We’ve all suffered from acne at some point in our lives, and for many, the struggle continues well past the teen years.
Acne is caused when bacteria become trapped by clogged hair follicles and pores, which leads first to swelling, then to pimple outbreaks.
Effective pharmaceutical treatments for sufferers of persistent acne are often very severe, with the strongest drugs prescribed actually requiring monthly bloodwork to confirm that internal organs are not being damaged by the dosages.
For those interested in a natural alternative, the application of certain essential oils – in the proper manner and proportions – has been shown to heal acne and, in many cases, prevent outbreaks altogether.
Below is a summary of the ten essential oils best-suited to clear up your skin and simplify your morning rituals at the bathroom mirror. Read on and decide which treatment course is the best option for you.
Essential oils for acne preventio
Tea tree oil
Probably the best choice for severe acne sufferers, tea tree oil not only gets rid of pimples but also reduces the severity of ongoing outbreaks. In addition, tea tree oil is a natural pore-cleanser. Mix a couple of drops with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or olive oil and apply directly to the agitated skin with a cotton swab. You only want to do this two or three times a day; any more can be too much for your skin.
The appearance of lavender oil on this list should come as no surprise to anyone. Aside from being widely-recognized as perhaps the most versatile of essential oils, lavender oil has a long history of being used as a balm to soothe troubled skin. A potent pimple-reducer, lavender oil also has the added benefit of diminishing existing acne scars. Apply gently using a cloth or cotton swab, ideally not more than two or three times per day.
Oregano oil is similar to tea tree oil in that it’s best employed by dabbing onto trouble areas in a mixture with jojoba oil. Oregano oil is particularly effective at fighting acne, due in large part to its antibacterial properties. It’s as much a preventative measure as it is a treatment, and a little will go a long way toward keeping your skin clear.
For those stubborn pimples that reside primarily under the skin, lemon oil is your best bet at finding relief. While surface irritation responds poorly to lemon oil and is apt to sting and redden, those buried nodules that are deep enough to resist other treatments will begin to heal after just a few lemon oil applications. Lemon oil can be massaged directly into the skin, and in addition to treating your acne, it also serves as a natural exfoliant, clearing away any dead cells for healthier skin overall.
Rosemary oil is another essential oil geared primarily toward healing those under-the-skin blemishes that are often the most painful and the hardest to treat. Rosemary oil has potent pain-relieving properties, and soothes your skin even as it heals it. It has been shown to work well in conjunction with tea tree oil, and a few drops of each diluted in jojoba will work wonders for your ailing skin!
Frankincense is a healing oil. A potent anti-inflammatory, it’s a staple in blends used for everything from soothing allergy symptoms to repairing damaged skin. Put a dozen drops or so onto a clean cloth and rub over your infected areas a few times thoughout the day to drive away particularly stubborn acne. Do the same for acne scars and you’ll find that they fade fast.
The benefits conferred by eucalyptus oil are of the antibacterial sort. Similar to oregano oil in this way, eucalyptus oil attacks the root cause of the acne problem and eliminates the bacteria that leads to pimples. Mix a few drops with a fragrance-free lotion and apply to the skin once a day for a uniquely soothing experience.
Where certain essential oils are antibacterial in nature, attacking and killing bacteria that is harmful to the skin, geranium oil has antimicrobial properties, which means that it doesn’t kill but rather isolates and contains the spread of bacteria. It’s a different approach, and one that many acne-sufferers find is actually more effective. If your skin is riddled with the sort of pus-filled bumps that are resistant to treatment and seem to spread so easily, geranium oil is just what you need to get those outbreaks under control. Put a few drops onto a cotton swab and treat infected areas once in the morning and again in the evening for best results.
Juniper berry oil
Juniper berry oil stands out from most essential oils in that it’s a powerful antioxidant, meaning it limits inflammation in its early stages, nipping the process by which acne forms in the bud. Massage juniper berry oil into your agitated skin to heal existing blemishes, prevent further outbreaks and treat the pain associated with unhealthy skin as well. As acne treatments go, none are more comprehensive.
This essential oil attacks the acne problem from two different angles: On the one hand, grapefruit oil is antibacterial and works both to heal existing acne and prevent future outbreaks. On the other hand, grapefruit oil has long been recognized as one of the most potent oils for combating stress, a condition commonly linked to break-outs in the skin. If you’re not sure what’s causing your acne problem, apply grapefruit oil directly to your irritated skin to cover all of the bases.
No one enjoys going out covered in blackheads or blemishes at any age. Hopefully, with dutiful adherence to the treatment regimens described above, you can get on with the important business of living, laughing and loving without having to worry so much about your skin.