These Essential Oils Will Cure Your Acne

Fanned-out hands holding essential oil bottles.
Unsplash | Chelsea Gates
Health

Not many people know this, but a great number of essential oils used in aromatherapy can also be safely incorporated into your skincare regimen.

These substances, which are distilled from plants, boast anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can work wonders for your skin. Not only do they brighten up your complexion and make you look radiant and healthy but they also absorb sebum (the oils naturally secreted by your skin), helping you fight acne.

Read on to discover what are the best 11 essential oils to use for acne, as listed by Women's Wear Daily and Healthline.

1. Rosemary

Rosemary essential oil.
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Since bacteria is one of the main causes of acne -- particularly Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is responsible for pimples -- the essential oils that can best deal with the problem are those with germ-killing properties. Rosemary essential oil is top of the list, along with thyme, rose, and cinnamon, per a 2010 study published in the journal, Molecules.

Rosemary essential oil has been proven effective against P. acnes in the lab. It also helps regulate sebum production, preventing clogged pores and keeping breakouts at bay.

2. Lavender

Lavender essential oil.
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While it's unclear whether lavender essential oil has the same effect on P. acnes as rosemary & co., studies have shown its regenerative action on the skin can help heal acne scars.

"In addition to stimulating cell renewal, this essential oil, which is commonly associated with instilling feelings of calmness, also boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help reduce redness and prevent acne-causing agents from causing future breakouts," notes Women's Wear Daily.

3. Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil.
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Tea tree (melaleuca) essential oil has documented antiseptic and antibiotic properties that make it efficient in treating acne, per a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. Although it's not clear if its blemish-fighting activity is confined to reducing inflammation or it can actually kill P. acnes, this oil's antibacterial and antifungal action can't be denied.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil.
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Another essential oil well-known for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties is peppermint. Research has shown it has anti-inflammatory action and reduces skin irritation, making it highly recommended for dry, itchy skin. It also clears bacteria from skin pores and prevents the formation of future pimples.

5. Lemon

Lemon essential oil.
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Lemon essential oil has powerful antimicrobial abilities that make it ideal for acne-prone skin. Aside from giving your complexion a naturally radiant look, it also absorbs sebum, making for a perfect toner for oily skin.

6. Grapefruit

Grapefruit essential oil.
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Grapefruit essential oil is chock-full of antioxidants (especially vitamin C) and is known to stimulate collagen production -- essential in maintaining the health and elasticity of your skin. Its effects go beyond brightening up your complexion; it can also reduce discoloration and clear breakouts, making for a powerful acne-fighting tool.

7. Cypress

Cypress essential oil.
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If you have acne-prone skin, add cypress essential oil to your usual treatment to boost its efficacy. This oil's sebum-absorbing properties allow it "to effectively soak up excess oil from the pores and prevent future breakouts," per Women's Wear Daily.

8. Patchouli

Patchouli essential oil.
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Its invigorating aroma and anti-wrinkle properties aside, patchouli essential oil is extremely effective in killing germs and repairing dry, inflamed skin. It will help clear your acne in no time, while also preventing it from reoccurring thanks to its antibacterial activity.

9. Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil.
Shutterstock | 3387401

Sandalwood essential oil is ideal for sensitive skin. Its gentle action prevents irritation, while still being powerful enough to suppress inflammation and bacteria.

"Its oil composition allows it to penetrate deep into the skin, making it successful at preventing the formation of surface-level acne pustules or papules," details Women's Wear Daily.

10. Frankincense

Frankincense essential oil.
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Renowned for its antiseptic and healing properties, frankincense essential oil "aids in the repair of the connective tissue in the skin and boasts powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and irritation-alleviating benefits."

It's very efficient in treating and preventing acne, while its rejuvenating effect on the skin will have you looking radiant.

11. Carrot Seed

Carrot seed essential oil.
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Hailed for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components, carrot seed essential oil is rich in vitamin A, which helps cells regenerate. It's also an excellent moisturizer and "has been found to reduce the size and appearance of breakouts and acne scars in the skin."

12. How To Use Essential Oils On Your Face

Oil being poured onto a woman's forehead.
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Acne-fighting essential oils are used directly on the skin by topical application. However, they must first be diluted with water or carrier oil, such as jojoba or rosehip seed (most unscented plant oils will do). This won't make them any less effective; it will, however, prevent any possible irritation and clogged pores that can occur in some cases.

The safe way to use essential oils on your skin is to test them out on a small area at first and make sure they won't cause irritation -- do this especially if you have sensitive skin.