Acne: Those Pesky Pimples are About to Be Yesterday’s News
For many people around the world acne is a problem. They suffer with it daily no matter their age. It affects all ages, races and both genders. It can be extremely embarrassing as well. Many turn to medication and chemical treatments yet still do not find solace. So what can be done? How can one get rid of the bothersome acne so many of us battle with? Essential oils. Essential oils can help treat acne and can help to keep it away thus helping to build confidence and protect the face from current and future breakouts and scarring.
General Information on Acne
So what is acne really? Acne is the clogging or blocking of pores caused by bacteria, excessive oil production, makeup or dead skin. Many other factors can cause acne such as hormones, diet, stress, skin irritation and even medications. Genetics may even help to play a role in acne as well.
Yes, commonly teens suffer from acne, but more and more adults are beginning to suffer or continue to suffer from acne. As stated above, there are many factors that can cause acne even in the adult years.
Ignoring acne or picking at it can cause serious problems. Scarring can occur on the skin that is irreversible. Not to mention the skin can become overly sensitive or have permanent red marks. Not taking care of your skin properly can have long-lasting emotional effects as well causing depression and reducing ones self-esteem.
There are six, yes you read that correctly, six different types of pimples.
- Whiteheads: most of us know and have dealt with a whitehead. Whiteheads have a small white head that rises to the surface of the skin while a pimple itself stays under the skin.
- Blackheads: most of us know and have dealt with blackheads as well. A blackhead has a small pin size black dot, though can grow large in size if not dealt with, that rises to the surface of the skin.
- Papules: these pimples are small pink bumps that are under the skin and can hurt or be tender to the touch.
- Pustules: these pimples vary in size but are red on the bottom of a pimple and have the puss on the top of a pimple.
- Nodules: these pimples are very uncomfortable. They are large in size and solid in state. They are deep within the skin and hurt.
- Cysts: these are the worst type of pimples to get. Cysts are large in size and are pus-filled. They are very painful and can leave scars.
If you notice or have any of the above pimples you may have acne or be going through a breakout. Most women experience some form of a breakdown during their menstrual cycle due to the change in hormones in their body. While a lot of men experience breakouts due to physical activity and not cleansing their face properly after a workout or sports.
22 Essential Oils to Help with Acne
Essential oils have proven time and time again that they are very beneficial in the prevention and reduction of acne. Essential oils are a natural and safe way to cleanse or spot treat those pesky pimples that sometimes seem to pop up out of nowhere. Here are 22 essential oils that can help with acne treatment and prevention.
Basil: Basil essential oil is great in helping to treat the signs and symptoms of acne as well as helping the skin to look brighter and less dull. It is known to help improve the tone of one’s skin while helping to clean the skin due to its antiseptic properties. It can also help to relieve the pain, inflammation and itching that can sometimes be associated with pimples.
Bergamot: Bergamot essential oil has great antiseptic properties which make it perfect for treating acne. It helps to cleanse the skin removing any build-up present. It also helps to heal the skin reducing and preventing scarring which can occur with acne. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties that can help in reducing the pain and inflammation of pimples on and in the skin.
Carrot seed: Carrot seed essential oil has antioxidant and antiseptic properties that help to cleanse and detoxify the skin helping the skin feel younger and cleaner. It also helps to reduce and prevent scarring that can occur with acne; helping to soothe, smooth and rejuvenate the skin.
Chamomile: Chamomile essential oil, both Roman and German chamomile essential oils, have antiseptic properties that help to cleanse the skin helping to reduce acne. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties which help to reduce the pain and swelling often associated with acne. Chamomile essential oil also helps to reduce scars on the skin creating a more even complexion. It is also great for helping to detoxify the body helping to rid the body of bacteria and harmful toxins that may cause acne.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon essential oil has antiseptic properties which make it great for cleansing the skin and removing dirt and bacteria causing acne from the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties which are important in helping to reduce inflammation and pain that can be associated with acne.
Clary Sage: Clary sage essential oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help in reducing and preventing acne on and in the skin. It also helps to reduce inflammation and regulates oil production in the skin helping to reduce oily and dry skin making the skin look younger and suppler.
Cypress: Cypress essential oil has antiseptic properties which make it perfect for treating the symptoms of acne. It helps to cleanse the skin and treat wounds that may be present from acne. It also helps to open up the pores, which is important in helping to clean them out as well as helping to reduce toxins in the body that may cause acne.
Frankincense: Frankincense essential oil is helpful to the skin in a number of ways. It helps to heal the skin by reducing scarring on the skin caused by acne. It also helps to promote younger healthier skin through the regeneration of healthy skin cells and by keeping existing cells and tissue healthy. It also helps to reduce pore size and excessively oily skin.
Geranium: Geranium essential oil is useful in acne treatments due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It helps to cleanse the skin ridding the skin of unwanted bacteria-causing acne. It also helps in reducing scars on the skin which can be caused by acne; stimulating blood flow and healing to the affected area. Germanium essential oil also helps to promote cell growth which is important in reducing scarring on the skin but is also important in helping the skin to look and remain younger.
Juniper Berry: Juniper berry essential oil has antiseptic properties which help in cleansing the skin which helps in reducing acne. It helps to promote blood flow and circulation thus helping to rejuvenate the skin making it look younger and more supple while helping to reduce redness in the skin that can be caused by acne. Juniper berry essential oil also helps to remove toxins from the body while helping to heal wounds that may be causing acne.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil is considered one of the most popular treatments when it comes to acne. Lavender essential oil helps to reduce the build-up of bacteria in or on the skin thus helping to reduce bacteria causing acne. It also helps to reduce oil production which can be a problem during hormone changes in the body. As well it helps to reduce and heal scars on the skin to promote blood circulation and cell growth and regeneration. Lavender essential oil also helps to reduce the pain and inflammation that can occur with acne.
Lemon: Lemon essential oil helps to brighten the skin while helping to treat acne due to its powerful antiseptic properties. It is also great in helping to reduce excess oil on the skin which can cause acne. Lemon essential oil also helps to reduce redness and dark spots on the skin while helping to reduce pore size.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass essential oil has antiseptic properties which help in cleaning the skin to rid the skin of any build-up that may cause acne. It helps in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with acne while helping promote cell regeneration and replacement. It also helps to reduce redness and scars.
Neroli: Neroli essential oil is great for cleansing the skin due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It also helps to reduce the scarring and redness that can be caused by acne. Neroli essential oil also helps to improve the look of the skin by promoting cell growth and rejuvenation. It also helps to reduce pore size.
Orange: Orange essential oil is great in helping to treat acne. Its antiseptic properties make it great for cleansing the skin helping to get rid of any build-up that may cause acne to form. It also helps to reduce the pain and inflammation that can often be caused by acne. Orange essential oil also helps to smooth and maintain healthy younger looking skin.
Oregano: Oregano essential oil is great when it comes to treating the skin and acne. Its antiseptic and antibacterial properties help to clean the skin while its anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce the inflammation often found with pimples.
Patchouli: Patchouli essential oil has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which are important in the treatment of acne. These properties are important when it comes to cleansing the skin and ridding the skin of unwanted build-up that causes acne. It also helps to tone the skin helping to reduce redness, lines, and wrinkles that can be caused by acne. Patchouli is also great in helping to heal wounds and scarring that may have been caused by acne by helping to promote and increase blood flow and circulation along with cell regrowth and regeneration.
Rose: Rose essential oil has powerful antibacterial properties which help in the fight against acne. It also has antiseptic properties which are also important in helping to cleanse the skin to rid the skin of acne. Rose essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the inflammation commonly seen in pimples. It also helps to reduce breakouts due to hormonal changes in the body. Finally rose essential oil helps to rejuvenate the skin while reducing redness and scarring making it look smooth, young and supple.
Rosemary: Rosemary essential oil helps to reduce inflammation, redness and oil production while promoting circulation and cellular regrowth to give the skin a more youthful glow. All of these properties work together to revitalize the skin helping to keep it acne free while firming and toning it to make it look younger and more supple.
Tea Tree: Tea tree essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils when it comes to acne treatment. Tea tree essential oils antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it great for cleansing the skin. It also helps to reduce inflammation and heals acne sores or wounds on the skin. It also helps to regulate oil production which can help in reducing acne breakouts.
Thyme: Thyme essential oil has antiseptic properties which help in the treatment of acne. Its antibacterial properties are also important in the treatment of acne and prevention of bacteria breakouts. Thyme essential oil helps in reducing redness and scarring that can be caused by acne. It also helps in healing wounds and sores that may be caused by acne breakouts.
Ylang ylang: Ylang ylang essential oil is great in helping the skin to look and feel younger. It also has antimicrobial and astringent properties which help in reducing oil production and bacterial causing breakouts. Ylang ylang also helps to promote cellular regeneration and growth.
Ways to Use Essential Oils for Acne
There are a number of ways in which to use essential oils, but when it comes to the treatment of acne topically is the best form to use.
Here are a few ideas you may want to try with any of the above essential oils:
- Apply tea tree essential oil directly to a pimple for a quick spot treatment.
- Using a cotton pad or ball apply lavender essential oil to the pad or ball and wipe or dab onto the face as an overall acne treatment or apply directly to a pimple or affected area for a quick spot treatment.
- Try a basil essential oil face steam.
- Mix geranium essential oil with pure aloe vera gel to make an anti-acne night serum.
- Try having a clary sage essential oil warm bath to help reduce body acne.
- Make your own facewash with chamomile essential oils or use as a toner.
- Add a drop of oregano essential oil to your daily moisturizer for added acne treatment and prevention.
- To help reduce scars try mixing Vitamin E and neroli essential oil together.
- Add ylang-ylang to a spritz bottle of distilled water to help fight acne throughout the day.
- Try mixing rose essential oil together with grapeseed oil to make a daily acne treatment.
- Try drinking some lemongrass tea.
It is important to give the essential oils time to work and do their job. Nothing happens overnight, though I know we all wish things would happen that way. It takes time for these essential oils to get into the skin and get to the root of the problem. Sometimes, yes, a small breakout may be healed or reduced greatly in a 24 hour period but for major acne problems, it may take a week or two or longer before real results can be seen or felt.
It is also important to not fear to put oil on your skin. You may be thinking that oil clogs pores so how will essential oils clear up my skin when I am essentially putting more oil on it. Essential oils are a bit different than the oil your skin produces. It is important, however, to ensure you have pure or true essential oil and not a bunch of carrier oil(s) in your essential oil of choice because too much carrier oil(s) may not have the same effect as pure essential oils thus reducing their effectiveness and possibly causing a further breakout. So be sure to always read the ingredients prior to purchase.
It is also important to watch what else you do. Meaning you need to pay attention to what you eat, how much water you drink, your exercise, how much you touch your face, what type of makeup you wear and use, how you clean your face and what products you use to wash your face with. Everything you do can have an effect on your acne so pay close attention.
One final note when it comes to using essential oils for acne treatment, watch your use. Some of the above essential oil can cause irritation to the skin so be sure to follow recipes and usage directions properly. Experiment with your essential oil(s) of choice to find the right combination for you and your acne.
Other Ways to Help with Your Acne
There are a few other ways that you can help yourself when it comes to reducing and getting rid of acne on your skin.
- Cleanse your face twice daily. It is very important to always wash your face and to do so when you wake up and before you go to bed daily. This will help to reduce oil and bacteria build-up on the skin. Be sure to not use harsh face washes or scrubs as they can agitate the skin causing the acne to worsen. Be gentle.
- Try to not touch your skin. Your hands are full of bacteria and this bacterium can cause significant problems to acne and breakouts; in other words, they can worsen the problem.
- Do not pick. It is important to not pick at your skin. Popping pimples or scratching them can cause the problem to worsen and can also cause scarring. It can be very tempting to pop a zit but try your hardest not to.
- Use caution when shaving. Shaving can cut the skin causing the acne to spread or to scar. Use a safety razor or an electric razor when shaving if you have an acne breakout as this will help to reduce the trauma that may occur to the skin which shaving. It is also important to use shaving cream or to soften the beard with warm water and soap prior to shaving to reduce friction. Shave only when you have to.
- Try to stay out of the sun. Some essential oils, as well as medication taken for acne, can react with sunlight causing a person to burn more easily.
- Choose your makeup wisely. Makeup is an important part of many women’s daily routine, but the makeup that you choose and wear can cause major problems when it comes to acne. You will want to look for oil-free or non-comedogenic on the label as this means these cosmetics will not clog your pores. Also be careful with your layering. Covering up your acne can cause you to look older and can make the acne look worse than it is. Not to mention layering on more and more throughout the day can cause the acne breakout to worsen. Less is more here.
- Wash your hair regularly. Your hair can be very oily so it is important to wash your hair regularly to help prevent oil build-up especially around the face.
Simple DIY Recipes for Acne
Making your own acne treatments at home can be fun. You can experiment with different oils and doses to figure out what really works for you and your body. Let’s have some fun with some homemade DIY acne treatment recipes.
Acne Essential Oil Facewash
- 1 Tbsp. fractionated coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp. raw honey
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 20 drops tea tree EO
- 2 capsules of live probiotics
- In a hand, blender combine all above ingredients together.
- Once mixed pour mixture into a glass bottle.
- Be sure to store in a cool and dry place.
- Use twice daily to wash the skin.
Acne Wash Variation #2
The recipe below is meant to kill bacteria with its antiseptic properties and heal the skin and balance sebum levels. Use this wash to cleanse your face. Best if used twice daily and followed by a toner.
- 1/4 cup distilled water OR geranium, lavender or helichrysum hydrosols
- 6 tsp unpasteurized honey
- 6 tsp liquid castile soap
- 10 drops geranium EO
- 6 drops lavender EO
- 3 drops niaouli EO
- In a 4 oz glass container combine honey, geranium, lavender, and niaouli essential oils.
- Shake to combine.
- Add water (or hydrosols) and castile soap.
- Shake to combine.
- When needed cleanse face with a small amount of mixture. Rinse well after.
Essential Oil Acne Toner
- In a spritzer bottle fill it half full with the witch hazel.
- Add the essential oil.
- Shake to mix.
- Fill up the rest of the bottle with distilled water.
- Spray onto clean skin daily.
Cleansing Facial Steam
This recipe provides warm steam that’s infused with antibacterial ingredients. It is meant to draw out impurities and bring them to the surface so they can be dispelled from your pores.
(This recipe makes about 1/2 oz)
- In a 1/2oz (15ml) glass dropper bottle combine palmarosa, lavender, tea tree, geranium and thyme essential oils
- Shake to Blend
- Shake well before every use.
- For treatment, take a small non-reactive bowl and add 4 cups boiling water.
- Add 5 to 10 drops of your cleansing mixture.
- Use a towel to cover your head and surround you as you place your head over the steaming bowl
- Make sure to your eyes closed and relax over the steam, keeping your face at a comfortable distance.
- Once finished splash cool water over your face and cleanse with a toner.
DIY Simple Acne Gentle Scrub
- In a glass jar combine all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Apply to the skin and massage in.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse off of skin with warm water.
- Pat the skin dry.
Simple 2 Ingredient Acne-Busting Cream
- In a clean glass contain put in the shea butter and tea tree oil.
- Mix well for 3-5 minutes.
- Using a small amount massage the cream into your skin after cleansing and watch the acne melt away.
EO Skin Massaging Blend for Acne
- 1 Tbsp. carrier oil of your choice
- 3 drops frankincense EO
- 3 drops lavender EO
- 3 drops tea tree EO
- Glass bottle – dark
- Mix all of the above ingredients together in the dark glass bottle.
- Mix well.
- Apply to the skin 2-3 drops, in the evening is recommended, and massage into the skin.
- Note that is you are unable to get frankincense essential oil it can be substituted with patchouli or geranium essential oil
Acne Massage Oil #2
- In a dark glass bottle mix all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- Apply a few drops to the palms of your hands and massage into the affected area.
This is a great toner to use after you’ve washed and cleansed. It’s ingredients provide antifungal, antiseptic and restorative qualities for your face, as well as helping hold moisture in your skin.
- 1/2 cup geranium or lavender hydrosol
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (AVC)
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin
- 5 drops geranium EO
- 3 drops lavender EO
- 2 drops niaouli EO
- In an 8 oz glass or PET container combine hydrosol, water, vinegar, glycerin, geranium, lavender, and niaouli essential oils.
- Shake well to blend.
- Store in a cool dark place and shake well before every use.
- To use pour a little bit of toner on a cotton ball and apply to skin. Best if used twice daily.
Healing Day oil for Acne
This DIY oil is great to use morning and midday. It’s gentle yet powerful ingredients give your skin a fresh disinfectant start to the day.
- 8 tsp jojoba oil
- 10 drops carrot seed EO
- 10 drops palmarosa EO
- 5 drops tea tree EO
- 5 drops geranium EO
- In a 2 oz, glass dropper bottle combine jojoba oil, carrot seed, palmarosa, tea tree and geranium essential oils
- Shake to Blend
- Shake well before use, placing 3 to 4 drops on your fingertips and dot over over your face where inflammation and acne occur.
- Avoid getting it in your eyes!
- Leave on for about 10 minutes before blotting off any extra oil.
Healing Night oil for Acne
Where the last healing oil above proves a great option for daytime use, the following oil is perfect for nighttime use. This recipe is a bit more oily, but it’s really good stuff 😛
- 1/4 cup kukui nut oil
- 20 drops evening primrose OR rosehip seed oil
- 10 drops carrot seed EO
- 5 drops tea tree EO
- 5 drops palmarosa EO
- In a 2 oz glass dropper bottle combine evening primrose/rosehip seed oil and carrot seed, tea tree, and palmarosa essential oils.
- Fill what room is left in your bottle with the kukui nut oil.
- Shake well.
- To use place 3 or 4 drops on your fingertips and smooth over your face.
- Again, avoid your eyes or you’ll feel the sting.
- Leave on for 10 or so minutes and blot of excess with a tissue.
Healing Mask for Acne & Sensitive Skin
This is a specialized mask for damaged, sensitive, undernourished and acne prone skin.
Kaolin clay is used to gently cleanse and exfoliate while almond meal stimulates circulation and provides some necessary nutrients for healthy skin functioning. Honey and other ingredients included in the mix add additional healing and antibacterial properties.
- 4 tsp finely ground almond meal
- 2 tsp kaolin clay
- 1 tsp raw liquid honey
- 1 drop juniper EO
- 1 drop chamomile EO
- 1 drop lavender EO
- Distilled/filtered water
- In a small non-reactive-bowl combine ground almonds, clay, honey and juniper, chamomile and lavender essential oils.
- Add enough water to make it into a paste.
- Using your hands/fingertips spread the paste over your face and neck (avoiding your eyes).
- Leave on for 10 to 20 minutes (or more if desired).
- Wash off in warm water followed by a la splash of cool water
Skin Soothing Lavender Essential Oil Soap
- 20-30 drops lavender essential oil
- Goat’s Milk Soap Base
- 3 drops Vitamin E
- Soap Molds
- On the stove over medium heat melt the soap base in a glass bowl over a pot of water.
- Once fully melted remove from the heat and let cool a bit.
- Once cooled a bit add in the lavender essential oil and the Vitamin E.
- Mix well.
- Pour into soap molds and allow to cool.
- Once hardened remove from molds.
- Store in a cool dry location.
- Use as needed in the shower or to wash your hands.
Rosemary Essential Oil Soap-Free Body Wash
- In a glass jar combine together the ground oatmeal, green tea, and rose water.
- Mix well – will form a paste.
- Add the rosemary essential oil to the paste.
- Mix well.
- Apply all over the body and face in the shower.
- Allow it to sit on the skin for a few minutes.
- Rinse well, but gentling with warm water.
Acne Scar Treatment
- In a small glass jar combine all of the above ingredients together.
- Mix well.
- After cleansing the face apply the treatment to the affected area(s).
- Leave on face for at least an hour.
Have some fun with your essential oils. Mix and match to find the right combination of essential oils and usage to help you fight your acne. Remember though that it will take some time, results will vary and may not happen overnight. Be patient and diligent to help achieve the best results possible when it comes to acne treatment and prevention.
Final Cautions When Using Essential Oils for Acne
Essential oils are a great way to help in the treatment of acne, but caution does need to be used and noted as some essential oils can irritate the skin or can be harmful to those with sensitive skin, allergies or who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
Always test the essential oil or essential oil blend on a small patch of skin first prior to full use to ensure there will be no reaction. If a reaction occurs discontinue use immediately. You may also want to try diluting the essential oil with a carrier as this will help with sensitivity to certain oils, especially “hot” oils.
Caution and care should always be used and exercised around children, pregnant or women who are about to become pregnant and the elderly as they are more sensitive to essential oils. Caution should also be used around pets especially cats as essential oils are toxic to them because they are unable to process the essential oil in their body. Dogs can process certain essential oils, but not all so caution should be used.
The skin on the face is very sensitive and delicate so caution should be used. When testing an essential oil or an essential oil on the face try testing it first on the inner forearm as this area of skin is most like the skin on the face; delicate.
When applying the essential oil to your face be sure to avoid contact with the eyes as they can be easily irritated by essential oils and their vapors. If some gets into the eye flush the eye out immediately. Medical attention may be required.
Caution should also be exercised when it comes to sun exposure. Sunlight and essential oils together can cause sensitivity to the skin. This sensitivity can cause irritations, redness, rash and even sunburn. Be sure to always wear sunscreen and/or cover-up to reduce your exposure and sensitivity.
Hopefully, you’ve found some inspiration from this post! Whether or not you decide to use essential oils or hydrosols for your skin regimen, i’m sure you’ll find what you need to get rid of your acne for good.
If you have any questions, tips or recipes of your own please leave a comment below:)