Not all facial oils are all created equal: Why you should focus on non comedogenic oils…
I think we all can agree that coconut oil is amazing! It’s lists of health enhancing properties range from reducing inflammation, cleaning teeth, moisturizing skin, to protecting the brain. Not only is great for your health, but you can use it to cook, deep condition your hair, take off your waterproof eye makeup, and the list goes on and on. In so many of these lists I’ve seen “use coconut oil as a face moisturizer,” so I thought, ‘’why not? It’s pretty much a panacea.” However, if you’re like me and have combination skin or a tendency to breakout, coconut oil is not going to work out for you because it is highly comedogenic! I learned this the hard way by trying it on my face first and then breaking out and doing the research after. On a scale of 0 being the least comedogenic and 4 being the most, coconut oil is sadly a 4. It will work wonders on your body, unless you breakout there, as well. As it turns out, you may have to have more than one product in your life.
So, what are we to use in these super dry, cold, windy, heater-sucking-the-moisture, winter months? How will our skin survive without looking like parched, crusty, wrinkled elephant skin? Depending on your level of dryness/dehydration, here are non comedogenic oils for your face that are better than coconut oil.
Top Non Comedogenic Oils
1. Shea Butter
Shockingly, Shea Butter is 0 on the comedogenic scale. As rich and luxurious as it is, it does not clog the pores. When I was freaking out because my skin actually started flaking on my forehead, this is what I went to for rescue. It is very thick and feels a bit like putting chapstick on your face, and yes, does take a while to absorb; but if you are experiencing very dry skin, it is going to feel great. It contains tons of vitamins and minerals and is amazing for fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. Shea Butter can be melted down and mixed with your favorite essential oil or with another face oil to temper it so it doesn’t feel so thick. It is a godsend for saving your skin if it is in a state of flaking panic, like mine was. Added bonus: it can be used on your hair, as well! Make sure your buy organic, unrefined, and raw.
2. Argan Oil
Argan Oil is another non comedogenic oil (o on the comedogenic scale) known for its beauty enhancing properties. A 2015 study on postmenopausal women found that ingesting and topically applying argan oil improved skin elasticity more than the control group ingesting olive oil. Like Shea Butter, it can be used for the face and hair. It is rich in vitamin E and minerals, and reducing fines lines and scars. It is much more light weight than shea butter and absorbs easily. I was using Argan Oil prior to Shea Butter, but found it did not provide enough moisture and hydration during the winter months. It worked beautifully, however, during spring and summer.
3. Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip Seed Oil is a 2 on the comedogenic scale. I have combination skin and have not had a problem with it, but it you have acnegenic skin or oily skin, this may not be the best choice for you. Like Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil is lightweight and absorbs easily. It contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E, which yield a high cell turnover and revitalize aging skin. A study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging found that subjects who applied topical rosehip powder saw improvement in crow’s feet, skin moisture, and elasticity. I like using Rosehip Seed Oil as a serum and putting a moisturizer on top of it, however this may be enough for you.
4. Hemp Seed Oil
I love adding a spoonful of hemp seeds to all my bowls, salads, and toasts for an Omega-3 boost, and hemp seed oil gives the same benefits when applied topically to your skin. It boasts an enviable 0 comedogenic rating, so it’s suitable for all skin types. Its high Omega content makes it especially anti-aging, repairing, and firming.
5. Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower oil has a high linoleic acid content, which makes it very close to your skin’s natural sebum. This allows it to “melt” the sebum and keep your pores open and freely flowing, which is why experts like Marie Veronique recommend it for blemish-prone and oily skin. It’s also high in vitamins A, B, D, and E, making it a great revitalizer for tired and damaged skin. The comedogenic rating for sunflower oil is 0-2.
Note: your skin is a constant state of change depending of your diet, how much water your drink, medications, vitamins and supplements you are taking, how much you sleep, the weather, your indoor environment, etc. Therefore, it may be necessary to adjust your skin care routine by changing your cleanser, adding or removing serums and oils. It is crucial to always listen to your skin and body.
One last thing, there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Most people have dehydrated skin, especially in the winter or if you live in a desert-like climate (like me in Los Angeles). What can you do about dehydrated skin? Look for a great humectant. Humectants draw moisture from the environment and pull it towards the skin. Rose water is a natural humectant and is smells divine and uplifts the mood (I love carrying a small bottle in my purse). Sodium PCA is also a humectant, which holds several times its weight in water. Hyaluronic Acid holds 100 times its weight in water; you just have to be sure it is vegan-sourced, because sometimes they make it from rooster combs.
Leave the coconut oil for body moisturizing or for cooking and use one of these beauty non comedogenic oils for the face and you will be glowing into spring!
More in all natural skincare: Vegan Skin Brightening Serums
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This article was first published on January 16, 2017 and most recently updated on September 23, 2019.