Acne, both mild and more severe forms, can be problematic for people of all ages. Women, in particular, may struggle with flare-ups due to hormones but are hesitant to turn to more caustic, chemical options that create dry, flaky skin. Luckily, some of the best essential oils for acne are also hydrating and can be easily used with your regular skin care routines or as a standalone to deal with problems if they occur.
Below we’ve helped explain what causes acne and which essential oils are good for acne, oily skin, and acne scar care so you can make an informed decision for your own personal uses. Many of these options also have various health benefits, making them well worth having around to aid in other possible ailments.
Best Essential Oils for Acne Comparison
|doTERRA Tea Tree Oil||Check The Price|
|doTERRA Clove Oil||Check The Price|
|Rocky Mountain Oil Lemongrass||Check The Price|
|Plant Therapy Lavender Oil||Check The Price|
|Young Living Frankincense Oil||Check The Price|
|Rocky Mountain Oil Clary Sage||Check The Price|
|Young Living Rose Oil||Check The Price|
What is Acne?
In short, acne is a skin condition marked by clogged hair follicles – usually from dead skin cells and your own body’s oil, called sebum. As these hair pores become clogged, they can become inflamed, or even harbor bacteria, both which create raised, sometimes painful pustules or bumps. Clogged or even openly clogged pores (called whitehead and blackheads respectively) can also occur, as well as painful nodules and lesions located deeper under the skin.
Common in teenagers due to hormonal changes which affect the skin’s secretion of sebum and changing hygienic needs, this is an affliction that can affect anyone at any age. It can be particularly problematic for some adults, creating personal and social embarrassment as most people feel it is an affliction only young adolescents suffer from.
How is Acne Caused?
Acne can be caused by quite a few variables and is not an affliction that only puberty stricken teens struggle with. Although it is hard to address every reason or even understand why some of them occur, you can begin to get things under control with some basic understanding of why you might be prone to breakouts.
- As young adults reach puberty their bodies create more of the androgen hormone, which influences sexual maturity. This is especially active in young males and can stimulate excess oil production on the skin’s surface. As pores become clogged with oil and the natural shedding of skin cells, acne begins to form
- Bacteria can also enter into your pores at any age due to touching your face with contaminated hands or even when brushing against material that might be carrying it. This can enter into pores, especially those that may be partially clogged and create acne. Your skin also already harbors a natural bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes that feeds off sebum and can enter into pores and triggers a body response.
- Certain medication, both ingested and used topically, can cause acne related issues as well. They may react with hormone levels that cause the clogging of pores or simply create a body reaction that results in skin issues.
- Diets rich in certain carbohydrates, chocolate, and some dairy has been shown to worsen some acne related conditions, although it is not entirely understood as to why.
- When your body is stressed, it can increase the hormonal secretions from the endocrine system: androgens and cortisol. This can adversely affect your hormonal balance and influence acne breakouts through the increase of sebum production.
Common Treatments for Acne
The most common treatments for acne typically turn to either OTC or prescription synthetics and chemicals to help clean out and dry up acne. These might be topical or ingestible. Although many of these can be effective, depending on the severity of your acne and the sensitivity of your skin, it may cause adverse reactions that can either worsen your condition or cause other skin afflictions – such as red, scaly, peeling, or itchy skin. It also may cause your skin to create more oil to cope with this, which may lead to oily, clogged pores.
Essential oil options and more gentle approaches have been gaining in popularity, either as a stand-alone for mild to moderate breakouts or used in conjunction with other solutions to help lessen their side-effects and soothe sensitive skins without ruining their effectiveness.
Natural Treatments for Acne
Most natural treatments and home remedies work best for mild to moderate acne and acne flare-ups rather than more severe cystic or deep pimples and chronic issues. All of these can help and often work well with other treatments without worry of severe side effects- making them an option worth considering.
The most effective natural remedies are those that have properties that combat bacteria, are anti-inflammatory, and are soothing to the skin. Apple cider vinegar, honey, cinnamon, garlic, zinc, and green tea are popular both for consumption and use as a topical skin treatment, but essential oil use has been gaining ground as an effective way to combat the worst of your symptoms.
Many essential oils have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that work well to treat existing acne issues and help keep new problems from occurring.
Why You Should Consider Essential Oils for Acne Treatment
As mentioned, many oils have properties that help with acne, but which are the best essential oils for pimples? And why should you consider them?
Obviously, chemicals and synthetics can have adverse reactions, and in some cases, may exacerbate the problem. They also can be quite costly- and even if you do feel you need the help and relief they provide, it doesn’t hurt to alternate it with other, more natural options to find the regimen that works best for you without experiencing side effects.
Essential oils are extracted directly from the plants they come from and are highly concentrated- meaning a little can go a long way in terms of potency. This is not only a budget saver, but it also provides medicinal effects without worry of additives from other sources.
You can use them a variety of ways as well. Concentrated forms can be used as a spot treatment, but they can easily be diluted with a carrier oil or even put in a favorite moisturizer, face mask, cleanser, and shampoos if you are prone to body acne.
Top 7 Essential Oils for Acne Reviews
The following are those oils that have been consistently found to help clear up and prevent acne. All have potent properties that can be beneficial in other uses as well- yet another reason why they are nice to have around
Tea Tree Oil
- Best For: reduction of acne
- Other Applications: healing, swelling reduction, fungal infections
- Pros: wide spectrum application
- Cons: harsh smell, may have minor skin sensitivity
Antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory, tea tree oil has strong properties that are widely used for both spot treatments and diluted into other applications for larger area coverage. It can reduce the size of the pimple inflammation, help dry it out, and also kills the bacteria creating the problem in the first place.
How to Use This:
Although you can buy tea tree as a concentrated form, it can be harsh and works well at only a 5% dilution solution- meaning it mixes well into your favorite moisturizers, face washes, masks, or any other skincare routine.
- Best For: cystic and nodule acne reduction
- Other Applications: toothache, digestion, blood pressure, cleaning solution addition
- Pros: earthy, spicy scent and excellent effectiveness in pain reduction
- Cons: Should be applied with care due to strength
Highly antiseptic, clove oil is used to eradicate bacteria and is highly effective for deep cystic lesions and nodules. Highly stimulating, it can bring a cyst to a head- so it must be used with care as this can create scarring and is best used to keep them from occurring in the first place if you are prone to them.
How to Use This:
Best used when diluted with a favorite carrier oil or moisturizer. Use as a spot treatment or smooth over problematic areas.
- Best For: Oily skin
- Other Applications: diffusion, soothing sunburn or chapped skin, mouthwash addition
- Pros: fresh scent and wide application range
- Cons: May cause your skin to be more photosensitive
Excellent as an astringent, this antimicrobial and antiseptic oil has a fresh, clean lemon scent that has a variety of uses. It also can help relieve pain, and works well for inflammation reduction, soothing of sensitive skins, as well as reduction of the appearance of pimples while healing the skin. Oily skin can highly benefit from lemongrass as pores are reduced in appearance, and it applies a moisturizing effect to lower sebum production.
How to Use This:
Use neat and straight, or you can dilute with a favorite carrier or moisturizer to use over your entire face, neck, and chest. Best used as a reapplication, and it causes very little skin sensitivities, although it may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. The scent is also refreshing and has antiseptic qualities.
- Best For: healing
- Other Applications: diffusion, calming mind and body, healing wounds, sunburn relief, bruise reduction
- Pros: Wide, safe, spectrum of use
- Cons: What cons?
Lavender is another oil that has an incredible array of uses to take advantage of. With healing and anti-inflammatory properties, it can calm both your skin and mind. Not only can it stop bleeding, but it also works on open wounds, meaning your chapped skin and popped pimples will be soothed and healed in no time. It typically is considered safe enough to use without dilution, but new users may want to mix with a carrier oil.
How to Use This:
Use in its concentrated form or mix with a carrier or favorite moisturizer and smooth over affected areas. Works best as a repeat application and can be used as a spot treatment as well. It also moisturizes to help calm overactive pores.
- Best For: Smoothing skin and scars
- Other Applications: Anti Inflammatory, wound healing, reduction of pimples
- Pros: Highly effective for skin conditions, little goes a long way
- Cons: More expensive option
If you have wondered what the best essential oil is for acne scars, look no further. This ancient oil has long been used for its medicinal and sedative properties and has a wide range of uses. This is a powerful oil that can be used concentrated or diluted, although it smooths over skin much easier when used in a carrier of sorts. It heals skin, soothes problem areas, and keeps acne from reappearing. It also smooths fine lines and wrinkles and reduces the appearance of old scars.
How to Use This:
Use in your favorite clay masks and moisturizers either as a wash off or leave on treatment before bed. It also works well to help brighten and tighten up pores with a morning moisturizer to wear under makeup foundations.
- Best For: Soothing and reduction of acne
- Other Applications: Calming for mind and body, gentle on skin
- Pros: Effective and reduction of breakouts, skin stress, and mental stress
- Cons: What cons?
Strong anti-inflammatories and the ability to control oil production makes Clary Sage oil a good choice for skin care. It also is calming to use for stress days which can lead to an increase in oil production. Effective against bacteria as well, it helps keep breakouts from occurring by destroying bacteria that can cause certain types of acne.
How to Use This:
Use as a spot treatment as a concentrate or mix with your favorite carries to smooth over troubled areas and massaged in. It works well for back and chest flare-ups when used consistently.
- Best For: Overall Skin Care
- Other Applications: healing, scent, uplifting, relaxing, moisturizing
- Pros: Amazing skin care properties
- Cons: Expensive but potent
Rose oil is another ancient options used for a wide variety of beauty applications. Highly antimicrobial, it combats infection, bacteria, and is incredibly soothing for irritated skin. It also is packed full of vitamin C which helps improve the appearance of your skin. What it is famous for though, is how it increases your skin’s permeability- meaning it makes your skin more reactive to absorbance. This allows your skin to better take advantage of moisturizers and other treatments which is noticeable in the reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring.
How to Use This:
Use as a concentrate or put a few drops into anything you smooth over your skin. The ability to sooth help keep acne from reappearing, and allowing your skin to heal and absorb is worth the cost of this rare oil.
This selection of essential oils is some of the best you can find for skincare, particularly in reference to treating acne. Their soothing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties treat existing problems and help keep new ones from happening. Even though essential oils are most effective for mild to moderate skin care problems, they pair wonderfully with other treatments you may use to help keep you from having to use it as often and sooth any side effects you may experience.
If you have any questions or comments, let us know below. And it is also important to note that if you have never used a certain oil before, you make sure to do a skin test or speak with your healthcare provider about its introduction to your regimen.
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*You might also like: Treat Your Epidermis Naturally With 28 Best Essential Oils For Skin.