(Last Updated On: February 2, 2018)

A minimum of 35% of Terpinen-4-ol is an essential oil industry standard.

Yeah, not quite the talk you’d find on The Bachelor.

But that is stuff you’re gonna have to know to kill off your acne and look like the bachelorettes.

And I’m sure you know this, but for old times’ sake – Chemical treatments will kill your acne but harm you in ways essential oils won’t. It’s a clear winner, ladies – essential oils for acne.

In case you’re worrying which essential oil to get, don’t. All you need to do is keep reading.

Not only do I reveal the best essential oils for acne; I even tell you why I selected them.

Don’t worry, I didn’t make this up. I reviewed over three dozen oils to come up with my 10 essential oils for acne.


At A Glance: My Choices For The Best Essential Oils For Acne

First Botany Cosmeceuticals’ 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Essential Oil. Don’t be put off by the chemical name Terpinen-4-ol. That’s just the active ingredient of tea tree oil and it has great antibiotic properties.

ArtNaturals’ Tea Tree Essential Oil. It works wonders with a face mask.

Apothecary Extracts’ Tea Tree Oil. It can be used against skin tags as well.

Ovvio Oils’ Frankincense Essential Oil (Carterii and Serrata Blend). It’s sourced from plants in Egypt and India. It reduces inflammation and is very soothing.

Essential Oil Labs’ Lavender Essential Oil. Of course, it’s very soothing. Plus, it has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties. It can also help with blood pressure.

Tea Tree Oil Review

There have been over 300 modern medicinal studies carried out showing the anti-bacterial properties of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to cure acne. Click To Tweet

A bit of trivia: The ‘tree’ here is the Melaleuca alternifolia which is a species of tree or tall shrub endemic to Australia. So if you see the term ‘Australian Tea Tree Oil’ anywhere, know that it’s just your regular Tea Tree Oil.

For acute acne, you may add 2-3 drops (NOT MORE THAN THAT) of tea tree oil to a ball of cotton wool and apply directly on the acne site. Otherwise, use this with a facewash or a carrier oil.

I’ve selected 3 brands of tea tree oil.

01. First Botany Cosmeceuticals’ 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Essential Oil Review

Don’t worry, Terpinen-4-ol is just the active ingredient of tea tree oil. It isn’t an add-on chemical.

This is steam-distilled from tea tree leaves.

One study lists Terpinen-4-ol as a key ingredient giving tea tree oil its anti-microbial properties.

This product conforms to the ISO Standard for Terpinen-4-ol. So, no, you aren’t getting too much Terp.

I’d recommend coconut oil as a good carrier oil. You can use tea tree oil with your facewash or moisturizer as well.

Its odor is relatively weak but some users may be put off.

What I Liked

Great anti-bacterial properties

Conforms to ISO standard for Terpinen-4-ol

Can be used with facewashes

Useful against other problems like dandruff, Athlete’s Foot etc

Comes with a stopper so you can easily control the amount

What I Didn’t Like

Odor may put some people off

If you do get it into your eyes, rinse with water IMMEDIATELY

If you use contact lenses, remove them before using tea tree oil

If you keep experiencing vision changes, consult a doctor

If you’re pregnant consult a doctor before using this

Oral consumption (swallowing or drinking it) is a BIG NO-NO

02. ArtNaturals’ Tea Tree Essential Oil Review

This is also steam-distilled from the tree leaves.

Its main ingredients are Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes and Oxides.

Terpinen-4-ol (remember we discussed this above) is a monoterpene alcohol.

Sesquiterpenes may be more powerful against acne than benzoyl peroxide, which is the medical benchmark.

You could apply 4-5 drops to your facemask. And for a carrier oil I would recommend jojoba oil.

Do not get carried away and get it into your eyes, nose or mouth.

What I Liked

 Great anti-bacterial properties

 Can be used with facemasks

 Useful against other problems like lice

 Comes with a stopper so you can easily control the amount

What I Didn’t Like

If you do get it into your eyes, rinse with water IMMEDIATELY

If you use contact lenses, remove them before using tea tree oil

If you keep experiencing vision changes, consult a doctor

If you’re pregnant consult a doctor before using this

Oral consumption (swallowing or drinking it) is a BIG NO-NO

03. Apothecary Extracts’ Tea Tree Oil Review

This is produced by steam-distillation of tea tree leaves .

I’d say combine this with Aloe Vera gel and honey to create your own cream. Jojoba oil would be my recommendation for a carrier oil.

This brand has less than 5% Cineole and more than 35% Terpinen-4-ol, which is an important industry standard. A Gas Chromatography report proving this may be obtained on demand from the manufacturers.

What I Liked

 Great anti-bacterial properties

 Can be used with facewashes or gels

 Useful against other problems like skin tags

What I Didn’t Like

 If you do get it into your eyes, rinse with water IMMEDIATELY

 If you use contact lenses, remove them before using tea tree oil

 If you keep experiencing vision changes, consult a doctor

 If you’re pregnant consult a doctor before using this

 Oral consumption (swallowing or drinking it) is a BIG NO-NO

Frankincense Essential Oil Review

Frankincense was one of the gifts The Three Wise Men gave to Jesus. Frankincense Essential Oil is known as The King of Essential Oils.

The key properties of Frankincense that will help it clear your acne are – anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, astringent and soothing.

04. Ovvio Oils’ Frankincense Essential Oil (Carterii and Serrata Blend) Review

This product combines extracts from Boswellia carterii (from Egypt) and Boswellia serrata (from India). It contains boswellic acid which has anti-microbial properties.

You can use this product with a face wash or with a carrier oil. Many people like using Jojoba Oil as a carrier. You may even use water as a carrier.

It will also help with stress, anxiety, blood pressure and several other problems.

Be very careful to not get this into your eyes. If you do, immediately rinse your eyes with water and consult a doctor.

There are users who advocate using 3% frankincense for your eyes but I wouldn’t suggest it.

What I Liked



Astringent which helps tone skin and shrink pores

Relaxing odor

Useful for other problems like asthma, anxiety, blood pressure etc

What I Didn’t Like

A few users report allergic reactions. If you do experience hives, a rash, difficulty breathing or swollen skin, CONSIDER IT A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. 

Frankincense oil has a blood-thinning property. If you are scheduled for surgery please stop taking it and report it to the doctor concerned

Lavender Essential Oil Review

Who hasn’t heard of Lavender oil’s soothing properties?

Reduced stress prevents acne.

Lavender oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.

05. Essential Oil Labs’ Lavender Essential Oil Review

The Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender) plant is steam-distilled to get this oil. The plants are sourced from a sustainable farm in Bulgaria.

It comes with a stopper so I could pour myself a few drops without spilling.

This product can also help relieve tension, relieve pain and help blood circulation.

Coconut oil is a good choice of a carrier oil for Lavender oil and it may be used with a face wash of your choice.

As always, do not get carried away by the soothing scent and apply it directly to your skin or try to consume it.

What I Liked

 Relieves stress and reduces sebum production

 Anti-bacterial property

 Antioxidant property can also help reduce acne

 Can also be used to treat hair loss (Alopecia areata) and canker sores

What I Didn’t Like

 A few users report irritation of skin

 If consumed orally will lead to constipation and headaches

 Keep out of the reach of pre-pubescent children because it will affect their hormonal activity

 It is reported to slow down the Central Nervous System so stop using if you will undergo a surgery and also report it to the doctor

Rosemary Essential Oil Review

Rosemary oil is mainly discussed in kitchen talk, to make salads and so on.

But Rosemary Essential Oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and astringent properties which prevent acne. It also has an antiseptic property that can reduce acne.

06. Maple Holistics’ Rosemary Essential Oil Review

It is made by steam-distilling the Rosemary officinalis.

For those in the know, this is probably of the gentler ‘Verbenone’ chemotype hence its herbal scent.

It comes with a stopper so you can easily avoid wastage.

I would say avocado oil or castor oil are pretty good carriers.

What I Liked





 Can be used with shampoos to encourage hair growth and reverse dry scalp

What I Didn’t Like

 Some users may be put off by its odor

 If you mistakenly swallow it call 911. Oral consumption can cause kidney damage, convulsions or even death

 It may cause dermatitis

 If you are allergic to it you may experience an asthma attack

Peppermint Essential Oil Review

Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory (due to the cooling effect of menthol) and a weak anti-bacterial property.

Uniquely, peppermint oil inhibits production of a hormone called 5-alpha reductase. Reduced production of that hormone hampers sebum production, preventing acne.

07. Essential Oil Labs’ Peppermint Essential Oil Review

Almond oil is a good choice of carrier for applying Peppermint oil. Another good choice would be a Vitamin E oil and Jojoba Oil mixture. You can also use it with your favourite face wash.

It can help with other conditions like indigestion (if consumed), cold and congestion, headache etc and can be used as a natural pesticide.

What I Liked



 Relieves stress

 Helps conditions like indigestion, headache etc. Can be used as a natural pesticide

What I Didn’t Like

 Some users report heartburn

 Some users report allergic reactions like flushing

Helichrysum Essential Oil Review

Steam-distilled from the ‘Everlasting Plant’, Helichrysum oil is very effective at reducing acne.

It is astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-oxidant.

Helichrysum has a high concentration of diketones which are effective in reducing acne. In this, helichrysum is one of a kind among essential oils.

08. First Botany Cosmeceuticals’ Helichrysum Essential Oil Review

I would recommend coconut oil or sweet almond oil as carrier oils. However, before using sweet almond oil, please ensure you are not allergic to almond otherwise you could have a potentially fatal anaphylactic attack.

This product can help with other problems like arthritis (for arthritis use it with lavender oil using coconut oil as a carrier).

What I Liked





 High concentration of diketones heals acne scars without harming skin

What I Didn’t Like

 Don’t use directly!

 It may cause stomach cramps if you have gallstones

Lily Flower Essential Oil Review

Lily Flower Essential Oil is astringent and anti-inflammatory. Click To Tweet

Lily flower oil is also very good at healing scars without being too harsh on your skin. As I will explain later, this is important in saying bye bye to acne.

09. BioFinest’s Lily Flower Oil Review

We would recommend calendula oil as a good carrier oil. However you can even use it with a face wash.

It can also be used to treat arrhythmia, UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections) and chronic lung diseases.

What I Liked



 Heals acne scars

 Can also be used to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) etc

What I Didn’t Like

 Do not use this if you are pregnant or lactating

 Better to avoid if you are using beta blockers

 Stop using if you get a headache

Cypress Essential Oil Review

Steam-distilled from the Cupressus sempervirens, Cypress Essential Oil is astringent, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and stress-relieving.

It is a diuretic so it helps your body flush out toxins, which helps control and prevent acne.

10. Plant Therapy’s Cypress Essential Oil Review

Each batch is GCMS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) and organoleptically tested.

I’d recommend fractionated coconut oil for a carrier.

It solves other problems like spider veins on feet.

What I Liked





 Flushes out toxins

What I Didn’t Like

 Don’t use if you are pregnant

 May irritate sensitive skin. Do a patch test before starting a cypress regimen

So how do Essential Oils cure our acne?

Well, acne is caused by your pores getting blocked. Oil and something called sebum clog your pores.

The clogged pores create an environment where acne-causing bacteria can thrive.

Acne sites also experience inflammation.

You will remember how I kept talking about the oils having properties like astringent, anti-inflammatory and so on.

Well, this is the 411 of why those properties are so crucial.

An anti-bacterial property will kill off acne-causing bacteria directly.

An anti-inflammatory property will reduce inflammation typical to acne sites.

An astringent property will tone your skin, shrinking your pores and reducing space for acne-causing bacteria to grow.

Sebum-producing cells have stress-receptive receptors. A soothing property would reduce stress and reduce sebum production.

An anti-oxidant property probably helps reduce acne by destroying free radicals which help acne develop

Acne tends to leave behind scars even after it has been eliminated. So we’ll also be looking at scar-healing

Exfoliant so there will be no dead skin cells accumulated on your skin to cause acne.

Well that was a looong list…

Yeah, it was, and you know I won’t leave you hanging.

Of course, you’re free to choose any oil you want but I think there’s a clear winning combination you should check out.

Use lavender and helichrysum together in equal amounts in a suitable carrier to treat acne Click To Tweet

Although there are several other strong essential oils (for example lemon oil’s anti-microbial property is the strongest) my review of these oils suggests this lavender-helichrysum combination would work wonders to clear away your acne.

This is a highly popular choice among afficianados.

I have the following DIY recipe – ½ cup of jojoba oil with 5-10 drops of lavender and helichrysum essential oils – which I feel would clear away your acne leaving you refreshed and ready to go on that Emma (or Julia) Roberts make-up regime.

You promised a list of No-No’s

  1. All the oils discussed here are undiluted oils. Undiluted essential oils are extremely strong. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD YOU USE UNDILUTED ESSENTIAL OILS WITHOUT A CARRIER!
  2. For your skin, you may take at most 8-10 drops and massage them all over. However, it’s always better to dilute essential oils in a carrier or a facewash.
  3. Never drink these oils or get them into your eyes, nose or ears.
  4. Essential oils are extremely reactive to sunlight. Left exposed to sunlight, they may start forming p-Cymene (para-Cymene). That makes skin itch. So essential oils should be stored in dark bottles away from sunlight.

Well, that’s about it.

All the best to your quest to be free of acne!

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