After successfully dealing with acne, the last thing you want is a reminder of it in the form of a pesky scar. There are products and processes that can help, but if you’re looking for another option, essential oils are worth a look. Yes, the essential oils that can help with sleep, stress, and energy can also be a cure for acne scars. But before you start dousing yourself in your favorite oil, keep in mind that you shouldn’t apply them directly to your skin. (Though there are some exceptions, like tea tree oil.)
“When using essential oils on your face, I prefer diluting the essential oils with carrier oils like jojoba oil, argan oil, rose-hip oil, almond oil, etc.,” says Melody Brandon, an essential oil educator. “Typically, I always use fractionated coconut oil as my carrier oil, but since it can tend to clog the pores, most people tend to prefer other options. Since everyone’s skin is different, I always recommend starting out more conservatively and then adding more. You can start out with 15 drops of the essential oil blend in about two teaspoons of the carrier oil of your choice.”
It’s important to note that acne scars are the direct result of damaged pores and injured skin tissue after a pimple has been popped, so healing won’t happen overnight (like many cuts, bruises, or body scars). Also, the level of scarring can depend on your skin type and skin tone. While you’re treating the scars, you should also use makeup lightly, wear sunscreen, and avoid picking at your skin. And before you try any treatment or product, you’ll want to talk to your dermatologist to prevent any damage or risks to your skin.
Take a look at some essential oil options for acne scars below.
can’t lavender do? It’s already used as a sleep and anxiety aid, and it has healing properties, too. “Lavender is a lovely spot treatment to use directly on blemishes before bed (or mixed with a carrier oil). It has been shown to have natural sedative properties, which can help improve sleep routine and combat insomnia and sleep deprivation—both of which can lead to imbalances in hormone levels,” says Sara Panton, co-founder and CEO of Vitruvi. “Lavender also has gentle antimicrobial properties that help decrease surface bacteria, which might contribute to blemishes and also helps with healing, as a gentle sedative quality.”
Brannon recommends rose as an option for eliminating scars, a tip she got from Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine. The book says that the antimicrobial properties of rose make it a powerful treatment for a variety of skin conditions, acne included, and it can also prevent scarring and minimize the look of wrinkles.
Carrot seed oil has antioxidant properties that may help with scarring, and it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can offer wound protection. Some experts also believe that the oil can help prevent dark spots, too.
Tea tree is already known to treat acne itself, but its antibacterial properties are said to also help scar and wound healing. And it can prevent any future breakouts, too.
Many experts believe that since neroli oil has cell regeneration properties, it might aid in the reduction of stretch marks and scars. Like many other oils, it has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Helichrysum is a flowering plant that also goes by immortelle. In essential oil form, it’s known to treat scars and smooth skin. Brandon recommends a blend from DoTerra, which includes helichrysum and other helpful oils. “Some of my top favorite essential oils for healing scars are in the blend immortelle (aka the anti-aging blend). It has oils like rose, frankincense, myrrh, helichrysum, lavender, and Hawaiian sandalwood, so you really get such a variety of the top nourishing and anti-inflammatory skin oils in one blend.”
“This resinous essential oil is great for scars and stretch marks, it has been said that its use spans hundreds of years helping to restore aging skin and scars,” Panton says. “I love mixing it with hemp seed oil, which is full of omegas; it improves the tone and texture of skin instantly while also helping add moisture.”
Patchouli is known to help with sleep and is used as a fragrance for some people, but many experts also believe it can minimize scars because of its cell-rejuvenating properties.
Geranium oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help the healing process. It’s also used to treat dermatitis, eczema, and aging skin.