If you’re interested in cooking, you probably know oregano as a common culinary herb.
Its leaves are used to provide a slightly bitter, herbal taste that is commonly used in Italian cuisine and it’s well known in the US as the ‘pizza herb’.
But the essential oil that’s extracted from it also has a number of medicinal benefits.
The leaves and the oil have been used in traditional folk medicine for thousands of years for its antiseptic properties. The ancient Greeks called it ‘joy of the mountain’ and it was prized for its ability to treat infections.
But, can you use oregano oil for acne?
In this article we’ll take a look at the properties of oregano oil that make it useful for acne treatment, and how you can incorporate it into your daily skin care regime.
- 1 What Is Oregano Oil?
- 2 Can You Use Oregano Oil For Acne?
- 3 How To Use Oregano Oil For Acne Treatment
- 4 Using Oregano Oil For Acne Internally
- 5 Side Effects And Precautions
- 6 Final Thoughts
What Is Oregano Oil?
Oregano, also called wild marjoram, is a plant in the mint family that is found in the Mediterranean, South-West Eurasia, and temperate western regions.
The essential oil is obtained by distillation of the flowers and leaves and contains a number of ingredients that give it therapeutic properties.
While clinical trials have not been conducted to support its medicinal use, oregano is sometimes used as a natural herbal medicine to treat:
- Stomach upset
- Muscular pain
Can You Use Oregano Oil For Acne?
There haven’t been any studies conducted to specifically look at the effect of oregano essential oil in acne treatment.
But, it does have some scientifically proven properties that indicate a potential use for this purpose.
The anecdotal evidence of people who’ve used it for acne suggests that it works for some.
Let’s take a look at the major properties of oregano oil that could help fight acne infections.
Oregano oil contains a high concentration of thymol and carvacrol.
These are monoterpene phenol compounds that are known to be strong antibacterials.
Thymol is the major component of thyme essential oil, which has proven in tests to have strong antibacterial activity against P. acnes (3).
A study that looked at the effectiveness of a preparation of thymol and terpineol (another phenolic monoterpene found in oregano oil) in reducing acne on patients, showed a significant decrease of the infection (4).
This provides a possible explanation for the positive results obtained by people using topical oregano essential oil for acne treatment.
Inflammation caused by the bacterial infection is a prominent stage in the development of the acne condition.
Studies have shown that oregano oil has anti-inflammatory properties due to the beta-carophylin (E-BCP) it contains (5).
This hasn't been tested against acne, but it's possible that oregano oil could have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.
Oregano oil contains a high level of antioxidants, including rosmarinic acid, thymol and carvacrol.
When your skin is exposed to the sun, ultraviolet radiation produces free radicals that cause oxidative damage to sebum in your skin's pores.
This is considered to be an important step in creating the conditions that enable the bacterial infection to flourish (8).
Applying antioxidants to the skin could help in preventing this process.
How To Use Oregano Oil For Acne Treatment
As with most essential oils, it’s best to dilute it first before using, as it can be too strong for the skin to tolerate. The first time you use an essential oil it’s generally recommended to dilute it to approximately a 2% solution.
Here are some healthy remedies for acne using oregano oil:
Oregano Oil And Avocado Oil For Acne
Avocado oil is a popular carrier oil that also has beneficial properties in treating acne. It’s a light oil that has a low risk of clogging pores and also contains antioxidants and phytosterols that have anti-inflammatory properties (9).
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of oregano oil and a bottle of cold pressed avocado oil.
2. Measure 10 teaspoons of the avocado oil into a small bowl.
3. Add 4-5 drops of oregano oil.
4. Mix together.
5. Use your fingertips or a brush to spread the mixture on your face.
6. Repeat each day.
Coconut Oil And Oregano Oil For Acne
Some people swear by using coconut oil for acne. But for others it can be an unpleasant experience. It ranks 4 out of 5 on the comedogenicity scale, which means it has the potential to block pores. So that is a possible risk you have to consider before using it.
Studies have proven that the fatty acids in coconut oil can kill acne bacteria (10).
Directions For Use:
1. Get a bottle of coconut oil and a bottle of oregano oil.
2. Depending on the temperature, coconut oil can be solid or liquid at room temperature. If it's a solid, first warm a couple of tablespoons of the oil in a small pan.
3. Put the liquid coconut oil into a small bowl.
4. Add approximately 5 drops of the oregano oil and mix together.
5. You can use your fingers to massage the oil into your skin or use a brush to spread it.
6. For best results, use each day.
7. You can keep any excess mixture in a sealed container in a fridge to use again.
Oregano Oil And Water
Directions For Use:
1. Purchase a bottle of oregano oil and a measuring cylinder
2. Fill the measuring cylinder with 200 ml of water.
3. Pour the water into a small bottle with a spray top.
4. Add 4 drops of oregano oil into the bottle of water
5. Put the lid on the bottle and shake well to mix the oil with the water before each use.
6. Use every day.
Oregano Oil And Aloe Vera Gel For Acne
You can use Aloe vera gel for acne treatment as it makes a soothing and gentle carrier for essential oils that won’t clog your pores.
Directions For Use:
1. Get a jar of Aloe vera gel and a bottle of oregano oil.
2. Get a tablespoon and use it to transfer 1 tablespoon of Aloe vera into a bowl.
3. Add 2-3 drops of the oregano essential oil.
4. Mix together with a fork or spoon.
5. Spread the mixture onto your face.
6. You can use this method every day.
Using Oregano Oil For Acne Internally
Some people claim good benefits from ingesting oregano oil capsules for acne treatment.
But, there are no clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness, so the evidence is anecdotal at this time.
Side Effects And Precautions
- Before using oregano oil for the first time, try a few drops of the diluted oil on the back of your wrist to see if your skin can tolerate it.
- Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid using oregano oil (11)
- Oregano is thought to lower blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes should be cautious about ingesting it.
- When ingested oregano oil could increase the risk of bleeding if you have a bleeding disorder.
- If you are taking medication consult your health practitioner before starting to ingest oregano oil regularly.
A lot of people claim positive results from using oregano oil to treat their acne condition.
But, there are no scientific studies that specifically look at the use of oregano oil for this purpose.
However, studies into the active ingredients in oregano oil have shown that it contains very strong antibacterials that are capable of inhibiting the growth of acne infections, and reducing the appearance of acne in patients.
It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help in treating acne.
Have you tried oregano oil for acne? Did you see good results?