Comedogenic Ratings - Acne Causing Ingredient List (2023)

If you have reached this page it is obvious that finding products that will not clog your pores is extremely important to you. It is MORE than important to us - it is EVERYTHING! Our entire line is based on products that will not only, clear your pores and improve your skin's general health, but will not inadvertently clog your pores do to poor ingredient selections during formulation.

Our line is professionally formulated with an FDA registered lab to be the most potent, fully functional products available. Browse and learn all about comedogenic ingredients and then feel 100% SAFE as you shop our site for your new skin care line.

What is comedogenic?

Comedogenic - pronounced most commonly ( ko-mead-do-jen-ick ) or alternately ( ko-mE-dE-o-jen-ick ).

When dealing with skin care products, you will find many ingredients that can cause or exacerbate acne prone skin. Any such ingredient that will actually "cause" acne is called a Comedogenic. Those of us who deal daily with acne-prone skin will want to stay far, far away from any ingredient that falls into this category. For your convenience we have compiled a list of many common ingredients including comedogenic oils that may be in your skin care right now! Go over your ingredient list and see if you are using anything that may be adding to your problems.

*The 3rd column, with the irritantancy ratings, will help you if you have sensitive skin, or you are using a product that is irritating and you do not know why. It has nothing to do with the comedogenic ratings.

These are what the numbers in the chart mean.

0 - Will Not Clog Pores

1 - Low probability

2 - Moderately Low

3 - Moderate

4 - Fairly High

5 - High probability it will clog pores

If you are acne-prone, you will want to initially stick with products/ingredients that are predominantly 0's, 1's and 2's. The 3's can be ok if it is a wash-off product or it does not bother you personally.

**These are ratings, not hard and fast laws! Everyone's skin will react differently. Some people can use ingredients with 4's and not have an issue at all. As you start to learn what your skin likes best, your skin care shopping will be greatly simplified.

Remember moving forward, never test more than one new product at a time on your skin. It can take several weeks for a "problem" ingredient to start showing blemishes on your skin. You will want to give it at least 4 weeks (preferably 6) before adding another product into your regimen for testing. If you don't do this, you may be liable to blame the wrong product for your problems.

NO ONE PRODUCT CAN CAUSE A PIMPLE OVERNIGHT! Pimples take 4-6 weeks to form and reach the surface. The only thing you could potentially see with a single application is an irritation or an allergic reaction.

The best advice I can give you is this. When you find products that work for you consistently... Stick With Them!

With all of my ingredient testing, I have found 4 specific products that work perfectly with my skin and also keep my grade 3 acne clear. If you want to know my secret, just click here to grab our Acne Kit.

Take a few moments and read How Our CEO Cured Her Acne as well. It's full of many helpful tidbits to get your skin under control like mine.

Comedogenic Ratings *Pore Clogging

Watch for ingredients numbered 3, 4, and 5 to make sure they do NOT fall in the top 6-7 ingredients in a product deck (ingredient panel). All ingredients are listed greatest to least by law *pending active ingredients which could be in a separate section. If the higher numbers are far down in the deck, the product still may be safe for you.

Acetylated Lanolin40
Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol42
Algae Extract54
Almond Oil20
Aloe Vera00
Apricot Kernel Oil20
Ascorbic Acid00
Ascorbyl Palmitate20
Avocado Oil20
Benzoic Acid23
Beta Carotene10
Butyl Stearate30
Butylene Glycol10
Candelilla Wax10
Capric Acid22
Caprylic Acid13
Carnuba Wax10
Cetearyl Alcohol22
Cetyl Alcohol22
Cocoa Butter40
Coconut Butter40
Coconut Oil41
Colloidal Sulfur34
Corn Oil30
D&C Red # 1730
D&C Red # 1920
D&C Red # 2130
D&C Red # 330
D&C Red # 410
D&C Red # 610
D&C Red # 710
D&C Red # 910
Dioctyl Succinate3


Emu Oil00
Evening Primrose Oil22
Glyceryl Stearate NSE10
Glyceryl Stearate SE32
Isocetyl Stearate50
Isopropyl Alcohol04
Isopropyl Isostearate50
Isopropyl Myristate53
Isopropyl Palmitate40
Jojoba Oil20
Lanolin Alcohol20
Lanolin Oil10
Lanolin Wax10
Laureth 2330
Laureth 454
Lauric Acid41
Lithiumm Stearate10
Magneseium Aluminum Silicate00
Magnesium Stearate10
Myristic Acid30
Octyl Palmitate41
Octyl Stearate55
Olive Oil20
Papain00 - 3
Peanut Oil20 - 2
PEG 75 Lanolin32
PEG 100 Stearate10
PEG 16 Lanolin43
PEG 8 Stearate31
Palmitic Acid20
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 400)10
Propylene Glycol Monostearate40
Red Algea52
Safflower Oil20
Sodium Chloride53
Sodium Hyaluronate00
Sodium Laureth Sulfate32
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate52
Sodium PCA00
Soybean Oil30
Stearic Acid20
Stearyl Alcohol22
Sulfated Castor Oil32
Sulfated Jojoba Oil32
Sunflower Oil00
Syearyl Heptanoate40
Tocopherol (Vitamin E)22
Vitamin A Palmitate21
Wheat Germ Oil52
Zinc Oxide10


Are comedogenic ratings accurate? ›

From this article, we learn that comedogenic ratings are not the most accurate way to assess if a product will be “bad” for your skin. Products with several high comedogenic rating ingredients don't make them bad products, just like a few “bad” people in a country won't make the country a “bad” place to live in.

What ingredients cause acne breakout? ›

Common Ingredients In Cosmetics That May Cause Clogged Pores and acne
  • Acetylated Lanolin. Lanolin is a natural ingredient produced by sheep's skin to keep their wool soft, just like we produce sebum to keep our skin soft. ...
  • Algae Extract. ...
  • Benzaldehyde. ...
  • D & C Red. ...
  • Isopropyl Palmitate. ...
  • Lauroyl Lysine. ...
  • Lauric Acid. ...
  • Stearic Acid.

What is true of comedogenic ingredients? ›

“It's basically a clogged pore.” So, if a cosmetic or ingredient is comedogenic, that means that it has a propensity to clog pores and potentially lead to acne. And, therefore, something noncomedogenic is a product or ingredient that is less likely to clog your pores.

What does a comedogenic rating of 3 mean? ›

Ingredients are generally ranked as follows: 0 – NON-COMEDOGENIC (do not clog pores) 1 – SLIGHTLY COMEDOGENIC (very low chance of clogging pores) 2 – MODERATELY COMEDOGENIC (may clog pores for some but be fine for most) 3 – COMEDOGENIC (will clog acne prone/oily skin type)

Is Avocado oil comedogenic? ›

Avocado oil is considered to be mildly comedogenic which means that it can clog your pores. However, it is most likely to cause congestion in skin types that are prone to congestion, breakouts or blemishes.

Is non-comedogenic real? ›

Noncomedogenic is a term used to describe skincare and makeup products that are formulated in such a way that they are not likely to cause pore blockages (comedones) and breakouts. It's mainly used to describe skincare products and cosmetics.

Is niacinamide good for acne? ›

Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne, especially inflammatory forms like papules and pustules. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.

Can hyaluronic acid cause acne? ›

So, does hyaluronic acid cause acne? The short answer is no – hyaluronic acid is a non-comedogenic and non-exfoliating acid. If you're experiencing breakouts with a new hyaluronic skin care product, check the label to look for comedogenic ingredients.

What are the best ingredients for acne-prone skin? ›

8 Best Ingredients for Acne-Prone Skin
  • Benzoyl peroxide.
  • Salicylic acid.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids.
  • Sulfur.
  • Adapalene.
  • Azelaic acid.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Tea tree oil.
Aug 11, 2021

Why would a company use a comedogenic ingredient in a product? ›

So if a product is comedogenic, it contains an ingredient that contributes to the formation of comedones that lead to acne. If a product is non-comedogenic, in theory, it shouldn't clog your skin or lead to breakouts.

Is Cetaphil comedogenic? ›

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

It's a soap-free cleanser, which means that it isn't made with the fats that can strip or irritate sensitive skin, and cleans using other synthetic cleansers. It's also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it won't clog your pores.

Is Aloe a comedogenic? ›

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may be wondering, “Is aloe vera good for acne?” You'll be relieved to know that aloe vera gel ranks a 0 on the comedogenic scale, meaning it won't clog pores.

Is vitamin E oil comedogenic rating? ›

This vitamin E rich oil is non-comedogenic, antibacterial, and is also an antioxidant. With a comedogenic rating of 2, this non-comedogenic oil is often seen as the holy grail of acne-friendly facial oils. Jojoba oil is extremely similar to the sebum our face creates.

What is the comedogenic rating of rosehip oil? ›

Rosehip oil has a comedogenic rating of 2, generally speaking. Just as there are varying varieties and grades of olive oil, the same goes for cosmetic oils. If rosehip oil is obtained only from the seeds of the fruit, then typically it will be higher in linoleic acid.

What is the least comedogenic oil? ›

List of noncomedogenic oils
  • Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil varies in color, based on the type of grapes it's derived from. ...
  • Sunflower seed oil. Light and thin in texture, sunflower seed oil can be used effectively as a carrier oil, or on its own. ...
  • Neem oil. ...
  • Hempseed oil. ...
  • Sweet almond oil.

Is lemon oil comedogenic? ›

The qualities of lemon oil that make it lightly exfoliating can also reduce hyperpigmentation from acne. When using lemon oil for acne and acne scars, one approach is to use it at night: Mix 1 drop of lemon oil with a small amount of non-comedogenic oil.

What oils dont clog pores? ›

Sunflower oil is just one of many non-comedogenic oils in this blend, one of our favorite facial oils. You'll also find rosehip seed oil, sweet almond oil, evening primrose oil, and safflower oil, all of which get the seal of approval from the experts.

What causes comedogenic acne? ›

What causes comedones? Comedones arise when cells lining the sebaceous duct proliferate (cornification), and there is increased sebum production. A comedo is formed by the debris blocking the sebaceous duct and hair follicle. It is now known that comedones also involve inflammation (see causes of acne).

What ingredient does not clog pores? ›

Some examples of noncomedogenic ingredients include aloe vera, vitamin C, and glycerin. Some comedogenic ingredients found in cosmetics include cocoa butter, lanolin, coconut oil, and wheat germ oil.

Is coconut oil comedogenic? ›

Eating coconut oil isn't problematic for most people. However, some people apply it directly to the skin as a facial cleanser or moisturizer. This may be beneficial against acne, but it's not recommended for people who have very oily skin. Coconut oil is highly comedogenic, which means it can clog pores.

Is niacinamide or salicylic acid better for acne? ›

Salicylic acid is the better option for treating acne, while niacinamide is great for fading scarring and hyperpigmentation. They can both be used together and create a brightening, acne-fighting duo.

Which is better retinol or niacinamide? ›

Retinol has similar benefits, but it's stronger than niacinamide. It's also known to cause irritation, redness, and dry skin. Pairing the two ingredients is safe and can make retinol easier to use. Niacinamide helps hydrate the skin, which reduces the risk of irritation caused by retinol.

Can too much niacinamide cause acne? ›

Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging.

Does Vit C serum cause acne? ›

No, vitamin C serums cannot cause acne. One of the main arguments leveled against vitamin C is that it acts as a pro-oxidant. This means that instead of neutralizing free radicals, it will act as a free radical itself and begin to damage skin cells. This kind of free radical is called a reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Can salicylic acid cause acne? ›

Acne treatments — especially those that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid — are drying and a bit harsh on your skin. If you use too many treatments at the same time, your skin may become irritated, and you may actually suffer more breakouts as a result.

Does retinol cause acne? ›

Applying retinol is a long-term treatment which promotes fresh skin, fewer blemishes and reduction in acne breakouts. Whereas in the short term, it can lead to acne breakouts, skin peeling, dryness, and a range of other frustrating temporary outcomes. The purge phase usually lasts for two to six weeks.

Which is better for acne benzoyl or salicylic? ›

If you have blackheads and whiteheads, salicylic acid alone should work well to clear out your pores. If your acne tends to be inflammatory, such as papules and pustules, opt for benzoyl peroxide to stop outbreaks at the source. For sensitive skin, start with salicylic acid, since it's less likely to cause irritation.

Does vitamin C help with acne? ›

Vitamin C contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce the redness and swelling that comes with acne. The results are more pronounced when you use the vitamin topically. It, therefore, helps improve the appearance of acne wounds. It may help reduce hyperpigmentation.

What ingredients help hormonal acne? ›

salicylic acid, which reduces inflammation and unclogs pores. retinoids, which unclog pores and reduce oiliness. benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria that cause acne.

How do you know if a product is comedogenic? ›

Feel the texture. Even if you're not looking into the specifics of comedogenic ratings, you can tell a lot by a product's texture. "Thick creams and heavy oils tend to clog pores," says Akram. "Water-based and gel products tend to be safer for skin that's prone to congestion." An easy thing to remember, according to Dr ...

Is non-comedogenic good for acne? ›

Noncomedogenic oils help keep dry skin supple and oily skin acne-free. That's because noncomedogenic oils don't clog pores. This allows skin to breathe, remain hydrated, and keeps it free from breakouts. Clogged pores (comedones) can lead to pimples.

Can non-comedogenic moisturizer cause acne? ›

"Simply put, a noncomedogenic product has been tested to not clog pores," explains board-certified dermatologist Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, of Eternal Dermatology and Aesthetics. "That means it's less likely to cause acne. Though, this is not guaranteed. Dirt, dead skin cells, or sebum can clog the pores, causing acne.

Is CeraVe better than Cetaphil? ›

Overall, there is no clear winner. It just depends on the needs of your own skin. If you experience dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin then CeraVe might be the clear choice. However, if you experience sensitive skin the Cetaphil is the better option.

Are CeraVe products non-comedogenic? ›

Are CeraVe products non-comedogenic? The majority of CeraVe products are non-comedogenic, so they won't clog pores or cause acne.

Does CeraVe cause acne? ›

Cerave Moisturizing Lotion

The combination of ingredients like polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate and cetyl alcohol both can contribute to some pretty serious breakouts.

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