Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's good for your skin.
Natural ingredients are often healthier for your skin than synthetic, but not all natural ingredients work for all skin types. Those with sensitive skin still need to be selective about the products they use. If your skin is prone to excess oil resulting in an oily face, you want to stay away from things that are likely to clog your pores, and that includes some natural ingredients.
Do Fatty Acids Clog Pores?
The thing is that some oils are great for oily skin, because of their unique ratio of essential fatty acids, while others, for the same reason, are occlusive and can block pores. This is why grapeseed oil, which is naturally high in linoleic acid, is helpful for those with clogged pores and oily skin.
Use Cautiously with Oily Skin
What this means that as we look at natural ingredients in skin care—which are mostly oils and butters—we have to consider how the essential fatty acids in these oils will interact and potentially affect oily skin.
Here are 7 types of oils you should avoid if you have oily skin and clogged pores:
1. Stop Using Unfractionated Coconut Oil
We talked about the difference between fractionated and unfractionated coconut oil. Briefly, fractionated coconut oil is a form of the oil that has had the long-chain fatty acids removed via hydrolysis and steam distillation. Just this one change makes the oil liquid at room temperature and extends the product’s shelf life. It also makes it a lighter oil that is less likely to clog pores. Heavier oils rich in fatty acids are wonderful moisturizers, but they can be irritating for sensitive skin, which is why some people wonder if coconut oil causes acne.
2. Cocoa Butter Can Be Too Occlusive for Oily Skin
This is another very moisturizing ingredient that has skin-protecting antioxidants as well as plumping fatty acids, but it can be too occlusive for oily skin, especially on the face.
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3. Be Mindful When Using Sesame Oil
This one is more balanced then some, with only slightly more oleic than linoleic, but it’s one to watch out for. If you want to use it, try on a small area first, to see how it affects you. Even if you can’t use it on your face, you may be fine enjoying it on the rest of the body.
4. Avoid Wheat Germ Oil If You Have Clogged Pores
On the natural ingredient list, wheat germ oil is often listed as one of the most comedogenic. If you have clogged pores, it’s probably best to avoid this oil and restrict its use for hair care.
5. Is Shea Butter Good for Oily Acne Prone Skin?
This butter, though super beneficial for dry skin,may be too much for oily prone skin because of its high level of oleic fatty acids. There are varying levels of shea butter in different products, and the formula matters too—what the shea butter is mixed in with. You don’t necessarily need to stay away from this one, but just be cautious when you see it, and watch your skin carefully for any reactions.
6. Does Sea Buckthorn Oil Clog Pores?
This oil is full of protective antioxidants, but it’s low in linoleic acid, too. It’s not particularly high in oleic, so if you combine it with some other oils that are higher in linoleic acid, it’s likely you could still enjoy the anti-aging benefits without having to worry about clogged pores.
7. Other Oils Ingredients You Also Need to Watch Out
Several oils are high in “oleic” fatty acids, which are believed to cause more clogged pores than those high in “linoleic” fatty acids. Since oily skin is believed to be low in linoleic fatty acids, oils with more of these typically work well, while those with more “oleic” acid may cause more issues. Based on this theory, some to avoid include olive, avocado, apricot kernel, and sweet almond oil.
Oils That Are Good for Oily Skin
Meanwhile, some oils that are great for oily skin include grapeseed, rosehip, evening primrose, hemp, and pumpkin seed oil.
If you struggle with oily skin, our Purify Collection is here to help. Our products are geared towards oily skin and are gentle yet effective and entirely natural, so you don't have to worry about the irritation that comes along with added synthetics or chemicals.
Annmarie Gianni is a mother, health activist, entrepreneur, and founder of 3 successful businesses. Over ten years ago, she and her husband, Kevin, formed a team and Annmarie Skin Care was founded to provide a clean, natural skin care experience using natural, organic and wildcrafted ingredients. After a few years of focusing on creating a successful skin care business, Annmarie was able to step away and focus on raising her kids. Today, you’d find Annmarie volunteering her time at her kid’s school, helping out at community events, going on trail runs, and spending quality time with her family.
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