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Acne-sufferers know that you stick to what works. If you’re ready to take the plunge into natural skincare but are concerned about moving away from your trusted acne products, this article may have just the information you’re looking for. Let’s learn how to use essential oils for acne.

A prominent component to natural skincare is eliminating harmful products and toxic ingredients. In the beginning, most of us find ourselves getting rid of dozens of products as we find item after item with toxic ingredients we never knew were problematic. But what if you struggle with a specific skin condition – like acne?

What Causes Acne?

Remember that choosing natural products doesn’t mean simply replacing your current products. This is about a way of life – Abundant Life! So take a step back and see if you can pinpoint what’s causing your acne.

If you’re out of the teenage years, when hormonal changes are rampant and acne is expected, you have to really look at what might cause acne. For many, diet is a major culprit. Greasy foods, something you’re allergic to, and carbs are all potential causes of breakouts. In 2014, the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology suggested that doctors should advise patients with acne to limit their refined carb intake. (1) Check out MamaZ’s Recipe Makeover Guide for ideas on simple swaps that can help improve your diet.

Other researchers suggest a more complicated set of causes to be attuned to – with the article in question simply referring to it as “modern life”! (2) Simply leading a stressful life could be triggering signals in your body that erupt on your skin.

What’s the common denominator? It could simply be the gut. (3)

With the way that the gut interacts with signals of stress from the brain, is affected by what we eat, and in turn affects hormone signals and other functions – this isn’t a big surprise. Start with a healthy gut and the rest of the body will soon follow!

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4 Essential Oils for Acne Relief

Once you’ve got a handle on preventive strategies and are moving toward a healthier lifestyle, you should start to see some acne relief. When you really need to make some changes in the products you use on your skin, though, check out these essential oils for acne relief.

1. Tea Tree

Hailing as the key oil used for acne, tea tree oil (Melaleuca) is used for its antiseptic and antimicrobial abilities that help to cleanse the skin. It’s also an incredibly gentle oil that can be used easily on acne breakouts.

To test the claims about tea tree and acne, a full clinical trial was conducted using tea tree gel and a placebo. After ten days, then forty-five days, the results were in: “…tea tree oil gel was 3.55 times and 5.75 times more effective than placebo respectively.” (4) Confirmed!

Application: The study in question used tea tree oil in a 5% dilution. Use tea tree oil in your DIY cleansing soaps or diluted into a carrier to spot-treat breakouts.(Note at this dilution level, use as a spot-treatment only.)

Learn more about tea tree essential oil here. 

2. Lavender

A soothing and healing essential oil, lavender essential oil is a good choice for acne formulations. It is also gentle for skin that is already on alert.

One of the best actions that lavender has when it comes to acne and skin irritation is that it’s an anti-inflammatory substance. Joining a list of anti-inflammatory herbs and oils, lavender can help to soothe skin that’s inflamed during or after an acne attack. (5)

Application: Use lavender essential oil as part of a soothing spot treatment or in a moisturizing carrier oil as a daily, healing application.

Learn more about lavender essential oil here.

3. Orange

Orange, as well as all of the citrus oils in general are useful for treating acne with essential oils. They are loaded with cleansing, antimicrobial and antiseptic actions, which is vital when tackling acne as a bacterial issue.

Sweet orange oil in particular is a good choice because it’s not quite as harsh as some of the other citrus oils. Perhaps this is why a clinical trial chose it to test alongside basil oil and some other treatment methods. Orange oil held its own, helping to significantly reduce acne breakouts with minimal side effects or irritation. (6)

Application: Orange oil is an excellent choice for cleansing formulations. Note, download our free photosensitivity guide for tips on avoiding sun damage with the wrong citrus oil!

Learn more about orange essential oil.

4. Rosemary

Known for its skin and hair health applications, rosemary essential oil is another great oil to have on hand for DIY acne skincare preparations. While its studies aren’t as detailed as the other clinical tests and randomized comparisons, rosemary has its own supporting evidence to bring to the table.

As part of a lab test, rosemary essential oil was observed as easily overpowering bacteria that’s at the heart of acne woes. (7) This gives it an edge over generalized antibacterial oils, since we know that it’s directly effective against that nasty strain.

Learn more about rosemary essential oil here.

Application: Rosemary essential oil is a good addition to toning spritzes and other regular prevention products..

Essential Oils for Acne Killing Applications

Making your own skincare applications is exciting and rewarding. Something that YOU made, with natural, God-given ingredients, that actually brings results just can’t be beat! Here are some things to consider:

  • Give it time. When a skin condition comes into play, though, you should give yourself some time to work out the best ingredients and ratios for your skin.
  • Don’t fear oils! Something that may be difficult to get used to is the way natural products rely on oils. If you have oily skin, this can be scary! Many people find that using oils actually helps to balance the skin’s oil production and reduce breakouts.
  • Take it holistically. This isn’t just about what you put on your skin – what goes into your body and how you live your life play a role in acne trouble, too!

Essential Oils for Acne Oil Cleanser

Many people like to clean their face with coconut oil. Add a drop of tea tree and a drop of orange in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil to enhance the cleansing benefits.

Essential Oils for Acne Toner

Some call toner the most important part of a skincare routine. Make a quick but effective DIY toner by diluting 6 drops of rosemary and 6 drops of lavender in half an ounce of 190 proof alcohol and then slowly adding half an ounce of witch hazel and 1 ounce of distilled water. Spritz onto clean skin daily and keep in cold storage when not in use. Keep no longer than a month and check frequently for spoilage.

Do you have specific essential oils for acne that work well for you? Share your choice in the comments below and tell us why you like it.

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