If you've ever shopped for skincare products, you might have heard or come across the term or words 'comedogenic' on the ingredient list or packaging. Understanding the comedogenic scale and how it affects your skin can help you make better skincare choices.
What is the comedogenic scale?
The comedogenic scale is a rating system that measures how likely an ingredient or product is to clog pores and cause acne. It ranges from 0 to 5, with 0 being non-comedogenic - least likely to cause breakouts, and 5 being highly comedogenic - most likely to clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Ingredients that are high on the comedogenic scale such as coconut oil, cocoa butter and some types of silicones, can contribute to the formation of comedones - which are blackheads and whiteheads, and how acne begins, leading to more severe acne if left untreated or unaddressed.
How do I use the comedogenic scale?
While the comedogenic scale is a useful tool, it is important to keep in mind that everyone's skin is different. Just because an ingredient rates as non-comedogenic, it doesn't guarantee that it won't cause breakouts for you.
Additionally, how an ingredient is used and in what concentration in a formula and the mix of ingredients in a formula can also affect it's comedogenicity. Trial and testing the products on your skin is the best way to determine what suits your skin type. For example, a moisturizer that contains a small amount of a comedogenic oil may not cause breakouts, but using the oil undiluted as a cleanser could.
That said, checking the comedogenic rating of individual ingredients and products can still be helpful in identifying potential triggers for your acne. In general, it's recommended to avoid products with ingredients rated 3 or higher on the comedogenic scale if you are prone to acne.
Our ingredients we choose and recommended for oily prone skin at Mia Belle consider the comedogenic rating and we choose actives, oils and ingredients that are moderately low or non comedogenic rating of 2 or less.
Comedogenic ratings of common skincare (face care) ingredients:
Here are a few of our skincare ingredients we use in our products and their comedogenic ratings.
Evening primrose oil
Understanding the comedogenic scale can help you choose skincare products that are less likely to clog pores, develop comedones that lead to acne breakouts. However it is important to remember that the rating is not a guarantee and that your skin is different to everyone else. If you are struggling with acne, it may be helpful to seek a professional - a dermatologist, a beauty therapist or a natural health practitioner like a naturopath to look deeper into your skin and body health.