Is Castor Oil Comedogenic? Does It Clog Pores? [Full Guide]

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Comedogenic substances are things that will cause your pores to clog and may cause acne. Does castor oil clog your pores? Does castor oil cause acne?

You’ve likely heard that castor oil can help with acne and skin conditions. Generally, you want to avoid substances that are comedogenic if you have issues with acne.

It makes sense then, that castor oil is not comedogenic and does not clog pores. We’ll learn more about this in the article. But, long story short, castor oil can actually help clear up acne and other skin conditions!

Below, I cover the comedogenic scale and what it is before discussing the comedogenic rating of castor oil. I then talk more about how castor oil works with acne and how to use castor oil on your skin.

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a vegetable oil that is used in cooking, medication, and in skin care products. The oil is created by extracting the natural oils from the castor bean plant, or Ricinus communis. The plant is native to the tropical regions of Africa.

Castor oil is made of 85-90% ricinoleic acid. This acid is a fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. As we go more into the science of castor oil and acne, you’ll see just how important ricinoleic acid is in reducing and preventing acne.

Besides using castor oil to prevent and heal acne, castor oil has quite a few other uses. It is most commonly used as a laxative and a moisturizer, but it can also be used to heal wounds and clean your dentures. To learn more about these uses, check out this article.

Click here to buy castor oil now.

What Does Comedogenic Mean?

The term “comedogenic” is related to acne. When you develop clogged pores, they are called “comedones” which lead to acne. Plainly, “comedogenic” just means that the product described will cause blackheads.

But, different products may be more likely to cause acne and blackheads than others. So, “comedogenicity” is the potential of a substance to cause comedones, or clogged pores.

It’s very important to inspect the ingredients of the products you will use on acne prone areas of your body. Clearly, you won’t want to use products with comedogenic ingredients on areas where you have acne because it will likely make your acne worse.

Here is a short list of comedogenic ingredients that you should always avoid:

  • Cocoa butter
  • Oleic acid
  • Coconut oil
  • Carrot Seed Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Wheat Germ Oil
Castor pores

The Comedogenic Scale

Now, of course, some ingredients are more comedogenic than others. Because of this, researchers have placed ingredients on a scale depending on just how likely they are to clog your pores.

In general, people who are very prone to acne and blackhead breakouts should avoid highly comedogenic ingredients. However, people with dryer skin are generally okay to use ingredients that are lightly or moderately comedogenic.

For your reference, this easy scale is below:

#Will It Clog Pores?
0Does Not Clog Pores
1Very Unlikely To Clog Pores
2Moderately Unlikely To Clog Pores
3Moderate Possibility Of Clogging Pores
4Likely To Clog Pores
5Very Likely To Clog Pores
The Comedogenic Scale

Generally, a “non-comedogenic” substance is anything on the scale that is #0-2. Likewise, an ingredient that is a #5 is highly comedogenic and will almost certainly cause an acne breakout in someone who is very prone to acne.

Above, I have covered some products that are highly comedogenic and should be avoided. But to better help you understand why these ingredients are comedogenic, I’ll provide a more in-depth chart.

The chart below lists some popular beauty products, how comedogenic they are, and which ingredients it contains.

ProductComedogenic RatingComposition
Abyssinian Seed OilOErucic Acid & Oleic Acid
Castor Oil1Ricinoleic Acid
Acai Berry Oil2Oleic Acid & Linoleic Acid
Avocado Oil3Oleic Acid
Cocoa Butter4Oleic Acid & Stearic Acid
Coconut Oil4Lauric Acid
Wheat Germ Oil5Linolenic Acid
Common Comedogenic Products

Is Castor Oil Comedogenic? Does Castor Oil Clog Pores?

Can castor oil cause acne? Will castor oil clog pores?

Fortunately, castor oil is not comedogenic which is why it makes a great skin moisturizer. On the comedogenic scale, castor oil is only rate as a #1. This means that it is very unlikely to clog pores or cause acne. Castor oil is good for most skin types, even those that are very oily and acne-prone.

Does Castor Oil Clear Acne?

If you want to use castor oil for clogged pores, you’re in luck.

Castor oil is a great product to use to keep your skin moisturized, but does castor oil help acne? Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties to help with wound healing, including acne.

Not only does it heal acne, but it helps the ski return to its natural pH balance which will help prevent acne in the future.

Ricinoleic acid is a monounsaturated triglyceride fatty acid that prevents the growth of fungi and bacteria. So, if your skin does become infected with fungi or bacteria that causes acne, the ricinoleic acid in the castor oil will kill the organisms. The death of the organisms will prevent unfavorable acne, swelling, inflammation, and redness.

Unlike what you might believe, acne is actually caused by dry skin. When your skin becomes too dry, it tries to compensate by creating a substance called “sebum”. The sebum is what makes your skin oily and will clog the pores in your skin.

When your skin becomes clogged, this is when bacteria is able to form that produces acne.

Fortunately, castor oil protects your skin from acne by doing a few different things:

  • It prevents the production of sebum by moisturizing the skin
  • It heals already damaged skin, making your skin become healthier and smoother
  • It kills existing bacteria to the formation of acne

Cleansing With Oil?

It may seem counterintuitive to clean your already oily face with another oil. But, it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it!

Oils like oils, but oils hate water. If you’re cleaning your oily face with water, chances are that you’re not actually ridding your face of the oil. Oil is hydrophobic — this means that oil does not mix with water and will avoid it. Think of those science experiments that you did as a kid where you mixed oil and water — it doesn’t work! The concept is the same when you’re washing your face.

If you wash your skin with castor oil, the oily sebum will stick to the castor oil. The castor oil will then dissolve the sebum and any other oil on your face. After cleaning your face with caster oil, you’ll notice your skin feels clean and looks healthy.

Should You Use Castor Oil On Your Skin?

Castor oil is great for use on the skin. Not only does it clear acne, but it helps with other skin conditions and keeping your skin healthy in general.

Because it is a great moisturizer, it can be used on patches of skin that are prone to dryness like elbows and knees. It can even be used to help with eczema and psoriasis.

It can help cure fungal infections of the feet and cuticles. It can smooth skin and prevent scarring from chickenpox. It can help rid the skin of tags and warts as well.

It can also reduce stretch marks on the skin, and it can prevent the formation of new stretch marks.

Click here to buy castor oil now.

Skin Types

Some products are not good with certain types of skin. As I said previously, people with oily skin want to avoid highly comedogenic products. However, castor oil is not comedogenic at all, so it can be used by any skin type.

However, the skin types that will most benefit from castor oil are itchy, dry, and sensitive skin.

Side Effects

As with most things, castor oil can cause some side effects if used too much or incorrectly.

You shouldn’t use castor oil around your eyes or ears. Castor oil is oily, so it can cause irritation to these sensitive areas. Similarly, you should be cautious of using too much on your lips because it can cause diarrhea if too much is consumed.

Not much is known about the use of castor oil in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Because of this, use should be avoided.

Some people may be allergic to castor oil, especially those with naturally sensitive skin. Always test castor oil on a small patch of skin first. If you notice any hives, rashes, or inflammation, you should discontinue use immediately.

Castor oil should be kept away from pets because it may be toxic to them. It should also be kept away from clothing and sheets to prevent staining.

Recipes

Castor oil is great to use on your skin as a moisturizer or as an acne preventer. Depending on what exact benefits you want from your castor oil depends on what other ingredients you will mix it with. You want to avoid using pure castor oil as it can be strong and irritate the skin.

Not only does castor oil prevent and heal acne, but it can get rid of the scars, too. It may also get rid of dark spots due to aging.

Here are some good recipes for skin care:

Castor Oil And Lavender Oil

  • 1 tablespoon mixed with 2 drops of lavender oil
    1. Apply to affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes
    2. Wash off with warm water

Castor Oil And Vitamin E Oil

  • Use the oil from 3-4 Vitamin E capsules mixed with a few drops of castor oil
    1. You’ll need to open up the Vitamin E capsules and extract the oil
    2. Apply the mix to your affected areas after cleansing with a facial wash
    3. Wash off the mix after a few minutes with warm water

Steam Cleanse

  1. Fill a large pot with water and boil it on the stove
  2. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and drape a towel over your head
  3. Lean over and place your head in the steam with your eyes closed
    • Hold your head over the steam for 5 minutes to allow your pores to open
    • You can then remove the towel from your face
  4. Place a clean cloth into the remaining water and wring it out
    • Massage your face for 5 minutes with the wet cloth
  5. Pour two teaspoons of castor oil on the wet cloth
    • Massage your face for one minute
    • Rinse your face with warm water and pat dry

Almond Oil Face Mask

  1. Combine two drops of castor oil, two drops of almond oil, and one drop of camphor oil in a small bowl.
  2. Use your fingers to apply this mask to your face and massage it in
  3. Wear the mask overnight
  4. In the morning, wash the mask off with warm water and a facial cleanser

Conclusion

Comedogenic substances will cause your pores to clog up and are likely to cause acne. Fortunately, castor oil is not comedogenic. It is not likely to cause acne, and will actually help prevent it or heal it.

Not only does castor oil help prevent and heal acne, but it can help with other skin conditions. Dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and some infections can all be aided or cured with castor oil. Castor oil really is a wonder product with a host of many uses!

Click here to buy castor oil now.

Read our guides to using castor oil on dry skin here or using it on your face overnight here. Find all our guides to using castor oil here.

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By Cara Davis

Cara Davis is a food lover and health fanatic who likes to make life as stress free as possible - thus why she loves to eat quick and healthy!