Sep 172019
Treating Acne With Essential Oils – Everything You Need to Know

The use of “essential oils” for skin and hair care is a hot topic on the internet in today’s world.

Well, we often come across articles, blog posts, videos, images, and infographics that lay emphasis on essential oils – is a miracle cure for about everything.

According to WebMD, essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquid naturally extracted from plants. They are also known as ethereal and volatile oils – used for a wide variety of therapeutic purposes – including skincare.

Well, in today’s article, we won’t talk about the medical benefits of essential oils but how can you use them to treat acne problems. We recommend you to keep reading this article in a thorough manner so that you get the most out of it.Treating-Acne-With-Essential-Oils-Is-It-Safe

Are essential oils safe to use on acne?

Before telling you which essential oil is useful for treating acne, it is important that we address this question. According to Healthline, essential oils can cause allergic reactions if you put them onto your face directly.

Avoid mixing them with comedogenic substances like coconut oil – which can make your acne worse. These kinds of products are likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts.


Comedogenic Ingredients to Avoid

  • A & D additive
  • Acetylated lanolin alcohol
  • Almond oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Avocado oil
  • Avocado oil, refined
  • Beeswax
  • Betyl stearate
  • Butyl sterate
  • Capric acid
  • Ceramides
  • Cereayl alcohol + ceteareth 20
  • Ceteareth-20
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl acetate
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Coal tar
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Cocos nucifera
  • Corn oil
  • Cotton seed oil
  • D&C red (most pigments)
  • Decaglyceryl decaoleate
  • Deyl oleate
  • Di (2 ethylhexyl) succinate
  • Dioctyl malate
  • Dioctyl succinate
  • Eicosanoic acid
  • Ethoxylated lanolins
  • Ethylhexyl palmitate
  • Ethylhexyl pelargonate
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Glyceryl stearate SE
  • Glyceryl-3-diisostearate
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hexylene glycol
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Isocetyl alcohol
  • Isocetyl stearate
  • Isodecyl oleate
  • Isoparaffin C9-11
  • Isopropyl isostearate
  • Isopropyl lanolate
  • Isopropyl linolate
  • Isopropyl myristate
  • Isopropyl neopentanoate
  • Isopropyl palmitate
  • Isostearic acid
  • Isostearyl alcohol
  • Isostearyl isostearate
  • Isostearyl neopentanoate
  • Laneth-10
  • Lanolic acid
  • Lanolin alcohol
  • Laureth-23
  • Laureth-4
  • Lauric acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Linseed oil
  • Mineral oil
  • Mink oil
  • Mink oil, refined
  • Myreth-3 myristate
  • Myristic acid
  • Myristyl alcohol
  • Myristyl lactate
  • Myristyl myristate
  • Octyl palmitate
  • Octyl stearate
  • Octyldodecanol
  • Olea europaea fruit oil
  • Oleic acid (in natural oils)
  • Oleth-10
  • Oleth-3
  • Oleth-3 phosphate
  • Oleth-5
  • Oleyl alcohol
  • Olive oil
  • Palm oil
  • Palmitic acid
  • Peach kernel oil
  • Peanut oil
  • PEG 100 distearate
  • PEG 150 distearate
  • PEG 16 lanolin
  • PEG 200 dilaurate
  • PEG 8 stearate
  • PG caprylate/caprate
  • Pentaerythrital tetra isostearate
  • PG dipelargonate
  • PG monostearate
  • Phytanriol
  • Polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate
  • PPG 10 cetyl ether
  • PPG 12 PEG 65 lanolin oil
  • PPG 2 myristyl propionate
  • PPG 5 Ceteth 10 phosphate
  • Sandalwood seed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Shark liver oil
  • Sorbitan isostearate
  • Sorbitan laurate
  • Sorbitan oleate
  • Soybean oil
  • Steareth-10
  • Steareth-20
  • Stearic acid
  • Stearic acid: TEA
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Stearyl heptanoate
  • Sulfulated jojoba oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Triethanoleamine
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Vitis vinifera seed extract
  • Water-soluble sulfur
  • Wheat germ glyceride
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Xylene

Because they are concentrated chemicals extracted from plants, they can be strong. So, we recommend you to read the instruction or directions before you apply any of them to your face.

It is important that you dilute them with a “carrier oil” that is unscented plant oil. You can also dilute the essential oil with water. Moreover, don’t use it near your eyes because the vapors can cause irritation in the skin.










There is not enough scientific evidence regarding the use of essential oils for treating acne – nonetheless, they are safe to try when used properly and you can see positive results within a couple of weeks. In case you notice sensitivity or irritation on your skin, you must stop using them.

I would also recommend applying to a small test area of the skin first and allowing for some time to pass. This will enable you to see if you are likely to have a reaction or not.



Best Essential oils for Acne

Lavender: Recent research studies show the usefulness of lavender for improving skin conditions. Since it is antimicrobial, you can use it to treat acne. Not only will it relax your skin but work deep into your facial skin tissues to promote skin rehabilitation from acne.











Tea tree: Fungal infections and bacteria can also cause skin acne. Tea tree is an essential oil with a number of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. With its use, you will notice reduced acne in a couple of weeks. Tea tree oil also reduces swelling.

Cinnamon: some research studies show that cinnamon oils have been proven effective for combating acne. It kills E-coli and bacteria. It is a beneficial ingredient for a face wash and enhances your skin health by reducing redness, inflammation, and swelling. In addition, it is useful for eliminating harmful fungi and bacteria to prevent acne and sooth infections.

Rosemary: If you have oily skin, rosemary oil can help you reduce the excess production of harmful substances in the skin. Rosemary oil is rich in calcium, iron, essential vitamins, as well as anti-oxidants to rejuvenate your skin and treat acne. Rosemary oil also has rich-antibacterial ingredients that act effectively against acne.











Thyme: New research studies have found that the herbal preparation of thyme oil is effective at treating skin problems including acne. It has a much bigger anti-bacterial effect than benzoyl peroxide.

Oregano: It has high anti-leishmanial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. Oregano oil has been found effective in the treatment of acne. However, for acne, you must dilute it with olive oil. If you intend to take it orally, then we recommend adding a few drops into 230 ml cups of water. Prepare it, gargle it, and then swallow. Good Luck!











For my recommendations on the best essential oil brands, read my review here. 



A Few Final Thoughts

If you ever need a helping hand or have any questions or want to leave a comment of your own, please do so in the space provided below. I will be more than happy to answer them as best to my knowledge and would enjoy hearing from you.

If you want to join me on this journey, please use the social links below or subscribe to my newsletter on the right-hand side of this page.

All the best,


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Reader Comments

  1. Though there is no scientific proof of how beneficial essential oils are, to me, it is so obvious that they are! There is nothing more natural than essential oils. They are a concentrate of pure nature, it can only be effective on our health. 🙂

  2. Hey thanks for this post. From time to time I get breakouts randomly – I don’t like the idea of using cosmetic products with names of ingredients I can’t pronounce. I am going to give essential oils a try.

    1. Hello Ben, I am happy to hear that you will be trying essential oils.
      I agree with you and also hate not knowing the list of chemicals that can be found in the majority of mainstream cosmetic products.
      Have a green day!

  3. Hi – its a while since I needed help now – but both Tea-tree and Lavender were always my go-too’s . I still keep both in my bathroom and they are great for so many things.
    (Lavender oil is also wonderful on a pillow case to help relax at sleeptime ! ) 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra,
      I also use lavender on my pillowcase to help me sleep. I sometimes find winding down in the evening a challenge, especially if I have been looking at a screen. It is great that you keep these two in your bathroom for convenience.

  4. Hey Catherine,

    Interesting article, would you recommend making sure the oils are organic, does that make a difference?

    I used to use coconut oil as a “moisturiser”, I now use a brand specifically for this, are there certain ingredients found in moisturisers that can cause an issue?

    1. Hi Nate,

      Yes, I would recommend choosing organic 100% pure essential oils and yes, it does make a difference.
      It all comes down to your personal preference too. Organic 100% pure essential oils will be more expensive but it will be worth the extra money.
      All the best.

  5. Hi Cathene,

    I wonder how and why acne come out on skin. For men mostIy acne appear in the back of arm and i have these. I didnt use yet or try the essential oil for men. Is there any comparison for men skin you could recommend?

    Thanks for this post great information.


    1. Hello Edilberto,

      I agree that men and women can find acne in different places. I would stick to the recommendations made in the post as they will both treat acne, even if the acne is in a different place.

      I hope this helps.

  6. I haven’t had much luck with using essential oils for acne. But, I can tell others beware of oregano oil. I really burned myself pretty bad when I applied it undiluted. I used tea tree oil, and it didn’t work for me. I didn’t know that lavender was an alternative though. I guess that’s my next one to try. I’m done with over the counter stuff.

    1. If you haven’t had much luck with some essential oils I would recommend lavender, drinking plenty of water and washing your face daily. I hope this wors for you, let me know how you get on.

  7. Hey thank you for the awesome post! My wife and me both have acne and we have been trying to find an effective way to handle it! I really like Rosemary, and she really likes Lavender, so we may check this out! Thank you!

  8. Hi Catherine, this is a really helpful article on how essential oils can help with acne. I’ve always been interested in natural remedies, but it can be tough to find something natural that helps with acne. It is really interesting to read that essential oils like cinnamon and tea tree can help with acne, as I really like those scents anyways.

    1. tea tree is fantastic for cleaning too. This means you would definitely get some good use out of it with a bit of research. I enjoy using cinnamon in my diffuser at this time of year as it is a seasonal scent.

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