Is Essential Oil Suitable For Acne-Prone Skin?
July 19, 2021
Are essential oils actually ‘essential’? Do they have the same chemical compositions as vegetable and animal oils?
What Are Essential Oils?
Essentials oils are named ‘essential’ not because they are vital to our skin, but instead, the ‘essential’ label signifies that they contain the essence of a plant. Essential oils are plant chemical extracts derived from various parts of the plant such as the stems, roots, leaves, seeds and flowers, and are generally rich in antioxidants and anti-bacterial ingredients.
In addition, essential oils are different from the common types of oils that we know of. Essential oils are hydrophobic but unlike vegetable and animal oils, they are not made up of fatty acids.
They have a long history in traditional medicine and today, are studied for their health benefits not just in association with skincare but also hair care and overall mental wellness. The right essential oil can supercharge and complement your skincare routine, giving your fight against acne an added boost. Not only can it heal inflamed skin, its natural fragrance offers a pleasant sensory experience when used as a home remedy.
Using Essential Oils On Acne-Prone Skin
While traditional treatments involving essential oil have been used centuries ago, the application of essential oil occasionally receives a bad rep for causing allergies or irritation. This is often due to improper usage and application. With the right concentration and application, you can enjoy the benefits that each essential oil boasts without much side effects. A pro tip when looking at the label – “Anything listed after the fifth ingredient is usually at less than 1 percent,” says cosmetic chemist Ginger King.
Essential oils are typically high in concentrations and can be too strong when applied directly to the skin. As such, it is recommended to dilute the oils with a carrier solution before usage.
If you are particularly sensitive to fragrances, essential oils may contain compounds such as Limonene, Citronellol, Eugenol and Linalool that can cause an adverse reaction. Do a patch test to check for signs of irritation and allergy such as itchiness, redness, swelling and stinging sensations before using them on your pimples.
1. Rosemary Oil
Rosemary Oil derives its name from the Latin words “Ros” meaning dew or mist and “Marinus” meaning sea. Known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, Rosemary Oil is extracted from the flowering tops of an herb found in Mediterranean countries. The essential oil has been proven to counter P. Acnes bacteria. A study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that Rosemary Oil reduces the length, width and height of the acne-triggering bacteria when applied to it.
Moreover, the essential oil is known to regulate sebum production which reduces the likelihood of clogged pores. It also minimizes undereye puffiness and improves blood circulation therefore, giving your complexion a healthy glow on top of keeping breakouts at bay!
2. Tea Tree Oil
Originating from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, a tree native to Australia, Tea Tree Oil is a popular acne-fighting agent commonly found in skincare products. Dating back centuries ago, Aboriginal Australians used it as traditional medicine to treat coughs, colds and applied it topically to heal wounds.
Tea Tree Oil contains Terpinen-4-ol that has been shown to kill bacteria, virus and fungi, which are the main causes of acne. It boasts anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help to reduce swelling and heal inflammatory forms of acne. In a 2017 clinical trial, participants applied Tea Tree Oil onto their face twice daily over a period of 12 weeks. The study concluded that the essential oil does significantly improve mild to moderate acne.
3. Lavender Oil
A herb native to Northern Africa and regions of the Mediterranean, Lavender Oil is distilled from flower spikes of certain Lavender species. The oil is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and therefore helps soothe inflamed skin and heal blemishes. In addition, Lavender Oil is associated with fading acne scars due to its regenerative effect.
On top of its physical healing benefits, Lavender Oil when inhaled can promote relaxation and sleep. Proper sleeping habits and reduced stress levels may contribute to an overall improvement in acne skin condition as well.
Everyone’s skin is unique so what works for you may not work for someone else. It may be worth giving essential oils a shot as they can be a good complement to your anti-acne skincare routine. Not only do they combat undesired zits, their aromas offer pleasant indulgent experiences as well. Acne treatments need not be painful, they can be enjoyable too!
Have a question on Lumipeau skincare or anything related to acne? Reach out to The Lumipeau Concierge via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp at 6338 8183 and the team will be glad to assist!