The Best Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin

October 29, 2017 10 min read 0 Comments

Best Essential Oils For Acne Prone Skin

By Kali Kushner

What makes essential oils so great for acne prone skin and other common skin ailments?Putting oil on your skin may sound intimidating or weird, especially when you’re the type of individual who worries over having oily skin. However, these essential oils are non-comedogenic and will not clog your pores! 

When it comes to treating acne, admittedly, some or most of us have been desperately trying to find ways and solutions that could help solve this pesky skin problem. We’ve tried everything from Accutane to different skin care products, change our diets and lifestyle, yet none of them seems to work out.


These oils are  compounds that were extracted from plants in which the oil catches the plant’s scent and flavor (essence). Essential oils are often obtained either by distilling (steam or water) or mechanical methods such as cold pressing.

Some of their properties are helpful in treating common skin ailments like acne which is our primary concern. But then, it’s important to seek your dermatologist or skin specialist first before applying any of these and be sure to ask for recommendations.

These oils are typically excellent options to use when treating acne.

Essential oils are known for its uplifting and relaxing properties which are used for cosmetic purposes. 

I read many reviews of people claiming that these oils were a cure all for many different skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, etc., so of course I wanted to give them a try! So I decided to go to the local health food store and purchase a few oils.


Some essential oils naturally regulate oil production. Others when used for aromatherpy can alleviate stress which helps balance your hormones to help with acne. Essential oils can be used as a spot treatment together with carrier oils (i.e the main oil often used as base oil to dilute the essential oil such as jojoba, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil.)


Now we come to the discussion of the different uses and benefits of essential oils. These oils are widely known for their use on aromatherapy and claims on health benefits. You know what they are. Stress, anxiety and depression, headaches and migraines, sleep and insomnia, skin inflammation, etc.

Apart from treating health and skin problems, many people also use essential oils for freshening up their home and laundry, some use them as a natural scent in homemade cosmetic products and high-quality natural products. Some have also suggested that these essential oils provide a safe and environmentally friendly alternative mosquito repellent like Citronella or Lemongrass oil. 

Here are some of the uses and health benefits of essential oils on common skin care ailments:

* Essential oils have antibacterial properties that can help with acne prevention.

* Essential oils inhibit bacteria from infecting the pores (helping in reducing inflammation).

* Essential oils are an anti-irritant; they help in soothing the skin and stimulating new healthy skin growth which makes them a good product for fading acne scars and treating other skin ailments.

* Essential oils are helpful in relieving stress, anxiety and depression. They are helpful in preventing acne breakouts from occurring.

* Essential oils regulate oil formation on our skin.

* Essential oils help in firming and toning our skin, giving our skin tone a good glow.

* Essential oils help reduce redness and skin inflammation.


When it comes to choosing or shopping for essential oils to treat any common skin ailments, one of the things that need to be considered is if it’s 100% pure essential oil. It is never wise to mix more than 4 essential oils together at one time.

There are many company brands claiming that their essential oils are pure or of medical grade. Given these, the quality and composition of these oils can vary greatly. So, be sure to check these following criteria when choosing or purchasing high-quality essential oils: 

1) Purity – Does it only contains aromatic plant compounds? No additives or synthetic oils? 

2) Quality – Is it chemical-free? Was it extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing? 

3) Reputation – Does it come from a brand that produces high-quality products?


Now, what are the best or top essential oils for acne and other common skin ailments?

Aromatherapy oils, or essential oils, give more than just a calming scent to everyone’s household. Aside from this benefit, these kinds of oils are also best for everyone’s skin ailments.

Hydration/Oil Regulation: Coconut and jojoba oils are two best alternatives when it comes to essential oils for treating common skin ailments. Why? Because coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids which help in improving the skin’s lipid content and gives off more moisture whereas jojoba oil maintains the skin’s moisture all day long compared to water based moisturizers. The jojoba oil also stabilizes your skin’s natural oil production.

Lemongrass Oil – Lemongrass Essential Oil comes from a tropical grassy plant often used in cooking and medicine. Lemongrass essential oil is known for its powerful scent, often found in soaps and other personal care products. Although this plant has been traditionally known to treat digestive problems and high blood pressure, the lemongrass has many potential health benefits such as relieving stress, anxiety and depression, which is why this essential oil is also good for acne prevention.

Clary Sage – The reason why clary sage essential oil is good for acne and other skin ailments is that it is extremely effective for regulating oil production. This essential oil contains an ester known as linalyl acetate (helps in reducing inflammation and soothing skin irritation).

According to a study conducted by Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, this plant is an active natural antimicrobial agent wherein it showed that clary sage was tested on multiple drug-resistant bacterial strains and effective in fighting off the bacteria which can cause infection, skin irritation or even acne breakouts. This means that Clary Sage can be considered a good essential oil for acne.

The aroma of this clary sage is similar to that of a typical sage, the only difference is that this plant gives a slightly more earthly, even a sweet or nutty tone and less herbal.

Reduce Inflammation: Grapeseed Oil has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. Grapeseed Oil contains linoleic acid which soothes and nourishes the skin. Lavender Essential Oil is also great for reducing inflammation. It inhibits bacteria from infecting the pores and regulates the over-excretion of sebum. Plus, it smells amazing!

Lemon is another good essential oil when it comes to reducing skin inflammation as well as fighting free radicals contributing to acne and photoaging (i.e. premature aging of skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial UV sources). Aside from its skin benefits, lemon oil can also be mixed with other essential oils to help with weight loss and it also helps strengthen the immune system. 

Lavender oil - This is another great essential oil for acne as its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties provide numerous healing benefits for acne. Lavender oil also aids in regenerating new skin cells and reduce redness from acne and acne scars as well as making the skin tone smooth and even. The lavender oil also works for treating anxiety, depression and stress. This essential oil works as a sedative by entering and interacting with the amygdala and hippocampus, calming these areas linked to emotion.

Fade Scars:  We all know that acne can be a pet peeve when it comes to skin care as it leaves deep scars that are difficult to clear. These two essential oils for your common skin ailments, aloe vera oil and carrot seed essential oils, are great for fading those acne scars.

The aloe vera oil is considered to be an anti-irritant that soothes the skin and stimulates new healthy skin growth. The carrot seed essential oil, on the other hand, rejuvenates the skin while fading scars and improving the skin’s tone.

Control Breakouts: Control your breakouts with Tea Tree and Rosemary Oils. Rosemary essential oil is known for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, thus helping in reducing skin ailments like dermatitis, oily skin and acne. As for tea tree essential oil, this works best as a spot treatment by drying out the infected pore (without any harsh chemicals).Other essential oils that are great for treating common skin ailments are:

Cinnamon – Mostly, when we hear the word cinnamon, one thing that automatically pops into our mind is that it’s for baking. Well, cinnamon can also be used as an ingredient for essential oil – useful for aromatherapy. Cinnamon essential oil has a warm, sweet aroma, extracted from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon essential oil is also good for treating coughs, colds and constipation, relieving stress and pain, fighting off infection, improving digestion and acting as repellent against insects.

Oregano – Oregano? For treating acne? Some of you may be wondering how it is possible for this plant to treat skin conditions such as acne. Oregano essential oil has been proven to reduce acne due to the antibacterial properties that can be found in this plant. The high antioxidant levels in oregano work to boost one’s immune system, preventing bacteria to easily overgrow.

The oil simply comes from the leaves and shoots of the oregano plant itself and made by air-drying its leaves and shoots that are then extracted and concentrated through distillation. Oregano essential oil has been proven and tested to work better than most antibiotics when either applied topically or ingested.

Thyme – Thyme leaves are both used in the kitchen for spicing up dishes and treating acne. The oil of this herb can be useful and effective for fighting off any acne-causing bacteria and germs causing eye infections.

Note: Never use or apply this essential oil on the eye area.

Rosemary – Rosemary herbs are not just for adding flavor to your cooked dishes such as potatoes and chickens but also for treating any pesky acne. This wonder herb has been shown to destroy P. acnes and ease any redness and puffiness with its anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary essential oil is helpful for revitalizing your skin and reducing excess oil.

Rosemary is also great for improving circulation which helps in firming and toning the skin while promoting that glow on your skin tone. It reduces the stress as well by actively reducing the cortisol levels in our saliva and bloodstream. Aside from these, it is an extremely versatile type of oil since you can also use it for your hair care routine, healing or fixing indigestion, improving oral health, boosting the immune system, treating respiratory problems and improving your cognitive function.

Bergamot Bergamot essential oils are one of the most useful oils anyone can have. This essential oil improves both your mood and skin’s health through its anti-inflammatory properties.

The oil from this fruit has antiseptic and antibacterial effects, according to Dr. Trevor Cates, a naturopathic doctor in California. Bergamot essential oil regulates sebum secretion and promotes wound healing and regeneration.

Juniper BerryJuniper Berry Essential Oil is known for the health benefits it offers such as detoxification, increase in circulation, increase in urine elimination and healing of skin conditions. This is another type of effective essential oil that anyone can consider including in their skincare routine to reduce acne breakouts. You can simply dilute this essential oil with coconut or jojoba oil to reduce irritation prior to applying this oil topically.

Peppermint Oil – Peppermint essential oil is another excellent example when it comes to warding off any acne-causing bacteria. This kind of oil can be both applied cosmetically and medicinally for thousands of years.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang ylang essential oil has wonderful healing properties as it regulates and brings back the moisture as well as reduces redness and inflammation. What’s even great is that ylang ylang acts as a relaxant and aphrodisiac (i.e a food, drink or drug which arouses sexual desires). Not only does this flower smell great, it also regenerates skin cells and beneficial in terms of anti-aging as it reduces fine lines, making your skin look plump and youthful.

Frankincense – Frankincense essential oil is somehow similar to the tea tree essential oil due to the antibacterial properties it possesses. This frankincense essential oil can also be used for toning an acne-prone skin. Frankincense essential oil also possesses anti-inflammatory benefits and is responsible for encouraging new cell growth, making it suitable for aging skin and scar appearance reduction.

Neroli/Orange Blossom  –Neroli Essential Oil is being extracted from the flowers of bitter orange trees (otherwise known as citrus aurantium var. amara). It emits rich, floral scent with citrus overtones which are used as a base note in perfumes and scented products. This essential oil helps in encouraging cell rejuvenation and is suitable for anti-aging and fading stretch marks. Neroli essential oil can make any aged skin appear youthful and radiant and balances oil production without over-drying your skin. 

Rose – The rose is not just a rose for nothing as it also has amazing benefits on your skin. The Rose essential oil moisturizes and contains both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compounds. It is also useful for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and dermatitis.

Patchouli – Patchouli essential oil may be one of the types of essential oils that work great for anti-aging as it is responsible for encouraging new cell growth and making your skin appear radiant with more elasticity. More than that, Patchouli essential oil is known for its anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties, meaning that it treats common skin ailments such as dermatitis, acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Chamomile – Last but not least is Chamomile Essential Oil. The chamomile flower is related to daisies and has two different varieties: Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile/anthemis nobilis) and German chamomile (matricaria recutita/chamomilla recutita)

Chamomile Essential Oil is mostly known for its healing properties as a beverage as well as for treating eczema and rosacea, plus it doesn’t cause irritation on your skin.


There are some essential oils which can cause skin irritation, dermatitis and even burns when directly applied to the skin or when they are misused. Before using any essential oil as spot treatment, it is best to take note of these precautions.

Also, it is best to avoid prolonged exposure or excessive use of these oils as they lead to the risk of adverse effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate.

It is also recommended to do a patch test to see if there are any allergic reactions to any of the essential oils you will be using. These oils can be toxic when ingested internally and they are not to be confused with essential fatty acids (or edible dietary oils).

Essential oils are also not to be used in the humidifier, CPAP machine or any breathing device (by that, we mean nebulizer and inhaler). Many of us are unaware of the potential risks of these essential oils while using these things in wellness, beauty and cleaning routines.

Should you consider using essential oils as spot treatments for any common skin ailments, it would be best to consult your healthcare provider or a trusted dermatologist first to ensure safety or you can also dilute essential oils with a carrier oil or distilled water in a spray or roller bottle for a much easier application.

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