Aromatherapy Skin Care: Acne and Other Breakouts

Aromatherapy Skin Care: Acne and Other Breakouts

AcneThe bane of all existence, especially for teenagers! Acne often makes you feel self-conscious, especially when you have a large outbreak. As part of our Aromatherapy Skin Care series, let’s talk about acne.

While pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts do occur in dry skin, they are much more common in oily and combination skin. In general, acne is caused by hormones. The overproduction of adrenal hormones can be caused by stress or puberty, and generally manifests around the chin and jawline. Acne is usually temporary, and most often occurs in puberty. However, it does follow people into adulthood, particularly if it’s hormone related. (11)

When using essential oils to treat acne and other breakouts, you might want to try out different oils to find which one or ones work best for your skin type. Lavender and Tea Tree are the most helpful. Bergamot has astringent properties and also has antidepressant properties, which helps teenagers.

Fruit plate 2Food, Sleep, and Stress

While most breakouts are caused by hormones and bacteria, you still need to be careful what you eat so that your skin is strong and nourished from the inside out. You need lots of dark green vegetables, fruits, whole grains, calcium, omega-3’s, and other vitamins. And water! Water does more for the health of your skin than you can ever imagine. It will help flush out more toxins than anything else can and it will help you keep your skin clear and healthy.

I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of enough sleep every night. Your whole body needs that time to rejuvenate itself. Your skin has a much more healthy look to it when you get enough rest. In fact, it’s easy to tell those who do and those who don’t get enough sleep just by looking at their face.

Exercise_your_body_exercise_your_mindYou also need to watch how you are managing your stress levels. We all have stress and teenagers have a lot of pressure on them as they deal with school, sports and other extra-curricular activities, friends, and their changing bodies. But it’s an endless cycle. Too much stress can trigger an upswing in hormones which can then trigger an outbreak of acne, which can then cause more stress, and you start all over again. Learn ways to manage the stress so it doesn’t manage you.

Best Oils

  • Essential oils: Lavender, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Eucalyptus globulus, Sage, Thyme, Ajowan Seed,  (for oily skin).  Rosemary, Tea Tree, Melaleuca, (for dry skin). Also can use Neroli, Bergamot FCF, Geranium, Carrot Seed, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Helichrysum, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Palmarosa
  • Carrier oils: Tamanu, Aloe Vera, F.C.O. (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Grapeseed, Olive, Hazelnut, Jojoba,
  • Herbs: Elder Flowers, Red Clover Flowers, Licorice Root, Strawberry Leaves, Goldenseal

Points of interest

  1. Cleanser: Thoroughly cleanse acned skin. Use a pH-balanced cleanser or end with a pH-balancing toner. Foaming cleansers are good. Follow the oily skin procedures if your skin is oily, or the dry skin procedures if your skin is dry. (11)
  2. Steam: It can help to steam once or twice a week, but if pustules open, follow the steam with alight cleanser or at least a rinse, before continuing your facial. (11)
  3. Exfoliation: Scrubbing exfoliants aggravate acne. Use natural AHA’s, such as Apple Cider Vinegar, to lightly exfoliate. That can also work as a toner, especially if you add essential oils. Papaya fruit works well as a gentle exfoliant. (11)
  4. Oily skin maskMask: An astringent mask works well, as does a clay mask, especially when moistened with toner and mixed with antibacterial essential oils. (11)
  5. Toner: Diluter Apple Cider Vinegar has antiseptic properties and it helps the skin maintain the proper acid balance. Aloe Vera also works well. (11)
  6. Moisturizer: Use light lotions that contain mostly Aloe Vera to help heal skin damaged by acne. (11)


These are a few recipes specifically aimed at certain types of breakouts. For other recipes designed for your skin type, you should also look at the recipes in Oily, Dry, Combination, Normal, and Mature skin, depending on what your skin type is.

Always test any formula on a small part of your skin first before using all over your face or body. Please be sure your skin can handle the blend before being covered in it.

Herbal Scrub for Teenage or Acned Skin

  • 1/4 cup Oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon dry Lavender flowers
  • 1 tablespoon dry Thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dry Rosemary leaves
  • 2 drops Lemon
  • 3 drops Tea Tree

Grind oatmeal and herbs into a fine powder in an electric coffee grinder, or something similar. Add the essential oils and mix well. Store mixture in an airtight jar. To use, moisten 1 teaspoon of scrub with rosewater or Aloe Vera juice. Gently scrub and rinse. Do not use if your skin is sensitive or has numerous pustules. (11)

oatmealOatmeal Wash for Blackheads

  • 2 tablespoons Oatmeal
  • 6 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 drop Lavender

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Rub the face wash over skin with clean fingertips. Massage it gently over the skin for about 5 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Finally, splash your face with cold water and pat dry. Try to repeat this routine three times a day — morning, noon, and night. (1)

Bye-Bye Blackheads Scrub

  • 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 2 drops Lavender or Roman Chamomile

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. To use, massage the entire mixture into damp skin and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse well with warm water, then pat your skin dry. (15)

Basic Facial Steam

  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1 large handful of herbs (from above list)
  • 5 drops essential oil of choice (from above list)

Steep the herbs for 5 – 10 minutes, covered. Remove lid and add essential oils, leaving the herbs in the water. Use a towel to make a tent over the pot or bowl and steam your face for up to 10 minutes. Strain the herbs and save the tea to use as a final rinse water at the end of facial. (11)

Activated charcoalCharcoal Face Mask

  • 2 teaspoons Distilled Water
  • 2 teaspoons Powdered Activated Charcoal (5-6 capsules)
  • 2-3 drops Tea Tree oil

Stir the water into the charcoal until it forms a paste then stir in the Tea Tree oil. Spread the entire mixture over your face and neck, avoiding the delicate areas around your eyes and mouth. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then thoroughly wash it off with warm water and pat your skin dry. (15)

Green Goddess Purifying Clay Mask

  • 1 tablespoon French Green Clay, finely ground
  • Pure Aloe Vera juice
  • 2 drops German Chamomile or Helichrysum gymnocephalum

In a small bowl, use a spoon or a whisk to combine the clay with enough of the aloe vera juice to form a smooth, spreadable paste. Stir in the essential oil. Spread paste onto your face and neck and allow to dry completely for 20-30 minutes, preferably while you are lying down. Rinse with warm water and follow with a moisturizer. (13)

Intensive Treatment Mask for Acne

  • 1/2 teaspoon Goldenseal Root
  • 25 drops Tea Tree

Combine ingredients into a paste, adding water or Tamanu oil if necessary to obtain right consistency. Apply directly to acne spots. Leave the mask on skin for 10 – 20 minutes. Rinse well. (11)

Acne Astringent

  • 2 cups Distilled Water
  • 1 tablespoon Yarrow (herb)
  • 1 tablespoon Calendula or Chamomile Flowers
  • 6 drops Juniper Berry, Rosemary, or Peppermint oil (Can use a combination of 2, or all 3 as well)

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the herbs, cover, and steep for 30 minutes. Add the essential oil(s), stir and strain. Pour into a glass storage container, close lid and shake well. Refrigerate for up to 1 week and then discard any remainder. Apply approximately 1 teaspoon to face or more as necessary. Avoid eye area. Can be used on blemishes on shoulders, back, back and chest. Follow with a moisturizer. (13)

Vegetable-GlycerinBasic Moisturizer

  • 1/4 cup carrier oil from above list
  • 1/4 cup Stearic Acid Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoons Glycerin
  • 1 cup distilled Water
  • 5 drops essential oil from above list

Combine F.C.O. and stearic acid in a 16 ounce, ovenproof glass measuring cup. Combine the baking soda, glycerin, and water in an 8 ounce ovenproof glass measuring cup. Heat the oil and stearic acid in a water bath on the stove top until the mixture is a clear liquid and all of the powder has melted. Heat the water solution until just boiling (about 2 minutes in the microwave on high). Slowly add the water solution to the oil and stearic acid. You will see the mixture foam up as carbon dioxide is released.

Pour the entire mixture into a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes. Add essential oil during last 20 seconds. The mixture will be a white, fluffy cream. Spoon into a bowl and allow to cool and then spoon the cream into a clean jar with a lid. Massage a small amount into your face and neck. Yields 12 ounces. (4)

Heal Acne Scars

  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Frankincense
  • 2 drops Ylang Ylang
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba

Apply formula to affected area. (10)

And finally,

What essential oil recipes have you tried on your face? How do you like to take care of your acne naturally? Please share in the comment section down below. All of us would love to hear!



  1. Natural Home Spa by Sian Rees
  2. Seasons of Aromatherapy by Judith Fitzsimmons and Paula M. Bousquet
  3. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism by Julia Lawless
  4. Natural Beauty at Home: More than 250 Easy-to-Use Recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair by Janice Cox
  5. The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs by Robert B. Tisserand
  6. The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy by Chrissie Wildwood
  7. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
  8. The Aromatherapy Bible: The Definitive Guide to Using Essential Oils by Gill Farrer-Halls
  9. 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller and David Schiller
  10. The Essential Oils Handbook: All the Oils You Will Ever Need for Health, Vitality, and Well-Being by Jennie Harding
  11. Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, 2nd edition, by Kathi Keville and Mindy Green
  12. Aromatherapy: An A-Z: The Most Comprehensive Guide to Aromatherapy Ever Published by Patricia Davis
  13. Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self, by Stephanie Tourles
  14. Do It Gorgeously: How To Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products, by Sophie Uliano
  15. Ecobeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends by Lauren Cox and Janice Cox

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