“I’ve heard great things about virgin coconut oil but I saw a website that said it’s highly comedogenic. Is it?”
Virgin coconut oil is many things, but it is not comedogenic. Why the confusion? Comedogenicity is currently controversial in some dermatological circles and it seems that many of the sites online that talk about comedogenicity still refer to the traditional way of testing for it, i.e. animal testing done in the 1960s and 70s on the ears of rabbits (the Rabbit Ear Assay or REA). New research shows that this testing may not be the most reliable — animal testing for skin products in general has strong arguments against it, not just in terms of cruelty but also in terms of accuracy.
Side note: VMV does not and has never tested on animals. Newer comedogenicity tests are done on human skin, sometimes together with acnegenicity testing of the finished product on facial skin for over 4 weeks.
The many independent studies of Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos and Dr. Albert M. Kligman, leaders in the field, as well as our own clinical studies (actual products on human skin), do not validate the rabbit-ear ingredient studies for the same ingredients.
In addition, many of the rabbit’s ear studies were done at very high concentrations of the ingredients in question. For example, ingredients like cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth 20 are simple emulsifiers to mix main ingredients. In actual product formulations, these ingredients are normally present in much less concentrations than those used in the REA tests in the 60s and 70s.
These modern comedogenicity tests on human volunteers are what VMV uses for our ingredients and finished products, including our virgin coconut oil. Both Dr. Draelos and Dr. Kligman, eminent and widely published dermatologists, prefer human tests as they are based on the actual use of the finished products as well as realistic concentrations of the ingredients in question in these products. One of our randomized double-blind studies (the gold standard of clinical studies (see “Beauty Is Proof”) on the comedogenicity of several oils commonly used in cosmetics concluded:
“Despite years of being listed as comedogenic (in Rabbit Ear Assay ratings) — (virgin coconut oil) was shown to be non-comedogenic by DHSA (Draelos Human Skin Assays). This confirms what has been seen in clinics that regularly use Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO): It is a non-comedogenic mositurizer and antiseptic oil.”
For more on virgin coconut oil’s multiple benefits, enter “virgin coconut oil” in the search field above.
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