Acne isn’t just a problem for teenssurowa/Shutterstock
An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have outbreaks at any given time, while people in their 40s and 50s still get acne too. Although acne is incredibly common, many people can’t seem to find a treatment that works for them. Prescription drugs and chemical treatments become the go-tos, but their harsh chemicals can cause significant side effects, furthering irritation and exacerbating the problem, and for some people they simply don’t work at all. Rather than spending wads of money on potentially harmful products or useless products, why not get back to the basics—essential oils, which have been used as a beneficial home remedy for centuries to enhance spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. Egyptians used them as early as 4500 BC; scholars in India created the science of Ayurveda using essential oils around 3000 BC; and Chinese scholars used essential oils as remedies for ailments between 2067 and 2597 BC.
Because essentials oils are extracted directly from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed, or root of a plant or tree, and then distilled, they are highly concentrated, so just one drop can have incredible benefits. The benefits of essential oils come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which provide natural medicine without side effects. Studies have shown essential oils to fight cold and flu symptoms, improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety, improve digestion, heal skin conditions, and so much more. There are three primary ways to use essential oils: applied to the skin, inhaled, or ingested. If you’re applying them directly to the skin, test a small drop on the inside of your wrist first to see if you have a reaction to it. Most formulas are diluted, which should protect against skin sensitivities. Oral use of essential oils is trickier, so if you’re interested in that, work with an aromatherapy practitioner to make sure you’re doing it correctly and safely. Whether you’ve run out of options for treating your skin or are just looking for a more holistic route, research has found several essential oils that can help treat acne.