How To Use Lavender Essential Oil For Acne

Most people know lavender essential oil for its pleasant fragrance.

In fact, it’s the most common essential oil that’s used in the world.

But, it also has other uses.

The history of its use dates back thousands of years. The Romans used it for bathing and cooking, and the ancient Egyptians used it as a perfume and as a part of the mummification process.

It’s also used in traditional folk medicine for a variety of ailments from anxiety and insomnia, to headaches and skin conditions.

But, does lavender oil help acne?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the possible ways this home remedy for acne can benefit sufferers, and how to use lavender oil for acne.

What Is Lavender Oil?

Native to the Mediterranean, these days the lavender plant can be found in temperate climates in many parts of Europe, northern Africa, North America, and Asia.

It’s widely cultivated for its ornamental, and culinary use, as well as for the essential oils it contains which are used for fragrance and medicinal purposes. 

Lavender essential oil is taken from the small purple flowers of the plant, and is used extensively in aromatherapy and cosmetic products. You can buy the best lavender oil for skin care for use at home in your own anti-acne preparations.

While you will often find it recommended for a variety of medicinal uses, its important to know that most of the claimed health benefits are yet to be confirmed by scientific studies.  

Is Lavender Oil Good For Acne?

how to use lavender oil for acne treatment There haven’t been any specific studies carried out into the effects of lavender oil on acne patients.

So most of the evidence for its benefits is anecdotal.

Having said that, lavender essential oil does have some properties that have been studied that suggest a possible use in the treatment of acne.

Let’s take a look at these.

Stress

Studies have been carried out that show a link between acne and stress (1).

This is thought to be because the cells that are responsible for the production of sebum are sensitive to stress hormones, with higher levels of stress resulting in increased sebum production.

Sebum then plays a crucial part in the blocking of pores that leads to bacterial growth and inflammation.

Studies on lavender oil have shown that it relaxes people when it’s inhaled.

In one study, the effect of lavender essential oil was tested on 20 volunteers, with results providing significant evidence of relaxation when looking at heat rate, blood pressure, and skin temperature (2).

Lavender oil’s ability to reduce stress might prevent the stress induced increase of sebum production, thereby helping to prevent the formation of acne.

But, further testing of this is required.

Antibacterial

Lavender oil has been tested against a range of bacteria, with the results of these studies showing that it’s an antibacterial (3).

It’s also demonstrated an ability to kill the acne bacteria P.acnes (4).

This provides an explanation for the anecdotal reports of lavender oil’s ability to reduce existing acne breakouts.

Antioxidant

Studies also indicate that lavender oil is an antioxidant due to the phenolic compounds it contains (5).

This is useful for the prevention of acne, because when applied topically it can help to prevent the oxidation of sebum.

The oxidation of sebum is an important part in the formation of acne, as it plays a key role in blocking your skin pores.

This oxidation is caused by free radicals that are produced after exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Lavender oil contains compounds that can neutralize the free radicals and prevent the damage they cause.

Anti-inflammatory

Studies have shown that lavender oil contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties (6).

When your skin pores are blocked and the acne infection takes hold, your body responds leading to the visible inflammation that we all recognize on the skin.

When applied topically, lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may help to reduce the painful inflammatory response.

 

How To Use Lavender Oil For Acne

It’s best to dilute essential oils like lavender oil before using them on the skin.

Here are some recipes you can try that combine lavender oil with other healthy natural ingredients that have benefits for maintaining clear skin.

Witch Hazel And Lavender Oil

witch-hazel-flowers

Witch hazel is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It also has antibacterial properties that can kill the acne causing bacteria.

Directions For Use:

1. Get a bottle of witch hazel and a bottle of lavender essential oil.

2. Measure out 2 teaspoons of witch hazel into a small bowl.

3. Add 2-3 drops of lavender oil and mix together.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Use a brush or your fingers to apply the mixture to your face.

6. Use every day for best results.

 

Lavender Oil And Coconut Oil

decanter with coconut oil and coconuts on green background

Coconut oil is a good carrier for essential oils. It’s moisturizing for the skin, and contains fatty acids that are powerful antimicrobials that can kill P. acnes.

Directions For Use:

1. Get a jar of coconut oil and a bottle of lavender oil.

2. If your coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, then you will first need to measure 10 teaspoons into a small pan and melt gently on a very low heat.

3. Pour the coconut oil into a small bowl.

4. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of lavender oil and mix together.

5. If needed, allow the mixture to cool a bit.

6. Wash and dry your face.

7. Using your fingertips, gently massage the lavender and coconut oil mixture into your face.

8. Keep any leftover mixture in a sealed container in the fridge for future use.

9. Use each day.

 

Lavender Oil And Water

Dried lavender herb and essential aromatherapy oil

If you want to keep it simple, you can dilute lavender oil with water.

Directions For Use:

1. Get some lavender essential oil.

2. Measure 10 teaspoons of water into a small bowl.

3. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of lavender oil and mix well.

4. Apply to your skin using a spray bottle or your fingers.

5. Use every day.

 

Almond Oil And Lavender Oil

Almond Oil

Almond oil is another good carrier oil to use in home remedies. As well as moisturizing your skin, it has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Don’t use almond oil if you have a nut allergy.

Directions For Use:

1. Get a bottle of almond oil and a bottle of lavender oil.

2. Measure a tablespoon of almond oil into a small bowl.

3. Add 3-4 drops of lavender oil and mix together.

4. Wash and dry your face.

5. Apply the mixture to your skin using your fingertips.

6. Keep any excess in the fridge in a container with a lid.

7. Apply every day.

 

Precautions And Side Effects

  • Before using lavender oil to treat your acne, you should test a small amount on the back of your wrist. Leave it on the skin for about 30 minutes to see if you have any reaction to it. Some people experience irritation, so it's important to do this before using it on your face.
  • Lavender oil should be avoided by women who are breastfeeding or pregnant (7).

 

Final Thoughts

Lavender oil has been used for beauty and medical treatments for thousands of years.

But, its effects on acne have not been studied. However, anecdotal reports indicate that some people do find it useful as a natural treatment.

It does possess a number of properties that could explain its ability to reduce and prevent acne outbreaks, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and stress reducing capabilities.

Have you tried lavender oil for acne? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section.

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