Most people have tasted the refreshing flavor of lemongrass in food and drink, particularly in Asian cuisine where it’s a common ingredient in soups and curries.
But lemongrass also produces an essential oil that has a history of production and use dating back hundreds of years in the Philippines, China, and India.
It’s used as a natural medicine to treat a variety of purposes. One of the conditions it can be used to help treat is acne.
In this article, I’ll show you how to use lemongrass oil for acne treatment, and the evidence that supports its use.
- 1 What Is Lemongrass Oil?
- 2 Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Good For Acne?
- 3 How To Use Lemongrass Oil For Acne
- 4 Side Effects And Precautions
- 5 Final Thoughts
What Is Lemongrass Oil?
Lemongrass oil is steam distilled from the leaves and stem of the lemongrass plant, Cymbopogon citratus.
Lemongrass is a tall grass that grows to approximately 4ft high and can be found in subtropical and tropical regions of the world.
It has a distinctive lemon flavor and scent that has seen it used for culinary purposes, and the oil has been used in a variety of products including deodorants, soaps, shampoos, lotions, beauty products, and air fresheners.
The refreshing smell of lemongrass oil has made it popular in aromatherapy for relieving anxiety and stress, and it’s used for health purposes as a natural medicine in many countries to treat (1):
- High blood pressure
- Stomach ache
- Digestive tract problems
As yet, due to a lack of clinical trials, there is no conclusive evidence to support its effectiveness for these purposes.
It’s also used by some people for acne treatment.
Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Good For Acne?
Clinical trials haven’t been carried out to examine the effectiveness of lemongrass oil at treating acne patients.
But, laboratory tests have looked at its ability to inhibit the acne bacteria and showed success.
In addition, there are some additional properties of the oil that could suggest a use in acne treatment.
Lemongrass contains the monoterpenes geranial and neral as two of its major constituents (2).
These give it potent antibacterial properties (3).
It also contains citral, a compound consisting of a combination of geranial and neral isomers, which also has proven antibacterial action (4).
Studies examining the ability of lemongrass oil to kill the acne bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, have confirmed its effectiveness in vitro (5).
One study that compared the ability of 22 different essential oils to inhibit the growth of the acne bacteria showed lemongrass to have the strongest antibacterial activity (6).
Lemongrass oil has demonstrated significant free radical scavenging ability in studies (7).
This could be of use in treating acne, as when applied topically it could help to neutralize free radical particles created in the skin by exposure to sunlight.
These free radicals can cause damage to sebum in the skin's pores, which provides the ideal environment for the acne bacteria to grow.
Topical use of antioxidants could protect the sebum from damage and help prevent the formation of acne.
How To Use Lemongrass Oil For Acne
Lemongrass essential oil should be diluted to around a 2% solution when being used for the first time as the undiluted oil can cause skin irritation.
It can be combined with other natural remedies to enhance its benefits.
Lemongrass Oil And Grapeseed Oil For Acne
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of pure, organic grapeseed oil and a bottle of lemongrass essential oil.
2. Obtain a measuring cylinder.
3. Measure 100 ml of grapeseed oil into the measuring cylinder.
4. Add 2 ml of the essential oil.
5. Pour the oils into a small bowl and mix together using a spoon.
6. Use your fingers or a brush to gently spread the oil mixture over the acne infected area.
7. Use every day to observe the best results.
Lemongrass Oil And Water For Acne
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of lemongrass oil and a measuring cylinder.
2. Measure 100 ml of water into the cylinder and add 2 ml of oil.
3. Transfer the contents of the cylinder into a small bottle with a spray top.
4. Shake the bottle well before spraying the mixture on your skin.
5. Use each day.
Lemongrass Oil And Witch Hazel For Acne
Witch hazel has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can help combat acne (11).
Directions For Use:
1. Purchase a bottle of witch hazel and a bottle of lemongrass oil.
2. Using a measuring cylinder, measure out 100 ml of witch hazel and 2 ml of lemongrass oil into a bowl.
3. Mix the two together.
4. Apply to your face using a brush.
5. This can be used each day.
Side Effects And Precautions
- Lemongrass essential oil can irritate some people's skin, so before using the diluted oil for the first time on your acne, try a couple of drops on your wrist and leave for about 20 minutes to observe how your skin reacts.
- Pregnant women should avoid its use.
Lemongrass essential oil has had no scientific studies conducted to examine its effectiveness in treating acne patients.
But, it has been shown in laboratory conditions to be a potent antibacterial that can kill the acne causing bacteria.
This provides encouraging results that suggest that it could be useful for acne treatment.
However, more studies will have to be performed to provide conclusive proof.
If you would like to give it a try you can do so by following the instructions given above.
Have you tried lemongrass oil for acne treatment? Please let us know your thoughts!