Essential Oils For Acne

Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Last Updated on

While no time is good for an acne breakout, some days could be worse than others. Imagine having a major acne breakout on the day of an important event like a college outing, a job interview, or a friend’s wedding!

If you have acne-prone skin, you could always be on the lookout for effective anti-acne treatments. We guess you have already tried multiple options but to no avail. But fret not, as we have essential oils. These offer an effective, natural, and non-toxic way to combat acne. Here, we have discussed the acne causes and what essential oils you can pick to combat the same. Keep reading.

What Causes Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition where the hair follicles under the skin are clogged with dead skin cells and oil. This clogging leads to whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples.

In some cases, the clogged follicles can become infected with bacteria and lead to pustules, papules, nodules, or cysts acne. Although most common in teenagers, this condition can affect people of all age groups.

An acne breakout can have several triggers:

  • Hormonal Changes During Puberty

Acne breakouts are most commonly caused by hormonal changes in the body. An increase in androgens during puberty causes the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum, leading to acne in teenagers (1).

  • Periods And Pregnancy

Some women experience acne breakouts just before their monthly periods. Acne during the first three months of pregnancy is also common. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are also prone to acne flare-ups (2).

  • Certain Medications

Drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium are known to trigger or worsen acne symptoms in patients (3).

  • Cosmetics

Some cosmetic products may lead to acne flare-ups in some individuals with sensitive, acne-prone skin.

  • Smoking

Regular smoking may also worsen acne in older adults (4). Anecdotal evidence suggests that suddenly quitting the habit may also temporarily result in pimples.

  • Processed Diet

Consuming foods rich in simple carbohydrates, like white bread, noodles, cookies, and chips, may worsen acne (5). More research is needed to further understand the impact of food on acne.

  • Stress

Psychological stress could also play a role in causing or aggravating the acne (6).

One non-toxic and natural way of treating acne is using essential oils. Read on to know which essential oils are the most effective for acne-control.

Best Essential Oils For Acne

Essential oils have been used in cosmetics and aromatherapy for a long time. In recent times, we witness a resurgence in their popularity due to their natural ingredients and safer results.

Following are some of the best essential oils for acne treatment:

1. Rose Essential Oil

The rose essential oil is extracted from the Rosa Damascena plant. It is replete with the flower’s aromatic compounds and is a staple in aromatherapy. The oil is known for its healing properties and has been shown to kill acne-causing bacteria (7). Regular use of rose essential oil may also help hydrate dry skin, reduce wrinkles, and fade scars. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil has a delicate floral scent. This gentle oil is suitable for most skin types and has antibacterial properties (8). It may help treat acne. The oil is also believed to promote healthy and supple skin, especially in people over 35.

3. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties and can treat skin infections and acne (9). It inhibits bacterial growth and may help control pimples and acne cysts. Massaging your skin with a cream fortified with thyme essential oil helps reduce itching and scarring and may prevent post-inflammation hyperpigmentation.

4. Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil has a sweet, warm, and spicy aroma. It is chock-full of antioxidants that could potentially protect against inflammation, infections, redness, and rashes. Cinnamon oil has compounds with antimicrobial properties and can reduce acne caused by bacterial infections (10).

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree essential oil has a strong antiseptic fragrance. It is known for its ability to fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses (11). Tea tree oil can reduce acne and blemishes. It also may treat oily skin prone to breakouts and pimples.

6. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Preliminary research shows that eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties (12). Topical application of diluted eucalyptus oil may prevent acne outbreaks by fighting the pimple-causing bacteria. But more research is needed to further validate this claim.

These are among the more popular essential oils that may help treat acne. But how can you use them properly?

Effective Ways Of Using Essential Oils For Acne

1. Add To Your Bath Water

Bathing with essential-oil-infused water may help reduce acne on the shoulders, chest, and back. Add around 10 to 12 drops of lavender or rose essential oil and 4 to 5 drops of eucalyptus, cinnamon, or tea tree essential oil to 20 to 30 liters of warm water. You may also add these essential oils to a bathtub of warm water and soak in it.

2. Use With A Carrier Oil

Essential oils may irritate or burn your skin as they are highly concentrated. Hence, use them diluted. Mix them with a carrier oil before use (such as jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil).

Add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree or cinnamon essential oil and 3 to 4 drops of lavender or rose essential oil to 5 to 6 tablespoons of jojoba oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Wash your face with warm water. Pat dry and massage your facial skin with a few drops of this infused oil in circular motions. Do this every night before sleeping.

3. Mix With Your Night Cream

Add 4 to 5 drops of rose, lavender, or tea tree essential oils to a small tub of your regular night cream. Use as usual.

While essential oils can be highly effective in treating acne, you need to keep the following precautions in mind.

Precautions To Take

  • Check for any allergies before using any essential oil. Consult your doctor.
  • Essential oils should not be ingested.
  • Always dilute essential oils before use.
  • Check with your doctor before using essential oils if you have any serious medical conditions.

To Conclude

You can add essential oils to your daily skincare routine in many ways. Different skin types may react differently to essential oils; hence, try a few combinations to see what works best for you.

Treating acne with essential oils is an effective and natural method. If you are tired of using commercial anti-acne products that do not always give you the desirable results, it is time to consider essential oils.

We believe this post has added value to you. Pick your favorite essential and start using it today.

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

Read full bio of Ravi Teja Tadimalla
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