If it hadn't been for essential oils, I may never have been able to completely ditch my OTC regimen of pricy products with zero results. The best remedies I've found for my own acne-prone skin are simple, effective, and affordable and all of them are made in my own home thanks to essential oils that work amazingly for acne. Sure, I love how gentle raw honey is and how my trusty turmeric leaves no blemish left behind, but often my own acne is as volatile as the parts of the plants essential oils are made from.
Essential oils can be incredibly soothing for acne-prone skin due to the way healing qualities of the plant are heightened during extraction. Antiseptic properties including antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial make some essential oils better than others. Since EOs are stronger than other types of oils, they can be drying and irritating if you aren't careful with how you use them. You'll definitely want to dilute these bad boys before you put them on your skin. Oh, and don't forget to patch test before you go slapping it all on your face.
The next time you're perusing the shelves for a natural acne product that actually works, look for these key essential oils in the ingredients. Consider yourself a DIY maven? Try them out in your next homemade acne cleanser.
Helichrysum's natural anti-inflammatory properties which bring down the swelling of a blemish plus the oil's natural antibiotic and antimicrobial properties make it easy to see why it's the first oil on my list. Helichrysum is well known for its ability to heal and sooth acne without drying skin out. This "bacne" body scrub above is made with dead sea salt, matcha green tea powder, dried calendula, jasmine flowers, coconut oil, and apricot seed oil.
One ounce of rose water and 18 drops of cypress essential oil has removed daily oil buildup from my summertime. Cypress essential oil is especially great for sweaty and/or oily skin because of its natural antiperspirant and antiseptic qualities.
Lavender oil is ideal for combination skin: It isn't overly drying and it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are calming to mild acne. Lavender is known as a wound healer and since it is one of the few oils that can be used undiluted, it's a great addition to your favorite fixed oil or as a spot treatment on pimples.
4. Ylang Ylang
A wonderful essential oil for combination skin is ylang ylang essential oil. It's calming on the nerves which is great for anyone suffering from stress-related acne and it has the antiseptic qualities to make it a must-have in many brand's natural cleansers. A calming facial serum can be made with tamanu oil and ylang ylang essential oil to resolve stressed out skin.
Bergamot has done wonders for my random body blemishes in particular. Since it is sensitive to sunlight, I love using bergamot in body creams. Bergamot stimulates clogged pores and regenerates skin cells. It's also restorative to complexions suffering from acne scars due to its lightening properties. Of course, those same lightening properties make it on the list of photosensitizing essential oils, meaning you should only blend with this oil if you have the training and knowledge. Don't worry, you can find loads of natural cleansers and body creams containing bergamot on the market so you don't have to do it yourself.
6. Lavender Tea Tree Oil
Lavender Tea Tree (Rosalina), Melaleuca ericifolia, is part of the tea tree family. It's not quite as sharp as tea tree oil, so it's excellent for sensitive skin conditions like acne, boils, and cysts. This is my go-to oil for spot treatments as it can be used directly on skin without being diluted. It still has the antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, but is less irritating and drying than tea tree oil.
Geranium is often referred to as a female oil because of its ability to control hormones. I can attest to using geranium holistically (smelling) and physically (topical application) during cystic outbreaks that often occur right before my period. It helps detox the skin, heals abscesses, and is seriously great for controlling acne before it starts.
So go ahead and play a little with these essential oils. With some experimenting, you're bound to found your Holy Grail treatment.
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson (7)