunflower oil contains high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E is actually rated a 2 on the comedogenic scale. Can you help explain why and how sun/safflower oil can be rated 0, when it contains vitamin E?


  2. Kris says:

    Why do people warn against mineral oil if its comedogenic rating is 0? I hear about this everywhere, how mineral oil breaks you out. But its comedogenic rating is among the lowest.

  3. Sierra says:

    I know I’m super late but what about chia seed oil? I’ve been using it and at first it was great but now I think I may be over doing it, which is clogging my pores. Do you know where this oil falls on the scale?

  4. Amy says:

    I swear by rosehip or coconut oil. I make my own cleansers to sell online at Etsy (Sweet Vegan Boutique) and I won’t use anything else now.

    • A. Connelly says:

      It’s strange. Coconut is always listed as either a 3 or 4, yet there are tons of people that never break out from it. I break out bad from coconut oil (learned the hard way), but my sister doesn’t, and she uses it straight.

  5. Nikki says:

    Hi Sunny,

    I currently use grape seed, but almond and jojoba are my favorites. I want to try sesame and shea, though it can be heavy.

  6. Angie says:

    I use jojoba oil with 1 drop of frankincense on my face at night. I generally use almond oil with some essential oils mixed in, all over my body. Once in awhile, I will use pure vitamin E on my eyes, but only at night.

  7. Kim says:

    Hi Sunny,
    Do you know where Argan oil falls? I use that and coconut and I’m just curious. Thanks!

  8. Julie says:

    I use Coconut Oil and Vitamin E Oil but only a few times a week. Luckily I haven’t had any breakouts. I didn’t know there was a difference until I read it in your last article. So glad you wrote this, I’ll be changing to one of the Non-comedogenic oils.

    • Sunny says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, Julie! I’ve been using coconut oils all over my body (just not on my face) for years and have never had a problem. Jojoba is my all-time fave oil for the face. It helps fight acne, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily. :)

  9. Heather says:

    Hi! :) where would argan oil fall on that list?

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