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The 11 Best Essential Oils for Acne

Women's Wear Daily (WWD) logoWomen's Wear Daily (WWD) 1/20/2021 Emily Belfiore
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Those with acne-prone skin may see significant improvement in their complexion by incorporating essential oils into their skin-care routine.

Offering a natural blemish-fighting treatment, the best essential oils for acne boast potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, allowing them to not only reduce the size and redness of active breakouts, but also successfully remove acne-causing agents from the pores to prevent future blemishes from forming. Additionally, using essential oils in skin care benefits those with oily skin thanks to their sebum-absorbing abilities, another essential acne-fighting factor. Beyond the realms of acne prevention, they also stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process and help fade acne scars and discoloration, creating a brighter and more even complexion.

What to know before using the best essential oils for acne

Like with any new skin-care product or ingredient, it’s highly recommended to perform a patch test before applying your chosen essential oil directly to your face, especially if you’ve decided to use it as a spot treatment or have known skin sensitivities. This will ensure that your skin isn’t irritated by the essential oil and guarantee a successful acne treatment.

Essential oils are also known for their dense oil composition, which may result in the clogging of the pores in some users. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to combine your essential oil with water or carrier oils such as jojoba oil or rosehip seed oil in order to effectively dilute it without hindering its efficacy. This dilution process will also help minimize irritation as well.

Below, explore the best essential oils for acne that will help you combat acne in all of its forms.

Lavender

Suitable for all skin types, lavender essential oil makes for an excellent solution to fading acne scars thanks to its regenerative effect on the skin. In addition to stimulating cell renewal, this essential oil, which is commonly associated with instilling feelings of calmness, also boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help reduce redness and prevent acne-causing agents from causing future breakouts. Implement it into your skin care routine with Vitruvi’s Organic Lavender Essential Oil.

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Vitruvi Organic Lavender Essential Oil $40 Buy Now

Rosemary

For those with oily complexions, rosemary essential oil helps regulate sebum production in the skin, which simultaneously prevents the clogging of your pores as it helps keep breakouts, inflammation and infection at bay. This multipurpose essential oil can also be applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth as well. Implement it into your beauty routine with Gya Labs’ Rosemary Essential Oil.

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Peppermint

Renowned for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, peppermint essential oil aids in the cleansing of acne-causing bacteria from the skin and provides an excellent defense against the formation of future pimples. Additionally, it delivers relief from irritation and inflammation, making it a natural remedy for dry, itchy skin types. Implement it into your skin care routine with Artizen’s Peppermint Essential Oil.

a close up of a bottle: artizen, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) artizen, best essential oils for acne Buy: Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil $25

Tea Tree Oil

Commonly used to treat wounds, tea tree essential oil effectively treats and clears acne at the same level of intensity as popular blemish-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid without causing dryness or irritation. Ideal for balancing your skin’s sebum production, this powerful essential oil also boasts impressive antiseptic properties and helps clear the pores of acne-causing bacteria, fungi and more. Implement it into your skin care routine with Healing Solutions Tea Tree Essential Oil.

whiteboard: healing solution, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) healing solution, best essential oils for acne Buy: Healing Solutions Tea Tree Essential Oil $6

Grapefruit

Delivering a potent dose of collagen-stimulating vitamin C into your acne-fighting regimen, grapefruit essential oil not only helps promote a brighter complexion but plays a significant role in fading discoloration and clearing breakouts thanks to its antioxidant-rich composition. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Cliganic’s Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil.

cliganic, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) cliganic, best essential oils for acne Buy: Cliganic Organic Grapefruit Essential Oil $10

Lemon

A powerful acne fighter thanks to its oil-absorbing abilities, lemon essential oil acts as a balancing toner for those with oily, acne-prone skin while also restoring its natural radiance. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Plant Therapy’s Lemon Essential Oil.

a close up of a bottle: plant therapy, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) plant therapy, best essential oils for acne

Buy: Plant Therapy Lemon Essential Oil $11

Sandalwood

Gentle enough for those with sensitive skin, sandalwood essential oil boasts potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties that may benefit those prone to cystic acne breakouts. Its oil composition allows it to penetrate deep into the skin, making it successful at preventing the formation of surface-level acne pustules or papules. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Gya Labs’ Sandalwood Essential Oil.

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Carrot Seed

Rich in anti-inflammatory beta-caryophyllene and cell-regenerating vitamin A, carrot seed essential oil has been found to reduce the size and appearance of breakouts and acne scars in the skin. Doubling as an effective skin moisturizer, this versatile essential oil also replenishes missing hydration while imparting a healthy glow. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Plant Therapy’s Carrot Seed Essential Oil.

a close up of a bottle with Jack Daniel's in the background: plant therapy, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) plant therapy, best essential oils for acne Buy: Plant Therapy Carrot Essential Oil $11

Cypress

Cypress essential oil fortifies any existing acne-prone skin care regimen with its sebum-absorbing properties, which allows it to effectively soak up excess oil from the pores and prevent future breakouts. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Esslux’s Cypress Essential Oil.

esslux, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) esslux, best essential oils for acne Buy: Esslux Cypress Essential Oil $10

Frankincense

A centuries-old remedy for healing wounds, frankincense essential oil aids in the repair of the connective tissue in the skin and boasts powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and irritation-alleviating benefits. In addition to aiding in the reduction and prevention of acne, it also has a rejuvenating effect on the skin, making it excellent for boosting radiance. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Handcraft Blend’s Frankincense Essential Oil.

a close up of a bottle: handcraft blend, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) handcraft blend, best essential oils for acne Buy: Handcraft Blends Frankincense Essential Oil $18

Patchouli

Highly sought after for its invigorating aroma, patchouli essential oil aids in the production of cell tissue and the repair of dry, inflamed skin. For those with acne-prone skin, it will help accelerate the clearing of your breakouts and acne scars while its antibacterial properties remove all traces of future acne-causing agents. Implement it into your skin-care routine with Sun Essential Oils’ Patchouli Essential Oil.

sun essential oils, best essential oils for acne © Provided by Women's Wear Daily (WWD) sun essential oils, best essential oils for acne Buy: Sun Essential Oils Patchouli Essential Oils $9
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