Aromatherapy Acne Treatments

These fragrant concoctions should help keep your skin clear.

Facial Toner for Oily Complexions

  • 12 drops lemongrass oil
  • 6 drops juniper berry oil
  • 2 drops ylang ylang oil
  • 1 ounce witch hazel lotion
  • 1 ounce aloe vera gel

Intensive Blemish Treatment

  • 12 drops tea tree oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregon grape root, powdered
  • a few drops of water
  • 800 units vitamin E (optional)

Stir the water and essential oil into the herb powder to make a paste. Apply as a mask directly on the blemished area. Let the paste dry and keep it on your skin for at least 20 minutes, then rinse off. This routine can be done more than once a day, if you wish. The vitamin E can be obtained by poking open a vitamin capsule and squeezing out the oil. It is a good addition when obstinate sores need to heal or if there is any chance of scarring.

Acne may not be a hazard to your health, but it does impair your looks. The problem typically is the result of clogged skin pores. When the pores and follicles (canals that contain hair shafts) are blocked, oil cannot be secreted and builds up. Bacteria feeds on the oil and multiplies. People with oily skin have a greater chance of developing acne, as do teenagers and anyone experiencing hormonal fluctuations. Although not medically proven, stress may also contribute to acne breakouts.

Luckily, quite an array of essential oils are available to help you deal with acne. That's because many oils help manage the specific underlying problems that cause acne: They balance hormones, reduce stress, improve the complexion, and regulate the skin's oil production. This makes aromatherapy the ideal treatment for blemishes, pimples, and other skin eruptions. Commercial acne remedies have long recognized this. Noxema, for example, relies on eucalyptus essential oil as its primary active ingredient because it reduces oil production and fights bacterial infection at the same time.

A salt and essential oil compress is a good way to start your acne home care program. For persistent or especially troublesome eruptions, immediately follow the compress with the Intensive Blemish Treatment seen below.

If you have oily skin, use the facial toner on this page daily. Or you can choose from any of the skin-drying and antiseptic essential oils from the following list, and then dilute them in a base of witch hazel and aloe vera gel, both of which are readily available at drugstores. The witch hazel contains alcohol, so it is especially drying, and there's no disputing that aloe vera is one of the most beneficial and healing herbs to put on your skin. Combine these with essential oils and prepare yourself for a dazzling complexion!

Essential oils for acne or an oily complexion: cedarwood, clary sage, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, juniper berry, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, sandalwood, tea tree.

To learn more about Aromatherapy and other alternative medicines, see:
  • Aromatherapy: Here you will learn about aromatherapy, how it works, what part essential oils play, and how to use aromatherapy.
  • Essential Oils Profiles: We have collected profiles of dozens of plants that are used to produce essential oils. On these pages, you will learn the properties and preparations for the most popular essential oils.
  • How to Treat Common Conditions With Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy can be used to treat a number of conditions, from asthma to depression to skin problems. Here you will learn how to treat some common medical problems with aromatherapy.
  • Home Remedies: We have gathered over a hundred safe, time-tested home remedies for treating a wide variety of medical complaints yourself.
  • Herbal Remedies: Herbal remedies and aromatherapy can be very similar, and they stem from similar historic roots. On this page, you will find all of our herb profiles and instructions for treating medical problems with herbal remedies.

Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and editor of the American Herb Association Quarterly newsletter. A writer, photographer, consultant, and teacher specializing in aromatherapy and herbs for over 25 years, she has written several books, including Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art and Pocket Guide to Aromatherapy, and has written over 150 articles for such magazines as New Age Journal, The Herb Companion, and New Herbal Remedies.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.