Our skin is naturally capable of regeneration and fighting unwanted inflammatory factors. The process however, may be very slow. Nature is giving us a hand in speeding up this process. Thus, I will give you details about some of the best essential oils for acne scars, old and new.
You’ll also get to find out about:
- Why are essential oils the best for acne and acne scars treatment? Learn more about their mechanism of action.
- What essential oils are good for acne scars and why? With pros and cons for a safe use and an improved complexion.
- Best ways to use these aromatic oils and enjoy their benefits without side effects.
- How long it takes to get rid of acne scars naturally and beautifully.
- A few things to know about mature acne. Plus a list of essential oil recipes for acne scars to choose from whenever you need a new treatment.
Best Essential Oils for Acne Scars (Natural Treatment)
Every day, the skin performs the difficult task of protecting the whole body. It protects it from physical shocks and bacteria and infections, among others.
There are millions of germs and bacteria, and even viruses that live on the skin. Once its defense mechanism is down or the skin opens up (a wound), they find their way inside.
Physiologically, the skin is perfectly capable of dealing with infections on its own. But the process is slow and it may take years for some scars to fade away.
Acne scars are different from those caused by scrapes, burns, cuts, etc. They are caused by inflammation and run deep into the tissue.
This acne inflammation causes hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is basically what’s left after acne disappears. It’s what we call acne scars. I will tell you more about them in the last part, before the list of recipes.
How can essential oils help fade away acne scars?
Before finding out what essential oils are good for acne scars, let’s see why they’re your best treatment option.
Lab-made creams and dangerous substances that treat acne can also damage the skin. Unlike these creams, essential oils are natural. They’re also concentrated substances, extracted from various plant parts. Twigs, leaves, bark and resins are all used to extract oils by steam distillation.
The fact that they are natural is perhaps the keyword when it comes to an efficient acne scar treatment. Their chemical composition is very complex. Each essence is different from all the others.
Depending on the geographical area, even the same essential oils can differ. For a good remedy to work against acne scars, it needs to be:
- Antibacterial and antifungal.
- Cicatrisant (promote scar formation).
- Soothing and calming.
- Able to speed up cellular regeneration.
- To boost collagen and elastin production.
- Antioxidants (fight free radicals).
- Acting on a deep tissue level.
- Promote exfoliation and cell turnover.
- Regulate sebum production.
Essential oils for acne scars can do all that and more. To prevent inflammation thus new scars, it’s important to prevent acne in the first place. Here is where the antibacterial properties are most efficient.
Some oils have a more powerful antibacterial action than others. Others are better at boosting collagen production and fighting free radicals. Because of these things, it’s always a good idea to mix a few different oils to make a potent blend.
Essential oils are:
- Volatile (they evaporate into the atmosphere).
- Lipid soluble (they mix with fats and are drawn to fats).
- Not water-soluble.
- Not fatty. Only carrier oils are fatty.
- Sensitive to sunlight and heat (they oxidize).
Under the skin, there are sebaceous glands that produce sebum. It is an oil (fatty) whose purpose is to maintain the skin lubricated and hydrated. The sebum also keeps the skin elastic and protected.
Acne usually thrives in excess sebum, which leads to clogged pores. A clogged pore is a perfect environment for bacteria. It feeds from the excess oil and dirt (dead skin cells, dust, etc.) and causes inflammation.
That’s why a truly efficient acne scar treatment needs to:
- Regulate the sebum production.
- Kill bacteria and prevent infections.
- Soothe inflammation in its starting phase.
- Hydrate and nourish the affected skin.
- Speed up its cell regeneration.
Essential oils for acne and acne scars get absorbed deep into the tissue, through the pores and sebum.
That being said, some of the best essential oils for acne scars are Helichrysum, Lemon, Lavender, and Frankincense. I will take each one and tell you why, with the usual pros and cons.
1) Helichrysum Essential Oil
Botanical name: Helichrysum italicum.
- Helichrysum is a great oil for acne scars. It works great for new scars, but it is especially useful for old acne scars. The oil contains 15 – 20% diketones, molecules that reduce tissue discoloration on a deep level.
- It improves microcirculation. Helichrysum also prevents the blood from pooling and staying in one place for too long. This is what usually happens with an acne scar.
- Helichrysum contains italidone, a molecule that also improves the aspect of scars.
- The oil soothes pain and fights free radicals, which helps in the regeneration process.
- The oil also has good anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helichrysum is also known as Immortelle oil. It should not be used with anticoagulant medication. Or if your menstruation is abundant.
- It has cortisone-like effects.
- If you use it pure, Helichrysum may burn or sensitize the skin.
Why I like it:
Using Helichrysum oil for acne scars makes potent blends. It’s a must-have beauty ingredient, even though it is quite expensive. It works great against fine lines and wrinkles, and any other skin problems.
2) Lemon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus limon.
- Lemon is one of the few other great antibacterial essential oils for acne scars. It was found effective against both negative and positive gram bacteria. Thus, the oil makes a great antibacterial and anti-infection agent.
- It improves the blood circulation and makes it more fluid. Then it passes through the affected area more easily and speeds up regeneration.
- It is very uplifting and refreshing.
- Lemon essential oil for acne scars can boost the production of collagen. New collagen fibers replace the damaged ones and help fade away dark spots/scars.
- Lemon should not be used by people with epilepsy or prone to seizures.
- It can be very aggressive with the skin.
- Depending on its extraction method, Lemon oil can be phototoxic. If it was extracted by cold pressing or expressed, you should not expose yourself to the sun. It may cause severe burning.
Why I like it:
It is very uplifting and refreshing and gives a nice touch when added to acne scar treatments. You can use Lemon essential oil for acne scars or for a better digestion. It can also be used for cholesterol or cellulite removal.
3) Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia.
- Lavender oil for acne scars is a popular choice, and for a good reason too. A study found the oil of Lavender to have strong bacteria killing effects. In a concentration of 0.25%, the oil managed to kill the Propionibacterium acnes in about 5 minutes.
- It can inhibit inflammation and pain messages to the brain. Thus, Lavender is a soothing and calming essential oil for acne and acne scars.
- It can also improve the blood circulation and boost collagen and elastin production.
- Lavender is one of the best oil for acne scars. It’s great at speeding up the regeneration process of the tissue too.
- Lavender should not be used by people with cardiovascular problems.
- Asthmatics should consult their doctor first.
- Lavender must not be used in high amounts and for long periods of time. Otherwise, it can drive the body and mind into nervousness and agitation, insomnia, etc.
Why I like it:
The use of Lavender oil for acne scars is well tolerated by most skin types and it’s great at improving their aspect. Lavender is very useful for any skin problem, and it can also repel insects and bugs, among others.
4) Frankincense Essential Oil
Botanical name: Boswellia carterii.
- Frankincense oil is one great ingredient for mature skin in particular. Mature skin types that suffer from acne and acne scars will do very well with this essence.
- You can use Frankincense oil for acne scars because it’s a great anti-inflammatory.
- It also has antibacterial properties, protecting the skin from infections.
- Frankincense has very good antioxidant effects. This means it can also speed up the process of skin healing and scar formation.
- It is especially appreciated for its proven collagen-boosting effects. It can do that because it contains traces of boswellic acids.
- The oil can also strengthen the defense barrier of the skin.
- Frankincense should be used carefully by people with asthma. The same care must be employed by people with epilepsy or prone to seizures. It’s best to ask for a doctor’s advice before using it.
- It can be toxic to the kidneys if used for long periods of time, in high doses or taken internally.
Why I like it:
Using Frankincense oil for acne scars can also help with stress symptoms, anxiety, etc. It’s great as anti-aging beauty ingredient, which helps to maintain a radiant complexion.
With the right skin care regimen, most acne scars can be healed. Here are other great essential oils that can help you get rid of acne scars:
- Rose Geranium
- Rosemary (ct. verbenone)
- Rosemary (ct. camphor)
- Tea Tree
- Spike Lavender
- Clary Sage
- Chamomile (German & Roman)
- Sweet Orange
- Carrot seed
Each essential oil for acne or acne scars must be tested for allergies! Mix a drop with some carrier oil and massage it on the soft inside of the forearm. If there are any negative reactions, they should occur within a few hours.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women must consult with their doctors first. Also, it is not recommended to use aromatic oils on babies and toddlers. Not without medical consent.
They can be dangerous to people with serious health conditions like diabetes or cancer. Always seek medical advice before using essential oils for acne scars, age spots, etc.
How to Use Essential Oils for Acne Treatment?
You’ve already noticed that these essences must not be used pure. For topical application, they should always be mixed with carrier (vegetable) oils.
The carrier you use in this case is extremely important! It must be the right one for your skin type and problem to avoid unnecessary trouble.
Essential oils are non-comedogenic because they don’t contain fatty acids. If you apply a drop on the skin and leave it there, a part of it will evaporate and the other will be absorbed into it.
The term non-comedogenic refers to a substance that doesn’t clog the pores. But carrier oils can be comedogenic! They contain only fatty acids (and other nutrients) that are essential to the skin.
They spread well on large skin areas, thus they’re very cost-effective. That’s why essential oils must be diluted with carriers:
- To cover more skin.
- Dilute its potency and deliver just the right amount needed.
- Use only a few drops per blend. This is also cost-effective as a small bottle of essence can last a very long time.
- Avoid skin irritation, burning or sensitization.
For facial blends, the best ratio is 8 – 12 drops of essential oil per Oz carrier oil. The complexion is very sensitive and the skin around the eyes, even more so! You must not use a concentrated serum/blend around the eyes. Only pure carrier oils can be used there.
Carrier oils can be lighter or thicker. The lighter ones, also known as dry oils, are usually the best for oily or combination skin types. They are non-comedogenic and can regulate the sebum production very well.
Check out the article on how to choose the best non-comedogenic carrier oil for your skin care regimen.
Some of the best carrier oils for acne scars are:
- Rosehip seed
A very popular carrier oil is Coconut, and it isn’t on the list. Is Coconut oil good for acne scars? The oil has very strong antibacterial properties, and because of that it also has a wide range of uses. But at the same time, Coconut is considered comedogenic.
Coconut is rated with 4 on a scale from 0 to 5, where 0 is non-comedogenic and 5 is very comedogenic and pore clogging.
The content of fatty acids in Coconut makes it too thick and clogging for the pores. Thus, Coconut oil can’t be considered a good oil for acne scars.
Essential oils and carrier oils are an effective duo for a proper skin care. They work in a synergy to deliver nutrients to the skin and protect it from infections. On top of that, they also maintain it supple and hydrated and boost its collagen production.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Acne Scars?
We all want to have great skin and when we start a new regimen, we’d like to have fast results too. But what we want with what really happens, don’t really match.
There is an average of 28 days for cell turnover. This is the process by which the skin replaces old and dead skin cells with new ones. Dead skin cells are pushed out of the skin layers by the new and healthy cells.
A new treatment with some of the best essential oils for acne scars can take at least 1 month to show results. A few cell renewal cycles will be necessary until the skin gets rid of the pigmented scars.
Thus, we can say that getting rid of acne scars may take anywhere between a month and a year. It usually depends on how deep the scars run and how old or new they are.
It takes patience and enough time to get that radiant, glowing complexion you want.
You can get rid of new scars faster than with old scars. Keep in mind that the age of a scar is directly proportional with the treatment time. Scars can be treated with good results if they’ve been there for up to 2 years. After that, it becomes very difficult to fade dark scar spots.
The skin of people with acne tends to have a memory. The skin “remembers” where lesions were. This means that that area is the most sensitive and prone to inflammation. Using essential oils for acne prone skin could put an end to this nasty cycle.
Mature Acne Facts and Scar Treatment Recipes with Essential Oils
Unfortunately, some people are more prone to acne than others. The type of skin plays a major role in this predisposition. Oily and combination types are the most affected by acne and its scars.
As a teenager, the body goes through many hormonal changes. This is the main cause for getting acne, but the diet contributes as well. Refined sugar in excess and junk food causes the increase of inflammation in the body.
As an adult, hormonal changes continue, even though they’re different from teenagehood. Menopause, for instance, wreaks havoc in the hormonal balance of a woman. Changing birth control pills or stopping their use may also make your skin acne prone.
Other causes for adult acne are:
- Prescribed medications.
- Corticosteroids (cortisone, cortisol, etc.)
- Refined sugar and diet.
Stress is at the root of most of our health problems. It is known to make all other illnesses worse, so acne makes no exception.
I was telling you that acne scars are different than the other scars. The other scars involve some sort of lesion into the skin that will form a scab and heal underneath it.
Acne scars are caused by inflammation and run deep into the tissue. It all begins when the pore gets clogged by excess sebum and bacteria starts thriving.
The purpose of inflammation is to protect from infections and/or injuries.
- It localizes and starts removing bacteria so that the body can start healing.
- The blood flows more freely through the capillaries.
- Then, fluid pools around the inflamed area.
- The body sends proteins and white blood cells to the damaged tissue.
Acne inflammation can be acute (a few days) or chronic (a week or more). Both cause discomfort, pain and itchiness at the site of inflammation. Chronic inflammation, however, should be reason enough to see a doctor as soon as possible.
The signs of inflammation are:
- Redness – tiny blood vessels dilate.
- Heat – blood flow increases.
- Swelling – fluid accumulates.
- Pain – swelling alters the tissue.
Suffering from acne, you’ve probably noticed how it all starts. Once you see a red spot, you know what follows. Now you also know what actually happens underneath the skin.
Using essential oils for acne scar treatment can reduce redness and pain. They can also help eliminate the bacteria by killing it.
The most common type of acne scars that is easier to treat and even prevent is:
- Pigmentary (red and brown).
There are also other, very difficult to treat acne scars. They are hypertrophic and keloid scars. These types of scars are thick and swollen and can vary in color from purple to brown.
Keloid scars don’t have the tendency to improve on their own. They can be found on cheekbones and cheeks. This is where natural remedies may fail. If that’s the case, you must talk to a dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.
How safe is it to put oil on oily or combination skin?
Oil is not only safe, but it’s also necessary. Oily or combination skin types need nutrients and moisturizing just like any other skin type.
Maybe they need it more because of our tendency to wash more frequently. That strips the skin of its natural oil (sebum) and causes the production of even more sebum.
Applying an oil serum will regulate that production because the skin won’t feel dry anymore. Thus, the body will think there is enough oil to keep it protected and lubricated. It will then produce oil in more moderate quantities.
Now you know it’s safe to use oil serums for acne prone skin. So, check out the following section of essential oil recipes for old and new scars alike.
Essential Oil Acne Scar Treatment Recipes
This is the last part of the article and the most fun, in my opinion. I will use the 4 best essential oils for acne scars I gave you their details for.
But other great oils will find their place in these blends too. Just take your pick and start the journey toward a radiant complexion.
Anti-Acne Exfoliating Mask
- Baking soda: 1 teaspoon
- Raw honey: ½ teaspoon
- Apple cider vinegar: ½ teaspoon
- Olive oil: ½ teaspoon
Mix all ingredients together and moist your face. Rub some of this paste on your fingers and apply with circular movements all over the face. Cover the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and the cheeks.
Leave the paste on for 10 – 15 more minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. The vinegar will make your PH more acidic, which helps with bacteria and wrinkles.
You can continue with a toner or a good oil serum for acne scars.
Acute and Chronic Acne Oil Treatment
- Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 8 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 15 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 5 drops
- Macadamia/Hazelnut/Jojoba oil: 6 tablespoons (approx. 1 ½ Oz)
Add all the essential oils for acne scars into the carrier. Give the blend a good shake before each use. Apply on a damp, clean face with circular and upward motions, avoiding the eye area.
Acne Scar Fade Away Essential Oil Recipe
- Frankincense essential oil: 4 drops
- Clary Sage essential oil: 3 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 5 drops
- Jojoba oil: 1 tablespoon
- Nigella (Black seed) oil: 1 tablespoon
Mix well and apply on a clean, damp face. This serum is best used at night.
Essential Oil Moisturizer for Old Scars
- Helichrysum essential oil: 6 drops
- Cistus essential oil: 6 drops
- Rosehip seed oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Apply to the affected area once or twice a day until the scars fade away. After a month or so of use, you can switch between blends to avoid the skin getting used to the oils.
Acne and Acne Scars Face Oil Serum
- Helichrysum essential oil: 4 drops
- Lemon essential oil: 4 drops
- Spike Lavender essential oil: 2 drops
- Roman chamomile essential oil: 2 drops
- Carrier oil for your skin type: 1 Oz (30ml)
Apply this blend daily, in the morning and/or night for as long as it takes. You can then continue with a different recipe if you want. This could become one of your best face oils for acne and acne scar prevention.
Acne is very common among teenagers and adults alike. Its effects can be devastating on many levels. From appearance to social life, acne can be very hard to deal with.
As if it wasn’t hard enough, the hardest part comes after it heals. Acne leaves deep scars on the skin; scars that take many weeks and months to fade away.
Luckily, we have the support of natural remedies. This article talks about some of the best essential oils for acne scars. It also gives you many recipes to choose from. Which recipe will it be the solution to your problem? Have you tried Aromatherapy for acne or acne scars yet?