Being one of the most annoying, frustrating and common skin care issues in the world, and at the same time one of the most debilitating and uncomfortable skin disorders to experience, acne affects people of all ages, but is especially common among teenagers. However, lately the number of cases of adult female acne has increased. This may be explained by hormonal imbalances and sleep deprivation.
The causes for the appearance of acne are various and include clogged pores, bacteria, excess oil production and dead skin. Other factors that have an influence on acne or may make it worsen are hormones, diet, stress, and some medications. If left untreated acne may lead to diminished self-esteem and scarring.
There are various medications that are prescribed to fight acne, but chemicals may cause more irritation and thus will only aggravate the problem. On the other hand there is a natural solution for this issue: natural oils. Some essential oils soothe and protect the skin from irritation. If you want a safe and natural alternative to get rid of the scars left by pimples and acne, you should definitely try using essential oils. But before you do so, it is important that you know their properties and how to use them. If you use them correctly, essential oils can help you in the case of mature acne and scars.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a pale yellow to nearly colorless oil that has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It may be used in many ways to treat various skin problems. Tea tree oil is excellent for oily and acne-prone skin. The antimicrobial and antibacterial compounds from tea tree oil act very efficiently against the bacteria that cause acne breakouts. It penetrates deep into the skin and unblocks the sebaceous glands, which unclogs pores, thus disinfecting them and reducing acne. In order to use this remedy, pour a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cotton pad or tissue. Gently dab the tree oil on the pimples or spots and leave for a few hours or overnight. The redness and swelling should gradually decrease. You could also add one or two drops of tea tree oil to the bathing water. This will help you get rid of acne on your chest and other parts of the body. Tea tree oil is safe for most people, but it may cause skin irritation and swelling with some people. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using it because it reduces contraction strength.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains two of the most powerful antimicrobial agents that can be found in food. They are Capric Acid and Lauric Acid. These acids are also found in breast milk, which protects newborn babies from infections. When they are applied on the skin, these two acids become Monocaprin and Monolaurin. They restore the protective acid layer on the skin and thus block microbial infections which does not allow acne do develop. Coconut oil also contains vitamin E, which helps keep the skin healthy and ensures that the sebum glands function properly removing their blockage. This way vitamin E treats the cause of acne itself, not just the symptoms. Vitamin E is a hormone regulating substance, so it reduces the hormonal fluctuations that ultimately cause the appearance of acne. As an anti-inflammatory means, coconut oil reduces inflammation caused by acne and also helps in healing various types of open wounds caused by severe cases of acne. Coconut oil may also be used internally, but it is usually suggested to be applied on the affected area. The results of the treatment with coconut oil may differ from person to person depending on age, skin type, profession, lifestyle, etc.
3. Mint Oil
Mint oil is an essential oil made through a distillation process involving the mint leaves. Mint oil is used as a flavoring agent and also in aromatherapy. Peppermint oil for acne is a great natural remedy for this skin condition. The essential oil is the product of a distillation process which involves the leaves of peppermint. With a naturally strong but pleasing aroma, peppermint oil is one of the favorite oils for aromatherapy. Mint oil is also a good natural skin cleanser; it helps to unblock the pores and thus cleans the skin. With its cooling action, mint oil helps soothe irritation and itchiness in severe cases of acne. Due to its antiseptic properties, mint oil inhibits bacterial growth, thus influencing one of the main causes of acne. In order to fight acne with the help of mint oil, apply it directly on the affected area. However, before you proceed with the treatment, perform a skin test to see how your skin will react to mint oil. If after 48 hours there are no rashes and no sensitivity is observed, you may apply it on your face.
4. Lavender Oil
With its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties lavender oil is a great first step in the treatment of acne. This oil is easy on the skin and reduces the appearance and severity of breakouts. It is considered that if used regularly lavender oil can remove impurities from pores and rejuvenate the skin, it soothes the irritated and itchy skin and reduces acne redness. When using lavender oil, keep in mind that it may cause allergic reactions with some people, so it would be best to dilute the oil before applying it on the skin in order to reduce irritation. Or better, in order to test if you are not allergic to lavender oil, it would be a good idea to apply some of it on a small area of skin for a test. In spite of its therapeutic properties, lavender oil cannot be a substitute for medical attention in cases of extreme acne and open sores.
5. Clove Oil
Clove oil is extracted from cloves and is a very powerful essential oil with burning and purifying properties. Used alone, clove oil is very irritating and it should be blended with a more skin-friendly oil. Although some people use it alone for treating stubborn acne, this is not advisable. If it is diluted, clove oil may be used to treat emerging or existent breakouts. It is considered that clove oil can clear cystic acne and reduces swelling by neutralizing infection. Clove oil contains eugenol, a substance with powerful antibacterial properties. You may use clove oil by applying it on the affected skin in order to get quick results. But be careful: do not use clove oil at full strength without consulting your doctor or a dermatologist.
Here is a remedy for acne using clove oil: cleanse your face with rosewater, then add 10 drops of clove oil to 200 ml of glycerin and shake it well. Put 4-5 drops of the mixture on a cotton ball and gently apply it on the face. It will create a stinging sensation on the acne, but this is the way clove oil is supposed to act. Do not wash it off and avoid going in the sun. Repeat the treatment twice a day and within a few days the acne will start healing.
6. Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli oil is one of the most effective treatments for both scars and mature skin. Neroli is gently and not irritating, so it is the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin. Neroli has very powerful properties; it has a refreshing effect on tired skin making it look lively. It also is a good antiseptic which makes it great for cleansing the skin and protecting it from infections. Neroli is a natural astringent, it shrinks pores and blood vessels making the skin appear smoother, and it also removes dark circles under the eyes. In the case of acne, neroli helps to control the overproduction of sebum in the skin and thus helps in reducing acne. Together with the antiseptic and astringent properties it has, neroli is the perfect means to help against acne. With its regenerating and stimulating properties, neroli is also good for preventing and fading scars and stretch marks. Try to avoid the sun because neroli may slightly increase photo sensitivity of the skin.
Lemon juice is a cheap alternative remedy for acne. It has astringent and antibacterial properties, so it can dry out pimple inflammation and also fights the acne producing bacteria. In order to reduce acne scar,s use the following remedy: take 2 or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice and a cotton ball. Apply the lemon juice on the skin with the cotton ball and leave it on for about thirty minutes, or you may apply it before going to bed. Use this remedy for two to three weeks. Lemon juice may cause a little irritation and in such a case it is recommended that you wash it off with cold water after 10 minutes. While using lemon juice avoid the sun, or it may cause skin damage!
Another remedy is to squeeze a lemon in a glass of water and then drink it in order to detoxify the organism from within. If you need a sweetener, use some raw organic honey which is also killing the bacteria that causes acne.
8. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, stimulant, decongestant, astringent, antiviral, analgesic, anti-neuralgic, anti-rheumatic, balsamic, cicatrizing, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycemic, rubefacient properties, and this is not all! Eucalyptus oil has many benefits for hair and skin. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are a great help in preventing and healing acne and pimples. Use one drop of eucalyptus oil in two or three teaspoons of pure aloe vera gel and apply it on the affected skin. Eucalyptus oil is usually well tolerated by most people, however, when using it to treat acne it is best to dilute it and when applying it avoid the eyes, nose, mouth and cracked or open skin. If you have asthma, avoid eucalyptus oil altogether, because it can trigger asthma attacks. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid eucalyptus oil. Under no circumstances use eucalyptus oil internally because it is highly poisonous and may be fatal.
9. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a rich source of iron and vitamins and is also a source of anti-oxidants. Extra virgin olive oil is a great remedy against hard spots and blemishes left behind by acne. Olive oil also has anti-bacterial properties and thus it prevents the growth of the bacteria that causes acne. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the redness and spots on the skin as well as soothe the pain from the swelling. Olive oil is one of the most important ingredients for skin scrubs. Scrubs containing olive oil will keep acne outbreaks at a distance.
In order to prepare an olive oil acne scrub use good quality extra virgin oil and finely grounded sea salt. Mix them until it becomes a paste, then cover it with a lid. Start by cleaning your face with a soft cloth and then, while your skin is still moist, apply the mixture, rubbing it in circular motion. Keep it on for up to 5 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water. When the skin is still moist, apply a small amount of olive oil and massage it until it is absorbed.