Acne is a major issue for 80% of the teenage population. While acne will clear up for most of them, they will experience break-outs throughout their lives. Even if we use products to clear our acne away, it can leave us with unsightly skin issues. Acne can leave scarring, oversized pores, and red, dry skin that looks very unhealthy.
Everywhere you look you will see a miracle product promises to clear away acne and leave you with beautiful and healthy skin. We want to believe this. We listen to celebrities who swear by a product and we buy it. As a matter of fact, $400 billion dollars per year is spent on over-the-counter acne cures in America alone. There is a better way.
Photo credit: Eric Lucatero
You should know
We will introduce you to all natural products that dry up acne while addressing other issues that lead to it. But first, you need to know fundamental facts about acne. There are three things that have to be present for acne to grow. You can learn more here. They are:
- Clogged Pores
Pores can be clogged by wearing make-up, heavy face creams, as well as from dry, flakey skin, and from dirt and dust. Everyone has some of these factors. They are unavoidable. The question is how do we actively try to clean and treat our pores so they do not get infected with acne.
Bacteria is sneaky. The bacteria that causes acne lives on your skin all the time. Your body sends cells to the bacteria to try to kill the bacteria. Those killer cells cause the pore and the area around the pore to swell and create raised bumps with a white center (pimples.) The trick is keeping the bacteria under control so that your body will not attack your face.
Note: picking at the skin and squeezing the bumps spreads the bacteria and invites more. Fingernails will rip the skin. This will lead to scars.
- Overproduction of oil
Your body produces oil. That doesn’t mean that everyone with oily skin gets acne. Teenagers often have oily skin due to hormone changes. When the oil in your skin mixes with bacteria, it clogs the pores and that is what creates acne.
Photo credit: Christin Hume
Essential Oils to the rescue
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil has been used for years in Australia. It is an all natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal oil that is fantastic for healing or preventing acne. Dab it on pimples with a cotton swab for overnight improvement. Once your skin is clear, mix it with your moisturizer to use as a preventative. Treat your skin with this at night. Apply sunscreen before going outside.
Lavender is a gentle and effective. Lavender helps clean the pores and soften skin. The great thing about Lavender is it’s relaxing. It calms the body and reduces the stress that can cause break-outs. Use it as a spot treatment. Mix it in with your body wash for all over protection. You can mix it with face cream as well.
Juniper Berry Essential
This natural anti-bacterial essential oil does a great job clearing up acne. This oil is potent. You will need to reduce the power by mixing it with equal amounts of coconut oil. Juniper Berry is a great preventative. Add a few drops and mix it in your face cream. Juniper Berry Oil helps to reduce the look of scarring.
We are sure you were waiting for this. Of course, Peppermint Oil is on the list. It is one of the most versatile oils on the market. Peppermint oil kills many forms of bacteria. It kills the bacteria that caused you to break out and the bacteria that is formed after your face is under attack. It smells good and it rarely causes a reaction on the skin, meaning most people can use it without mixing it with a carrier oil.
Clean your face carefully with soap and water. Put a few drops of Peppermint oil on a cotton ball and dab it on your acne.
Clary Sage (in our opinion) is the Mac Daddy of acne-fighting essential oils. Why? Clary Sage is oil that clears the pores, it is a natural antibacterial product, but there is more. Clary Sage reduces inflammation. Overnight, those angry red bumps are brought down to size. Finally, Clary Sage reduces the over-active production of Sebum. Sebum is the oil that the human body makes. People who have acne will have an elevated amount of sebum, which must go if you want clear skin.
All of the essential oils listed are to be used topically in order to treat acne. You should never apply essential oil directly to the skin until you have tested it on your skin. If you are seeing a doctor for treatment, ask him if the medication you are using can be used with essential oils.