A few yearsago, if you would've told me to slapessential oilsall over my face to cure my acne, I would have honestly looked at you like you were batsh*tcraaaaa-zayy. After all isn't all oil bad for your skin? Aren't we taught that oil clogs pores, and a clogged pore is what causes abuildup of bacteria, blockage, inflammation, and overall acne?!
That is exactly what I (andI'm sure some of you) have believed for the longest time, using countless over drying andirritating products in hopes that it would sopupany micro amount of oil, thus creating aninhabitable breeding ground for bacteria. Well folks, wecouldn't be more wrong. Over drying and over working your skin can actuallyexasperate acne symptoms, causing worse inflammation,irritation, and anunnecessary need for over inflammatory acne.
If a product claims to work quick,let's say overnight or within 24hours,it's really just zappingoutall of themoisturefrom your skinandovertime will create a damaged lipidlayer. Thisprocess of over washing, overexfoliating, andcontinuously using harsh products strips away natural oils that your skinNEEDS to function properly, again making it moresusceptible to acne and irritation.When it comes down to our skin barrier, it's all about balance.
Too muchcomedogenic oil can 100%clog your pores, but not enough oil(over drying scrubs, using harsh chemical filled products, over exfoliating)and you're destroying theouterbarrier of your skin which protects you from bacteria, toxic chemicals, and UV exposure.This leavesyoususceptibletobacterial infection, fungal infection, andoh ofcourse,acne.
Essential oilsare deemed "essential" because they carry the essence, orfragrance, of the plant it is extracted from.There are about 101 uses for essential oils, fromaromatherapy and hair care to fighting colds and even purifying your airbut,today I want to specifically address the power of essential oils when it comes to acne.
Essential oils are an effective natural solution to treat acne when compared to typical drug store spot creamsand serums.Instead ofstripping your skin ofnecessaryoils with manmade and often toxicchemicals, essential oils worknaturallytoregulate oil production, hydrate the skin, decrease stress, andbalance your hormones all while helping you achieve clear glowing skin.Theyare often used as a spot treatmentor in acarrier oil*for acne and typically contain some type ofanti-inflammatory or antibacterial property.
*Carrier Oil: The main oil which is used as the base oil todilute essential oils. Examples include Jojoba, Sweet Almond Oil,Avocado Oil, Rosehip Oil and more!
Essential oils have an extremely strong potency, and for that reason are typicallydiluted with a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond oil, or another moisturizing oil of your choice. The rule of thumb is to use a 2%-3%dilution ratio, that’s a whopping 10-12 or 15-18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of carrier oil.
You can (of course) always use less or more, but I suggest starting out with a small amount and then adjusting the ratio depending on the sensitivity of your skin.You can concoct your own facial oil by using a blend of several essential oilsor by simply using oneas a spot treatment on a smallq-tip or cotton ball.
When shopping for essential oils be sure that the bottlereads100% pure essential oil. This isso youreceive the maximum purity and effectiveness without any extra added yucky gunk!It should also be noted that it isn't recommended to mix more than 4 essential oils together at one time or you beginto lose overall effectiveness. Now, let's get into the top 5best essential oils that work foracnegenic skin!
Tea tree oil is probably the most common essential oil used to treat acne prone skin.Evensomebrandslike have picked up on the amazing benefits of tea tree oil and carry an entire range from a daily face washto makeup removingcleansingcloths.Tried and true, tea treeoil is a greatoptionfor beginners just starting out in essential oil therapyandexpertskincarelovers alike.
Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic andanti-inflammatory properties witha fresh piney like scent, meaning it can kill off fungus, bacteria, and even reduce allergic skin reactions all withoutover drying orirritating your skin. According to :
" Applying a 5% tea tree oil gel appears to be as effective as 5%benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5,Benzac AC, and others) for treating acne. "
Another Study Published in Letters in Applied Microbiologyproves that tea tree oil carries terpinen-4-ol, alpha-terpineol, and alpha-pinene, which all have antimicrobial activity againstPropionibacterium acnes (aka P-acnes aka acne causing bacteria aka the bad guys).
It was also noted that tea tree oil,along with many other natural products, work slower at treating acne prone skin when compared to prescription creams but are far lessirritating. This is when that good ole saying "patience is a virtue" comes into play, although you may see quicker results using harsher skincare products, tea tree oil wont over dryand in time will contribute to a healthier skin barrier.
Lavender oil isanother great essential oil which is antibacterial,antimicrobial, antiseptic,anti-inflammatory, and boasts numerousotherhealing benefits for acne. It aids in newskin cell regeneration and reduces redness from acne and acne scars, makingskin tone not only smoother, but appear more even as well.
Lavender Oil is also great for aromatherapy, treating anxiety, depression,stress,and balancing out hormones,which are all linked to acne. It is believed that when lavender oil is inhaled it enters the brain and interacts with two specific areas that are linked to emotion, theamygdala and hippocampus. Ittends to act as a sedative to these areas, reducing overall anxiety andreducing cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
*TouseforAromatherapy:Dab a few drops on the insides of your wrists or on your neck and inhale itthroughout the day when feeling overwhelmed or in need of a clear mind. 2- 3 drops should be plenty.
Clary Sage is extremely effective at regulating the oil on the skin, a huge component when it comes to clogged pores and breakouts. It also contains an ester calledlinalyl acetate, which reduces inflammation and soothes the skin fromirritation. A recent study done by found that Clary Sage is an active natural antimicrobial agent. The study showed, when clary sage was tested on multiple drug-resistant bacterial strands, it was effective at fighting the bacteria that can cause infection, skinirritation,or acne breakouts.
Clary Sage has also been proven great foraromatherapy, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety while supporting hormonal balance, more specifically balancing out estrogen levels and reducing cortisol (up to 36% according to).
It's not just for the kitchenanymore, folks!Oregano oil has been proven time and timeagain toeffectively reduce acne due to its antibacterial properties originating fromthymol and carvacrol, two powerful antioxidant compounds. The high levels of antioxidants also work to boost your immune system,unallowing bacteria to overgrow easily.Oregano oil, when applied topically oringested, has actually been tested to work better than most antibiotics due to itsflavanoids andphotochemicals.Basically,it's thebees knees; use it when you have acne, a cold, or to spice up your dishes!
Rosemary is great at reducing overall oil production on the skin. Itcontains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which aregreat for reducing redness,swelling, andof course bacteria that comes along with acne. It alsoimprovescirculationwhich helps to firm and tone the skin whilepromoting aglowing, evenskin tone.
The second way Rosemary oil is used to treat acne is througharomatherapy; it is used to reduce stress by actively reducing the cortisollevels insaliva and in the bloodstream. Excess cortisol from chronic stress also has the ability to causeachiness, tiredness, and throw your hormonesallll out of whack.
By rubbing a few drops on your palms or wrists and breathing in for 5 to 10 minutes you can actively reduce your stress levels, preventing your body from going into that chronic stress fight-or-flight mode.Not to mention,Rosemaryis an extremely versatile oil that can be used in your hair care routine, to help withdigestion, improve oral health, boost your immune system, treatrespiratory problems, and even improve cognitive function.