Acne is a skin condition that affects not only teenagers, but many other people, too. Although it is prevalent in teenagers, with seventy to eighty-seven per cent of teenagers suffering from acne1, it can also affect women in pregnancy, during the menopause, during the menstrual cycle, and can be a result of stress in other cases.
There are several essential oils, carrier oils, and hydrosols, that may help to lessen the effects of acne.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne presents itself in a number of ways, and in differing levels of severity. Symptoms of acne include:
- blackheads and whiteheads
- small, red bumps which are tender to the touch
- larger, painful bumps on the skin
- pus-filled bumps on the skin
You should always seek medical advice from a qualified health professional before attempting to treat acne.
Essential Oils for Acne
Essential oils, in combination with carrier oils, hydrosols, or a basic white lotion blend, can be used to address the symptoms of acne. Essential oils for acne include:
- copaiba (Copaifera officinalis)2
- helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium) 3
- lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)3
- lemon (Citrus limon)3.
Carrier Oils for Acne
Although carrier oils are “oily” and you may not think they would be of much benefit for a condition such as acne, there are a few carrier oils that may help the symptoms of acne; these include:
- hazelnut (Corylus avellana)4
- jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis): “molecular structure similar to sebum which makes it useful in cases of acne vulgaris”4
- kukui nut (Aleurites moluccanus)
Hydrosols for Acne
Hydrosols are enjoying a return to popularity in the market, and make a cheaper, yet just as qualitative solution as essential oils for acne. Hydrosols that may help with the symptoms of acne include:
- basil (Ocimum basilicum)5
- German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)5
- Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)5
- lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)5
Aromatherapy Blends for Acne
Depending upon your preference for base type, the following aromatherapy blends may be useful for acne:
Acne Carrier Oil Blend with Essential Oils
- 2 oz jojoba
- 1 oz kukui nut
- 1 oz hazelnut
- 15 drops copaiba
- 20 drops lavender
- 10 drops lemon
- 3 drops helichrysum
Mix the carrier oils together in an appropriate bottle, then add the essential oils and shake well. Apply over the affected area.
Cautions for Use: Photo-toxic; do not apply prior to going out into sunlight.
Hydrosol Blend for Acne
- 3 oz Roman chamomile
- 3 oz German chamomile
- 2 oz lemongrass
Mix the hydrosols together in an appropriate bottle with a spray fitting. Spray onto the affected area.
Cautions for Use: Possible skin sensitivity in some people.
This article is intended for educational purposes only.
Mayo Clinic website, Acne, accessed December 28, 2015: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/basics/definition/con-20020580
gov website, Application of the essential oil from copaiba (Copaifera langsdori Desf.) for acne vulgaris: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, accessed December 28, 2015: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22502624
Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
Price, Len, 1999, Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy and Massage, UK: Riverhead Publishing
Garden of Wisdom website, Hydrosol Properties and Shelf Life, accessed December 28, 2015: http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/hydrosol.html
Author is a certified aromatherapist with a decade of international training and experience.