What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants – from the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and even the fruits! Many essential oils smell quite nice and have health benefits when inhaled, giving rise to aromatherapy. However, there are other ways to make use of them!
How Do Essential Oils Work?
There are two main ways to use essential oils: by inhaling their aroma or rubbing them into your skin. When you inhale the scent of essential oils, it’s said to interact with your limbic system, which influences your emotions, memory, and even motivation! This is why people love turning to essential oils to calm down!
Another way to use essential oils is through absorption, or by rubbing it into your skin. But a word of caution: essential oils can be quite powerful and a little goes a long way! Don’t put essential oils directly on your skin – always use a carrier oil, which will dilute them and make them safe to use.
What Causes Acne?
There are so many reasons for acne breakouts. For those with particularly sensitive skin, it can be as simple as a changing environment or touching your face too much. You end up stimulating your sebaceous glands to produce too much sebum which then leads to breakouts.
Too many of us know the horror of having to deal with a nasty breakout during a stressful time! And it becomes a horrific cycle of stress causing acne, and that acne causing more stress. There are hormonal changes that occur when you get stressed, which can mean overactive sebaceous glands.
Another possible suspect for acne are any skin products that you’re using. It’s very possible that all the chemicals that you rub on your face aren’t doing you any favours – many end up stripping your skin of all the natural properties that you need to keep a clear and healthy face!
What Essential Oils Are Good For Acne?
Before you start rubbing all sorts of essential oils on your zits, you have to know what you’re dealing with! Do you have a smattering of blackheads and whiteheads, or painful pustules and cysts? Do you already have scars from previous breakouts? Different oils have different effects, so it’s better to know what kind of acne you have so you can choose the best essential oils for the job.
Here are some of the most popular essential oils for acne and their benefits:
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is so effective at combating acne that it’s become a super common ingredient in many skin products! This wonder oil has been scientifically proven to work: a study revealed that while it doesn’t work as quickly as benzoyl peroxide (the chemical stuff in most anti-acne products), it does have less side effects!
The plant that tea tree oil comes from is the melaleuca, which is native to Australia. It’s been proven time and time again to be anti-microbial, and is used to stop the spread of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in so many ways. It’s also anti-inflammatory, so it’s perfect for deep pimples that are forming those angry red and painful cysts on your face.
If a wellness product is lavender-scented, it’s probably meant for de-stressing! Lavender is the go-to essential oil for calm and relaxation. Acne breakouts can be caused by stress, so an essential oil that promotes rest and improves sleep quality will definitely help stop them.
Lavender’s soothing properties promote healthy, radiant skin. Lavender is also anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant, so it will certainly clean up those pesky spots!
Clary Sage Oil
This isn’t the same as the sage found in your kitchen! Clary sage has long been used as a medicinal herb due to its bacteria-fighting traits. It has also been proven to be an excellent anti-depressant as it supports hormonal balance and melts stress away even better than lavender!
With its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, clary sage is great for keeping those pimples caused by filthy environments in check. Less stress also means less breakouts!
There’s more to peppermint than just candy canes! This fresh and cool oil has numerous uses, many of which were discovered by the ancient Egyptians. It’s also another bacteria-killer that can clear up a whole lot of skin issues.
Peppermint oil is often paired with eucalyptus oil for a treatment that your skin will love. Peppermint will wipe out the bacteria causing breakouts, while eucalyptus’ antiseptic properties will help your skin heal.
Other Essential Oils
There are plenty of other essential oils that can be used to combat acne! As with any treatment, some may be more effective for you than others. Check the properties of the essential oil to see if it’s something that will be helpful for you.
For those who suffer from rosacea, oils with anti-inflammatory properties like frankincense and oregano can help reduce redness and swelling. Blackheads and whiteheads can be cleared with oils that have antibacterial qualities like lemon and rosemary! Oils with antiseptic traits like bergamot can target stubborn cystic pimples and dry them out.
There are plenty of essential oils out there, each with unique characteristics that can help you with your skin issues! But even if essential oils are natural and have less side effects, they can still pose a danger if mishandled or if you end up with a low quality one. Always make sure that you get your oils from a reliable and established source (such as doTERRA) to ensure quality!
As with any treatment, some oils may be more effective for you than others, and some might even trigger allergies! Always consult with your dermatologist first before changing your routine, as they might have life-saving advice for you!