Essential Oil bottles with carrier oils and cream

If you’ve suffered from acne, then you know just how hard it is to find a solution that works. Prescriptions and the latest acne-fighting kits can be costly and harsh on your skin, so why not try a more natural approach? These 10 best essential oils for acne have been successful in helping many individuals obtain the clear skin they’ve dreamed about for years.

Acne Causes

Acne can typically arise from 4 main causes:

  • Excess oil production
  • Hormonal changes
  • Hair follicles that have been clogged with oil or dead skin
  • Bacteria

It’s important to know that certain types of medication, changes in diet, or stress can also aggravate acne problems and make them worse.

Woman staring in mirror at pimple on her cheek

10 Best Essential Oils for Acne

Acne treatment usually begins with over-the-counter medications or skincare kits specifically targeted towards the problem. When those don’t work, acne sufferers typically turn to their physician or dermatologist for stronger, prescribed medication. It’s important to know that both OTC and prescribed products sometimes contain chemicals that can be harsh on your skin and exacerbate the problem.

If you’re struggling to find a treatment that’s gentle on your skin and won’t cause further irritation, essential oils may be a good option for you. Essential oils are naturally occurring oils that have been used in everything from aromatherapy to pain management.

The following oils are the 10 best essential oils for treating your acne:

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most widely known and successful acne treatments you can try when it comes to essential oils. The disinfecting nature of tea tree oil allows it to penetrate the skin, clean out your pores, and dry out any whiteheads or blackheads.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil’s effect is both medicinal and therapeutic. Due to its antimicrobial qualities, lavender oil can help clear up bacteria in the skin. It can also work to calm any anxiety or pain that results from the acne.

3. Clary Sage Oil

Clary sage oil is similar to lavender oil in its antimicrobial qualities and has been recommended as the active ingredient for formulations treating wounds, skin infections, and acne. The oil contains a compound called linalyl acetate, which has been known to kill the bacteria causing acne and reduce inflammation.

4. Juniper Berry Oil

Juniper berry oil is known for its incredible ability to detoxify the body, making it a viable player in the fight against bacteria-causing acne.

5. Korean Fir Oil

Korean Fir oil is native to the higher mountains of South Korea and is typically a lesser-known essential oil. However, if you are suffering acne, you will want to check this oil out as it has many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the appearance of acne.

6. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil contains the powerful and potent active ingredient carvacrol, which has antimicrobial qualities that allow it to starve the bacteria-causing acne and prohibit the bacteria’s growth.

7. Frankincense Oil

Often used in dermatology for minor blemishes, Frankincense oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities. These qualities, combined with its moisturizing effect, make the oil one of the best for treating acne.

8. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has been used for years as a natural remedy for skin problems. New research has shown that peppermint oil is effective in fighting against several strains of bacteria, including those that cause acne. Plus, the minty aroma of the oil makes it pleasant to use on the face.

9. Lemon Oil

Not only does this oil have the same antimicrobial behavior that other essential oils listed here do, but it can also help with some of the scars that result from acne. Lemon essential oil has been found to eliminate dead skin and improve skin tone.

10. Grapefruit Oil

Grapefruit oil is another essential oil that has an enjoyable scent. This, combined with its antibacterial capabilities, make it common in essential oil combinations and other skin care formulas that fight against acne.

Essential Oils bottles with fresh herbs in each bottle

Where to Buy Essential Oils

Because essential oils are increasingly popular, you can buy them almost everywhere now. Whether you’re shopping online or from your local pharmacy, you’ll want to look for a few things when purchasing essential oils.

Make sure the oils are in tinted glasses with metal lids and accessories, as the oils are often powerful and need to be sealed well to prevent evaporation. You should also make sure the bottle contains proper information, like the plant it came from, safety warnings, and dosage instructions. If you can, look up the essential oil brand’s website and make sure they have good reviews and responsive customer service.

How to Use Essential Oils for Acne

If you want to use essential oils for acne treatment, then it’s important to note a few things. You’ll want to dilute many of the essential oils listed here with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil when applying to the skin. Essential oils are very potent and can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially in sensitive skin.

It’s typically best to consult the brand’s website for essential oil acne recipes and advice on how to apply a particular oil. Most companies have plenty of information regarding topical application. If you’d like more professional help and feel your skin could be sensitive to the use of oils, consult a dermatologist before trying any of the above essential oils.

For more information about essential oils and their uses, check out our article How to Use Them and What They’re Used For.


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Erickson, A. (2017, July 24). Essential Oils for Acne: What You Need to Know. Retrieved February 07, 2018, from
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Born and raised in Southern California, Beeta has embraced a healthy lifestyle focused on farm-to-table cooking, natural products, and wellness routines. When she's not writing up recipes or discussing the latest natural living trends, Beeta enjoys spending time trying new restaurants, traveling with family and friends, and relaxing at home with her furry companion.