11 Best Essential Oils For Acne
If you have acne and want a treatment other than those you can buy at the store or get from a doctor, you might want to look into essential oils for acne. Essential oils are chemicals that come from plants. They are usually taken out with steam distillation but sometimes cold-pressed, like citrus.
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Plant extracts have been used in folk medicine for a long time. Modern medicine also looks into their benefits, like how they kill bacteria, one of the leading causes of acne.
People say that essential oils for acne are an effective method to get rid of zits, and early research on these natural, plant-based treatments backs up this claim.
Even though more research is needed to understand the benefits of using essential oils for acne and skincare, it’s generally safe to try them (as long as you dilute them first), and you may see good results. Of course, you should stop using essential oils if they cause irritation or sensitivity to your skin. Essential oils are meant to be inhaled or put on the skin after mixing with a carrier oil. Do not put essential oils in your mouth.
Oils Have Preventable Acne-Fighting Properties
One study found that tea tree essential oil works as well as benzoyl peroxide at treating acne, but without the harsh side effects.
Griffin-Black says, “A lot of acne treatments dry out your skin, which tells your body to make more oil.” “Farnesol, an active part of rose oil, makes dry and oily skin less dry and oily. It helps to keep your skin’s oil production in check.”
Karlak says that acne happens when too much sebum builds up in the hair follicles. When bacteria get into the clogged pores, the spot is red and swollen. Karlak says, “The plan is to rebalance the skin’s environment so that less sebum and bacteria are made.” This will reduce infection and inflammation.
Karlak says to look for essential oils for acne that kill germs and fight infections. He likes tea tree oil, atlas cedar, cypress, geranium, lavender, lemon, and rosemary oil, just like Griffin-Black.
Oils Reduce Visible Acne Scars
Waiting for acne scars to go away may be the most frustrating thing about having them. Essential oils for acne have some of the best ingredients for fighting acne and can also help naturally lighten dark spots. Griffin-Black says, “Helichrysum and immortelle are my favorite oils for acne scars.” “Their moisturizing properties help the skin heal and make it smoother. Scars can also be helped by rose and lavender.” She says that jojoba oil, a blend of helichrysum, rose, and lavender, is an excellent way to reduce acne scars.
“Acne scars are caused by skin damage and too much or too little collagen fiber production, which raises the scar tissue or pitted,” says Karlak. He thinks the best essential oils for acne are mixed with carrier oil. Karlak says that carrier oils can reduce scar tissue and make the skin look better overall.
His favorite carrier oil for acne scars is rosehip seed oil, which has one of the highest concentrations of natural retinoic acid and has been clinically shown to reduce and smooth scar tissue. “Max Green Alchemy’s Elemeni Radiance Face Oil ($30) is great for acne-prone skin because it contains rosehip seed, rose otto, lavender, mandarin, carrot seed, and frankincense oil,” says Karlak.
How Fast Do They Work?
Even though there isn’t much research on how quickly essential oils for acne work, a recent 12-week study found that tea tree oil applied twice a day for eight weeks significantly reduced the severity of mild to moderate acne. In the last four weeks, more progress has been made.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that using these oils can reduce the severity of acne by a small but noticeable amount after as little as one week. However, it usually takes much longer for better results.
How to Use Essential Oils For Acne
Essential oils for acne are not meant to be ingested or swallowed. Some plant chemicals can get into the body when put on the skin. They can also be placed directly on the skin by mixing them with carrier oils, usually used to dilute essential oils.
As concentrated plant chemicals, essential oils can be very strong. Read the directions first before putting any essential oil on your skin. Do a patch test on your arm’s inside to ensure the oil doesn’t give you a rash or other irritation. Apply a small amount of oil and wait 24 hours to ensure you don’t react.
When you use essential oils for acne, you only need a small amount. First, mix one drop of your favorite essential oil with ten drops of carrier oil (like jojoba or almond oil) or water.
Wash your hands with soap, and then gently dab the oil on the spot with a cotton pad or Q-tip. It is best not to use essential oil or any other topical product on a pimple that has already popped. Before using essential oils, talk to your dermatologist if you are using other acne treatments, whether they are over-the-counter or prescribed. This will make sure there are no interactions.
You can add essential oils for acne to your favorite skincare products, such as toners or serums.
Lastly, you should never put essential oils in your eyes or near them (even the vapors can be irritating). Also, don’t let pets near them.
Spot treatment method
If you don’t have acne all over your face, you can use a simple spot treatment to get rid of individual pimples.
- Mix 1 drop of tea tree or rosemary oil with ten drops of carrier oil.
- Soak a cotton swab in the mixture and apply it to individual pimples.
- Let it rest. After about 30 minutes, the pimples should be dry.
DIY face mask
A face mask is the best choice when you want to treat your whole face. You should use stronger oils like tea tree or rosemary oil when you have an active breakout.
- Blend 2–3 tbsp of plain yogurt with 2–3 drops of essential oil
- Apply a thin layer of the mixture to your entire face; avoid the eye area
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes; rinse with lukewarm water
11 Best Essential Oils For Acne
The delicate flavor of this herb is often used to make pasta sauces, and cooked potatoes taste better. In the lab, thyme is effective at killing acne-causing bacteria.
Researchers in the UK have looked at what happens to acne when thyme is used in an alcohol-based solution called a “tincture.” The data showed that the thyme tincture was better at treating acne than popular, topical treatments like benzoyl peroxide.
In lab tests, rosemary essential oil killed the bacteria P. acnes, which causes acne by damaging the cell walls and killing the bacteria cells. Rosemary kills bacteria and can also be used to reduce redness and swelling, which is helpful when treating cystic acne.
Cinnamon is good for more than just baking and putting on your coffee. This product made from tree bark has been studied extensively and is effective at fighting P. acnes. People have also said that it helps ease menstrual pain and lowers cholesterol. And it has been shown that cinnamon kills staphylococcal and E. coli bacteria.
4. Tea tree
Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil used to treat acne because it kills bacteria, stops infections, and reduces inflammation. Research shows that the tea tree is also suitable for healing wounds. This means you can use it to help fight acne and soothe pimples, especially if you’ve popped or picked at them, which we’ve all done repeatedly.
A study done in 2018 found that a mixture of tea tree oil, aloe vera, and propolis (a compound made by bees) was better at treating acne than erythromycin cream.
Oregano has shown promise as an essential oil that can help fight acne. In 2018, researchers found that essential oregano oil was the best at killing bacteria like P. acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis, two of the most common bacteria that cause acne. (Thyme was very close.) Using oregano oil as a spot treatment can help eliminate pimples and stop them from returning.
Research has shown that lavender is good for soothing skin problems, especially in reducing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis (eczema). More research needs to be done on how to get rid of acne, but lavender can help heal pimples and keep acne scars from forming.
A 2016 study found that lavender essential oil helps scars heal by making more collagen and new tissue. This is especially true when it is used immediately (right after the blemish starts healing). Lavender may help make skin smoother by assisting wounds in healing and shrinking.
People who like the citrusy smell of bergamot say that the essential oil from this fruit can help your skin and mood. People have said it might be an anti-inflammatory, making swelling go down, and pimples get smaller. Because of this, bergamot can be used to treat both cystic acne and blackheads on the spot.
But it would help if you didn’t use it during the day because it can make your skin sensitive to the sun. People with less sensitive skin are generally better able to handle it.
Even though rosehip oil is not an essential oil, it is a carrier oil with three critical nutrients that can help keep acne away. The first is linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that controls how much sebum is made. When you don’t get enough linoleic acid, your body produces more sebum, which leads to oily skin and acne.
Vitamin A is the second most important nutrient in rosehip oil. It helps stop sebum from being made.
Lastly, rosehip oil has vitamin C in it. Vitamin C has many benefits, such as reducing inflammation, increasing collagen and cell turnover, and preventing hyperpigmentation, which makes acne scars look less bad.
Eucalyptus oil has a strong, refreshing smell and can also stop inflammation. This makes it great for use on acne that is red, painful, and swollen (as long as you dilute it with a carrier oil first).
It might be good for dry skin in particular. A study from 2012 found that eucalyptus could improve the production of ceramides, the skin’s ability to hold water, and the strength of the skin barrier. This is why eucalyptus extract is often found in shampoos that treat dandruff.
Lemongrass can kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Since acne is an inflammatory skin condition caused by bacteria, lemongrass essential oil might be good for acne. In 2014, a study found that putting lemongrass essential oil on the skin had strong anti-inflammatory effects.
Peppermint essential oil might be good for acne-prone skin because it kills bacteria.
A 2019 study found that essential peppermint oil can fight against harmful bacteria. It hasn’t been studied yet to see if it can treat acne. Peppermint essential oil is also often used to stop itching on the skin. If your skin tends to get red and rashy, this could help.
Some essential oils for acne can help treat mild acne outbreaks by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria. Some of these are Rosemary, clary sage, lemongrass, oregano, and thyme. Tea tree oil has been shown to help mild to moderate acne.
Essential oils probably won’t make acne scars look better, but they can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and spots that are too dark look better.
Before putting essential oils for acne on your skin, you should always mix them with a carrier oil that won’t clog your pores and has no scent, like almond, grapeseed, jojoba, or rosehip. Make sure you do a spot test first to find out if there are any allergies.
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