Noncomedogenic oils help keep dry skin supple and oily skin acne-free. That’s because noncomedogenic oils don’t clog pores. This allows skin to breathe, remain hydrated, and keeps it free from breakouts.

Clogged pores (comedones) can lead to pimples. Comedones can take the form of blackheads, whiteheads, or skin-tone colored bumps, and are caused when the pores of your skin become clogged with oil, debris, or dirt.

Comedogenic oils and products made with them may clog your pores, causing the eruption of comedones. Noncomedogenic oils don’t have this effect.

Some noncomedogenic oils have anti-inflammatory properties. They may also contain antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids, such as lineolic acid. This may make them especially beneficial, whether used alone or as an ingredient in manufactured skin care products.

Noncomedogenic oils are often used as ingredients in products, such as moisturizers and skin creams. Some can be applied to skin directly, or used as a carrier oil. A carrier oil is an oil which helps to deliver another type of oil, such as an essential oil, to the skin.

Experimenting with various noncomedogenic oils will help you determine which types are best for you and how you can use them most effectively on your skin. There are many noncomedogenic oils. Here’s a list of some that you may want to try:

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil varies in color, based on the type of grapes it’s derived from. It’s high in antioxidants, linoleic acid, and vitamin E. A study in 2016 on animals indicated that grapeseed oil may be beneficial in wound care, too.

Sunflower seed oil

Light and thin in texture, sunflower seed oil can be used effectively as a carrier oil, or on its own. It’s high in beta-carotene, vitamin E, and fatty acids which are essential for skin-barrier repair. A study from 2002 indicated that topical use of sunflower seed oil is effective for improving skin-barrier function in newborns who have compromised barrier function.

Neem oil

Pungent in odor and high in antioxidants, neem oil is widely used for medicinal purposes in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it effective for wound care. It’s also used as a spot treatment for acne.

Hempseed oil

A noncomedogenic oil which is excellent for dry skin, hempseed oil may reduce atopic dermatitis symptoms according to a study from 2005. It contains vitamins C and E, plus essential fatty acids.

Sweet almond oil

Gently scented and light on the skin, sweet almond oil contains high levels of fatty acids. A recent study found that moisturizers containing sweet almond oil were effective at reducing severe hand dermatitis. Sweet almond oil may also be good for reducing psoriasis symptoms.

Because noncomedogenic oils don’t clog pores, they’re appropriate to use on many types of skin, from dry to oily. For example, grapeseed oil may help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on dry skin and can also be used as a spot treatment on pimples. It also makes a great massage oil for the entire body or scalp.

As an ingredient in moisturizers designed for oily skin, noncomedogenic oils help to keep moisture in without increasing breakouts.

Sweet almond oil and other noncomedogenic oils can be used as lip balm on dry, chapped lips. They can also add moisture, reducing cracked skin around cuticles and on areas of the body such as the elbows and knees.

Sunflower seed oil makes a great moisturizer when applied to damp skin after a shower or bath.

You can also try using noncomedogenic oils to cleanse your face. Apply as you would a mask, prior to gently steaming your face. Remove with a warm towel.

  • Before using any new product on your face or body, do a spot test. Apply the noncomedogenic oil you wish to use on your inner wrist and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction, before using liberally.
  • Don’t use internally, such as in or near the eyes, unless you’re sure that the product or oil you’re using is safe for that area.
  • Not all oils that are safe for the skin are also safe to ingest, such as neem oil, which can be toxic if taken orally.
  • Buy high-quality oils with no added ingredients. Organic is often your best bet.
  • Check expiration dates and don’t use past any product’s shelf life. Throw out any oil which smells rancid.
  • Follow storage directions. Some oils should be refrigerated and others left at room temperature.
  • Check with your doctor prior to using any new oil or product if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant.
  • Don’t use any oil which comes from a plant you’re allergic to.
  • Stop using if you have an adverse reaction, such as itching or a rash.

If you experience skin irritation of any kind, such as itching, stop using the product and consult your doctor. If you experience a severe allergic reaction that involves trouble breathing, swelling, or hives, seek medical attention immediately.

You should also see your doctor if you have a pimple that just never seems to heal or if you need advice on a skin care regimen.

There’s a wide range of noncomedogenic oils to choose from. These types of oils don’t clog pores, making many of them a good choice for all skin types. Experimenting with different oils will help you decide which ones are best for you.

Noncomedogenic oils can be used as an ingredient in moisturizers and other skin care products. They’re usually safe to use, but as with any product, try a spot test before using.