6 Best Essential Oils for Acne Treatment & Breakout Prevention (Updated April 2020)

Almost everyone has experienced acne. In fact, acne is the most common skin condition in the US. Fortunately, there are all-natural essential oils for acne that can help you maintain smooth and clear skin. Acne occurs when skin flakes and excess oils clog our pores. This creates an ideal breeding site for bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes, the culprit of pimples.

Acne plagues more than 50 million Americans. It manifests in the form of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts or nodules. The severity and persistence of the disease vary from one person to another depending on many factors. These may include stress, genetics, menstrual cycle, climate and habits such as using makeup and squeezing your pimples.

Are you suffering from acne? Do not let it stop youfrom being the person you can be. Bring back their confidence with our 100% pure essential oils for acne.

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

Essential Oils For Acne Prevention and Treatment

Acne is the most common dermatological condition in the US, affecting more than 50 million people. Photo by Septian Simon/ Unsplash.com.

Many people try many remedies for acnes, but not all can be effective. However, essential oils are definitely worth trying.

Essential oils can address many of the root causes of acne. They can help relieve stress, which is one of the biggest factors in getting acne. They are also scientifically proven to fight acne-causing bacteria and rejuvenate the skin.

By using the right essential oils, you can deal with your acne problems in many different ways as well as in its different stages. These oils can help prevent acne as well as get rid of it. They will even help in your skin's recovery by minimizing acne-caused scars and replenishing damaged skin.


1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the famous evergreen eucalyptus tree native to Australia. The various parts of the eucalyptus tree have long been used as a remedy to common ailments, such as coughs, colds, and congestion. Its benefits have a long-standing reputation in the field of medicine and have been a subject of many research studies.

Because of eucalyptus essential oil's antibacterial activities, it is one of the most effective essential oils for acne.

The Science of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus globulus, one of the four hundred species of the eucalyptus, is specifically used for oil production. Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from the leaves through steam distillation. It is a colorless liquid with a distinct strong, sweet, woody scent.

The Aboriginal people of Australia actually used eucalyptus to treat wounds and fungal infections on the skin. A recent study in 2016 gave evidence to the tree's antimicrobial properties. This offers real benefits in keeping our skin clean and free of harmful organisms that could lead to acne.

Acne-causing bacteria thrive on unprotected skin. Eucalyptus and its antimicrobial abilities will ensure that your skin is bacteria-free with just a few drops.

Another known ability of the eucalyptus is that it can repel insects. In the United States, eucalyptus oil has been used to kill mites and ticks since 1948. This particular property has made it a potential eco-friendly alternative to synthetic mosquito and housefly repellents.

Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The oil of the eucalyptus tree is also used in other industries such as cosmetics, food flavoring, perfumes and even dental health. It is a common ingredient in mouthwash and chewing gum. Its cool soothing sensation on our skin is therapeutic and can help ease muscle and joint pain.

Eucalyptus can definitely be a great inclusion to skincare as well as hair care products. It can remove impurities from the skin, thus helping clear breakouts and blemishes.

The following essential oils can blend well with eucalyptus essential oil:

  • Rosemary
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Lemongrass
  • Tea tree
  • Spearmint

Learn more about eucalyptus essential oil benefits.


2. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is known to help key body organs such as the brain, the liver, and the heart. It is analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infection, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Most of all, it is loved for its woodsy citrus fragrance that has filled homes for centuries.

The Science of Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary is popular for its numerous benefits in culinary and herbal medicine and originates from the Mediterranean region. Its very name is actually derived from the Latin words "ros", meaning dew, and "marinus", meaning sea. It translates to "dew of the sea", probably referring to how it grows around the Mediterranean sea.

Studies about this beautiful plant go way back in the ancient periods and still continue today. It has been used for salads, soups, and medicine, even as charms against evil spirits. The ancient Egyptians, the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Romans had a high regard for the Rosemary plant and some even considered it sacred.

Rosemary is related to mint, but similar in appearance to lavender with flowers and silvery pine-like leaves. Oil is extracted from fresh buds through steam distillation. The oil it produces is clear, watery and provides countless therapeutic and medical benefits.

Despite being studied by botanists since the 16th century, it was only recently discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is a feature that actually makes it helpful in preventing acne.

Inflammation is a leading cause of scarring in acne-infected skin areas. It also causes redness and swelling -- some of the most painful effects of acne. Fortunately, rosemary essential oil can help prevent these effects.

Using Rosemary Essential Oil

There are many ways to use rosemary essential oil, including but not limited to aromatherapy. You can mix it with a carrier oil so it can be safely applied topically on the skin. You can also explore various skincare recipes to see how else rosemary oil can be used.

These essential oils blend well with rosemary essential oil:

  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Tea tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Spearmint
  • Tea tree

Learn more about rosemary essential oil benefits.


3. Lemon Essential Oil

Known to moisturize the skin, fight bacteria, and nurture damaged skin, lemon is a popular natural ingredient in skin care treatments. Photo source: Pixabay.


Lemon essential oil is extracted from the peel of the lemon fruit. It's a fragrant and highly concentrated oil, with a reputation for its cleansing and rejuvenating properties.

We may take for granted the most popular citrus fruit on the planet. We see it everywhere: in our food, in beverages, in soaps, in car fresheners, and in medicines. The lemon truly has countless remedies to offer us.

The Science of Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon and its essential oil have actually been used for medical purposes for at least one thousand years in India. It is believed to have been introduced later on to Western countries. English sailors were known to bring lemons in their voyages to cure themselves of infections. It cleanses the body of toxins, energizes the body, whitens teeth, relieves nausea, and so much more.

To add to that, this wonder of nature purifies the skin and fights bacteria, making it an effective skincare aid. Lemon essential oil has been proven to reduce acne, moisturize and nourish damaged skin. It has anti-aging effects and is antimicrobial.

Its ability to clean and repair the skin keeps skin flakes and oil from blocking the pores. This prevents bacteria from breeding and keeps the skin acne-free.

The oil is extracted by cold-pressing the fruit's peel, which is its most nutrient-packed portion. The lemon oil is considered the most essential oil to keep in the house thanks to its countless uses.


Using Lemon Essential Oil

You can best enjoy the aroma of lemon essential oil via aromatherapy. You can diffuse the essential on its own for its refreshing aroma, or blend it with other essential oils. Make sure, however, that the diffuser you use can handle citrus essential oils.

Because lemon is a citrus oil, you need to be careful in applying it topically. It can cause temporary photosenstivity and can irritate the skin when exposed to sunlight. Make sure to stay indoors or keep the areas of application covered up if you have to go out into the sun fewer than 12 hours after application.

Lemon essential oil blends well with the following essential oils:

  • Rosemary
  • Grapefruit
  • Tea tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Lime

Learn more about lemon essential oil benefits.


4. Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is extracted from stalks of lemongrass. It is heavily manufactured all around the globe to feed the cosmetic industry and others that make use of it.

The Science of Lemongrass Essential Oil

We mentioned earlier that climate is one of the factors that lead to acne development. Humidity causes us to sweat more. And for some people, sweating can be a cause of acne. Skincare experts call this type of acne condition pityrosporum folliculitis, and it is actually very common in the United States.

One of the many significant abilities of lemongrass essential oil is that it helps alleviate excess sweating. That is why it is actually found in deodorants. That's right. Lemongrass oil can help control sweating.

Lemongrass essential oil is also widely used as an ingredient in cosmetics. It is an effective astringent and actually assists in firming the skin.

Using Lemongrass Essential Oil

Even before it became an ingredient to makeup products, the lemongrass plant was popularly used in making tea, cooking, medicine, incense and as an effective insect repellent. It is a natural antiseptic and is used to help wounds heal. You can also mix lemongrass oil with a little bit of coconut oil and use it to help ease joint pains.

It can also be a very effective ingredient in skincare products, such as soaps and creams.

Lemongrass essential oil can blend well with the following essential oils:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Patchouli
  • Ylang ylang
  • Lemon
  • Tea tree
  • Spearmint
  • Rosemary
  • Lime
  • Bergamot

Learn more about lemongrass essential oil benefits.


5. Lime Essential Oil

Lime essential oil is extracted from the peel of the lime fruit. It has exfoliation properties that can help remove dead skin cells that clog pores, as well as acne-causing bacteria.

The Science of Lime Essential Oil

Lime, traditionally used as a flavoring element in food, is also known for many other uses. Its cleansing properties are just as good as lemon. It is rich in vitamin C and can boost the immune system. Additionally, it can help detoxify the liver and fight bacteria that cause diarrhea, food poisoning, cholera, and typhoid.

Though very well known as a fruit, an equally rich way of reaping the benefits of lime is by using its essential oil. 

Lime essential oil is well known for its skin care capabilities. It fights off bacteria that could penetrate your pores. It is also very effective in removing dead skin to reveal the younger, newer skin underneath.

Another amazing quality of lime oil is its ability to tighten the pores, making it a natural astringent. For this reason, it is commercially used as an ingredient in many cosmetic and skin care products.

Using Lime Essential Oil

Lime essential oil has a variety of uses, and can be effective as an ingredient in a variety of products. These include household cleaning products as well as personal care products, cu has soaps and creams.

Because lime is a citrus oil, however, it can cause photosensitivity. For information on how to safely use oils like this, see the Precautions section.

Lime essential oil blends well with these essential oils:

  • Patchouli
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Spearmint
  • Ylang ylang
  • Bergamot

Learn more about lime essential oil benefits.


6. Sage Essential Oil

Sage essential oil can work wonders when used for skin care. It boasts of a variety of properties that can help you keep your skin clear of blemishes the all natural way. Among other essential oils for acne, sage is perhaps the best at moisturizing.

Humans have benefited from the sage plant since ancient times. It is in fact believed to one of the oldest herbs used in both culinary and medical practices.

The Science of Sage Essential Oil

The sage plant is an evergreen shrub with cool grayish-green leaves. Small hairs called trichomes that give them an identifiable texture cover its leaves. It is easy to cultivate and is common in many European countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea.

Sage essential oil is known for its many benefits, but perhaps not as known for how it can benefit the skin. It is an effective antibacterial agent and helps prevent bacterial infections. It also works as a skin moisturizer, preventing problems caused by dry skin.

Additionally, sage essential oil helps prevent scarring, inflammation, and irritation. If you have acne scars or red spots, sage can be useful.

Using Sage Essential Oil

Like many other essential oils for acne and skincare, sage essential oil can be used as an ingredient in soaps, creams, and more. You can look up ingredients for products like these and make sure that sage essential oil features prominently.

Sage essential oil blends well with other essential oils, such as:

  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree

Learn more about sage essential oil benefits.




Essential oils yield a lot of benefits when used properly. But they could also cause some problems when precautionary measures are not observed.

Essential oils, generally, should be diluted in a carrier oil like coconut oil or almond oil. The ideal proportion should be about three to five drop of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil.

Never use too much! Just a few drops at a time will do you just fine.

Remember that our skin may react differently to different kinds of essential oils. Some essential oils may not be good for you and might cause skin irritation, so make sure to always do a patch test. You can do this by applying the oil on a small area of your arm first before using it on other parts of the body.

Be cautious when using certain essential oils that are considered photosensitive. These oils have certain components that make the skin more prone to UV light and may result in blistering, discoloration of the skin or burning more easily from minor sun exposure. Generally, the photosensitive oils are lime, lemon, grapefruit and bergamot.

If you are pregnant or if you are currently nursing, extreme care is necessary. Essential oils can affect hormones and other aspects of your health. It is best to check first with a professional if using essential oils is suitable for you during these important periods of your motherhood.

We recommend that you avoid using essential oils on children below the age of seven. Avoid using essential oils on pets as well.

Storage is also important. Essential oils should be stored in dark-colored glass bottles and never plastic bottles. Many essential oils can eat through plastics when undiluted, and even when diluted, can degrade plastics over time.


How to Use Essential Oils for Acne Treatment and Skincare

Acne is very common during puberty. No less than 85% of the US population experiences some form of acne between the ages 12 to 24.


There are many creative ways to blend and apply essential oil to your skin. There are no strict rules. You can be your own chemist and therapist with Aroma Foundry products.

Here are some recipes that you can start with.

Easy-to-Make Blend for Daily Use

Creating an essential oil blend against acne does not really need to be complicated. It can be as easy as adding three to four drops of eucalyptus essential oil to two teaspoons of unscented lotion. The antimicrobial property of the oil will certainly do its work, and the cooling effect will also give you a refreshing sensation.

You can do this every day and discover how eucalyptus oil can make such a subtle yet effective difference.


Eucalyptus Acne Astringent

If you think you are up for a more complex blend, you can try creating this eucalyptus acne astringent.

For this you will need:

  •     15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  •     20 drops lemongrass essential oil
  •     2 ounces organic apple cider vinegar

Simply combine all the ingredients in a glass container. Shake it well before applying it to your face.

This is a great blend to cleanse your face after a rough day outside. It will also make you feel relaxed and fresh before treating yourself to a good night sleep.


Acne and Scar Healing Treatment

Acne can be prevented. But when you just can’t, remember that they can leave scars. And thankfully, scars can be prevented too.

To make your Rosemary Acne and Scar Healing Treatment you will need the following ingredients:

  •     5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  •     1 ounce tamanu oil
  •     3 drops of sage essential oil
  •     6 drops of cedarwood essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a glass container and shake well. Take a dip of the mixture with a cotton ball. Then, apply it on the area with closed and healed acne wounds to help lessen scarring.

Essential Oil Facial Steam

Acne is caused by clogged pores. Why not give your face a nice warm steam treatment to open those pores? This is also a great reliever for irritated sinuses.

All you have to do is add two drops of either eucalyptus or lemon essential oil to a steaming bowl of water. Cover your head with a small towel, like a tent. Close your eyes and steam your face, breathing deeply as you do so.

After steaming, make sure to pat your face dry. 


Lemon Essential Oil Cleanser

Lemon fruit and lemon oil are both a popular ingredient in facial treatments due to their skin-nourishing abilities. Photo by Noah Buscher/ Unsplash.com

If you think your face needs a bit more action, then this blend is perfect for you.

Add two drops of lemon essential oil to one teaspoon of baking soda. Mix them together then apply it onto your wet face. Scrub for about twenty seconds and wash off with warm water.

Go to the mirror and check the difference. You would surely find out how lemon essential oil can rejuvenate and nourish damaged skin.


Remedy for Cystic Acne

Many skin care doctors consider cystic acne as the most severe type of acne. In such cases, the blocked pores become infected and inflamed. It leaves the skin with terrible scars that are often very visible.

To make a remedy for cystic acne, you may combine the following ingredients:

  •     5 drops of rosemary essential oil
  •     5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  •     5 drops of tea tree essential oil
  •     1 teaspoon of carrier oil

Combine all ingredients and shake well. Then, apply to the affected area of the skin. This blend will help the skin heal and fight off infection.

Check out our selection of 100% pure essential oils that you can use for your recipes right here in our shop. 


Acne is treatable, but more importantly, it is preventable. With the right tools, helpful knowledge, and a little bit of work, you'll be able to manage blemishes and dark spots. 

Acne issues can sometimes be severe, and can even impact our self-esteem. You can hold your head high and take on the day with the help of Aroma Foundry's essential oils for acne. With the essential oils mentioned above, you'll be able to keep your skin clear, bright, and smooth.


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  2. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne
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  6. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/rosemary-oil.aspx
  7. https://draxe.com/lemon-essential-oil-uses-benefits/
  8. https://www.drbaileyskincare.com/info/blog/can-sweat-cause-pimples-and-acne/
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View all resources


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An admitted stutterer, Silvan found pleasurable expressiveness in writing both as a hobby and a profession. He is also a musician-at-heart, a time-deprived artist, a comedian-on-impulse, a fortunate husband and a father of three. His favorite Aroma Foundry scent is Fir, reflecting his love for trees and nature.

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  1. Background
  2. Essential Oils For Acne Prevention and Treatment
    1. Eucalyptus
    2. Rosemary
    3. Lemon
    4. Lemongrass
    5. Lime
    6. Sage
  3. How to Use Essential Oils for Acne Treatment and Skincare
    1. Easy-to-Make Blend For Daily Use
    2. Eucalyptus Acne Astringent
    3. Acne and Scar Healing Treatment
    4. Essential Oil Facial Steam
    5. Lemon Essential Oil Cleanser
    6. Remedy For Cystic Acne
  4. Summary
  5. References