We all get them–some of us (like my husband) more than others.
He happens to be among the approximately 4% of people over 40 that still have problems with acne. This is why I have experimented with him in order to try to find the best essential oil recipe to help treat his pimples.
Zits are an unfortunate part of being human. But you can treat them quite effectively with a little essential oil TLC. These are the best recipes I’ve found that work for me and my family whenever we do have to deal with blackheads and zits.
First though, a quick overview of why and how these little buggers form.
The Human Skin
Our skin is full of sebaceous glands. These are microscopic glands in the skin that excrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum (which is basically fat), to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair.
In humans, they are located mostly on the face and scalp, but are also located on all parts of the skin except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They are located around hair follicles and in hairless areas such as the eyelids and nose among other “private” parts of the human body.
When the outer layers of skin shed (as they do continuously), the dead skin cells left behind may become ‘glued’ together by the sebum. This causes acne, a blockage in the pore, especially when the skin becomes thicker at puberty.
The sebaceous glands produce more sebum which builds up behind the blockage, and this sebum harbours various bacteria including the species Propionibacterium acnes, causing infection and inflammation.
In 2013, acne was estimated to affect 660 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide.
Essential Oils for Treating Acne
Blackheads, which are a form of acne and are technically called comedo’s, form when a hair follicle gets clogged by keratin (skin debris) and oil but the follicle remains open. Oxidation rather than poor hygiene or dirt causes blackheads to be black.
Wherever they are found, the treatment for blackhead is to remove them. However, they can become infected when removed and the opening just gets filled up again with sebum. So after removal, you’ll want to use the recipe below.
Removal is best done after warming the skin with steam, either from a hot shower or by taking bowl of hot, steaming water with one drop of lavender oil in it and covering your head with a towel over the bowl for 5-10 minutes. Remove the blackheads by gently squeezing until they release.
After removal, wash your face with this mixture:
After washing, massage the following oil into the skin.
Whiteheads, which are also a form of acne and also called comedo’s, form when a hair follicle gets clogged by keratin and oil but the follicle is closed.
The best treatment is to not pop the whiteheads but instead let the skin absorb the sebum naturally. I realize that is easier said than done but breaking the whiteheads can result in scarring since the they covering of the whitehead is a layer of skin (unlike blackheads which are open to the air and should be removed for that reason).
Using the following mixture of essential oils, massage the area twice a day.
Persistent and Widespread Acne
For cases where the acne is persistent and/or widespread, it’s best to clean the area every day with the following recipe. If the condition doesn’t clear up after a few weeks, seek the advice of a doctor.