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The Comedogenic Scale and What it Means for Your Skin.

Hi everyone and happy fall! Boy summer sure flew by quickly. I hope you had a chance to get out and have some fun. We attended some festivals and farmer's markets with other vendors; it was so nice to see people's smiles again and talk to our customers in person. I'm not ready for winter but after our hot and muggy summer I welcome the cooler fall days.

So let's get right to business! Today my topic is the comedogenic scale and how different oils and butters affect your pores. I use this scale to determine what oils and additives I use in my facial soaps and other products. The scale goes from zero to five; the higher the rating of an oil the more likely it is to clog your pores.

Our skin produces a natural oil called sebum to help it from dehydrating and to keep it functioning properly. You see our skin acts as a barrier, it's part of our immune system. Really it's our body's first line of defense against many harmful things we come in contact with. Sebum even contains some anti-bacterial properties. This sebum is produced in sebaceous oil glands which are located all over our bodies (except the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet).

Below is an example of a comedogenic scale; the one I refer to for soap and lotion making is much more comprehensive. I use this information when developing new recipes for different skin types. Oils and butters that have higher percentages of oleic acid are the ones listed mid-range to higher on the scale (these are great for dry skin); while oils higher in linoleic acid are lower on the scale. I find items listed as 4 and 5 are best for body products and not facial products. For example, I wouldn't want to use wheatgerm oil in a product designed for oily skin as it is listed #5 on the comedogenic scale. At the same time I wouldn't want to use safflower oil in something designed for dry skin (I'd choose an oil or butter that is listed as number 2 or 3).

Using facial products to suit your skin type is very important. If you have dry skin and the cleanser is too harsh it will strip that natural barrier leaving it dry and leathery. On the other hand if you have overactive glands that produce too much sebum (leaving you prone to blackheads and breakouts) you need products that will take off a little more of that sebum but again not leaving you too dry.

I make three different facial soaps, each one for a different skin type. EOS (Goddess of Renewal) has a recipe that includes Raspberry Seed oil and French yogurt. Raspberry seed oil is full of antioxidants and vitamins, and is great for skin in general but this bar is formulated for dry skin. I also have a vegan version of this bar called Ravinder's Delight; instead of yogurt it contains coconut milk. Aphrodite's Secret is especially for mature skin; this goat milk bar contains carrot seed extract which is has moisturizing properties as well as antioxidants and is also an anti-inflammatory. Plus the goat milk has lactic acid that helps sluff away dead skin cells, leaving your skin softer and smoother.

Now a quick word on marketing. We've all seen the plugs - Dermatologist Recommended or Hypoallergenic, on ads and product jars, but this doesn't mean the product won't clog your pores. You need to experiment and see what works for you and your skin type and learn to read ingredients.

I hope this information was helpful and some what educational. As always, if you have a topic you'd like to learn about send me a message. I'm always looking for new topics!


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I loved the chart, I was not a wear that coconut butter & oil where more drying to my skin. I will now be looking for products that use shea butter and maybe sweet almond I love the smell of sweet almond. Thank you


That was incredibly informative. I learned things I had no idea about. Thank you for teaching and making such great products.

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