Acne is a skin disorder that can affect any part of your skin, but it’s most commonly found to affect your face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders. Acne typically starts during puberty and often goes away in later teen years, however adults can suffer from acne as well. Acne affects both sexes, but teen boys are most likely to suffer from acne.
What causes acne?
You have oil glands under your skin that secrets sebum (an oil). This oil is used to carry dead skin cells to the top of your skin. It does this by going through the pores of your skin (tiny openings in your skin). When your body produces too much oil and/or dead skin cells, your pores get clogged up. This can cause blemishes like blackheads, whiteheads, and bumps.
Plugged pores are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow. If this happens, the infected areas become inflamed which leads to skin issues like pimples and acne.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about acne breakouts. You can take care of your skin extremely well and live an incredibly healthy lifestyle – but still suffer from acne breakouts.
However, lifestyle choices have a strong affect on skin disorder like acne. A few common causes of acne include imbalanced hormones, stress, medication, and a bad diet.
Why use essential oils for acne?
If you’ve been suffering from acne for awhile, you know there are a lot of remedy options out there. You’ve probably tried many of them already.
Proactive might have worked for Adam Levine but not every product works for everyone – because we all have different skin types.
Essential oils might be that thing that changes your depressing acne for good.
Essential oils are NATURAL oils found in things that grow like plants and fruits. Oils good for acne contain chemical compounds that fight bacteria causing acne. Using these oils can completely rid your body of acne – oh, and did I say naturally?
Essential oils have medicinal properties that can help alleviate and provide relief for almost every health ailment – from strep throat to headaches – and can sometimes completely solve the issue (not guaranteed!!)
I don’t suffer from pimples/acne anymore, but if I did, essential oils would be the FIRST products I use. As long as you purchase pure essential oils (oils that have NOT had anything added to them), you are getting therapeutic grade oils that have massive healing and health benefits.
I also recommend choosing organic essential oils. The more pure the oil is the better it will be for your skin.
With that said, here are the top 8 essential oils for acne:
8 Best Essential Oils For Acne
Lavender is probably the most popular stress relief essential oil. Lavender is great for your skin because it contains antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that kill symptoms of acne as well as acne causing bacteria.
There are many reasons why you could be suffering from acne. I think one of the most overlooked causes of acne is stress. Stress is a significant factor of acne breakouts and why some people can never seem to get rid of acne.
Lavender oil is the perfect oil for you if you’re just stressed the hell out all the time and you think stress is a contributor to your acne issues. On top of this, lavender oil is also effective at reducing the appearance of dark spots as well as acne scars. Overall, lavender oil is incredibly nourishing for your mind and body. It’s one of the most popular essential oil people have in their homes – and you should have a bottle (or two) if you don’t!
2. Tea Tree
Tea tree oil is one of the best (maybe the best?) oil at killing bacteria and fungi, especially on the skin. If you’ve ever had a look at skin care products, you’ve no doubt seen tea tree listed on the label more than once.
Tea tree contains anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. This helps reduce swelling and inflammation caused by bacteria on your skin. I was reading around to see how effective tea tree is specifically for acne. I found a resource that said the results from using tea tree oil for acne is comparable to results achieved with benzoyl peroxide – which the active ingredient at killing bacteria in most acne products.
Tea tree oil has a earthy pine like smell. It’s also an oil that can dry your skin. So it may not smell so great on you and it could leave your skin less than feeling good after you’ve used it. There are a few things you can do to solve these issues that I talk about below.
How to use tea tree oil for acne
Apply directly on skin
drop 1 drop of pure essential oil on a cotton ball. Gently dab the areas affected with acne. Spot treating is perfect for tea tree oil because it’s such a strong oil. I don’t recommend using this oil like a face wash – so don’t wipe it all over your face.
If you have sensitive skin you will likely want to dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil. Diluting tea tree oil does not reduce it’s medicinal benefits. Dilution spreads the potency of oils out so it’s safer to apply directly on your skin. You may also need to moisturize after applying tea tree oil if your skin is very sensitive.
diluting 2 drops of tea tree oil in one teaspoon of a carrier oil is safe for most adults. A carrier oil is an oil used to dilute an essential oil. It can be any oil though some are better than others. I like fractionated coconut oil (liquid at room temperature). You can use olive oil or another vegetable oil as well.
You of course have heard of the herb rosemarie! And I’m sure you’ve used it to season your food many many times.Rosemarie essential oil smells just like the herb itself.
Rosemarie is one of the most versatile essential oil you can buy because it naturally heals so many different issues.
With skincare, it does three main things. Rosemarie helps to regulate oily skin that can plug pores causing pimples and acne. Rosemarie also has anti-inflammatory power – which helps reduce acne redness. And lastly, rosemarie oil promotes healthy bodily circulation – which is important for that “glowing” skin look.
How to use rosemarie oil for acne
Dilute 2 drops of rosemarie oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil. Gently massage your concoction onto problematic areas. You can use this remedy if you’re breaking out or if you’ve had acne for a long time.
Oregano has very strong anti septic and antibacterial properties that fight acne causing bacteria. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and redness associated with acne. And oregano contains antioxidants which can also help with treatment of acne.
How to use oregano essential oil for acne
Oregano is a strong essential oil and should be diluted before you attempt to apply it neat to your skin – if that’s what you want to do. Dilute 2 drops of oregano essential oil into a teaspoon of carrier oil. Dab a cotton ball into the oil and apply it to infected areas. You may want to spot test on a less sensitive part of your skin first, like your arm.
The king of all essential oils might just be frankincense. This oil just does it all. It is used to sooth aches and pains, fight common colds, relieve anxiety, and is of course excellent at promoting skin health.
Frankincense oil is great for your complexion because it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that both help erase acne. This oil is also great for toning your skin and giving it that rejuvenated look by helping to reduce skim blemishes. It also helps with preventing your pores from clogging up which can cause acne spreading bacteria to grow.
Frankincense also tightens and tones your skin via its astringent properties. It helps makes those wrinkles and lines look less wrinkly and liney – so it has very poplar anti-aging appeal.
If you’re a bit older or your skins aging complexion is very important to you, and if you have sun damaged skin, frankincense oil is probably the one for you.
Frankincense oil is definitely one you need to have in your collection. If you’re starting out with essential oils, make sure you include it in your starter pack!
How to use frankincense oil for acne
Dilute 2 drops of pure frankincense oil into a teaspoon of carrier oil (like olive oil). Dab a cotton ball into the mixture and apply on acne prone areas.
6. Clary Sage
Clary sage oil is popular for relieving stress, anxiety, and balancing hormones. Much like tea tree oil, clary sage reduces stress by reducing the stress causing hormone cortisol. Clary sage is especially great if you’re an anxious person. Anxiety can cause a ton of stress which I’m sure you’re already aware of. It’s this stress that sometimes causes massive acne breakouts and why it’s so hard for some people to get rid of acne.
On the skincare side of things, clary sage has a chemical compound called linalyl acetate which is the main ingredient for remedying acne problems. It help regulate skin health in many ways, including killing acne causing bacteria, reducing skin inflammation, and maintaining proper oil on your skin.
Clary sage is a great oil for naturally getting rid of acne if you’re someone who’s anxious and/or stressed out. I was reading a study that showed clary sage reducing cortisol levels by 36% from participants who inhaled it. Again, if you’re someone who could benefit from relaxing, being less anxious, and geting an overall boost in mood (all while getting rid of acne), clary sage is the oil you should try.
How to use clary sage oil for acne
1. Apply directly on skin
Drop 2 drops of pure clary sage oil onto a cotton ball and gently dab onto acne affected areas. If you have sensitive skin, you will likely want to dilute clary sage oil with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil is good but any oil will work). 2 drops of clary sage oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil is safe for most adults.
2. Diffuse clary sage oil
Since clary sage is so good for relaxing and de-stressing you, diffusing this oil is also a great way to naturally reap the medicinal benefits. Remember, anxiety and stress can be a big contributor to acne. Anything to “chill out” can help you.
To diffuse clary sage oil, read the instructions that came with your diffuser. It usually requires just 3-5 drops of oil.
What’s bergamot? Think if a lemon and an orange had a baby, it would be bergamot! This oil has tons of benefits, but it’s probably most well known for how it raises your mood and uplifts your spirits. It helps you feel more confident and refreshed. With all that said, it’s actually an oil that also makes you feel calm and relaxed at the same time. It’s really an interesting oil!
Bergamot has a citrus aroma that’s soft and sweet – which is why it’s so refreshing and up lifting. Because bergamot smells so good, it’s popular in fragrances, lotions perfumes and many other beauty/skincare products.
Last but not least, geranium! First, what is geranium? It’s a plant with purple petals that has a minty rosey floral aroma. Like the other essential oils listed here, geranium has powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that combat acne and acne related issues. It’s great for toning your skin and reviving bloated skin.
Geranium has a cooling effect on skin with burning inflammation. I’d say the best word that describes geranium is “reviving”, because that’s how your skin should feel when you use it.
Geranium oil is also good at soothing muscles anywhere on your body and is used to reduce the appearance of scars like cellulite. It’s an effective ingredient found in anti-aging products.
How to use geranium oil for acne
Drop a couple drops of pure geranium oil into a cotton ball and dab on problematic areas. You may want to dilute the essential oil first in case it is too strong for your skin and irritates it. 2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil is safe for most adults.
Have any questions about using essential oils for acne? Let me know in the comment section below!