The A to Z of Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin

I Witnessed a Miracle: Acne Almost Gone!

While doing my ‘The Art of Traditional Herbalism‘ course I formulated a lovely facial cream for the whole group (around 9 women). I took into account everyone’s skin type, and, believe me, there was plenty of things to take into account! For example, one of the ladies had quite dry skin while another one had a really bad acne breakout mixed with what looked like rosacea.

At home, I did some research and decided to create a formula that contained jojoba, argan and rosehip carrier oils and geranium, lavender and frankincense essential oils. I told the girl with the really bad acne breakout to add a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil to the bit of cream she was applying for the day, although some might differ in terms of the percentage of essential oil that goes into the skin (as it passes the recommended 1% essential oil amount for facial skincare) although tea tree oil can be dabbed straight on neat to cold sores, verrucas and warts.

Anyway, a month later I saw the group of ladies again (we meet around once a month) and, lo and behold, everyone that had been using the cream had glowing skin – I mean, really, really glowing sin! In fact, they were begging for more cream. As for the girl with acne, she looked incredibly radiant. Most of the acne was gone (gone!) and her rosacea showed just mildly. There’d been a miracle.

In fact, in previous meetings I’d had heard the girl mention she had tried many different methods to get rid of her acne (and she would know as she is training to become a pharmacist) – shed’ tried different dermatologists, different skin treatments, different creams… to no avail. She even said she would give the cream I was offering her a try but, “hey, you know that nothing works with my skin.” She then asked me which essential oils I thought were good for acne-prone skin and I would have wanted then to have this list at hand!

Now, while formulating the cream, I must say I did have a feeling. I knew it would help everyone because of the magical mix I had blended together, but I never thought the girl’s skin would almost recover from the really bad acne breakout (I repeat, it was like a miracle!). This really, made me think I had to dig deeper into the world of essential oils and acne (as well as carrier oils, I might do a post on that soon).

**Needles to say that a good diet, exercise and a healthy mind (avoiding negative thoughts and breeding good ones) help enormously when it comes to the health of your skin.

Using this List (See Below) as a Reference to Formulate My Acne-Prone Skin Products

As I make my formulations (you can also think of it as DIY skincare) I need to learn the oils that best suit the different types of skin. I’ve created beautiful creams and lotions and have been told quite a few times how stunning and efficient my creams are on the skin, so I keep learning about the different oils are the best for each type of skin as well in order to improve my formulations, including carrier oils. In fact, there are many base (carrier/vegetable) oils that are suitable for the different skin types the same way essential oils are, so I thought I’d sort of organise them into different blog posts in order for me to find the information needed when formulating easily.

In this post I’ll discuss the essential oils for acne prone skin although I might also mention if the essential oil is also good for oily skin as well.

These are the books I reference (I’ve bought these books and read them regularly) so if you’re really into essential oils and skin care I strongly recommend them.

  1. A general view on essential oils is Stephanie Tourles’ “Essential Oils: A Beginners Guide”. Packed with information and some lovely aromatherapy recipes, but bear in mind it is quite basic if you’re looking for things like type of skin or a great variety of recipes/formulas for skincare. Still a good book for general information and beautifully presented.
  2. I adore this book: “Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential OIls”. The British design is stunning and the info has been very well organised into helpful sections. Each oil includes best uses and also there are a ton of formulas at the end of the book, all quite easy to make.
  3. If you’re serious about making your own skin care you MUST purchase this book “The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide” by Danielle Sade. Floranella (former AromaCulture) published a podcast with Danielle Sade I found very interesting, please make sure to check it out. Here’s a review of the book by The Tisserand Institute.

Ok, let’s get started.


Best Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin A to Z List

I’ll list them in alphabetical order according to their scientific names, that’s why ‘Yarrow’ comes first since its latin name is Achillea Millefolium. Hope that makes sense. Also, and as mentioned above, many of these are some of the best essential oils for oily acne prone skin so keep an eye on the descriptive text for these.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: Please don’t use more essential oil than you need, be aware that we have to be thoughtful around sustanability issues. Use only what you need and buy from sources that you know work according to a sustaniable ethos. Thanks.

YARROW – Achillea Millefolium

Yarrow essential oil is antiseptic and can treat cuts and wounds (minor). It helps balance oily skin as well as keeping acne under control.

Add a couple of drops to your favourite face cream. If you’re looking for an essential oil for acne prone skin, yarrow essential oil can be of help..

Safe use: Non-irritante in dilution. Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

ROSEWOOD – Aniba Rosaeodora

A grounding oil that works on the mind as well as the emotions. It balances the level of oil in combination and oily skin types. It helps to control blackheads, pimples and acne.

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CARAWAY – Carum Carvi

A warming essential oil that can relieve mental strain and works on the mind and the body. This oil can be used to help clear acne as well as combat oily skin complexions.

Safe use: Non-toxic. Use well diluted (less than 1%).

Caraway Seed Essential Oil (Carum Carvi) 100% Pure and Natural - 10 ML
100% Pure and Natural Essential Oil; Ethically Sourced Farm Direct, Quality Guaranteed!; Laboratory Tested (SDS and COA)
$10.70

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CEDARWOOD – Cedrus Atlantica

Cedarwood has a long list of benefits. Being antiseptic and astringent it is especially helpful at easing irritated skin, particularly when it comes to acne as well as dandruff.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LIME – Citrus Aurantifolia

A refreshing essential oil with great cleansing properties. It balances oily skin and helps clear acne-prone complexions.

Safe use: Non-toxic, use very well diluted (less than 1%). Avoid use on skin 12 hours prior to sun exposure.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NEROLI – Citrus Aurantium

An expensive essential oil but a lovely, lovely oil too, extracted from the delicate flowers of the bitter orange tree (Seville orange tree). I adore Neroli’s elegant citrusy smell. No wonder it is a component of Eau de Cologne. A Refreshing, yet calming as well as uplifting oil, it hydrates and tones the skin, helping balance moisture levels and also good for oily and acne-prone skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PETITGRAIN – Citrus Aurantium Amara

This essential oil also comes from the bitter orange tree as well (from the leaves and green twigs, NOT from the flowers). A great essential oil for oily skin, it tones the skin and balances greasy skin helping inhibit over-production of sebum. Being antiseptic, petitgrain essential oil can help to calm acne breakouts as well as other skin eruptions. Its antiseptic properties can also keep the wounds clean while they heal. It can help clear pimples and acne outbreaks. Petitgrain is a fantastic essential oil for acne.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BERGAMOT – Citrus Aurantium Bergamia

Another essential oil with a great balancing effect on the mind and body. It calms and relaxes the nervous system. This means it can also promote relaxation and reduce stress when it comes to skincare products. Bergamot EO can help prevent and treat fungal infections on the skin because of its strong antifungal properties. A wonderful essential oil for skincare targeted at acne-prone skin or oily skin. The oil also balances combination and oily skin, helping improve skin tone. You can dab diluted on pimples.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution. Please make sure you buy Bergamot CFC (bergaptene free), otherwise it will be phototoxic. For more information on this see here and here.

GRAPEFRUIT – Citrus Paradisi

Grapefruit essential oil is antiseptic and astringent, great for controlling oily skin. Ideal for acne. It can also help tighten and tone the skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution (less than 3%). Avoid using 12 hours prior to sun exposure.

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MANDARIN / TANGERINE – Citrus Reticulata, Citrus Nobilis

Mandarin is also known as tangerine. It has antifungal and antiseptic properties. It nourishes the skin and uplifts the mood. I love the smell of it. It is a very useful essential oil to combat outbreaks of acne as well as oily skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LEMON – Citrus x Limon

An essential oil with an invigorating effect, it can be a very nice addition to your morning cleansing routine. Being slightly antifungal and antibacterial this oil can be beneficial for treating oily and acne-prone skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Caution: This oil contains trace amounts of furocoumarins which can promote phototoxicity on the skin. Use sparingly and avoid sun exposure or other UV radiation for 12 hours after regular application.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MYRRH – Commiphora Myrrha, C. Molmol

A great essential oil for skin repair, I use myrrh as part of my mature skin formulations. Myrrh essential oils is a potent viscous liquid, one of its constituents, curzerene, has wound-healing properties. This essential oil can also prevent the appearance of fine lines. Since it can help heal the skin, this essential oil is especially useful at treating skin eruptions such as acne.

Safe use: Non-irritant in dilution. Only use extremely well diluted (less than 0.2%) for pregnant women or when breastfeeding.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CORIANDER – Coriandrum Sativum

Wonderfully aromatic, this antiseptic essential oil can help to clear pimples and is useful for dealing with the occasional spot.

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CUMIN – Cuminum Cyminum

A warming essential oil that calms nerves, it has an antiseptic action that helps control acne as well as psoriasis and eczema.

Safe use: Dilute well (less than 0.5%). Avoid using for 12 hours prior to sun exposure.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LEMONGRASS – Cymbopogon Citratus, C. Flexuosus

Lemongrass essential oil is antiseptic and astringent and great for oily and/or acne-prone skin. It relieves acne. The levels of citral in the oil have sedative properties so this makes lemongrass essential oil ideal for night time toners and cleansers. Note that the scent of lemongrass will dominate a blend.

Safe use: Use very well diluted only (less than 0.5%). Avoid use on hypersensitive skin and also on children less than 7 years old.

CITRONELLA – Cymbopogon Nardus

Citronella essential oil comes from the same lemongrass species known as cymbopogon. Known for its insect-repellent properties, this essential oil is great at warding off fungal and bacterial infections because of its citronellol and geraniol components.

Safe use: Contains borneol which can cause nausea in high amounts. Non-irritating when diluted. Do not use when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PALMAROSA – Cymbopogon Martinii

With hints of rose, Palmarosa essential oil is great for skincare because of its balancing action. It helps control sebum secretion in oily skin helping keep skin’s elasticity. This oil can unclog pores, its antiseptic properties is effective against the bacteria that causes acne.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution (less than 5%).

Last update on 2020-12-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

EUCALYPTUS – Eucalyptus Globulus

An antiseptic and warming essential oil, it balances and tones the skin. It helps unclog pores and cleanse oily and/or acne prone skin. Please note there are other types of eucalyptus essential oils, I’ve mentioned on my Top 10 Essential Oils to Have on Hand article.

Safe use: Non-toxic externally, non-irritant in dilution (less than 20%). Avoid near the nose or face on children who are under 7 years old.

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CARDAMOM – Elettaria Cardamomum

With its unique therapeutic properties, cardamom essential oil has a really nice effect on the skin. It cleanses and tones complexions and gives the skin a young appearance. It has a strong aroma so use sparingly.

Safe use: Non-irritating in dilution. Do not use on pregnant women or while breastfeeding.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

WINTERGREEN – Gaultheria Fragrantissima or Gaultheria Procumbens

An essential oil that should be used sparingly. This essential oil is too strong for the face but it can help treat acne on the body when well diluted because of its antiseptic and astringent action.

Safe use: Dilute well before use (less than 2%). Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding. Not suitable for young children. Avoid if on anticoagulant medication and also if sensitive to aspirin.

HELICHRYSUM (IMMORTELLE) – Helichrysum Italicum

Known as immortelle (or “everlasting” oil), helichrysum is a wonderful oil with regenerative properties that soothes and cools the skin. Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, it helps to heal skin eruptions as well as scars. Being anti-inflammatory and regenerative means that it is very useful for treating skin problems such as acne, boils, abscesses, bruises and dermatitis. Helichrysum essential oil’s calming action help soothe allergic skin breakouts.

Safe use: To use well diluted (at less than 0.5%).

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

JUNIPERBERRY – Juniperus Communis

Juniperberry essential oil has a balancing and toning effect on the skin. It contains around 11% myrcene which has the ability to calm and soothe. It also has around 45% alpha-pinene which acts as an antimicrobal that can combat skin infections. It is astringent as well as detoxifying, it will help to balance oily skin and acne skin prone and blackheads skin prone. It can also help to unblock pores.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Caution: Make sure your juniperberry essential oil is not produced from the twigs and needles of the tree, which is quite aromatic and a low-grade oil that can irritate your skin.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil 100% Therapeutic Pure 15 ML (8025)
Juniper Essential Oil promotes and improves blood circulation; Helps cure tooth aches; Aides in the removal of gases from the intestines

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LAVENDER – Lavandula Angustifolia / Lavandula Officinalis

Known as a very versatile oil and for its calming effect, lavender essential oil is an effective skin healer because of its soothing effects. Lavender is regenerative and can help ease acne and acne rosacea.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LAVANDIN – Lavandula Abrialis / Lavandula x Intermedia

The hybrid plant of true lavender (lavandula angustifolia) and spike lavender (lavandula latifolia), lavanding has the same uses as lavender (right above) but tends to be higher in camphor (between 7-12%) which makes it an uplifting and powerful essential oil, therefore good for colds. Here you have a little more information on this lovely essential oil. Check out the recipe below with lavandin (that’s the recipe I use for my acne-prone skin cream formula). Here’s Mercola on lavandin, always useful. And another interesting article on lavandin here.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LITSEA – Litsea Cubeba

Litsea is also known as May Chang. It balances the skin and its antiseptic properties are great for skincare products. Being astringent and anti-inflammatory it can help control acne and also assists in the healing of breakouts. It balances oily and combination skin.

Safe use: Use well diluted (less than 0.5%). Not suitable for children under 7 or if your skin is hypersensitive.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

GERMAN CHAMOMILE – Matricaria Recutita

Mildly astringent, it can help clean blocked pores. Check below for a fantastic facial cleanser, a mask and a gel that incorporate this glorious essential oil.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PEPPERMINT – Mentha x Piperita

Peppermint essential oil has many therapeutic benefits. Known for its cooling as well as antiseptic properties, it can help clear out bacteria and dead skin, which makes it a great essential oil for acne-prone skin as well as oily skin. Its SPF (sun protection factor) is rated as 7, which is ideal for use in creams, gels and lotions in the daytime.

Safe use: Use well diluted (less than 2%). Avoid use in cardiac fibrillation. Not to be used on children. Overexposure to this oil can cause severe skin reactions/sensitisation. Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

NATRAL 1oz (30ml) Peppermint Essential Oil, 100% Pure & Natural, Large 1 Oz Bottle
Highest Quality Essential Oil; Tested to Ensure Meets All ISO Standards; Perfect to Create a Soothing Aromatherapy Experience

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

TEA TREE – Melaleuca Alternifolia

A great antiseptic, tea tree is a fantastic oil to keep as part of your first aid kit. This wonderful essential oil can help control acne and it is a very popular ingredient in many skin remedies. A great oil that is used for treating viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Be aware that many creams and products nowadays add tea tree to the formulation particularly when aiming at acne prone skin. Basically, don’t over do it with tea tree as you might be using too much of it on a daily basis. Check with your dermatologist if you think this is the case.

Safe use: Non-irritant in dilutions of less than 10%. Non-toxic externally. Overexposure to tea tree oil can cause skin irritation and sensitisation.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CAJUPUT – Melaleuca Cajuputi

Cajuput is a member of the tea tree family, being very similar to tea tree in terms of its properties but milder (also the aroma is not as strong). This essential oil tones the skin helping to keep the bacteria that is responsible for causing acne at bay. It can decongest the skin and its antimicrobial action makes it a fantastic addition to skincare formulations aimed at oily and acne-prone skin.

Safe use: Non-irritant, non-toxic externally. Avoid using hear the nose of children under 7.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

NIAOULI – Melaleuca Viridiflora / Melaleuca Quinquenervia

A gentler version of tea tree which is even suitable for sensitive skin. It can help calm acne and balance oily skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant.

Last update on 2021-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MELISSA/LEMON BALM – Melissa Officinalis

Lemon Balm (Melissa) is a fantastic essential oil often added to skincare products because of its anti-inflammatory and calming action on irritated skin. It tones the skin with its stimulating action on our circulation and not only it has a toning and tightening effect on the skin but it also brightens complexions that are dull looking. Its antibacterial properties makis it a great essential oil to treat acne as well as other skin eruptions like cold sores.

Safe use: Non-toxic externally. Sensitization possible. Use well diluted.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BASIL – Ocimum Basilicum

A great essential oil that enhances wellbeing as well as toning and balancing the skin. It refreshes complexions and helps to control acne.

Safe use: Basil essential oil can be potentially toxic over time. Dilute extremely well (at less than 0.5%) and do not use for prolonged periods of time. Avoid if pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Avoid in anyone 15 years old or below.

Last update on 2022-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SWEET MARJORAM – Origanum Majorana

Extracted by steam distillation of the dried herb, sweet marjoram is used in aromatherapy to help ease tension and pain, so it is a great essential oil to use in products for people who feel stressed. Acting as a sedative, sweet marjoram can help soothe the nervous system. It also has strong antibacterial properties. Great when added to night time products like creams, oils and lotions.

Safe use: Non-irritating. Avoid when pregnant or if breastfeeding.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

GERANIUM – Pelargonium Graveolens

I love geranium essential oil because it is a fantastic oil for many skincare products (it is suitable for all skin types), it smells wonderful and it is also good for children as well as adults. Geranium balances emotions and reduces restlessnes, being used to help treat anxiety in adults and children. On the skin it has a balancing and reviving, particularly when irritated or weather damaged. Geranium essential oil not only tones the skin but its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties can help control acne.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution. Sensitisation possible.

Last update on 2022-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PARSLEY SEED – Petroselinum Crispum

Parsley seed essential oil is antibacterial with really good detoxing properties. It tones the skin and its antifungal and antibacterial properties makes it a good oil to treat acne, skin infections and pimples. Also good for disinfecting pores.

Safe use: Use well diluted at less than 1%. To avoid using when breastfeeding or during pregnancy.

Parsley Seed Essential Oil (Petroselinum Sativum) 100% Pure and Natural - 5 ML
100% Pure and Natural Essential Oil; Ethically Sourced Farm Direct, Quality Guaranteed!; Laboratory Tested (SDS and COA)
$9.15

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PINE – Pinus Sylvestris

Extracted by steam distillation of the needles, pine essential oil is used in aromatherapy to ease symptoms such as shortness of breath and to ease respiratory tract infections. Being a natural antiseptic it can clear out bacteria and dead skin, which makes it an ideal essential oil for acne-prone skin as well as oily skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant in dilution. Make sure you’re getting the pinus sylvestris variety as other varieties may be irritant or toxic.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PATCHOULI – Pogostemon Cablin

When I was younger I found the aroma of patchouli a little overwhelming. It was very popular in the 70s (at least in my home town) and I wasn’t very patchouli-inclined (I was very young then and I found it too strong). Nowadays, I love it. I think as the body grows and matures it learns to appreciate deeper and stronger fragrances.

Patchouli essential oil heals and soothes the skin, revitalising ageing complexions. It can cleanse, tone and repair the skin; it is a regenerative oil that can moisturise dry skin but also help balance oily skin because it regulates sebum secretion. A good essential oil for acne-prone skin (it helps to control acne); being antiseptic it can help to treat pimple-prone skin.

Safe use: Non-toxic, non-irritant in dilution.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ROSEMARY – Rosmarinus Officinalis

Rosemary essential oil is a wonderful addition to conditioners, shampoos and general scalp tonics to strengthen hair as well as preventing hair loss.

Being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral it is a great essential oil for skin infections. Good for oily skin and acne.

Safe use: Non-irritant in dilution. Avoid use near the nose in children under 7. Avoid using on people with high blood pressure or epilepsy.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SAGE – Salvia Officinalis

I wasn’t sure if I should add sage to the list, but being astringent means sage makes an ideal essential oil for a skin toner. It can act as an antiseptic (helps fight bad breath and gum disease), its circulation boosting properties can help minimise and tone the appearance of open pores as well as improving the skin.

Safe use: Use very well diluted at less than 0.5%. Avoid if pregnant or breastfeeding. Avoid on children under 15. This essential oil is toxic if ingested.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BENZOIN – Styraz Benzoin

Benzoin has been solvent extracted from the resin of the benzoin tree. Benzoin Sumatra (Styrax Tonkinensis) is a variety used in perfumes as it has a scent similar to vanilla. Benzoin has fantastic wound healing properties.

Safe use: Avoid using during pregnancy. Benzoin is a skin sensitiser so use with caution on skin that is hypersensitive.

Benzoin Essential Oil (Stryax Benzoin), Therapeutic Grade, Pure and Natural (10 ml (0.33 Ounce))
Therapeutic Grade; 10 ml (0.33 ounce) bottle; Uncut and undiluted; Thick and sticky

Last update on 2020-04-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CLOVE – Syzygium Aromaticum / Eugenia Caryophyllata

Clove essential oil is analgesic and antiseptic so great for mouthwash when it comes to oral infections. In terms of skincare, clove essential oil calms and treats the skin and it is an excellent addition to acne treatments. The oil helps to reduce painful inflammation that has gone red and it also can kill the bacteria that causes acne.

Safe use: Use very well diluted at less than 0.5%. Avoid on damaged skin as well as hypersensitive skin. Avoid on children under 7.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

THYME – Thymus Vulgaris

Thyme essential oil is an effective antiseptic which helps to clear fungal infections (very good to loosen phlegm as well as fighting colds). It can help clear acne, in fact, studies have shown that thyme essential oil can be more effective than benzoyl peroxide when it comes to killing the bacteria that causes acne: propionibacterium acnes.

Safe use: Use well diluted at less than 2%.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

VANILLA – Vanilla Planifolia

Yes, that’s right. Vanilla essential oil (quite a new essential oil on the scene) can not only be helpful at repairing damaged or rough skin but it can also help treat acne because of its mild antibacterial properties. It can fight the bacteria that is responsible for acne as well as reducing the appearance of blackheads, spots and minor pimples. Not bad for this aromatic plant!

Safe use: Non-toxic and non-irritant.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin – Equipment Needed & DIY Recipes

I’ve mentioned in the acne-prone skin DIY recipes below most of the essential oils mentioned above in some form or another (I have left out a few from the list). I didn’t think you’d need to try all of them and also I didn’t want to overwhelm you with the options. I need to list all of the essential oils for acne prone skin because I use the list myself for my formulations, but you can slowly get started with a couple of them and see how you get on.

**DIY Recipes with Essential Oils for Acne Prone Skin: Being Aware of Phototoxicity & Skin Sensitisation**

Below you’ll find easy to create essential oil recipes for acne prone skin. PLEASE bear in mind that you need to stick to the amounts mentioned below because some of these oils can cause phototoxicity and/or skin sensitisation.

Equipment Needed

Below is all the equipment you would need to prepare your blends/mixes at home. You might have some or all of the below already. Repurpose some of your containers, bottles, etc, make sure to disinfect them before placing your mixed product inside.

1. SCALES

You’ll need to be very precise with the amount of product used to blend the essential oils in. I recommend Amir Digital Kitchen Scales (I have 3 of them). It’s not 100% exact at times when it comes to the tiny numbers but you’re measuring your essential oils in drops so they’re more than good enough for weighing the product you’re mixing them with (gels, cleansers, toners, etc). I personally weigh essential oils rather than going by drops, but for home use the drop-measure should be fine.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

**If you want to take it further and give to your friends, family members, etc you should look into weighing your essential oils rather than measuring by drops. If so, use an appropriate scale, (here’s one very similar to the one I use). Tip: fold a napkin in 4 and place over the weighing plate (protection for possible spills), place your tiny bowl on top and then switch the scale on.

2. CONTAINERS

Once you make your mix you’ll need to place the product in pumps, spray bottles and jars. You can use containers you already have at home (i.e. I buy citronella sprays which come in the PERFECT spray bottle for my toners) or just purchase your containers. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ALWAYS REUSE OR RECYCLE!! Containers need to be dark as per to keep the product safe from light, which can damage it, so I’ve chosen blue or amber colours, which are the ones I use for my formulations.

CLEANSERS / GELS
2 different sizes depending on the amount you’re intending to prepare.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Cornucopia 4oz Amber Glass Pump Bottles (4-Pack); Great for Lotions, Liquid Soap, Aromatherapy and More
CAPACITY: 4 fluid ounces = 1/2 cup = 118 ml; SIZE: Height 6 inches. Diameter 2 inches.; LOCKABLE PUMPS: Pumps twist and lock for easy closure for transport or storage.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

TONERS
For toners you can use the following spray bottles

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Sale
Vivaplex 2 oz Glass Bottles, with Black Fine Mist Sprayers, Cobalt Blue, 12-Count
12 - 2 oz, Cobalt blue Glass Bottles, with Black Fine Mist Sprayers, and Dust caps.; Perfect for essential oils, perfume oils, and other liquids.
$24.99 −$15.00 $9.99

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CREAMS JARS
These amber jars I chose are nicely priced and have good reviews. I use the 15ml ones for some of my formulations and love them. You’ll need the 50ml one if you’re going to be mixing 30ml (about 1oz) product with your essential oil drops. I think it’s better for you to try different essential oil combinations and see which one your skin loves most, so I suggest you only mix 30ml (1oz) of product first and see how it goes before making big amounts which gives you no ‘space’ for trying other mixes.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. DISINFECTANT

To disinfect your pumps, spray bottles and jars you’ll need 70% alcoho. More on disinfecting with alcohol at 70% here.

Pre-Labeled GHS Spray Bottles - Isopropyl Alcohol 70% - 24oz (Supplied Empty)
NOTICE: THIS BOTTLE IS EMPTY - Contains No Chemicals Inside.; 24oz and 32oz bottles have a fully adjustable spray nozzle - 1.4ml per stroke
$11.95

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Product Bases

In terms of product bases, I chose a cleanser, a toner, a moisturising gel and a moisturising cream for you to mix your different essential oils with. If you already have your favourite products, just add the essential oils to them. If you don’t or you’d like to try new ones, the below are apt for acne-prone skin. **You don’t have use all of them at once, you can start with one and see how it goes or you can cleanse, tone, and moisturise using the suggested blends. Up to you, the idea is that you learn what your skin loves and build your routine from there.

CLEANSER by Clay Lotus

This is a beautiful, beautiful cleanser. Check out the ingredients! Love it.

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

TONER (4 Options)

Here are 4 toners that I really, really liked:

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GEL (2 Options)

Two options, one with xantham gum (I use it in my formulations) and one without. I don’t mind it and I’m learning how to thicken properly with it but if you’d like to know a bit more about it before making your decision here’s an article that might be of help.

Aloe Vera Gel from Organic Cold Pressed Aloe for Face, Body, and Hair, 12 fl. oz.
Moisturizing for skin, hair, and cuticles; Great for after sun skin care; Use as after shave, hair gel, or leave in conditioner; also great for pets
$21.95

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

CREAM

My suggestion will be Nature My Body All Natural Facial Cream because it doesn’t contain any essential oils and the ingredients list is beautiful. Please note it does have avocado oil (comedogenic rating 3) so only use if you already know your skin is ok with it. Here’s an article I always refer to when in doubt. Tash from Holistic Health Herbalist suggests to use the oil at night and I agree.

**Note: I’ve published a post on a great organic moisturizers for acne prone skin and there’s also Christina Moss Naturals’ Organic Moisturiser which has star anise seed oil (not mentioned above by the way) but if you acquire these moisturizers DON’T USE THEM for the blends suggested below as they already contain essential oils and we don’t want to go over the suggested dilution rates.

Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


FACIAL CLEANSERS

German Chamomile Essential Oil Cleanser

Used diluted at 1-2%, you can add 12 drops of German Chamomile essential oil to 30ml (1oz) of your chosen cleanser and apply as you would normally do (i.e. I pump onto a cotton wool some of the lovely DIY cleanser I make and apply to my face cleansing with circular movements). Alternatively you can add to 30ml (1oz) of a face cream or toner.

Lemongrass Essential Oil Night Cleanser

(Dilution: 0.5%)
Add 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of a cleanser and apply.

Rosemary Essential Oil Cleanser

(Dilution: 1-2%)
Add 6 to 12 drops of rosemary essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen cleanser and apply.

Cardamom Essential Oil Cleanser

(Dilution: 1-2%)
Being quite aromatic (cardamom has a powerful scent because it is high on eucalyptol) I thought you might prefer to use in your cleanser rather than a moisture gel or moisture cream, which are ‘stay-on’ products. To use, add 6 to 12 drops of cardamom essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen cleanser and apply.

SKIN TONERS

The below essential oils can be added to a skin toner. All you have to do is add the indicated amount of drops to your favourite skin toner or get one of the suggested toners above.

Again, make sure to follow the suggested dilution using the exact number of drops mentioned below please (so, 6 drops means 6 drops, not 7 or 8!). SHAKE WELL YOUR TONER BEFORE APPLYING, ESSENTIAL OILS DON’T MIX WITH WATER AND THEY WILL FLOAT TO THE TOP!!

Lemon Essential Oil Skin Toner

(Dilution: 1.5%)
Add 9 drops of lemon essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) to your chosen toner.

Grapefruit Essential Oil Skin Toner

(Dilution: 1%)
For oily skin and acne add 6 drops of grapefruit essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen skin toner.

Cajuput Essential Oil Skin Toner

(Dilution: 1-2%)
Add 6 to 12 drops of cajuput essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen skin toner.

MOISTURISING GELS

Gels are a good option for acne prone skin as they’re water based and don’t feel greasy on the skin. For the base gel, the above suggestions will work or if you have a favourite one you can use it. Make sure to mix the essential oils well into the gel, stir til you feel comfortable the essential oil and gel are well combined.

Bergamot Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1-2%)
Add 6 to 12 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Lemongrass Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 0.5%)
For acne just add 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 drops of juniper berry essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Lemon Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 drops of lemon essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Lemongrass Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 0.5%)
Add 3 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Benzoin Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 to 8 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Citronella Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Myrrh Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 to 8 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Peppermint Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 0.5%)
Add 3 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

Pine Essential Oil Moisture Gel

(Dilution: 1%)
Add 6 drops in 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture gel.

MOISTURISING CREAMS

If you’re ok with using creams instead of gel (or maybe as part of your night routine), then the below recipes can be helpful for acne-prone skin.

Tea Tree Essential Oil Moisture Cream

(Dilution: 2%)
Add 12 drops of tea tree essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture cream. If you prefer to use tea tree essential oil on a toner or cleanser you can add 12 to 18 drops instead.

Cajuput Essential Oil Moisture Cream

(Dilution: 1%)
As an alternative to tea tree oil, especially if you’re using a lot of tea tree in your products, add 6 drops of cajuput essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen moisture cream.

Sweet Marjoram Essential Oil Night Cream

(Dilution: 2%)
Since sweet marjoram can act as a sedative, this is a perfect essential oil to use at night. Add 12 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil to 30ml (1fl oz) of your chosen cream at night.

MASKS

French Green Clay, Organic Jojoba, Tea Tree & Cajuput Essential Oil Acne Spot-Treatment NIGHT Mask

Apply this spot treatment to your acne breakout before going to bed: 5 drops tea tree essential oil, 5 drops cajuput essential oil and 5 drops grapefruit essential oil. Half a teaspoon organic jojoba oil, 1 cup French green clay (contains minerals that will help to detoxify the skin) and half a cup witch hazel hydrosol/floral water (being an astringent Witch Hazel will help close pores). Here’s a link to Quinn’s Alcohol Free Witch Hazel which also has organic Aloe Vera, Glycerin (humectant), and Grapefruit Seed Extract.

To make: combine essential oils and jojoba oil together into a beaker. In a bowl, combine clay and essential oils + jojoba oil blend. Gradually pour in the witch hazel hydrosol/floral water to avoid the formation of clumps and stir until you get a paste. Transfer to a jar and seal. It’ll last for around 2 to 3 weeks.

To use wipe your face with a cloth that has been soaked in warm water first. Scoop out a little of the product you’ve made using a spoon and apply with your fingers to the affected areas on your face. Leave the product on during the night and in the morning rinse off with warm water. Mist afterwords with some of the witch hazel toner you used to make the mask (transfer to a pump bottle, have a look at the suggested pump bottles above), or use one of the toners also suggested above, or simply use your favourite toner. Afterwords apply aloe vera gel (this one is without xantham gum) or your favourite gel to your face.

Kaolin Clay, Organic Jojoba, Tea Tree & German Chamomile Acne Mask

Ingredients: a quarter cup (60ml) kaolin clay, a quarter cup (60ml) warm filtered water (around 86F/30 Celsius), 1 teaspoon (5ml) organic jojoba oil, 1 drop German chamomile essential oil and 1 drop tea tree essential oil.

Place the clay in a bowl. Stir while gradually pouring in the warm water. Stir until you get it to look smooth and shiny. If the mixture seems dry, add some water (around half a teaspoon) at a time, until the desired texture has been reached.

Now combine the organic jojoba oil and German chamomile essential oil and tea tree essential oil in a beaker. Next, add to the clay mix and stir until all is well combined.

Transfer to a jar and seal. If stored properly it should keep for 2 months.

To apply, wash and dry your face. Massage some of the mixture (about half a teaspoon) all over your face using your fingertips and leave it to dry for around 10 minutes. Proceed to remove with a sponge or cloth and warm water. Next, apply some gel (see above gel mixes or use your favourite gel).

Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Argan, Tea Tree & German Chamomile Gel

1 drop German chamomile essential oil, 1 drop tea tree essential oil, 2 tbsp (30ml) organic aloe vera gel and 1 tsp (5ml) organic argan oil. In a beaker combine the tea tree and German chamomile essential oils. Essential oils are volatile so you’ll need to cover the mix with plastic wrap or foil paper while preparing the rest.

To make: for the base, place the 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel inside a bowl and add the organic argan oil. Stir until they emulsify. Add the essential oil blend to the emulsification and stir until combined.

Transfer to a jar and seal. It should keep for up to 2 months.

To use, cleanse your face first (use any of the cleansers mentioned above). Then, dab the gel onto your acne spots and let it dry. When finished, moisturise with a moisturising cream (see suggested options above).

OTHER BLENDS

Find below some helpful blends:

Thyme & Tangerine Essential Oils Skin Toner

Choose a toner from the toners suggested above or use your favourite one and measure 90ml (3fl oz). Add to this 2 drops of thyme essential oil and 2 drops of tangerine essential oil. Make sure to shake the blend really well as the essential oils will sit at the top. Pour the blend into a spray bottle and use as a refreshing spritzer (cover your eyes when applying) or apply directly to cotton wool and lovingly rub softly onto face.

Palmarosa, Tea Tree & Lavandin Blend

Add up to 1% of a mix of the 3 essential oils (palmarosa, tea tree and lavandin) to 30ml (1fl oz) of your cream. You’ll need to measure with an appropriate scale (here’s one very similar to the one I use) to weigh your 1%. Make sure your chosen cream DOES NOT CONTAIN essential oils already! Otherwise add to aloe vera gel.

Fenugreek Facial Oil

Even though fenugreek has not been added to the list above it can also help with acne-prone skin. Just add 4 to 6 drops of fenugreek essential oil to 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil (a very light oil!) which is NOT comedogenic. More on fenugreek essential oil here.

That’s It!

This has been a long post. Take your time, learn about the different essential oils for acne-prone skin and most importantly, learn what you skin loves. Everyone’s skin is different and the trick lies in knowing your own.


Other Acne-Prone Skin Related Articles

I keep adding acne-prone related articles to my arsenal of informative articles. Check them below (I update as I write more entries):

Best Organic Moisturizer for Acne Prone Skin: Impressive Products

Best Natural Face Wash for Acne: Oil Based Option and with Foaming Agents Option

Best Natural Toner for Acne & Acne-Prone Skin: Two Beautiful Products


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