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14 Best Essential Oils for Acne (Health Expert List)

Overview

If countless treatments can’t seem to rid your acne, it might be time to try essential oils. Made from different parts of plants, many essential oils are packed with nourishing skincare benefits.

Essential Oils for Acne

If you're interested in using an essential oil for acne, you might be onto something. Essential oils can be useful remedies for different acne types and every phase of acne, from prevention to healing to fading the appearance of scars. However, it's always a good idea to meet with your dermatologist or perform a patch test before experimenting with any type of oil so you can find the best essential oil for acne.

Essential oils have a dense oil composition, which might cause clogging of the pores in some people. It's always best to combine your essential oil with carrier oils such as Jojoba Oil or Rosehip Oil (one of the best carrier oils for acne-prone skin and scars) to effectively dilute the essential oils without interfering with their efficacy. This dilution process will also help reduce the chance of skin irritation. A good rule of thumb is three drops of essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil.

What essential oils help acne?

For your benefit, we’ve listed down 14 of the best essential oils for acne.

1. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum comes from a small flowering plant with clusters of yellow flowers. This acne-fighting oil is clarifying and soothing for the skin to promote a healthier-looking complexion. It can also be used to heal the skin and fade scars.

Scent Profile: Earthy and sweet

2. Organic German Chamomile Essential Oil

Show your skin some love with this anti-inflammatory organic oil. German Chamomile oil is super-soothing for sensitive skin, flare-ups and acne-prone complexions.

Scent Profile: Sweet and herbaceous

3. Manuka Essential Oill

Manuka oil is perfect for soothing sensitive skin, inflammation and acne breakouts to ensure a smooth, blemish-free complexion. You can also use it to keep your nails healthy and strong.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous, earthy and slightly balsamic

4. Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

Organic Tea Tree oil helps to cleanse complexions of impurities and excess oils, which can help to control acne and breakouts.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and earthy

5. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot oil is commonly used to uplift moods but this zesty oil also purifies oily skin and clears acne.

Scent Profile: Sweet, tangy and slightly citrusy

6. English Lavender Essential Oil

English Lavender oil for acne can put you to sleep and clear your pimples at the same time. This calming oil moisturizes skin, reduces acne and cleans wounds for a clear complexion. Bonus point! It’s also suitable for all skin types and is the best essential oil for cystic acne.

Scent Profile: Floral, comforting and slightly sweet

7. Egyptian Geranium Essential Oil

The Egyptians have long used geranium to beautify their skin. Egyptian Geranium oil keeps your skin rejuvenated and rosy by reducing breakouts and irritations while smoothing out wrinkles.

Scent Profile: Sweet and floral with refreshing fruity notes

8. May Chang (Litsea Cubeba) Essential Oil

Bright, zesty, and energizing, May Chang oil is often used to cleanse impurities and acne from oily skin. Also known as Litsea Cubeba, it has the added benefits of relaxing the mind and calming breathing issues.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and citrusy

9. Juniper Berry Essential Oil

Juniper Berry is a soothing and cooling oil with cleansing properties that clear up acne breakouts, irritations and sensitive skin. It is also great for relieving bodily aches at the end of the day.

Scent Profile: Fresh, herbaceous and woody, with a spicy gin-like aroma

10. Clove Bud Essential Oil

Used for its antibacterial and cleansing properties, Clove Bud oil reduces acne and calms skin inflammations.

Scent Profile: Warm and spicy with slight earthy notes

11. Thyme Essential Oil

Herbaceous Thyme oil for acne is a natural remedy for cleansing oily skin, while reducing the occurrence of breakouts. It is also great at cleansing the scalp to promote hair growth.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and sweet.

12. Rosemary Essential Oil

In lab tests, Rosemary oil for acne destroys acne-causing bacteria. In addition to its antibacterial properties, rosemary oil can also be used to decrease redness and puffiness, which is helpful when treating cystic acne.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous

13. Oregano Essential Oil

Using Oregano oil for acne as a spot treatment can be an effective way to clear up pimples and prevent future breakouts. A study found that it has the strongest antimicrobial activity against acne-causing bacteria. So if you’re wondering “is oregano oil good for acne?”, the answer is a resounding “yes!”.

Scent Profile: Herbaceous and earthy

14. Organic Peppermint Essential Oil

Organic Peppermint oil for acne has antibacterial properties and may control oil production which can lower the occurrence of pimples. It's most suitable for dry, itchy skin types as it provides relief from inflamed and dry skin.

Scent Profile: Minty and sweet

How To Use

Essential Oil Acne Spot Treatment

To treat active and stubborn acne, you can use essential oils as a spot treatment. Simply dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil then dip a cotton swab into the mixture and gently apply it onto the acne spot.

Customize Your Favorite Moisturizer

You can also use your favorite moisturizer to dilute your essential oils. After cleansing your face, add a few drops of essential oils onto a dollop of your usual face cream, mix it together and then massage gently into the skin.

As A DIY Face Toner

Mix 12 drops of an essential oil of your choice with 2 oz of witch hazel in a spray bottle. Spritz onto the face as often as needed to keep the skin hydrated and cleansed.

Safety

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and caution when using them to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to ensure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  3. Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  4. Don’t use essential oils on sunburnt or broken skin unless mentioned on the bottle or label.
  5. Keep essential oils out of reach from kids and furkids.
  6. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  7. If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.
  8. Never ingest or swallow essential oils.
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