Preserving your skin is difficult and even if you make sure to always wear lotion, put on sunscreen, and carefully clean yourself every day, acne can ruin your perfect complexion. While it is usually a problem for teenagers, adult acne can be just as frustrating. Improper care can lead to permanent scarring or uncomfortable rashes and outbreaks. To help you combat this, we reviewed the best ten different essential oils for acne, so you can safely get rid of blemishes and be confident in your clear skin.

 

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Product FAQs

Essential Oils for Acne

Essential oils are natural and convenient acne remedies and in recent years, scientific studies have shown the effectiveness of essential oils for acne treatment. Here, we answer the most frequently asked questions, so you can know if these products are right for you.

1. What Are Essential Oils?

2. What Do Essential Oils Do for Acne?

3. How Do They Work?

4. Where Can You Buy Them?

5. What Are the Benefits of Essential Oils over Other Products?

6. What Is a Carrier Oil and Why You Use Them?

7. Do Essential Oils for Acne Go Bad?

8. How Expensive Are They?


​Ho​​​​w We Reviewed


We reviewed the following products by effectiveness, ease of application, how they feel, and how expensive they are. Remember, some of these products are just additives and can be purchased in various forms or be added directly to soaps or lotions. If you do not like the feel of a particular soap or lotion, see if you can find the additive active oil in some other product. While there are other essential oils people claim to be effective against acne, these ten are the best we found at clearing up your skin.

 

What We Reviewed

 

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Also known as melaleuca, using tea tree essential oil for acne has been clinically shown to reduce the number and severity of pimples when applied daily for 45 days. Other studies confirmed using tea tree essential oil for acne treatment caused no adverse side effects and did not increase the vulnerability of your skin after stopping treatment. It is one of the most popular essential oils for acne. It is also considered one of the best essential oils for clogged pores.

To use, mix 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil with ½ teaspoon of carrier oil. Apply the mixture on a cotton-tipped swab and dab the blemishes up to three times per day.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to find (available on Amazon)
  • Heavily researched with only positive results

CONS

  • Great for clogged pores and blackheads
  • Not as effective at blemishes beneath the skin
  • Must be mixed with a carrier oil

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Closely related to the common garden herb sage, it is extremely useful in fighting acne. A published study tested the effectiveness of clary sage against some drug-resistant bacterial strains and found it was highly effective against bacteria causing acne breakouts. It is a common product and has a pleasant and fragrant floral aroma. To use, mix 2-3 drops of Clary Sage oil with 10 mL of any carrier oil and then apply directly to the affected area two to three times a day. You can also add 1-2 drops to a lotion or face cream, but make sure never to use over 2% concentration.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Well-researched with proven results
  • Anti-inflammatory

CONS

  • Can cause skin irritation if used above recommended concentration

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The key active ingredient in oregano is carvacrol. Scientific research shows it has potent, antimicrobial properties that help it break down the membrane wall of fatty acids, depriving many kinds of bacteria that contribute to pimples of food necessary for growth. For treatment, mix equal amounts of oregano essential oil and a carrier oil. Then, use a cotton-tipped swab to dab the mixture on the affected area before bed. If the blemishes are not tender, you can gently massage the oil into the skin.

PROS

  • Good for whiteheads and pustules
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to use
  • Anti-inflammatory

CONS

  • Ineffective against blackheads or other non-pus acne
  • Weaker than other oils

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With antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, this essential oil is one of the most common because of its ability to combat many kinds of bacteria, including those that can contribute to acne. When applied topically, the warming sensation of the oil may help ease the pain of tender blemishes. We recommend you mix 2-3 drops of juniper oil with Aloe Vera gel and apply it to the affected area to leave overnight. Do not use throughout the day. Excessive use can cause rashes and irritation. This mixture works well overnight, however, because the Aloe Vera soothes the skin while the juniper oil detoxifies it.

PROS

  • Easy to find
  • Powerful versus all forms of acne
  • Eases pain

CONS

  • Dangerous in large amounts
  • Must mix with lotion

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This oil contains many antiseptic properties that kill the bacteria fueling your acne. It is the best natural remedy for cystic outbreaks as instead of merely drying out the affected area, it kills all the nasty stuff that causes inflammation. However, its strong, musky scent and ability to force cysts and boils to the surface makes it best used sparingly as an overnight treatment you can clean up and wash off before going out.

PROS

  • Best for Cysts and Boils (anything underneath skin)
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Readily available

CONS

  • Strong odor
  • Causes blemishes to rise to surface before drying them out

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While usually found in the kitchen to enhance a sauce or some other dish, thyme is also effective at fighting off bacteria that causes acne and eye infections. Available for a low price almost anywhere skin products are sold, this oil will help battle off your acne while leaving you smelling fresh. It is best used for surface level acne as it lacks the power to dry up and attack cysts or boils beneath the surface of your skin.

PROS

  • Easily available
  • Cheap
  • Smells nice

CONS

  • Not as powerful as other options

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Another common kitchen spice, this extensively studied tree bark product has been proven effective at fighting acne and has also been reported to reduce menstrual pain and cholesterol levels. Cinnamon has been shown to kill staphylococcal bacteria and E. coli, but with a pleasant pumpkin pie scent!

PROS

  • Easy to find
  • Easy to use
  • Smells great

CONS

  • Weaker option
  • Focuses more on killing bacteria than drying pores

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This oil is widely considered one of the best for acne prevention. When used in a facial steam, lemongrass essential oil’s antimicrobial properties help eliminate bacteria trapped in follicles. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce the severity and discomfort of pimples and cysts while leaving you smelling fresh. Apply directly all over oily complexions to reduce and prevent the appearance of pimples while also revitalizing the skin and preventing future outbreaks.

PROS

  • Fragrant citrus aroma
  • Proven results
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Not as powerful against blackheads

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Many blends of essential oils for acne prone skin often contain grapefruit oil as a key ingredient. Beyond its pleasant aroma, research has shown one benefit of this product is its antibacterial properties, which make it an effective topical agent for natural wound healing. When applied directly to the affected area, it will kill all bacteria, dry up pores, and promote healing to prevent scars from forming. While not as powerful as other options on this list, it is great when combined with other all-natural acne fighting gels, lotions, or soaps.

PROS

  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Easy to find
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Promotes healing

CONS

  • Not powerful
  • Not good for blemishes beneath the skin

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Using frankincense for acne is a long-standing practice and, in recent years, studies have shown why. Frankincense contains antibacterial properties that may act synergistically with other essential oils. There are several well-documented benefits of frankincense essential oil, including its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, that dermatologists have noted help heal minor blemishes and moisturize skin.

During a pimple outbreak, combine ten drops of frankincense and five drops of lavender essential oil in ½ cup of lukewarm water. Dampen a clean cloth with the mixture and gently press it onto the blemishes twice a day - once in the morning and once before bed.

PROS

  • Easy to find
  • Proven results
  • Good aroma
  • Powerful healing properties
  • Moisturizes skin

CONS

  • Weaker than some other options
  • Has to be mixed
  • Strong smell

Final Thoughts

essential oils for acne


The best essential oil for you comes down to what your specific needs are. For cysts or blemishes beneath the skin, we recommend clove, as it is the only one to dig deep into your skin to expose and cure those hard to reach outbreaks. For surface areas and regular pimples, any combination of grapefruit oil or frankincense combined with other options on this list is a great way to clean up your skin and smell good while doing it.

If you are interested in any of these products, go to Amazon or your local skin care shop today and start getting your perfect complexion back today!

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