It is safe to say that the vast majority of society deals with acne at some point or another in their lives. Whether this is as teenagers going through an awkward phase or later on as adults, acne can become a minor annoyance or a major issue depending on the severity. When an outbreak occurs, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. This has led many to wonder what to do about acne and how to properly handle it. The last thing anyone wants to have to face down is an irritating acne outbreak that can manifest itself at any moment.
What is the cause of acne?
Generally speaking, acne begins when the skin flakes and sebum (which is basically skin oil) begins to clog your pores. When your pores are clogged up, they become a breeding ground for bacteria, particularly Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. This type of bacteria is what contributes to the cause of pimples. The dirtier and oilier that your skin is, the greater chance of developing acne that you have. This is why it is so important to have a skin treatment regimen to ensure that your skin is as clean as it can possibly be.
Sometimes cleaning your skin is just not enough. The dirt and bacteria manages to get under your skin and still manifests itself in the form of acne. It can be frustrating to deal with, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Acne and Essential Oils
If you have been dealing with acne for a while now and are looking for an alternative to traditional prescription and drugstore acne treatments, one avenue to consider is essential oils. Essential oils are plant chemicals that are extracted from different parts of the plant using steam. This can include the flowers, seeds, leaves, roots, and even stems of these plants and can have a substantial impact as far as their healthcare treatment capabilities. Plant extracts also have a long history when it comes to traditional folk medicine.
Not only that, but modern medicine is also beginning to implement essential oils into some treatments because of the benefits found in them. One of those benefits includes killing bacteria, which is one of the primary causes of acne. While there are few studies out there to support the notion that essential oils can clean and treat acne, many people are beginning to see the benefits for themselves. And while there isn’t enough evidence to act as solid proof for guaranteeing results, essential oils are generally safe to try and you may see positive results at best or no results at worst, meaning it will not make your acne flare up even more.
Take note: if you are experiencing sensitivity or irritation when you begin using essential oils, you will want to stop treatment right away to prevent further irritation to your skin.
The Best Essential Oils for Acne
While there is no federal regulation on essential oils to prove its benefits, there are a few essential oils out there that have a history of effectively treating acne (and other ailments) that makes it a better option to try than others. Here are a few essential oils that are more than worth trying thanks to their proven track record of being able to help treat acne.
There have been lab tests performed that have shown that rosemary does damage to the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, the primary bacteria that causes acne to occur. This provides an all-natural method of treating acne that does not include expensive creams or acne treatments. Not only that, food scientists have also conducted studies that showed rosemary’s ability to have a positive effect on preventing fungal growth. This fungal growth can rot food during the harvesting and packaging process, leading to wasted food before it ever has a chance to reach the table of consumers.
If you are experiencing a particularly bad acne outbreak, consider using rosemary essential oils to help deal with the outbreak.
Another essential oil that is perhaps more famous for being a kitchen spice than an essential oil, thyme is another potential acne treatment. In the kitchen atmosphere, thyme has a delicate essence that is often used to enhance cooked potatoes or to enhance pasta sauces. In the laboratory setting, thyme has also been shown to be effective at fighting the bacteria that is linked to acne. Not only that, but it has also been shown to be effective at killing the germs that lead to eye infections, though it is important to note that you should never apply thyme or any essential oils for that matter directly into your eyes.
As far as treating acne, the goal is to limit the number of bacteria that reaches your pores. Using rosemary and thyme might be something normally used in the kitchen, but using their essential oils is a great way to help fight the bacteria that causes acne.
Being one of the more fragrant essential oils on this list, it is not uncommon for people to use this essential oil for aromatherapy purposes or to simply enhance the smell in the areas that they frequent the most. It smells that good. But rose essential oils are also proven to fight staphylococcus, E. coli, and a number of other different kinds of bacteria. This is important because, as covered previously, bacteria can be the biggest cause of acne in both teens and adults. Being able to counteract that bacteria is an important step towards defeating and preventing it altogether.
There have been tests conducted on animals that have shown to be effective at even reducing liver damage that is caused by acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol). This only goes to show that Rose is highly effective in a number of different areas in addition to potentially battling acne growth.
Another one of the more fragrant and recognizable essential oils on this list is cinnamon. Used in kitchens, candles, and essential oils across the globe. At the very least, it is one of the most fragrant oils there is, providing a pleasant aroma whenever used. It also turns out that cinnamon is good for far more than baking and sprinkling over a delicious latte. This tree bark product has been extensively studied and has been proven to fight the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that leads to acne. In addition to battling that annoying acne, it has been shown to even reduce cholesterol levels and menstrual pain. Combined with the fact that it battles E. coli and staphylococcal bacteria, cinnamon is one of the most effective essential oils out there for battling not only acne but a number of different ailments.
While it might seem like this list was composed by simply looking at a kitchen spice rack, there have been proven studies showcasing the abilities of all of these essential oils. Oregano is one of those essential oils that have been tested extensively. While it hasn’t been proven that oregano fights the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that lead to acne, it might have some anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it can help to reduce swelling caused by acne as well as swelling in general.
Oregano also shows promise when it comes to battling malarial parasites, cancer cells, and the bacteria that has caused hospital-acquired infections like MRSA.
It has been shown that tea tree oil may be useful when it comes to killing fungi and bacteria. And while it has been shown to reduce acne, scientists are not certain if that is because tea tree oil kills the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria or if it is because it reduces swelling. If you aren’t particularly sensitive to undiluted tea tree oil, it can also be used as an ingredient in many different skincare products out there. This is proving to be a versatile essential oil when it comes to battling acne and other bacteria.
One of the brighter, more citrus-scented essential oils on the list, advocates of bergamot say that this fruit’s essential oil can help to improve your mood in addition to its potential skincare qualities. It has been suggested that bergamot possesses anti-inflammatory qualities. This suggests that it can not only shrink pimples but help to reduce swelling as well. It remains to be seen whether or not this essential oil combats bacteria that cause acne, but it certainly has other benefits that make it an effective combatant against acne.
Hands down one of the most popular essential oils on the market today, testing on lavender has shown that it can help to drastically improve certain skin conditions while also acting as an antimicrobial. While the scientific community is not certain whether or not lavender fights the P. acnes bacteria that cause acne, it has shown the ability to combat acne so there is some kind of positive effects to be had by lavender. Not only that, but this essential oil will also be able to help you feel more relaxed and it promotes better sleep when used in aromatherapy. Those properties alone make it a popular option in the essential oil community but it is just now starting to show properties that can help combat acne.