Similar to jojoba oil, argan oil is another dual-threat oil that is great for both skin and hair care. It has become increasingly popular because of its many benefits as a hydrater, skin soother, and free radical fighter. It’s also incredibly gentle to apply and great for all skin types, especially those with dry skin.
But is argan oil comedogenic or non-comedogenic and can it cause you to break out? In this article, we’ll touch on comedogenicity, the argan oil comedogenic rating, the benefits of argan oil, and more!
Comedogenic vs. Non-Comedogenic
In the most simple terms, comedogenic means that an ingredient has a tendency to block or clog the pores of your skin. Scientifically, the word comedogenic is derived from ‘comedone’ or ‘comedo’, which in essence are little bumps on the skin and the earliest form of acne. Obviously, if you’re someone that is acne-prone or has sensitive skin, you’d want to avoid these types of ingredients.
Thus, inversely, you’d be more interested in finding non-comedogenic products, meaning cosmetics and skin-care products designed specifically to help avoid blocking and clogging skin pores.
So how does argan oil fare on the comedogenic scale?
Is Argan Oil Comedogenic or Non-Comedogenic?
The answer here is, argan oil is actually non-comedogenic and is a great option for avoiding clogged pores and breakouts.
As we’ve described in detail in our Comedogenicity article, the scale for measuring comedogenicity is not defined; however, argan oil measures the lowest on the comedogenic scale and comes in as non-comedogenic.
What Makes Jojoba Oil Comedogenic?
Argan oil is derived from the kernels within the fruit of the argan tree. Native to Morocco, these trees produce an ovular-shaped fruit that is peeled, revealing a hard-shelled nut that must then be cracked to extract the kernels from which the argan oil is ultimately extracted.
What’s interesting about argan oil is that it can be used as both a cooking oil and in cosmetics, depending on how the oil is extracted and refined. From a cosmetics perspective, argan oil is gentle enough that it can be used on its own or as an oil mixture, applied directly to the skin or hair.
Argan oil is extremely rich in fatty acids (omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid)) as well as Vitamins A & E.
- Oleic acid can be found naturally in the outer layer of our skin. This fatty acid is ideal for hydration and those with dry skin.
- Linoleic acid is popular in cosmetics and serves as an emollient and moisturizer
- Vitamin A is a retinoid that supports skin health by minimizing hyperpigmentation, fighting acne, and reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and is also an antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals.
- Vitamin E is another powerful vitamin with antioxidant properties that helps fight off free radicals.
Like jojoba oil, one study has shown that argan oil is effective in regulating the body’s natural production of sebum. Because argan oil has a similar chemical makeup to the sebum our skin naturally produces, it helps to balance our skin’s natural sebum production and is much less likely to clog your pores and result in unwanted acne and breakouts.
Similar to argan oil, there are a number of other non-comedogenic oils that are great options too, including:
- Sunflower seed oil
- Jojoba oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Hemp oil
Argan Oil Comedogenic Rating
While there is a lack of standardization for the comedogenic rating scale, argan oil is widely agreed upon as being non-comedogenic.
An ingredient or product’s comedogenic rating is typically on a scale from 0-5 with the following designations:
- 0 – won’t clog pores at all
- 1 – very low likelihood of clogging pores
- 2 – moderately low likelihood of clogging pores
- 3 – moderate likelihood of clogging pores
- 4 – fairly high likelihood of clogging pores
- 5 – high likelihood of clogging pores
Based on the many different sites we scoured, argan oil consistently came in at a 0 on the comedogenic scale, meaning that it won’t clog your pores and that it is an excellent option for those of all skin types.
Benefits of Argan Oil
Argan oil has long been used by Moroccans in cuisine because of its multitude of skincare benefits. In its native country, argan oil is nicknamed the “gold of Morroco” for its golden color and export value. Today, this wonder oil is used for all things beauty, hair, and skin care.
- Argan oil serves as a natural anti-aging oil, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- It is also an excellent moisturizer, not only for your skin but for your hair as well. Argan oil aids the skin’s barrier to really lock in that moisture. For hair, it can help reduce frizz and protect the scalp. Similarly, it’s a great moisturizer and hydrater for your skin; just ensure you use it as the last step in your routine to really lock in the moisture and allow any other products to work their magic.
- As an antioxidant, argan oil helps to fight inflammation by reducing redness and smoothing skin. It also fights to limit the number of free radicals and toxins that may cause breakouts or sun damage.
- As we’ve mentioned before, argan oil is great for those of all skin types, including those with oily and acne-prone skin. Because it’s so similar to the sebum your skin produces, it helps to regulate the natural production of sebum, ultimately preventing oil buildup, trapping particles and clogging pores. It’s also known to help reduce greasiness from oily skin.
- Lastly, it’s commonly used as a natural organic option for makeup removal.
Overall, argan oil is as low and safe as it gets on the comedogenic scale, making it a wonderful non-comedogenic option for those of all skin types looking to avoid breakouts, pack in the moisture, plump those fine lines and wrinkles, and leverage the free radical fighting antioxidant properties that come with it.