Essential Oils for Acne

Essential Oils for Acne

As a natural treatment option to improve your complexion, you can use essential oils for acne. But it's important to know which oils are best and how to use them before incorporating essential oils into your routine.

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are extracts that are derived from plants, herbs, wood barks, flowers, and fruits. Unlike traditional "oils", essential oils are water-like in consistency and aren't oily or sticky. They contain not only the smell but also the essence of the plant that they came from.

How do they work?

Essential oils are soluble through lipids in the skin which means they are easily absorbed. Certain essential oils are especially effective in treating acne because of their ability to dissolve sebum, kill bacteria, preserve the acid mantle of the skin, and improve circulation and the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. 

Specific Essential Oils for Acne:

There are several essential oils that specifically address acne concerns. Essential oils are very effective at treating acne because they are easily absorbed into the skin, they kill acne causing bacteria, dissolve sebum that causes blockages in the follicle but maintain the integrity of the skin. 

Rosewood Oil

Rosewood oil is excellent for people with oily skin and should not be used for dry or sensitive skin types. It reduces the sebum that blocks the hair follicle when applied topically. It also reduces the frequency of breakouts. Rosewood oil is great if used as a spot treatment throughout the day to reduce oil or oily complexion.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is great for almost any use. It is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and anti inflammatory, as well as having a soothing and calming effect. Lavender oil combats acne, eczema, oily skin, spots and redness and itching that is associated with inflammation caused by acne. It is especially effective in regulating and balancing overly oily skin.

Tea Tree Oil

Known for its antifungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil has been used for many years as an antimicrobial agent and to help clear skin of acne. A study with over 100 participants, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, demonstrated that a 5% tea tree oil gel was just as effective as a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in the treatment of acne. It works by killing the acne causing bacteria, while promoting healing. Though the tea tree oil may work more slowly to clear acne, it produces fewer side effects than conventional acne medications.

Clove Oil

Clove oil is a potent purifying agent. It should be blended with carrier oil like grape-seed oil before being applied to the skin since it is very irritating in its pure form. When diluted, clove oil can be applied to the skin to treat emerging or existing breakouts. It acts very quickly to treat emerging or existing acne. It also removes infection and acts as a pain reliever.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil serves as an excellent moisturizer for all skin types because its structure closely resembles that of your own skin sebum. It also has antioxidant properties which are helpful in treating acne.When massaged into the skin it is quickly absorbed and can dissolvs clogged pores and embedded dirt and grime.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot has antibacterial and cleansing properties. It kills bacteria that can cause acne and reduces infection in the skin. It has a very pleasing and calming fragrance and is an ideal spot treatment.

Sandalwood Oil

Shown to inhibit growth of a type of bacteria that is commonly a cause of acne. It is thought that a specific component of sandalwood essential oil, farnesol, is responsible for its antibacterial and antifungal activity. Other essential oils containing farnesol include jasmine, palmarosa, and ylang ylang. These essential oils may also be effective against acne.

Other useful essential oils for acne include geranium, rosemary, cedarwood, sage, lemon, calendula, peppermint, manuka, and basil, along with light oils such as almond, borage seed, and evening primrose.

Keep in mind:

  • Dilute - To use essential oils for acne, you almost always need to first dilute them because direct contact with the skin can cause irritation. Add 15-30 drops of the essential oil you choose into a carrier oil such as grape-seed oil, almond oil, canola oil, mineral oil, or olive oil. The more sensitive your skin, the more diluted your oils should be. Once added to the carrier oil mixed thoroughly and apply to the areas affected by acne.
  • Use pure oils - For skin care uses, it’s important to use pure essential oils, and avoid those labeled "perfume oil" or "fragrance oil." These may be synthetic versions of essential oils and aren’t safe for use on the skin.
  • Go organic - Purchase organic essential oils to be sure that they’re free from pesticides or chemical residue. Base oils should also be cold-pressed and organic to ensure that the beneficial vitamins and minerals weren’t stripped away with solvents or preservatives.
  • Store properly - To extend the life of your essential oils, store them in dark glass bottles, and keep them in a cool place, away from direct light — especially sunlight.


Product Picks

If you're looking for ready-made products that use essential oils for acne, I reccommend these two:

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