Is Olive Oil Comedogenic? Things You Need To Know

Is Olive Oil Comedogenic
While there are many benefits to olive oil for the skin, it is known to be comedogenic. We’ll see how comedogenic it is and how to use it.

While there are many benefits to olive oil for the skin, it is known to be comedogenic. We’ll see how comedogenic it is and how to use it.

There are many natural skincare ingredients out there that are both safer to use and less harsh than their synthetic counterparts. As people are moving towards more natural products, they are also trying to find ones that are good for them. One such natural ingredient is olive oil. While there are many benefits to olive oil, people are wary of the comedogenic properties it holds. But is olive oil comedogenic?
While it might be comedogenic, there are various types of olive oil on the market that are not just limited to skincare products. They are also used in cooking and various other industries. There is also the fact that there are different levels of comedogenicity so that could confuse people as well. So let’s look at all things olive oil and come to a conclusive understanding about its comedogenicity and how you can go about using it!

Olive Oil and Comedogenic Rating

Olive oil and comedogenic rating

So what exactly is comedogenic? It means the clogging of pores that are present on the skin. The skin naturally produces a waxy substance known as sebum. It is waterproof and helps to keep skin hydrated by making it so it does not lose moisture. When there is overproduction of sebum on the skin without being removed, it clogs the pores and produces comedones which are responsible comedones which are that produce breakouts on the skin like acne, blackheads, and whiteheads on the face!

There are 5 levels of comedogenicity,which ranges from 0 to 5. A rating of 0 means that the substance is non-comedogenic, while a rating of 5 means that it is highly comedogenic. so let’s take a quick look at what these levels are and a brief description of it.

Very Low1Non-comedogenic
Mild2Slightly comedogenic
Moderate3Like to be comedogenic
High4Comedogenic for most people
Highest5Comedogenic for all

Olive oil is known to have a comedogenic level of 2, making it mild and slightly comedogenic for the skin. This is also true for the different types of olive oil, where they are somewhere between levels 1 to 3 of comedogenicity.

So how comedogenic is olive oil? While we have figured out that it is mildly comedogenic, everyone has different skin types which makes the question a bit harder to answer. While all types are at level 2, this is misleading because it might be more for some than others! Someone with dry skin can benefit a lot from olive oil because they can get the moisturizing effect of olive oil without the risk of clogged pores. But someone with combination skin or oily, acne-prone sensitive skin is more at risk from clogged pores. For them, olive oil can be level 4 comedogenic!

It also matters how much olive oil is being used on the skin. If you use a lot of olive oil where it is able to block the pores completely, then even a level 1 comedogenic oil like argan or jojoba oil can become level 5! If properly applied in a thin layer, olive oil can be less comedogenic even for oily or sensitive skin, causing fewer breakouts as a result!

So we can conclude that olive oil is indeed comedogenic to the skin where some people will face clogged pores while others might not. It is mostly dependent on the type of skin and how it is being used. Even though it is comedogenic, olive oil is relatively safe to be used without clogging the skin for normal to dry skin! But sadly, the same cannot be said for sensitive to oily skin.

All Things Olive Oil

Olive oil is a natural oil made from the fruits of the olive tree which are either hand-picked or harvested via machines. These fruits are then pressed and crushed to release the oils that are inside the fruits. This oil is made of a mixture of triglycerides, polyphenols, and tocopherols, mainly being made up of fatty acids like oleic acid.

Types of olive oil

Now that we have an understanding of some of the components of olive oil, let’s see the different types of olive oil out there.

Types of olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil: this is the highest quality and most flavorful type of olive oil, made from the first cold pressing of the olives. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO is unrefined, meaning it has not been treated with chemicals or filtered, which helps it retain its natural flavors, nutrients, and antioxidants. Typically extracts from EVOO produce squalene that is used in skincare products.
  • Virgin olive oil: this is also made from the first cold pressing of the olives, but has a slightly lower quality than EVOO. Virgin olive oil is also unrefined but may have a higher acidity level than EVOO. Extracts from virgin olive oil are used in skincare products, typically squalene being the most beneficial.
  • Pure olive oil: this is a blend of virgin and refined olive oils, and is typically labeled simply as “olive oil.” It has a milder flavor than virgin olive oil and is made more for cooking than skincare products.
  • Commercial or refined olive oil: This is made using chemical or physical processes to remove any impurities or defects from the oil. However, it has fewer nutrients and antioxidants in it than the other types of olive oil.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Olive Oil

There are many advantages and disadvantages to olive oil in terms of using it on the skin. So let’s see what these advantages and disadvantages are:

Advantages and disadvantages of olive oil


  • Moisturizing: Olive oil is a natural emollient that can help to hydrate and soften the skin.
  • Anti-aging: The antioxidants and polyphenols in olive oil may have anti-aging effects on the skin.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to soothe and calm irritated or inflamed skin.
  • Rich in vitamins: Olive oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are all beneficial for the skin and help give the skin the much-needed vitamins it might be lacking.
  • Skin elasticity: The vitamin E content in olive oil may help to promote skin elasticity and prevent the signs of aging.
  • Cell regeneration: The polyphenols in olive oil may help to boost skin cell regeneration, leading to healthier, more radiant-looking skin.
  • Hypoallergenic: Olive oil is considered to be hypoallergenic, meaning it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other skincare ingredients.


  • Heavy texture: Olive oil can have a heavy texture that may not be suitable for all skin types, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to olive oil or its components, and may experience skin irritation or other allergic reactions when using products containing olive oil.
  • Messy: Applying olive oil to the skin can be messy and may leave an oily residue.
  • Limited shelf life: Olive oil has a limited shelf life, and can go bad quickly because it has no preservatives added to it.
  • Risk of clogged pores: Using olive oil on the face may increase the risk of clogged pores and breakouts, especially if used in excessive amounts.

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Best Practices for Olive Oil Application


When applying olive oil to the face, it is important to start with a clean and dry face to maximize absorption. Using clean fingertips, gently massage a small amount of olive oil onto the skin in a circular motion. Allow the oil to absorb for at least 15 minutes before applying any additional products.Here are some best practices for olive oil application:

1. Use extra virgin olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil, and it is less likely to contain any additives or impurities that could irritate your skin. When shopping for olive oil, look for one that is labeled “extra virgin.”

2. Patch test: Before applying olive oil to your face, do a patch test on a small area of skin to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction. Apply a small amount of olive oil to your inner forearm and wait 24-48 hours to see if you experience any redness, itching, or irritation.

3. Use sparingly: When applying olive oil to your skin, use a small amount and spread it evenly over your face. Using too much oil can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

4. Remove excess oil: After applying olive oil, use a clean towel or tissue to gently blot away any excess oil. Leaving too much oil on your skin can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

Alternatives to Olive Oil for Acne-Prone Skin

If you have acne-prone skin and want to avoid using olive oil, there are plenty of alternatives that can provide similar benefits without clogging your pores. Here are some options to consider:

1. Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores. It is also similar in composition to the natural oils produced by your skin, so it can help regulate oil production and keep your skin hydrated.

2. Grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil is lightweight and non-greasy, making it a great option for oily or acne-prone skin. It is also high in linoleic acid, which can help reduce inflammation and prevent breakouts.

3. Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E and can help protect your skin from environmental damage. It is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.

Final Thoughts

So overall, we can definitely say olive oil is comedogenic and that is true for all types of olive oil, even for EVOO or virgin olive oil. While it might be comedogenic, the amount of comedogenicity that it can be is very dependent on how it is used and the type of skin you have. With normal to dry skin, olive oil is not that comedogenic and if you use it properly then you can be safe from clogged pores as well. Olive oil is very versatile and can be used in varying ways but you can always make it less comedogenic by combining it with mineral oil. Olive oil is generally safe for the skin but remembers to do a patch test on your skin to make sure that it is suitable for you first.

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