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Treating acne with Essential Oils?

Published by DR, M.D. Simone Van Horne in SKIN · 27/9/2015 19:23:00

Treating acne with Essential Oils?

“Glamour is feeling good in your own skin”. Zoe Saldana.


Acne is a horrible condition, and many with this issue feel uncomfortable in their own skin. A long accepted idea about acne is too much oil is produced, an patients dry the face out as much as possible. In doing so, they worsen things and cause a breakout. Not all oils are created equal, and studies have actually shown that acne patients have inadequate essential fatty acids in their skin. For this reason, oil free products is not always the way to go. We just need increased knowledge of what are the right ones.

Sebum production

Wheat germ oil, borage seed oil, and grape seed oil are all a great source of linoleic acid which is present in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Patients with comedones have been shown in studies to have a decrease in the size and inflammation of these with linoleic acid. Less sebum is produced, and the follicles are less inflamed,

Controlling inflammation

Fish oil is well known even in heart disease to impact inflammation at the level of the blood vessels. Studies show that they do the same for the skin when taken orally as a supplement and in diet. The amount of anti-inflammatory properties, it requires for this effect is more than in one’s diet, and hence supplements are required.

Marigold flower oil is also quite potent in it’s ability to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Balancing Oil Production

If one over-dries the skin, the skin reacts by producing an excessive amount of sebum which will worsen the acne flare. Jojoba seed oil closely resembles the sebum that we produce, but when applied, decreases the amount of oils produced. This is important in its use as a cleanser in daily regimens, because the natural oils will be removed, the skin will produce less oil in the form of sebum and less breakouts will occur!

Antibacterial Oils

Tea tree leaf oil is well known to have astringent and anti-bacterial properties. It also helps to bring oxygen into the pores, which the bacteria hate. Eucalyptus (blue gum) leaf oil is also quite potent in this regard, and is not as drying. Grapefruit peel oil is an anti-septic and astringent – it will decrease the bacteria, but won’t kill them.

There are many other well-known treatments for acne, but this discussion was to simply highlight that oils are not necessarily bad for acne, and there are many natural oils which we can use on their own, or integrated in skin care products.

Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that beholder is you.

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