Using essential oils for acne is an incredibly effective way to zap those zits without damaging your skin. There are 4 essential oils I believe are effective in soothing, healing and preventing blemishes. Plus, adding tamanu oil gives you a powerhouse combo to help remedy acne prone skin the natural way. In this post, I will also give you an easy DIY zit zapper roll on recipe!
Having irritated, blemished skin can be so frustrating. I have learned that in order to find a solution to acne prone skin, you must get to the root of the problem as well as gently treat your skin topically.
Today I’m going to talk about how to use essential oils for acne plus share a DIY zit zapper recipe for acne that will not only help kill bacteria, it will also reduce redness and swelling and regenerate new skin! It’s gentle yet effective and so easy to make!
Despite being in the skin care business, I have always battled my skin. You name the skin issue, and I’ve probably had it. I’ve tried everything you can think of in the pursuit of beautiful skin. Seriously, giving people facials while I had ugly skin was mortifying. I worked in spas and had just about every skin treatment at my fingertips. My poor skin was so over processed.
I’m not going to claim that I’ve found a magic potion that cleared my skin because it’s just not out there. What I have learned is that so much contributes to blemished skin, especially lifestyle. Stress and hormones wreak havoc on your skin and until those factors are settled, skin will stay in a state of imbalance and probably continue to clog no matter what product you apply.
Ok, enough 0f the Debbie Downer routine-there are things you can do in order to manage your skin that will help immensely. Essential oils are an excellent choice when trying to clear up acne. Many essential oils are antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal and anti inflammatory-those are amazing words when it comes to acne!
Over Sensitized Skin from Harsh Products
What I love about DIY recipes for breakouts is that they are gentle. Harsh exfoliants and chemicals might clear your skin for a time, but holy crap!!! Your poor skin will pay the price.
Many people that suffer from clogged skin actually cause their skin to be over sensitive and overly dry by using strong products. Sensitive skin is something you don’t need when trying to clear up zits and dry skin can add to the pain of the blemishes! It becomes a vicious cycle-dried out skin tries to compensate by producing more oil which leads to more clogs. Sensitive skin reacts which leads to more blemishes.
Essential Oils for Acne Benefits:
- Relieves Cystic Acne
- Balance Excessive Oiliness
- Clears Blackheads
- Reduces Sensitivity
- Fades Scarring
How to Use Essential Oils for Acne:
- Tea Tree and Frankincense are gentle enough that most skin types don’t need to dilute them. I apply them straight to a blemish. I know using any oils without diluting them is very controversial. Everyone’s skin is different but I personally use both these oils neat. That being said, be cautious and know you should do your own research before applying these essential oils without a carrier oil diluting them.
- You can also create a toner using apple cider vinegar that will help relieve acne as well.
- A light moisturizer can be made by mixing essential oils with aloe vera gel will give your skin oil free hydration, which is perfect for oily skin.
- You can also use jojoba oil mixed with essential oils. Jojoba oil is very close to the skins own sebum. When jojoba oil is applied to the skin, it helps your skin to stop over producing oils. Jojoba oil delivers moisture to dried out, sensitive skin.
- Hemp Oil is fantastic for breakouts and pairs well with essential oils for a fast absorbing serum/moisturizer.
- Making a DIY clay mask with essential oils can help purge the pores of bacteria, sebum and dirt.
More DIY Recipes for Acne
- Willow Bark Skin Serum
- Green Tea Toner (for Acne Prone Skin)
- Acne Clearing Moisturizer
- French Green Clay Mask
- DIY Clay & Tamanu Oil Cleanser
DIY Zit Zapper Recipe Ingredients
Tea Tree-Not only does melaleuca fight infection, it also helps accelerate the healing process. I would say it is the most popular essential oil used in treating acne due to it’s ability to kill bacteria and fungus. It has been compared to benzoyl peroxide which is incredibly effective in treating acne, but very harsh on the skin. That’s the beauty of melaleuca-you have the benefits without the side effects. According to holistic dermatologist, Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, tea tree essential oil is one of the best natural ingredients to treat acne.
Lavender-Lavender works well treating acne on it’s own, but is even better when paired with tea tree. It is incredibly healing and helps calm skin as well as reducing pain.
Ylang Ylang-Ylang Ylang is the balancing oil. It helps to control sebum production in the skin. It also is wonderful for tightening the skin and toning!
Frankincense-I love frankincense for 2 reasons. One, it’s super gentle and two, it helps regenerate damaged skin.
Tamanu Oil is not an essential oil but I added it to this roll on because it is one of the best, if not the best oil for oily/acne prone skin. It accelerates wound healing and has strong antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Skin Benefits of Tamanu Oil
- Reduces scarring
- Reduces stretch marks
- Accelerated healing for scrapes and acne
- Encourages skin cell regeneration
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces Pain
- Offers muscle and joint relief
- Contains a high amount of antioxidants
Isn’t this info. awesome?! I think this is great news for those of you suffering from clogged skin! You don’t have to wreck and ravage your skin in pursuit of a clear face!
Spot treatments are especially helpful when dealing with break outs. When I think of the most effective formula I could make I realized, it’s just almost too simple for a post. Tea Tree is just the best option, but adding a few more oils in for added healing and regenerating benefits might not be such a bad idea!
DIY Zit Zapper Recipe for Acne
- 10 ml Roll on bottle (find it HERE)
- Top off with Tamanu Oil (find it HERE)
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 10 drops Frankincense Essential Oil (find it HERE)
In order to see results, you must be using quality essential oils. There is a huge difference in the quality of many essential oils. I use Mountain Rose Herbs for all my essential oils. MRH oils are organic, unadulterated oils and they have an in-house aromatherapist to ensure quality. I prefer MRH because they are reasonably priced and instead of dealing with a pyramid scheme company, you just head to the website and order!
Essential oils for acne can be incredibly powerful. Not only are they a natural options, they can help zap bacteria, reduce inflammation and redness and accelerate healing!
P.S. Due to the popularity of this recipe, I now sale this roll on in my Etsy shop! Find it HERE.
Thanks for this recipe Jenni. I do have two questions: 1, you mention ylang ylang above but it isn’t in the recipe-is that on purpose? 2, I don’t currently have carrot seed oil but I do have jojoba, apricot kernel, avocado, sesame, argon and castor oils. Can I use one of them instead to start with?
Mindy! I got in a hurry and published this post too soon-I have added the correct amount of ylang ylang to the post! Thanks for catching that! When I say carrot seed oil, I am meaning the essential oil. It is way more concentrated. I wouldn’t use any carrier oils in this. I want to keep it as pure and potent as possible! Thanks!!
Thank you! I have been using eo’s for just a year or so. I just love them and love making my own beauty care products.
Hello. My 10 year old son has been having red inflamed acne around his nose area. I know this is hormonal. I have used the recipe that calls for melaleuca and other ingredients. After applying it, it seems to be inflamed. I have also began having him use your cleaner and toner recipes followed by coconut oil for te moisturizer. Is there anything else that I could be doing? Thank you.
I’ve read about coconut oil. It clog pores. I’m older and don’t worry about acne, but coconut oil gave me pimples. I’m sure Jenni has moisturizers for oily skin. Good luck!
I have a question because I’ve been really confused with the topic of EO’s lately (when it comes to skincare). I hear amazing things about skin regenerating properties, healing, etc. on natural blogs and websites but on many other websites such as Paula’s Choice and other aesthetician’s blogs they advise not to use EO’s in skincare because they cause irritation, cell death, and photo-toxicity (especially citrus oils, and bergamot and lavender). They even have attached studies that prove lavender oil is an endocrine disruptor and bergamot causes photosensitivity. I was hoping you could do a post on essential oils explaining this, with a list of EO’s to be careful with on the skin, and maybe also explain if these oils are safe if used at night instead of in the daytime? I’ve been looking for an extensive list but I keep coming across short lists that just mention citrus oils and “others”. Thanks for all you do!
Raya-Essential oils are controversial. Many people preach against them mainly because they are so powerful that if some are used incorrectly they can cause damage. It’s very simple with the photo sensitivity issue-all citrus oils may cause it so avoid those during the day. As far as lavender being and endocrine disruptor, it is simply not true. It’s based on a study that only tested only 3 boys using products that contained lavender and tea tree oils (the purity of those oils is unknown). The products also contained parabens which are the true endocrine disruptor. If you need facts and sources read THIS article for more info.
Just like all products intended for the skin, your skin’s reaction is unique to you. I grew up using proactive and other acne medications, then moved onto glycolic acids and other peels once I became an aesthetician. I irritated my skin beyond belief with those some really strong products. I love that I have been able to ditch all those products and use essential oils with better results and NO irritation. It really comes down to how your skin responds to the oils.
Thank you for the suggestion for a post-I will take you up on that! I am so dedicated to essential oils that I forget not everyone is so sold!
I hope this helps!
Do you have any opinions on african black soap ?
Jenni – I would love to make this treatment, but am hesitant to buy all of the ingredients. I wonder if you’d be open to making one roll-on treatment and letting me buy it from you? Thx!
Kara-I do not have the roller bottles to do a custom order-if you can wait a bit and are still interested, message me at my Etsy shop so we can start a custom order and I’ll order the bottles immediately. Thanks! https://www.etsy.com/shop/JRainCloudOrganics
Love the recipe. I used a little witch hazel on the spot before the oil blend and had great success. Keep them coming. I love your blog!
What oils do you use to remove dark spots on your face?
Marisela-the best oil for removing dark spots is geranium. Have you looked into Eminence’s Stone Crop Serum? I’ve had some good luck with it. Go HERE for a post on it.
I enjoy your blog, and this is a great combination of oils, but a word of caution: I tried this recipe and literally burned my skin. hours after I applied it, my skin turned red, and then it was peeling for days, almost like a sunburn. After this experience, I will be sure to dilute my EOs before applying.
Kristin-Thank you so much for letting me know this. It tingles on my sensitive skin but never burned. I will be a warning on this recipe. I’m so sorry you had this reaction!!!
Thank you! An update since then is that I diluted this recipe to about 5% with grapeseed and rosehip seed (an a small amount of avocado) oils. My skin still peeled – just not as quickly or severely. So perhaps the dilution is still too strong, or perhaps my skin can’t handle one or more of these oils. I’m not sure. I’m disappointed, because I’m still looking for a natural way to treat cystic acne.
all the best.
I’m glad to have found this post, thank you. The roll on applicator is a great idea. My only concern is to emphasize caution when using straight or “neat” formulations directly on skin. Essential oil adverse reactions can cause permanent sensitization as well as severe burns. I found out the hard way with tea tree oil, despite the generally thought belief of direct contact being safe. Use jojoba or coconut oil; any carrier oil of choice will save from a nasty reaction. Best wishes.
Hi Jenni. First of all, I really really love your blog. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge in such a generous and dedicated way. It’s amazing! And just wondering…if you have bacteria in every break out, wouldn’t if be better to avoid the roll-on bottle. Wouldn’t the bacteria get stuck in the roll-on applicator?
Maylea-Thank you! Since everything in this recipe is antibacterial and anti fungal there isn’t an issue with bacteria in the roller. Plus, once the oil gets in the roller the roller will have a lot of mobility. Thanks!
Hi Jenni, on another site I read about lemon. Oil, I. E and I want to know if ithis lomon oil will be ok if I use it as a moisturiser and clear my acne? Thanks
Gloria-I wouldn’t use lemon oil as a moisturizer-it’s not moisturizing and would probably burn. Plus, it could make you sensitive to the sun. This recipe would be great as a moisturizer if you are oily.
Thoughts about grapeseed oil? Does it actually work as they claim it does?
I tried this recipe and Tamanu Oil by itself on my acne, but cannot stand the strong grassy/nutty smell of this carrier oil. Are there any substitute carrier oils I can use?
Cheryl-Tamanu is a strong smell but it’s so good for healing acne. If you can’t stand it, I would try hazelnut oil, hemp seed oil or jojoba oil. They are all 3 good for clearing skin.