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Is Your Skin a little unhappy in places?

There's an oil for that! Check out this blog for ideas on essential oils for acne prone skin.

Acne prone skin can get plenty of love from essential oils as well. Just like there are oils to help nourish and heal skin, there are some oils that can help with acne. Many of these oils

Essential oil bottle in open book.
Oils can make unhappy skin, happy!

have similar characteristics such as being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent. They can also be a bit drying and irritating so I advise using with caution until you know how your skin may react. Adding them to a light lotion that won’t clog pores is generally a good idea. Is your skin a little unhappy in places? Let’s take a look at these blemish reducing helpers.

Clary Sage:

Antibacterial and anti inflammatory, Clary Sage can be a big help with acne prone skin. Its antibacterial qualities can help get rid of zit-causing bacteria, while its anti-inflammatory properties will be good for reducing swelling and redness.


This oil also has antibacterial qualities that can help with blemishes. In the past I’ve dabbed a drop directly on zits to help dry them up. Try this on just one area at first to see if you have any sensitivity. If you do, immediately add a light carrier like lotion or jojoba oil. Why wouldn’t you want to rinse it off? Essential oils are not water soluble, so adding water won’t help get it off your skin. The best thing to do is use a carrier to absorb it up, then wash the area with water and gentle soap. Eucalyptus is also a skin penetrating enhancer, which means it helps your skin better absorb other essential oils and carriers. We’ll talk more about skin penetrating enhancers in another blog entry.

Juniper Berry:

This oil, made from steam distilling the berries and needles of the juniper tree, is astringent and antibacterial. It can be a bit irritating if used “neat”, so try adding it to a light lotion.

Lavender field and happy skin
Lavender loves your skin!


I already listed Lavender as a healing oil, but I wanted to mention it again because it is also very good for blemishes. Lavender is just such a huge help with so many things! Lavender has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are super helpful for acne. This is one I’ll dab directly on a blemish to help reduce redness and swelling, as well as getting that bacteria bashing assistance!


Lemon essential oil has a nice cooling effect on the skin. This can be so nice when your blemishes are feeling red and angry. It’s also a nice astringent. Lemon, like many of the citrus oils, is phototoxic, which means it can make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Either don’t use Lemon in areas that will be exposed to sun, or make sure to wear a good sunscreen.

Unhappy Skin made happy by rosemary oil.
Zap your Zit with Rosemary!


Again, here’s a great oil that has antibacterial qualities! Many cases of acne are caused by bacteria, so using the oils with antibacterial components is so helpful. This is another one I’ve dabbed on a zit directly. As I advised above, use “neat" with caution until you know how your skin will react and add a carrier lotion or jojoba to dilute it if needed.

Tea Tree

Last but not least, this is one of my favorite essential oils to use for soothing blemishes. Antiseptic and super packed with antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities, Tea Tree is one that I’ve used directly on a spot. I will say it again, be careful using it neat until you know how your skin will react. Like most of the oils on this list, Tea Tree can be irritating. Even when used in a light carrier lotion or oil, it can be great for killing off bacteria and drying up a blemish.

Sometimes bacteria is not the cause of a breakout on our skin. There are various causes of skin blemishes and irritations. If you’re having serious acne issues, seeing a dermatologist can help you determine the best course of action. If bacteria is not the issue, try using the oils I’ve listed that help with inflammation. You deserve happy skin!

Definitely try some of the oils previously listed in the healing oils articles. These oils can help with swelling and redness and also nourish dry and irritated skin. Most of the healing oils have properties that may help with scarring. If your skin is overly oily, take a look at the oils that help to balance sebum, your skin’s natural oils. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you have about using essential oils on your skin.

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