Lately I have been asked a lot about skin care for acne and whether essential oils can help. So here is some information about how to care for what can be a frustrating and demoralizing condition.

Acne is the term used to refer to skin which has pimples and blackheads. It can range from just a few spots on the face, to widespread eruptions and can appear also on other areas of the body such as the back. Whilst acne is generally thought of as a teenagers condition, it can affect people of all ages.

It is also not uncommon for those suffering from this condition to also have sensitive skin. This can make the condition even harder to treat, as many acne products on the market are very strong and can be harsh to the skin.

Here are some basic things that you can do to treat and control acne in a natural and gentle way.

Cleansing - Cleansing is necessary to remove dirt, bacteria and excess oil from the skin. However don’t overdo it. Whilst it can be tempting to do so, cleansing too thoroughly or too often so that the natural oils are stripped away, can fool the skin into thinking it is lacking oil and cause it to produce even more! Gently cleansing away dirt and excess oil twice a day is sufficient. Avoid cleansers that foam excessively as these often contain harsh detergents that can irritate. However a wash-off product can be useful to effectively wash away dirt and leave skin feeling fresh.

Toners - avoid toners that contain alcohol if you have sensitive skin. Natural hydrosols, a by product of the distillation of essential oils are a great alternative, being gentle and non-irritating. I recommend Lavender Hydrosol for blemished skin, or Orange Flower hydrosol to help control oil. TIP If your skin feels oily during the day, rather than cleansing again, simply wipe over your face with a cotton pad soaked with your hydrosol.

Moisturising - It is tempting to think that you should not be using a moisturiser if your skin is oily. However it can still be a good idea, especially if you have areas of skin that are actually dry. You can use straight Jojoba Oil - this golden oil is actually a liquid wax, and is very close in composition to the skin’s own natural oils. It is very healing and helps to control sebum production, making it ideal for oily or acne-prone skin.

Spot treatments - for individual spots, you can’t go past (in my opinion) Tea Tree Oil. This is one of the very few occasions that you can use an essential oil on the skin undiluted. Simply put a few drops on a cotton bud and dot the oil onto individual pimples, avoiding the surrounding skin.

Masks - Clay masks are excellent for oily or blemished skin as they draw excess toxins from the skin, absorb excess oil and improve the circulation.

Exfoliating - be careful about exfoliating if your skin is very inflamed. It is better to stick to masks in this case. However once your skin has calmed down, using a gentle exfoliant once or twice a week, can help to keep your skin smooth and clear.

And finally don’t forget some basic lifestyle factors - a good diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of water (about 2 litres per day), regular exercise and a good nights sleep!

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy and her husband David run Essence of Wellbeing a successful Aromatherapy & Massage Supply and Pure Natural Skin Care business, based in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia.

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