How To Use Essential Oils For Acne Skin Care

Using Essential Oils for Acne

One of the most commonly suggested essential oils for acne is tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). The Medical Journal of Australia published a study that found a gel containing five percent tea tree oil treated acne as effectively as a lotion containing five percent benzoyl peroxide (a standard medical treatment), with far fewer side effects.

Most people can dab a little tea tree oil directly onto pimples. However, if you have never used tea tree, spot test first to make sure you don't have a bad reaction, especially if your skin is very sensitive. You can also dilute tea tree in a carrier oil for use on acne.

Here's an intensive way to deal with acne from Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art:

  1. Blend 25 drops of tea tree oil with 1/2 teaspoon of powdered goldenseal root to make a paste, adding a few drops of water if needed for the right consistency.
  2. Apply the paste directly to your acne, let remain on skin for 10 to 20 minutes, and then rinse off.

Other Essential Oils for Acne


If you do have sensitive skin and tea tree oil alone is too strong for you, other acne-fighting essential oils include:

  • Lavender
  • German chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Sandalwood

If you have dry skin, the following essential oils for acne may work best:

  • Clary sage
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • Juniper berry
  • Patchouli
  • Rosemary

Essential Oil Acne Blends

The following aromatherapy recipes give you some options for using essential oils to fight acne.

Aromatherapy Recipe For Acne

  • 3/4 ounce (4.5 teaspoons) jojoba oil
  • 8 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops bergamot essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil

Mix ingredients in small, dark bottle. Every night, massage a little of the mixture around your pimples. 

If you want to make this aromatherapy skincare recipe to use in the morning, use cream instead of jojoba oil. However, don't go into sun while using this blend, because bergamot makes skin more sun-sensitive.

Compress With Essential Oils For Acne

From Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art:

  • 1 teaspoon Epsom salt 
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree oil
  1. Place Epsom salt in boiling water and let dissolve.
  2. Blend in essential oils.
  3. Soak a small, absorbent cloth in the solution, wring it out, and apply to pimples for one to two minutes. Repeat application several times.

Premenstrual Acne Essential Oil Blend

From Healing With Aromatherapy:

  • 7 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop palmarosa essential oil
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) grapeseed oil

Apply to your skin morning and night.

Steaming Facial For Acne

Try this facial steam from Healing With Aromatherapy:

  • 1 quart steaming water
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender 
  • 2 drops ylang ylang 
  1. Add essential oils to steaming water.
  2. Cover your head with a towel and carefully let the steam flow onto your face.

Toners For Skin With Acne

For general use, you can make this tea tree toner from EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs:

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  1. Pour all ingredients into a clean, dark bottle with a tight-fitting cap and shake well.
  2. Shake before each use. Apply to face with a clean cotton ball.

Hydrosol Toner For Acne

Hydrosols are a by-product of the steam distillation of essential oils and are gentler than the oils, making hydrosols a good option for people with very sensitive skin.

For toner for skin with acne, The Essential Guide to Natural Skin Care suggests:

  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) rosemary verbenone hydrosol
  • 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) true lavender hydrosol
  • 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons) lemon balm hydrosol

Blend hydrosols in a small, dark spray bottle. Lightly mist face.

It's OK to keep this toner on the bathroom counter, away from direct sunlight, for one to two months. Otherwise, keep it in the refrigerator.

Essential Oil Toner For Acne

  • 2 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops German chamomile
  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons distilled water
  1. Combine the ingredients in a dark glass bottle.
  2. Shake well and apply to skin with a cotton ball.

Source: Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques to Use at Home

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