Fighting against acne often feels like a battle you’re never going to win. Just when you succeed in calming down one angry looking zit, another one pops up on your face. The most disheartening part about treating acne is that it can only be treated, never cured. This means that you can use several remedies to keep acne at bay, but you can never definitively say goodbye to it for life. If you struggle with acne, you’ve probably tried everything from benzoyl peroxide to retinol. These harsh acne treatments can dry out your skin and are often painful. Switching to more natural treatments often seems like a much safer and effective path to take. If you’re thinking of using the powers of nature against your persistent breakouts, you’re probably leaning towards essential oils. But before you can put essential oils over your skin, here’s everything you need to know.
Essential Oils Do Work
If you want to use essential oils to treat your acne, then hurray, because they actually work. There’s plenty of scientific proof and anecdotal evidence that essential oils are very effective against acne. These oils have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties which kill acne-causing microbes. They are also anti-inflammatory and can reduce the size of the breakout. Inflammation is often the root cause of acne, so many essential oils can work by tackling the root cause of the problem. Some kinds of essential oils can also prevent your skin from producing excess oil. Excessive production of sebum can block your pores which might get infected and lead to breakouts. Using oil to control oil might seem paradoxical, but it’s very effective.
They Can Be A Bit Of A Gamble
While there is proof that essential oils have compounds that are very effective against acne, there haven’t been comprehensive studies conducted on its actual effects. Most acne meds have been through extensive trials where they have been tested on different skin types to come up with conclusive results. Essential oils have not been experimented upon the same way. However, it’s important to understand that even clinically tested medicines for acne don’t always have a 100% success rate. If you’re willing to put in a little more time to go down the natural route, then essential oils are for you. However, if you want an acne solution that is backed with adequate research, then you should probably stick to commercial acne drugs.
They Can Be Irritating If Not Used Right
Essential oils are the most concentrated form of a plant. This concentration is far too strong to be applied on your skin directly. If you suffer from acne, then your skin is already going to be very sensitive and is likely to have open lesions. If you apply concentrated essential oils straight from the bottle onto your face, it will begin to sting unbearably and also irritate your skin further. You always need to dilute essential oils in a gentle carrier oil before you start using it. Argan, coconut and jojoba oil are popular carrier oils because they’re very mild and also come with their own set of skin benefits. If you suffer from acne, you should consider using jojoba oil because it’s closest in composition to our skin’s natural oil. When you’re diluting essential oils in a carrier oil, the general rule of thumb is to add 12 drops of the essential oil to every 1 ounce of the carrier oil. You can decrease the amount of essential oil depending upon how sensitive your skin is.
Always Do A Test Patch
Before you start applying essential oils all over your face, you need to see if your skin can handle it first. Apply your essential oil solution to a small patch of skin on the inside of your arm or behind your ear. If it stings very badly or breaks out in a rash within 24 hours, then you need to either reduce the strength of the solution. You might even need to reconsider using essential oils at all depending upon how severe your reaction is. If nothing bad happens on your skin for 24 hours after you’ve applied the essential oils, then you can go ahead and use it on your acne.
Best Essential Oils For Acne
Hands down the most popular essential oil for acne worshiped by natural health enthusiasts everywhere is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has potent antibacterial properties that can dry up a zit and prevent that sucker from resurfacing again. It can sting quite a bit though, so make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil. Lavender is also very effective against acne because it soothes down inflammation and can minimize the size of the pimple. Juniper berry essential oil is less common, but no less powerful against pesky zits. Experiment with a few essential oils in different concentrations until you find one that works perfectly for you.