What Blocks Pores? Comedogenic Ingredient List

We’re often asked if specific skin care products found on our site are non-comedogenic. In an earlier post on comedogenic ingredients, I discussed this topic and provided some guidance. However, it is very difficult to assess whether an ingredient that blocks pores in one individual will do the same to another. And that’s because skin differs so much amongst individuals. Still, you will find many sites on the internet providing a listing of ingredients that may be problematic in clogging pores. Comedogenicity is rated on a scale of 0 to 5. The lower the number, the less likely it is that it will clog pores. Just because an ingredient is an oil or wax, does not necessarily mean that it is comedogenic; some oils and waxes are very well tolerated. A product’s or ingredient’s comedogenicity is tested by applying it to the face of volunteers and evaluating the treated area with a high powered microscope. Keep in mind that the following list is by no means exhaustive, but may help to shed some clarity on ingredients that can be problematic. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to avoid more ingredients. If your skin tolerates most skin care products well, then many of these ingredients will not be problematic. Something that you may find interesting is that sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient often used in cleansers is problematic, but mineral oil is not.

Ingredient Comedogenicity
Acetylated Lanolin High
Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol High
Algae Extract High
Algin High
Bismuth oxychloride High
Butyl Stearate High
Carrageenans High
Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20 High
Coal tar High
Cocoa Butter High
Coconut Butter High
Coconut Oil High
Colloidal Sulfur High
Corn Oil High
Cotton Aws Oil High
Cotton Seed Oil High
Crisco High
D & C Red # 17 High
D & C Red # 21 High
D & C Red # 3 High
D & C Red # 30 High
D & C Red # 36 High
Decyl Oleate High
Dioctyl Succinate High
Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2-Sulfosuccinate High
Ethoxylated Lanolin High
Ethylhexyl Palmitate High
Glyceryl Stearate SE -MUST have SE after the stearate High
Glyceryl-3-Disostearate-(MUST have a “3” with it) High
Hexadecyl Alcohol High
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil High
Isocetyl Stearate High
Isodecyl Oleate High
isoproply linoleate High
Isopropyl Isosterate High
Isopropyl lanolate High
Isopropyl Myristate High
Isopropyl Palmitate High
isostearic acid High
isostearyl acid High
Isostearyl Isostearate High
Isostearyl Neopentanoate High
lanolic acid High
Laureth 23 High
Laureth 4 High
Lauric Acid High
Linseed oil High
Mink Oil High
Myreth 3 myrstate High
Myristic Acid High
Myristyl Lactate High
Myristyl Myristate High
Octyl Palmitate High
Octyl Stearate High
Oleic Acid High
Oleth-3 High
Oleyl Alcohol High
PEG 16 Lanolin High
PEG 200 Dilaurate High
PEG 8 Stearate High
PG Monostearate High
Polyglyceryl-3-Disostearate (the “3” must be present) High
Potassium Chloride High
PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate High
Propylene Glycol Monostearate High
Red Algae High
Salt – Table Salt or Sodium Chloride High
Shark Liver Oil High
Sodium Laureth Sulfate High
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate High
Solulan 16 High
Sorbitan Oleate High
Sorbitan Sesquinoleate High
Soybean Oil High
Steareth 10 High
Stearic Acid Tea High
Stearyl Heptanoate High
Sulfated Castor Oil High
Sulfated Jojoba Oil (NOT Jojoba beads) High
Syearyl Heptanoate High
Wheat Germ Glyceride High
Wheat Germ Oil High
Xylene High
Almond Oil Medium
Apricot Kernel Oil Medium
Arachidic Acid Medium
Ascorbyl Palmitate Medium
Avocado Oil Medium
Azulene Medium
Behenic acid Medium
Benzaldehyde Medium
Benzoic Acid Medium
BHA Medium
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) Medium
Cajeput Oil Medium
Camphor Medium
Capric Acid Medium
Caprylic acid Medium
Cetearyl Alcohol Medium
Cetyl Alcohol Medium
Chamomile Medium
D & C Red # 19 Medium
D & C Red #27 Medium
D & C Red #40 Medium
Evening Primrose Oil Medium
Grape Seed Oil (extract is OK) Medium
Hexylene Glycol Medium
Octyldodecanol Medium
Oleth-10 Medium
Olive Oil (Olive Oil Extract is OK) Medium
Palmitic Acid Medium
Peach Kernel Oil Medium
Peanut Oil Medium
PEG 100 Distearate Medium
PEG 150 Distearate Medium
Peg 75 lanolin Medium
Pentarythrital Tetra Isostearate Medium
PG Dipelargonate Medium
PG Dipelargonate Medium
Sandalwood Seed Oil Medium
Sesame Oil Medium
Steareth 2 Medium
Steareth 20 Medium
Stearic Acid Medium
Stearyl Alcohol Medium
Tocopherol (Tocopherol Acetate is OK) Medium
Triethanolamine Medium
Vitamin A Palmitate-(ONLY this form of Vitamin A) Medium
Avocado Oil Low
Castor Oil Low
Corn Oil Low
D & C Red Number  4, 6, 7 or 8 Low
Glyceryl Stearate Low
Lanolin Low
Lanolin Alcohol Low
Lauryl Alcohol Low
Mineral Oil Low
Safflower Oil Low
Sunflower Oil Low