Comedogenic (com-e-do-gen-ic) is a medical term that means a substance that tends to produce acne by clogging pores on the skin. The medical term for acne is comedone, hence the word comedogenic. Comedo - meaning acne or blackhead and genic - means to produce.
These substances are found in carrier oils and essential oils. Different carrier oils, butters, and essential oils have different comedogenic properties and values. These are called comedogenic ratings. The ratings are on a scale from 0 through 5. There is also an irritant rating for each ingredient. The irritant rating is on a scale from 0 to 4. This is the likeliness of causing irritation to skin (0-not likely, 4-very likely).
Comedogenic Rating will look something like this:
0 - Will not clog pores
1 - Low
2 - Moderately low
3 - Moderate
4 - Fairly High
5 - High
Ingredients may be listed in this format:
Ingredient: comedogenic factor: irritant factor
i.e. Sunflower Oil: 0:0
So what does this have to do with my beard?
A quality beard oil will have carrier oils and essential oils on the low spectrum. Every beard is unique. While oils may have different properties and benefits, the determining factor should be how the oils interact and affect the skin it’s applied to and the benefits to the beard. Coconut oil has some wonderful benefits for hair and skin. But the comedogenic property for Coconut oil is 4, so we don’t use it in our beard oil formulas as it could cause some irritation to the sensitive skin on a man’s face. When searching for beard oil, it is important to do your homework. Often, these factors are over looked and the consumer may experience some skin irritation. To keep your beard healthy, you also have to pay attention and take care of the skin underneath. This rule applies to all types of skin care.
See our article “What Are We Made Of” for a complete list of ingredients that are used on Woodsman Grooming products.
Please visit these sites for more information
Beneficial Botanicals Comedogenic Ratings, The Bad List: Comedogenic Ingredients and Products, The Holistic Health Herbalist: The Complete List of Comedogenic Oils