I wrote a previous post about my journey with acne, where I explained that I had discovered some extremely nourishing and anti-inflammatory oils for taking care of my skin.
I have acne-prone skin. Trust me, putting oil on my skin every night was the last thing I thought I would be doing, but I am amazed at the results-natural oils, along with some diet changes and supplements, have made my skin look radiant and clear.
We have the misconception that oils are a bad idea because we’re afraid they’ll encourage the skin to be oilier, which increases the chance for acne. Most of us have experienced using an oily moisturizer that was a disaster, but usually these are petroleum-based moisturizers that can clog pores. The key is to use the right kind of oils in formulas that don’t contain other clogging ingredients.
Here’s what I’ve learned about natural skin oils that are beneficial for those with acne. I invite you to try them and let me know what you think.
Oils Beneficial for Acne-Prone Skin
You want to be sure to choose those oils that will not clog pores-the following options are all non-clogging options.
What’s great about natural oils is that they not only hydrate without clogging pores, but they provide antioxidant protection and anti-inflammatory properties-both key steps in reducing acne outbreaks. These oils can also help fight bacteria, calm irritation, soothe sensitivities, balance oil production, and hydrate without clogging pores or leaving a greasy feel on your skin. Plus, they work naturally with the skin to support collagen and elastin production, rather than breaking down or drying skin cells, like most conventional, drying, acne products do.
- Tea tree oil: This oil is a heavyweight champion when it comes to getting rid of bacteria, which is why it’s great for acne-prone skin. In fact, studies have found it to be as effective at treating acne as benzoyl peroxide, so why use harsh ingredients? Just be sure to use it diluted in some water, or try an organic natural acne treatment.
- Lavender oil: This oil has a great reputation for wound healing, and is also known to be effective against bacteria and oxidating free radicals. It’s been found to be specifically effective against the bacteria that causes acne, and is found in many natural acne formulas. Because it’s so soothing, it can calm any redness and inflammation.
- Jojoba oil: This oil is very similar to our own skin oil (called “sebum”), and therefore can “trick” the body into making less sebum. Less sebum may mean less oily skin, and less acne. Jojoba mixes easily with our skin oils, and can cleanse and purify. It takes several days to weeks of regular use to see the results, so be patient.
- Hemp seed oil: Considered a natural acne solution, hemp oil is a natural moisturizer and can help heal acne scars. It has natural essential fatty acids that help heal skin lesions, balance dry skin, and fight skin inflammation-yet it’s non-greasy.
- Borage oil: This oil has a natural compound that can have a strong anti-inflammatory action on your skin. Supplementing your diet with borage oil can help reduce overall inflammation. Topical application may also be effective-borage oil is also a natural source of salicylic acid, which is regularly used in anti-acne skin care. Most products use the chemical form, however. Your skin will adapt to the natural form much better.
- Evening primrose oil: This oil has a great reputation for taming inflammation. It also contains essential fatty acids that help balance and firm skin, making pores less visible. Evening primrose also helps dilute skin sebum so it’s less likely to clog pores.
- Chia seeds: These are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and can help regulate hormones and stabilize insulin. Don’t apply these to your face-instead, incorporate them into your diet to gain the acne-reducing benefits. They’re great in smoothies!
- Chamomile: This plant is strong in anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties-the perfect combination for reducing acne. In fact, you may already find this ingredient in some over-the-counter acne products. Unfortunately, they often have other harsh chemical ingredients as well. To enjoy the benefits of chamomile, make a face wash with 1 tablespoon dried chamomile flower heads in one cup boiling water, then apply the solution to the face with cotton balls. You can also chill a chamomile tea bag and press it lightly against pimples, or use cooled chamomile tea to cleanse skin.
- Echinacea: Research shows that Echinacea can help kill acne-causing bacteria and counteract inflammation. Look for Echinacea toners and face masks.
My favorite oil for oily skin, by the way, is the one from Suki Organics. Their Pure Facial Moisture-Balancing contains chamomile and Echinacea, and it’s perfect for using on top of your serums instead of a moisturizer because it’s light, breathable, and helps normalize your complexion. It’s recommended for nighttime use, but I use it during the day in the harsh winter months as well.
What to Avoid
In addition to using the oils listed above, be sure to avoid the following, as they can make acne worse:
- Dimethicone: This is a pore-clogging ingredient found in many skin care and cosmetic products today. It can be hard to avoid, but it’s worth it-many people have found that their acne cleared up after they stopped using products containing dimethicone. Read more about this ingredient on my dimethicone post.
- Clogging oils: These include wheat germ and mineral oils.
Do you have natural solutions that have worked well for your skin? Please share your tips.