Comedogenic, what does it mean?
…and why should I care?
When a skincare product is described as comedogenic, it means that one or more of its ingredients could clog our pores. It comes from the word ‘comedome’, which is a type of non-inflammatory acne (such as whiteheads) – comedome is caused by disruption to the outflow of sebum on our skin. If you suffer from acne, blackheads, or whiteheads, you may want to try using products with non-comedogenic ingredients as they are less likely to contribute to pore-clogging.
How do I know which skincare products to buy?
First off, you can check the ingredients on the label. It will say non-comedogenic, or non-acnegenic if the product contains the right ingredients. You may think that you can tell by the product consistency, but it’s tough to know without reading the ingredients list. Some very heavy emollient creams don’t have any comedogenic ingredients and, in contrast, some light products do contain them.
Skincare products are rated on a ‘comedogenicity scale’. The scale is measured from 0 (not at all comedogenic) to 5 (highly comedogenic). Don’t believe everything you read though as if a product has a low comedogenicity, it doesn’t mean that it won’t cause comedones. It just means it’s less likely. Everyone’s skin reacts differently to every product. Sort of puts a fly in the ointment, doesn’t it?
Sometimes, non-comedogenic ingredients can clog your skin; it’s best to look for non-comedogenic products, then keep an eye on your skin as you try them out. By the same token, you may find products rated as high comedogenic that don’t cause any breakouts. Just go with what works for you.
An idea of the ratings
To help give you an idea of the ‘non-clogging’ rating system, here’s a quick list of some common moisturising ingredients along with their ratings.
- Almond oil (2)
- Shea butter (0)
- Castor oil (1)
- Coconut oil (4)
- Jojoba oil (0-2)