Quick Guide to Best Non-Comedogenic Carrier Oils For Face With DIY Facial Oil Recipes

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, the idea of putting even excellent quality carrier oils on may frighten you. Closing the right carrier oils will hydrate your skin and make it smoother and more supple. Rosehip oil, for example, is much less likely to clog pores while helping to  minimize hyperpigmentation. Likewise, Hemp seed oil contains antioxidants that make your skin appear super soft, smoother, and supple...Today we’re going to look at the best non comedogenic carrier oils for face treatments.

So, here, you’ll know

    • Everything about comedogenic and non comedogenic concepts.
    • The list of the best non-comedogenic carrier oils for the face.
    • What to consider when choosing and using them.
    • Plus, some of our superb custom DIY non comedogenic carrier oils-based skin-enhancing recipes at the end.

What Does the Term Non-Comedogenic Mean?

The word ‘comedogenic’ came from ‘comedo’ (plural is comedone), a type of pimple that forms when a pore becomes clogged by oil or dead skin. That said, a product or carrier oil absolutely shouldn’t (or at least less likely to) clog pores and any acne or skin breakouts if it’s labeled as ‘non-comedogenic.’

Why Would You Use Oil On Your Skin - Especially if It’s Already Greasy?

Skin cells are like building blocks. The mortar that keeps them together is lipids. When these lipids dry out, the skin cells crumble, and you have dry, flaky skin. Lipids mean fats so that vegetable oils can replace the natural tones in the skin.

Vegetable oils work as emollients, meaning they have potent moisturizing properties that soothe and soften skin tissues. These oils are a great source of antioxidants, protecting the skin from free radicals.

The skin contains into sensors that instruct the skin to make an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is naturally moisturizing and provides a protective layer over the skin. Oddly, the more oil you put onto the skin, the sensors recognize the filmy layer and then stop making so much sebum. This is a dream result for someone with a greasy complexion, but if you already have dry skin, bear this in mind. Use carrier oils sparingly. Choose essential oils to hydrate the skin daily in moisturizers. Using too much carrier oil will dry your skin.

An Woman Using Non-Comedogenic Carrier Oils for Face Treatments

Advantages of Using Non-Comedogenic Carrier Oils for Face Treatments

    • From oily to dry and anything between, they’re suitable for almost all skin types. Grapeseed oil, for example, may help reduce wrinkles on dry skin and can also be used as a spot treatment on pimples.
    • They moisturize the skin. Many skin moisturizing products contain carrier oils to keep skin hydrated without triggering breakouts.
    • These oils help cleanse your face. You may only have to steam your face and apply the oil like a mask and remove it with a warm towel.
    • They serve as natural balancers, promoting and controlling the skin’s natural oil production process.
    • Some of the best non-comedogenic carrier oils for face treatments can also help with stretch marks and scars and gorgeous body treatments. Argan oil, for example, contains skin hydrating properties, improving your skin’s elasticity.
    • Carrier oils like Rosehip are excellent at soothing skin inflammation, so they are great for conditions like rosacea.
    • Obviously, the suitable oils protect you against blackheads, whiteheads, and clogged pores that can make your skin look dull and unhealthy. 

We’ll be looking at some of the specific features of the best non comedogenic carrier oils for the face later in the article.

Comedogenic Ratings: Carrier Oils and Butters

Oils and butter are rated on their likelihood of clogging pores: Five being extremely likely, to zero being highly unlikely. That said, as you would imagine, this is a guide. Everyone’s skin type will react slightly differently.

To find the perfect carrier oil or butter for your skin, we have to relate to what comedogenic rating an oil/butter falls into. A cheat sheet called ‘comedogenic scale’ indicates an ingredient’s likelihood of clogging pores. Also, this scale will help you quickly select the best non comedogenic carrier oils for the face.

Comedogenic Scale

5 = High risk - Will cause breakouts. Few people can tolerate this type of oil.
4 = Fairly high risk - Most people will break out, though it depends on skin type.
3 = Moderate risk – Clog-poring propensity depends on skin type. Many people will break out.
2 = Moderately low risk - Does not clog pores for MOST people
1 = Low risk - Slight chance of clogging pores.
0 = No risk - won’t clog pores at all.

A comedogenic rating of 5 doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t use any particular oil, or it would be bad for your skin. Cocoa butter and wheat germ oil, for example, are higher on the comedogenic scale (4 and 5, respectively). They would be too heavy for your face but are excellent remedies for dry, cracked elbows and heels or an older person’s dry, fragile skin. 

Similarly, Rosehip oil (comedogenic rating of 1) can soothe skin inflammation and redness, especially on your face. Also, neem oil (even though it isn't in this list of best non-comedogenic carrier oils for the face) has a comedogenic rating of 1-2 and is excellent for soothing irritated skin.

Fatty Acids in Carrier Oils 

How likely an oil is to clog the skin largely depends on its components.

Carrier oils consist of numerous fatty acids. Two of the primary interests are linoleic acid and oleic acid. Alpha linoleic acid (an omega-3) and linoleic acid (an omega-6) are both considered "essential fatty acids" because the body cannot produce them on its own. The body can produce oleic acid ever...

Linoleic acid

Linoleic acid regulates sebum (skin’s natural oil) production, enabling the skin to balance the production automatically. It protects the skin's barrier against UV rays and air pollutants, major causes of wrinkles, and signs of aging. Linoleic acid nourishes the skin, restores its moisture balance, and rejuvenates a smooth and healthy surface... These oils usually are lighter and have a faster absorption rate. 

Studies show people with acne-prone or oily skin tend to have lower levels of linoleic acid. (Ottoviani, 2015) So, their ideal oil will have high levels of linoleic acid - which absorbs quickly into the skin -  and a comedogenic rating of 0-2. Grapeseed, Safflower, and Rosehip oils, for example, contain high linoleic acid content with comedogenic ratings of 1, 0, and 1, respectively.

Pro Tip: Linoleic acid-rich oils have a shorter shelf life and tend to spoil faster if not stored properly.

Keep them in the fridge or combine them with vitamin E oil for increased shelf life.

Oleic Acid

Oleic acid  is an omega-9 fatty acid.  The more omega chains there are in oil, the heavier it will be. Oleic acid-rich oils seal the moisture well, keeping the skin hydrated for more extended periods.

They absorb slowly and lock in a smooth seal over the skin. Oils rich in oleic acid have anti-inflammatory properties. They make ideal choices for dry and sensitive skins, but the likelihood of them clogging the pore is a little higher.

Top 8 Best Non-Comedogenic Carrier Oils For Face

Carrier Oil Name

Comedogenic Rating

Skin Type

Composition

Argan Oil

    0

Most Skin Types

High in Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid

Grapeseed Oil

    1

Most Skin Types

High in Linoleic Acid

Jojoba Oil

    2

Most Skin Types, including Oily/Acne-Prone

High in Eicosenoic Acid

Sunflower Oil

    0-2

Most Skin Types

High in Linoleic Acid

Safflower Oil

    0

Most Skin Types

High in Linoleic Acid

Rosehip Oil

    1

Oily, Acne-Prone

High in Linoleic Acid, Moderate in Linolenic Acid

Hemp seed Oil

    0

Most Skin Types, including Oily/Acne-Prone

High in Linoleic Acid, Moderate in Linolenic Acid

Red Raspberry Seed Oil

    0-1

Most Skin Types

High in Linoleic Acid, Moderate in Linolenic Acid

The Top Best Non Comedogenic Carrier Oils for Face: The Ultimate List

Argan Oil

Top of our list of the best non-comedogenic carrier oils for face grooming is Argan oil. Often marked as ‘Moroccan liquid gold,’ this oil  helps restore the skin’s hydro-lipid layer, which reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Packed with vitamin E and minerals, this oil improves skin elasticity while delivering ample moisture and keeping acne at bay.

With ‘zero’ on the comedogenic scale and 37% linoleic acid, this oil is unlikely to clog pores. The oil’s quick absorption and non-greasy effect make it suitable for almost all skin types.

Grapeseed Oil

Next on the list, Grapeseed is another non comedogenic oil with a rating of 1 on the scale. Rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid, this lightweight oil is widely used as a skin moisturizer and balancer. 

Grapeseed oil eliminates the appearance of acne scars and improves the skin barrier to prevent further breakouts. Packed with fatty acids and the antioxidant polyphenol, the oil brightens and evens the skin. Plus, high vitamin C content helps reduce hyperpigmentation.

Though suitable for all skin types, the oil’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties make it ideal for oily and acne-prone skin.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is moisturizing and healing for all skin types. Not technically an oil – it’s a wax ester, structurally very similar to our skin's natural sebum...

Rich in  iodine, the oil is a natural repellent for microbes, protecting the skin from bacterial growth. The oil’s vitamin E content makes it an ideal facial oil for removing the appearance of acne scars.

Additionally, the oil has antioxidant properties that help heal sunburns and wounds.

Jojoba oil has a  rating of 2 on the comedogenic scale.

Sunflower Oil

is extracted from sunflower seeds and packed with 59% linoleic acid content; this incredibly gentle oil absorbs the skin quickly.

An excellent moisturizer for hydrating dry skin.

A trio of goodies,  beta-carotene, vitamin E, and fatty acids work together to improve the skin barrier and prevent frequent breakouts.

Light and thin in texture, with a 0-2 rating on the scale, it doesn’t clog pores, making it suitable for all skin types, especially for oily/acne-prone skins. 

Safflower Oil

This oil has a light, non-greasy consistency, making it an excellent natural moisturizer for all skin types. Rich in linoleic acid (70-80%), Safflower oil helps balance sebum production, leaving the skin hydrated and acne-free. Safflower oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, crucial to overall skin function and a healthy skin appearance. Plus, the oil’s antioxidant properties work to minimize the appearance of aging and help restore the collagen lost due to UV exposure and free radicals.

The oil is a barrier, preventing water from escaping from the skin. This way, it helps retain moisture, leaving the skin radiant, soft, and smooth.

With a score of 0, Safflower is a superb choice for acne-prone skin.

Rosehip Oil

Well-endowed with linoleic acid, the oil not only prevents breakouts but also minimizes post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Plus, the oil’s vitamin C content makes it great for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The oil is perfect for oily/acne-prone skin and also benefits dry skin in many ways. It contains vitamin A and E, which nourish dry, flaky skin, yield a high cell turnover and revitalize aging skin.

Rosehip is one of the best non comedogenic carrier oils for face treatments because it is thick and rejuvenating but has a rating of just 1, so it is unlikely to clog the pores.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is another of the best non comedogenic carrier oils for the face that people with oily/acne-prone skin can consider using.

This oil is rich in skin-firming and contains omega fatty acids and antioxidants to make your skin appear super soft, smooth, and supple. Suitable for all skin types, the oil’s high linoleic acid content minimizes skin surface build-ups and clogging, making it especially perfect for oily/acne-prone skin.

Red Raspberry Seed Oil

One oil, as part of experts' lists of the best non comedogenic carrier oils for the face, is Red Raspberry Seed oil. The oil contains many skin-healthy vitamins and nutrients, including omega fatty acids, vitamin A, E, and C, and many more. Vitamins A and E have antioxidant benefits, keeping your skin hydrated, improving elasticity, and reducing visible signs of aging. These vitamins combined with vitamin C help fight the effects of UV rays and pollution on the skin.

In addition, the oil’s skin-enhancing antioxidants make the skin plumpy, soft, and free from fine lines and wrinkles.

It boasts an enviable 0-1 comedogenic rating, making it suitable for all skin types.

Your Skin Type and Comedogenic Ratings

Remember there is no scientific classification of skin types; they result from subjective evaluations and observation. It’s essential to try different things out and find what your skin prefers. Providing you don’t experience any adverse effects, use oil for about a month to observe improvements...

There are five skin types: oily, dry, normal, sensitive, and combination.

Oily Skin

A shine on the face paired with severe cases of acne breakouts is indicative of oily skin. Excessive sebum production (natural body oil) is one of the major causes of this condition/skin type.

Though oils with the lowest comedogenic rating would work the best, here’s a contradiction. You’ll still need to use a trainer. Otherwise, your skin may produce extra sebum, making acne worse.

Considerations:

    • Oils rich in linoleic acid are most appropriate for oily skin. The oils that can benefit oily skin include Hemp Seed oil, Safflower oil, Jojoba oil, Rosehip Oil, and Grapeseed oil. Interestingly, these five oils make more than 50% of our list of the best noncomedogenic carrier oils for the face!

Dry Skin

Dry skin is marked by the skin looking and feeling rough, tight, itchy, flaky, or scaly. Less sebum production is the leading cause of dry skin.

Considerations:

People with dry skin should:

    • Use oils high in oleic acid, as it helps reduce inflammation. Also, oils with comedogenic ratings of 3-4 can benefit dry skin; however, experiment and see how your skin reacts. Rich in oleic acid, Carrot seed oil can be the best bet here, with a comedogenic rating of 3.
    • Regularly moisturize their skin, avoid harsh cleansers, limit their time and frequency in a hot shower, and use products containing humectants like hyaluronic acid, which is a moisture magnet for the skin.

Normal Skin

Anywhere between oily and dry skin falls the normal type. It’s neither gleaming nor is it flaky or tends to crack. However, this type may have a few lines or wrinkles.

Considerations:

    • A lighter hydration and maintaining skin balance is the only requirement for this skin type. An oil balanced in oleic and linoleic  fatty acids would serve best here, such as Hemp Seed, Jojoba, Grapeseed, and Argan oil.

Sensitive Skin

Overly dry skin, redness, burning, and itching are the signs of sensitive skin.

Considerations:

    • People with sensitive skin should avoid common irritants like additives and the too-harsh sulfates found in most soaps and shampoos.
    • For dry, sensitive skin, try Peach Kernel and Tamanu oil.
    • For oily sensitive skin, try Borage oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Grapeseed oil.

Combination Skin

The mixture of the first two sensitive skin may appear oily on one part of your skin and dry and flaky on another.

Considerations:

    • For those with combination skin, it’s important to exfoliate once a week to keep their pores unclogged.
    • Oils that benefit both skin areas are apricot kernel oil, black cumin seed oil, black raspberry seed oil, and borage seed oil.
    • As an aside, ylang ylang essential oil is fantastic for balancing out combinations.

DIY: Make Your Own Facial Oil 

Facial oils available in beauty stores are often expensive. Natural facial oils combine natural ingredients – carrier oils and essential oils. Follow our step-by-step guide to making your versatile custom DIY natural facial oil – for any skin type!

Tools

    • 1-oz amber glass bottle with dropper. We recommend using amber glass bottles over ordinary containers as these bottles prevent sunlight from degrading the oils.
    • Mini stainless steel funnel to pour oils.

Anti-Aging DIY Facial Oil

Materials

Method of use: Massage into the skin and leave on overnight.

Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

The Best Skin-Nourishing DIY Facial Oil

Materials

Method of use: Massage into the skin and leave on overnight.

Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 37 weeks of pregnancy.

How to Use Facial Oil?

Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine says: that oleation should always follow steam. This makes sense when you think about it. The steam opens and clears the pores clearing away debris and bacteria.

Additionally, steaming makes your skin more welcoming to acne treatments and the best non-comedogenic carrier oils for the face. As a plus, steaming improves blood circulation into the face area and makes it looks more hydrated and glowing.

Steaming facial oil

We recommend using essential oils for steaming. Pour no more than 3-4 drops of the oil into a bowl of hot water. Cover the bowl and your head with a towel and lean over the bowl for 10 minutes (with breaks if needed). For oily skin, steaming two times a week is enough.

Best Tips to Use Non-Comedogenic Oils for Skin Care Safely

Even before we talk about those tips, this seems the perfect time for our top tip first.

Pro Tip

For good results, add a teaspoon into nourishing night creams that can use daily. But success here comes from a facial massage treatment, once a week, where you pamper your skin with oil.

    • Do a spot test before the first-time application of any non comedogenic carrier oil. Apply the oils of your choice on your inner wrist and wait for 24 hours to see how your skin reacts. Immediately stop using it if you experience an adverse reaction, such as itching, redness, a rash, etc.
    • Avoid internal use such as in or near the eyes unless it’s safe for that area.
    • Some carrier oils can be toxic if ingested or even slightly tasted.
    • Buy high-quality and additive-free oils. Organic is often best. 
    • For the best results, we recommend using these oils in the evening to exploit the body’s natural rest and repair process.
    • Avoid using the oils from the plant you’re allergic to. Nut allergy is the most common type in this scenario.
    • Carrier oils rich in linoleic acid (as most of our best non-comedogenic carrier oils for the face are) tend to go rancid faster if not stored properly. So, follow storage directions. Some will need refrigerating.
    • Pay attention to the expiration date and scent of the oil. If it smells rancid, bin it!

Summary

The best non comedogenic carrier oils for face treatments are chosen carefully. Use them sparingly to condition and feed your skin.