The Best and the Worst Carrier Oils For Acne Prone Skin

Most people would think that any type of oil applied to the skin would be an obvious culprit to acne prone skin, but that misconception couldn’t be more incorrect. It’s no wonder people think this considering a large portion of people with acne prone skin do tend to have an over abundance of the skins natural oils also known as sebum. What many people don’t know is that there are tons of people who suffer from acne that actually have dry skin that is lacking enough sebum.

The good news is that there are many amazing carrier oils suited to treat acne in both oily skin and dry skin types. Some of the most important factors to keep in mind when deciding which carrier oil or oils to use, is to look at the comedogenic ratings, (non-comedogenic means it will not clog pores, so the lower the rating the better and nothing over a level 2 is recommended for acne prone skin), the Oleic Acid levels, and the Linoleic Acid levels. The higher the Linoleic Acid vs Oleic Acid the better for acne prone skin types.

Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated omega 9 fatty acid that, when applied on our skin, can cause our skins natural sebum to thicken within the pores which can potentially clog the pores. Clogged pores are one of the main causes of acne so you want to try to avoid oils that are too high in Oleic Acid if you are prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin. It is a common finding that those that are suffering from acne have high levels of Oleic Acid on the skin’s surface. Always keep in mind that although many oils are rated a zero on the comedogenic scale, many of them can also be too high in Oleic Acid.

Linoleic Acid on the other hand is beneficial to those suffering from acne or wanting to prevent break outs. Linoleic Acid is an omega 6 fatty acid that does not thicken our skins sebum and typically Linoleic Acid levels tend to be low on the skin’s surface in people suffering acne. Unlike Oleic Acid, our bodies are unable to produce Linoleic Acid and a topical treatment is typically the best approach to raising the levels. The low level of Linoleic Acid on the skin’s surface is not an internal issue, but keep in mind that poor diet, lack of water, regular alcohol and/or caffeine consumption, poor sleep habits, hormonal problems, toxic build up within the body, medications, stress, and lack of exercise are internal issues that will contribute to acne as well.

Whether your skin is dry, oily or in between, there are oils that can help you. Truthfully, you just need to know exactly what to look for in the carrier oils, how to use them and you need to have a good understanding of your skin type.

Note: You can also learn about the most Powerful Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin by clicking HERE.

Below we have compiled what many consider to be the best carrier oils for acne prone skin based on their comedogenic ratings and/or their Linoleic Acid levels. Then we go over which oils to avoid for those with acne prone skin to avoid further agitation of the acne.

The Top Three Carrier Oils For Acne Prone Skin

These three oils have a comedogenic rating of zero and are high in Linoleic Acid:

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is probably the best oil for acne prone skin, not only due to  its comedogenic rating of zero, but it also contains a whopping 65.7% Linoleic Acid! It is also high in vitamins A, B, D and E, minerals, lecithin, unsaturated fatty acids and more. Not only is it a great oil for acne prone  skin, but it is also an amazing skin moisturizer and conditioner, is readily absorbed by the skin and can treat dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and damaged skin. This oil is amazing and effective to say the least.

Note: Many of the mainstream Sunflower Oils will be extremely high in Oleic Acid due to hybrid varieties being used, different ways of processing the oils, etc. Therefore it is extremely important to make sure the Sunflower Oil you purchase is of great quality and if possible, specifically meant for skin care purposes. Oleic Acid is a no-no for acne prone skin.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp Seed Oil also has a comedogenic rating of zero and contains a whopping 60% Linoleic Acid! Hemp Seed Oil already has many other benefits to our bodies when ingested, but it is just as amazing for our skin. Besides being great for acne prone skin it is also amazing at reducing visible signs of aging, replenishes and protects the skin natural moisture barrier, and improves skin texture. It is considered great for cosmetic use due to its high nutrients including omega fatty acids and proteins to name a few. Hemp Seed Oil is absolutely amazing and absorbs at an average speed leaving very little oily feel on the skin. No wonder it’s been used for thousands of years!

Note: Although Hemp is related to Marijuana, it will not get you high in any way, so do not let this scare you away! It has been cultivated and used for thousands and thousands of years and is believed to be one of the first crops grown by man.

Argan Oil

Argan Oil has a comedogenic rating of zero as well and contains a whopping 37% Linoleic Acid. It also has many great nutritive, medicinal and cosmetic properties and is one of the rarest oils in the world. It is great for reducing signs of aging, is anti-aging and is a great moisturizer that is absorbed at average speed leaving little oily feel on the skin.

Other Great Carrier Oils for Acne Prone Skin

These oils are rated as having a 1 and 2 rating on the comedogenic scale. The ratings are labeled as CR. Some of these oils are also high in Linoleic Acids as noted. Simply because some are not high in Linoleic Acid does not mean they aren’t great for acne prone skin and simply having a low comedogenic rating is great and obviously better than clogging your pores! It is important to note that all of these carrier oils have many other benefits that we do not discuss here. Therefore we encourage you to research these amazing carrier oils to find out what other amazing properties they possess.

We have carefully compiled these carrier oils for you and you may view and purchase these carrier oils below. Also, you won’t want to miss the rest of the article down below to find out which carrier oils to avoid for acne prone skin!


CR- 1 Linoleic Acid- 44.1%

Sea Buckthorn

CR- 1

Meadowfoam Seed



CR- 1


CR- 1


CR- 1


CR- 1

Evening Primrose

CR- 2 Linoleic Acid- 73%


CR- 2 Linoleic Acid- 69.6%


CR- 2 Linoleic Acid- 45%

Tamanu (Madagascar)

CR- 2


CR- 2


CR- 2


CR- 2


CR- 2


CR- 2

Peach Kernel

CR- 2

Pumpkin Seed


Sandalwood Seed

CR- 2


CR- 2


CR- 2


CR-2 (Actually a wax, but is used like an oil)

Note: There are other carrier oils that many people with acne prone skin use, but what works for some may not work for others and we feel it is important to use carrier oils with the lowest comedogenic ratings, as clogged pores are a huge culprit to acne. It is also important to play around with the different oils to see which ones feel best and work best for your skin.

Sea Buckthorn, Castor, Calendula, Baobab, Peach Kernel, Pumpkin Seed, Peanut

Oils/Butters to Avoid for Acne Prone Skin

Although these oils and butters have many great benefits and uses, they tend to clog our pores and can aggravate acne prone skin. I love many of these, just not for the face or other acne prone areas.


Coconut Butter


Cocoa Butter




Shea Butter

Note: Shea Butter is rated a zero on the comedogenic scale and is often recommended for acne prone skin types, but Shea Butter is also extremely high in Oleic Acid at a ratio of 62% Oleic Acid to 10% Linoleic Acid. Therefore it is often recommended that it should not be applied on your face or other acne prone areas on the body.

We really hope you enjoyed this article and have a better understanding of which carrier oils to use and not to use on acne prone skin. Even if you just have sensitive skin, we would recommend the same carrier oils to use and avoid. Thank you all so much, and feel free to comment with your experiences using these carrier oils. The Herb Forest appreciates all of your support!



The Best and the Worst Carrier Oils For Acne Prone Skin
Article Name
The Best and the Worst Carrier Oils For Acne Prone Skin
Are looking for a natural remedy for acne? Discover some of the best natural carrier oils for acne prone skin.
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The Herb Forest
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    January 11, 2020 at 2:09 am

    Thanks for sharing this helpful information which I intend to use to treat my older adult acne. Already use and familiar with essential oils and carrier oils however you shed new light on both for me!


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