Essential Oils Skincare

Is Olive Oil Comedogenic?

olive oil comedogenic

Extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants and has very high nutritional value. It is rich in omega-3 acids and is one of the healthiest and most beneficial natural oils for anti-aging and skin protection.

It’s wide range of compelling uses even include prevention of radiodermatitis–an acquired skin disease from overexposure of UV rays commonly seen in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Is olive oil comedogenic?

Olive oil is an undiluted vegetable oil that, in its pure form, is moderately comedogenic (Grade: 2).

It’s comedogenic side effect however, is reduced when diluted down to 25% concentrations and mixed with mineral oil (which is a non-comedogenic oil with a rating of <2 so it will never clog pores.)

Mineral oil has had a bad reputation but claims that it is unsafe is false false false! Cosmetics-grade and pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil are considered the safest and most hypoallergenic moisturizing ingredients ever found.

All of this misinformation comes from sources discrediting mineral oil because it is a byproduct of petroleum and has a wide range of household uses. The same can be said for Vaseline‘s petroleum jelly, but just because that it has a ton of practical uses around the house does not take away the fact that it is a cheap and very, very effective skin product. It is also one of the main ingredients for Crème de la Mer, one of the most popular and most expensive moisturizers in the market (a whopping $310 per tub).

In the same vein, mineral oil used in skincare is highly purified and far removed from its raw form. It is USP-NF (US Pharmacopoeia-National Formulary) or BP (British Pharmacopoeia) grade; which means it is acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use. It was first introduced in the 1800’s and the fact that it is still widely used today is testament to its safety and efficacy. (I realize I’ve gone off on a tangent about mineral oil but misconceptions are very frustrating!)

If you have acne-prone skin, blend organic extra virgin olive oil with cosmetic-grade or pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil at a ratio of 1:4 or lower to use a moisturizer or cleansing oil.

If you have acne-prone skin and would like to use olive oil as a moisturizer or a cleansing oil, we recommend buying organic extra virgin olive oil (which is the highest quality kind) and blending it at a ratio of 1:4 or lower with a cosmetics-grade or pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil before applying it to your skin. You can use amber bottles with pumps as refillable containers.

Our recommendations are based on our comprehensive analysis of the product’s formulation, claims, value for money, and consumer reviews. We make an effort to be as objective as possible and give advice in good faith; however, our reviews may still contain conjectures and opinions based on our research and personal experiences.

It’s important to know that as with any product (especially cosmetics), what may be perfect for you may not be right for the next person. So as much as we want to guarantee that these will be everyone’s next holy grail, results can still be affected by individual factors like your current skin condition, the environment you’re in, use of the product, reaction to your other skincare, and so on. For best results, make sure to choose a product that is suited for your skin type and skin issues.

This website is for informational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Product or service details are collected directly from the manufacturer and other reputable sources during the time of this review, and cited in the Resources section. We try to keep on top of new formulations when we can, and update our data accordingly.

At the end of every review, there will be a link for you to check current discounts and other customer reviews on Amazon. These, along with some other links that redirect you to third party sites, are affiliate links where we earn a small commission if you do decide to make a purchase. This is at absolutely no extra cost to you and will help in maintaining the quality of the site.

This website is our passion project, and our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. The choices we make take extensive research (which we actually enjoy because we’re weird and nerdy like that), including data from credible academic papers and user sources available.

Bottom Line: We objectively review a laundry list of top performing products, pick the best ones based on our results, and present them to you with all the key info so you can choose the most suitable one for your skin. If you decide to buy something, we earn a commission that helps cover site costs like hosting, design, research materials, etc. You don’t have to of course, thank you for visiting us nonetheless. 🙂

There are different grades of olive oils in the market:

  • organic extra virgin olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • virgin olive oil
  • refined olive oil

When using it on your skin or for consumption, make sure to always use the highest quality organic extra virgin olive oil to reap all the benefits.

The mineral oil blend can leave a greasy feeling on your skin however (think Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Oil, which is basically mineral oil with a tinge of fragrance). If you dislike this feeling on your skin, you can opt for other non-comedogenic alternatives below.

 

What are Other Alternatives to Olive Oil?

If you have acne-prone skin and are looking for cleansing oils or organic moisturizers; you can use the least comedogenic natural oils in the market as an alternative.

All the oils below have a comedogenic rating of 0, so you can use them in their pure form (the links below will lead you to the Amazon website).

  • Argan oil – high in vitamin E and extremely moisturizing
  • Sunflower oil – light in consistency, rich in vitamins that can help improve skin health
  • Hemp seed oil – a pure organic oil that is good for absorbing vitamin D
  • Safflower oil – highly hydrating to the skin and popularly used as a carrier oil

 

Comedogenic Oils You Should Avoid:

Natural oils you might want to avoid if you have acne-prone skin are:

Grade (1-5)

  • coconut butter (4)
  • peach kernel oil (5)
  • cocoa butter (4)
  • sesame oil (3)
  • linseed oil or flex oil
  • palm oil
  • soybean oil (3)
  • grapeseed oil
  • almond oil
  • corn oil (3)
  • cotton seed oil

In skincare and cosmetics, it’s not necessarily the presence of a particular type of ingredient that makes one product more comedogenic than the other–it’s the amount of concentration and the mixture of it with other ingredients that is most important.

 

Cosmetic Ingredients You Should Avoid:

With whopping grades of 4-5 (in a scale of 0-5), other ingredients that are highly comedogenic and should watch out for are:

  • Cetyl acetate (4) – also a skin irritant
  • Acetylated lanolin alcohol – sheepskin oil that is very popular in cosmetics
  • Oleic acid – an unsaturated fatty acid used in moisturizers
  • Oleyl alcohol (4) – found in fish oils and used in detergents and softeners
  • Oleyl palmitate – used in cosmetics as an emmoliant and thickening agent
  • Isopropyl isostearate (5) – used in beauty products as a skin conditioning agent and humectant (ie. preserve skin moisture)
  • Isopropyl myristate (5) – a synthetic oil that is unique as it helps reduce the feeling of greasy skin on some products with high content of oils
  • Myristyl myristate (5)
  • Lanolic acid or vitamin F – mostly found in skin nourishing products as it has a long list of skin benefits

 

 

Resources:

Plewig, G. and Kligman, A. (1975). Acne: Morphogenesis and Treatment. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Lees, M. (2013). Clearing Concepts: A Guide to Acne Treatment. Milady Pub Corp.

Lees, M. (2012). Skin Care: Beyond The Basics. Clifton Park, NY: Cenage Learning/Milady.

Dermascope.com. (2016). Vitamin F (Linoleic Acid).

Kligman AM, Mills OH, Jr.. “Acne Cosmetica“. Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(6):843-850. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620150029011

Science.gov. (2016). radiodermatitis: Topics by Science.gov

Viola, P. and Viola, M. (2009). Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector. Clinics in Dermatology, 27(2), pp.159-165.

Rawlings, A. and Lombard, K. (2012). A review on the extensive skin benefits of mineral oil. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34(6), pp.511-518.

Reader’s Digest. (2016). Petroleum Jelly Uses: 26 Cool Home, Health & Beauty Ideas | Reader’s Digest.

Reviews:



Is Olive Oil Comedogenic? Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 1 reviews
5 1

★★★★★
5 5 1
I never knew you can dilute the comeginicity out of an oil, that's interesting. You learn something new everyday.

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