Acne can be a really tough skin condition to figure out how to beat. It not only makes for self consciousness when it pops up on your face, but the deeper acne lesions can leave scars for life.
This is why it is so important to address it effectively before it does too much damage. Not only to your self esteem (or your teen’s if it’s a daughter or son suffering), but also to the long term appearance of your skin.
Why Essential Oils for Acne?
The problem with most of the man-made acne fighting chemicals is that they are too drying and harsh. They can make acne worse because they spur the skin to produce even more sebum.
Any time our skin is too dried our or irritated, our skin automatically produces more sebum. Sebum, when it is produced in the right amounts, is protective and moisturizing. It keeps skin smooth and supple.
When it is over produced due to hormonal imbalance or external drying factors, it creates the perfect environment for new acne to form. The acids and chemicals typically used in a lot of popular commercial soap bars, cleansers, ointments, creams and gels are overly drying.
Unless this drying effect is countered by other soothing noncomedogenic moisturizers, it can lead to a vicious cycle of drying and breaking out. Inflammation also occurs thanks to the natural inflammatory response they cause.
There are certain essential oils that can address both excess oil production and inflammation, while also targeting the bacteria that live on the surface of the skin and cause the bacterial pockets that cause acne lesions. Essential oils are the essence of the plant from which they come.
They contain certain powerful bio-active compounds that destroy acne-causing bacteria. The best part? They do it without drying the skin. And they also do it while simultaneously soothing inflammation. This means less redness, less swelling and faster healing of any existing pustules.
What Types of Essential Oils Work Best to Get Rid of Acne?
There are actually quite a few essential oils that make ideal acne fighting agents. This is because so many possess the main beneficial feature of any good acne fighter. We’re talking about anti-bacterial properties.
Many essential oils are anti-bacterial in nature. You will find some of these in our Acne Soap for good reason, they’ve been researched and found to be the most effective for blemish control.
Some make better acne fighters because they combine this property with other calming and anti-inflammatory properties. They counteract not only the root cause of acne, but also the outward appearance implications such as swelling and redness.
Lavender Essential Oil – Clear, Calm Skin
Lavender is one of the best. It may not be the most cost effective due to its higher price, but it’s well worth the investment. Lavender is perhaps best known for its aromatherapy benefits. It has been proven to calm the mind and lift the spirits when inhaled. Many use it to combat anxiety and depression by calming the nervous system.
These same benefits can be said to apply to the skin, but of course in a different way. The oil pressed from a lavender plant has potent anti-bacterial properties. Washing or swabbing with this oil completely destroys any acne bacteria sitting on the surface of the skin. In addition, lavender has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
This performs a double duty for the skin. Wiping out bacteria, followed by soothing redness and inflammation makes for a smooth, clear complexion. Combine it with other complimentary essential oils and you have a superior anti-acne regimen. Let’s talk about some of the other oils that make excellent acne treatments.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a distinct medicinal smell. Some people love it, some people may think it’s a bit strong. One thing is undisputed, this oil has some potent anti-bacterial properties. It can also help suppress inflammation, so it makes a great compliment to lavender oil in this way.
It is perhaps best known for its naturally antiseptic properties. Tea tree is a very strong oil, so either it can be used as a beneficial additive to a cleanser or ointment, or it can be used in a diluted state if applied directly to the skin.
Rosemary oil has been gaining more notoriety for its effectiveness at killing acne bacteria. Interestingly, it is particularly deadly to the types of bacteria that cause acne for some reason. It is also remarkably effective at fighting fungal skin issues. This makes it an ideal additive for scalp treatments and shampoos as well.
Lemon and Lemongrass Oil
These two oils offer a great compliment to the anti-bacterial properties of the other aforementioned oils. They also possess bacteria-fighting properties of their own. But mostly, they offer an astringent quality. They can get deep in the pores, and are very effective at removing excess surface oils without drying the skin.
They’re also incredibly uplifting. Inhaling these types of citrus scents has been proven to have not only an uplifting effect on the mind, but also awaken the senses and create an overall sense of happiness and well being. Not a bad fringe benefit to add to your clear skin regimen!