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Controlling acne, the natural way

What is Acne?

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules are all types of acne. It commonly occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands activate, but it can occur at any age. It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars. The glands produce oil and are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females. Fast facts on acne

  • Acne is a skin disease involving the oil glands at the base of hair follicles.

  • It affects 3 in every 4 people aged 11 to 30 years.

  • It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars.

  • Treatment depends on how severe and persistent it is.

  • Risk factors include genetics, the menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, using oil-based makeup, and squeezing pimples.

An estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 experience acne outbreaks, but it’s not uncommon for pimples to pop up on the faces of those in their 40s or even 50s. And while there are plenty of effective treatments, some people prefer to find natural solutions, especially essential oils. Egyptians used essential oils as early as 4500 BC; scholars in India created the science of Ayurveda using essential oils around 3000 BC, while Chinese scholars used essential oils as remedies for ailments between 2067 and 2597 BC.

How essential oils work

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. Just a few drops can have incredible benefits. The benefits of essential oils come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown essential oils to help prevent bacterial infections, improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety, and fight acne-causing bacteria. 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, recommends Hope Gillerman, founder of H. Gillerman Organics and author of Essential Oils Every Day. Whether you’ve run out of options for treating your skin or are just looking for a more holistic route, there are several essential oils that can help treat acne.

The lavender essential oil has a fresh, floral scent with woody undertones. It is said to be beneficial for all skin types, especially skin over 35. Lavender promotes healthy cell turn-over and has anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender can be helpful for reducing the look of scars and for use on Eczema, Psoriasis,

and blemish-prone skin. It has also been reputed as a sedative and anti-depressant, alleviating stress and promoting personal renewal.

Tea tree oil consists of antimicrobial compounds that help prevent microbial growth. It contains impressive antibacterial properties known as terpenes, a type of volatile oil, that works against Propionibacterium acnes, effectively destroying the acne-causing bacteria and reducing the level of acne breakouts. Tea tree oil for acne can work its way into skin pores, helping to disinfect the skin. This essential oil can help unblock the sebaceous glands by penetrating deep into the skin and unclogging the pores. Since acne often forms inside the pores, this is where any acne treatments have to reach.

Geranium oil regulates the sebum production of the skin and thus, can help prevent acne breakouts. The geranium oil’s ability to regulate sebum production makes it a wonderful choice to treat oily skin.

Another acne trigger that geranium oil tackles are the hormonal imbalance. Imbalance in hormones like estrogen, insulin, and progesterone results in acne breakouts. Whereas, geranium oil is known to regulate the adrenal cortex and stabilize hormones.

“Frankincense essential oil is great for oily skin and acne [because it’s] a natural astringent, it helps regulate sebum and stops your face looking like a hot mess by removing excess oil, “Frankincense essential oil will soothe and reduce inflammation and can also help prevent acne forming thanks to the Boswellia acids it contains which are capable of killing bacteria associated with acne.”

Yarrow essential oil is the perfect ingredient for acne-prone skin, thanks to its powerful soothing and astringent properties. Yarrow calms down the redness and puffiness of painful pimples in a speedy manner, leaving the skin clearer and smoother.Yarrow oil also has cicatrisant effects. It is actually considered as effective as many cosmetic products such as creams and lotions designed to eliminate scars and marks, which are often extremely expensive. Many of these commercial products are based on petroleum gels with artificial flavors. Yarrow oil is a natural alternative that can clear any skin marks, such as those caused by pimples, boils, wounds, or acne

Hemp seed oil regulates how much sebum your skin creates. Additionally, hemp seed oil contains anti-inflammatory properties to limit tenderness and redness. Bad bacteria can also become trapped on the skin, worsening the symptoms of acne. The hemp seed oil contains antibacterial qualities to keep that bacteria, and subsequent breakouts, at bay.

What is hemp seed oil?

Hemp refers to the fleshy stem of a cannabis plant. When the seeds of this plant are pressed, it creates hemp seed oil. It has numerous health benefits and provides your body with much-needed substances, such as omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, and carotene. Although it's derived from the cannabis plant, it's not the same as CBD oil. While hemp seed oil contains trace amounts of cannabidiol oil, true CBD oil is made from the flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp plant. Additionally, CBD oils help

with mood, sleep, and anxiety while hemp seed oil mostly impacts the skin.

Hemp seed oil is incredibly beneficial for your skin

Those good omega fatty acids work wonders for your skin. You can already find it in a number of skincare products, and it provides the following benefits:

  • Locks in hydration - Hemp seed oil contains a lot of omega acids, 3, 6, and 9. These all work to repair your skin barrier. It creates a seal to lock moisture inside.

  • Soothes your skin - Those fatty acids not only hydrate your skin. They also help immensely with any inflammation.

  • Draws moisture to your skin - Hemp seed oil is a natural humectant. That means it attracts moisture your skin needs to feel rejuvenated.

At least one clinical trial indicates that jojoba oil can help keep acne at bay. Jojoba oil has soothing anti-inflammatory agents, healing properties, is moisturizing, and is a natural antimicrobial. These properties suggest that jojoba oil could help you avoid breakouts as well as promote healing for mild acne.

For acne-prone skin, jojoba oil takes the cake. First and foremost, it's non-comedogenic and won't clog pores, an imperative quality to search for if you have oily skin but still want to use an oil. Two, you're reaping all those anti-inflammatory benefits (as well as possible antibacterial properties, though more research needs to be done), both of which can help knock out breakouts. And finally, there's the fact that it can balance out your skin's natural oil production. "Since an over-production of sebum can often cause breakouts, using jojoba oil has been shown to ease acne," explains Nussbaum.

Benefits of Witch Hazel for Acne

  • Minimizes oil: "Witch hazel removes excess oil that can clog pores, helping to fight acne," says Nussbaum.

  • Minimizes pores: "It also contains tannins, astringent molecules that can minimize pore size by tightening the skin," Nussbaum says, hence why it's so often found in—you guessed it—astringent toners made for oily skin

  • Anti-inflammatory: Various studies have shown that witch hazel is an effective anti-inflammatory. "Because many acne lesions are inflammatory, witch hazel has been used to decrease the redness and inflammation," notes Nazarian. However, it will not help reduce cystic acne, according to Nussbaum, who says it's better suited for open and closed comedones—AKA blackheads and whiteheads—as well as single pustules produced by excess sebum. "By removing the excess oils, you are wiping away the risk of pore congestion," she explains.

  1. Aloe Vera is a natural substance: It’s not a chemical laboratory creation like so many other acne treatments, which means you can grow it in your backyard or inside your home as a potted plant and is easy to take care of and grow.

  2. Aloe vera is inexpensive and easy to find in stores: If you don’t want to grow your own aloe plants, simply buy aloe gel or juice in your local store.

  3. It has a long history all over the world as a remedy for skin problems of various kinds: Aloe is a tried-and-tested natural remedy. Unlike some of the shadier herbal treatments that lack science, aloe has been around for a very long time and has been used to treat skin conditions for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.

  4. Unless you are allergic to it, aloe has no negative side effects: Very few people are known to be allergic to aloe. That means just about anyone can use it with no worries.

  5. Aloe can easily be mixed with other natural substances to make your own skin treatments: This is where the fun comes in for people who like to combine their own, homemade skin and acne remedies with aloe. Some of the popular combinations are discussed below, but millions of consumers mix a bit of aloe gel in with their face scrub or daily skin lotion for an added dose of healing power.

  6. You can leave aloe gel on your face overnight and rinse it off in the morning: For acne treatment, it’s very common for sufferers to apply an aloe-based gel on the troublesome areas overnight. When you wash it off in the morning, it’s great to see clearer, cleaner skin with reduced signs of acne pimples, and scars.

  7. Aloe doesn’t have a strong odor or leave staining on your skin or clothes: Unlike numerous other natural products, aloe doesn’t have a pungent odor or irritating sting. It won’t stain your clothing and doesn’t leave discoloration on the skin after use. (Don’t worry if aloe appears to stain clothing. It’s not permanent and will typically come out after just one wash cycle).

Prickly pear seed oil is perfect for inflammatory conditions like acne. It fights inflammation without clogging pores or irritating your sensitive skin. Applied to existing blemishes, prickly pear’s wound healing properties may help your skin recover faster. Its antimicrobial and antifungal properties also help discourage infections, which is good news for anyone who gets cysts or pimples. (And don’t get us started on fungal acne!)

Now that we have covered the best oil choices and carriers, let's discuss how to use essential oils in our acne-fighting skincare routine.

Here are some basic acne treatments. Be sure to check out my acne face oil recipe below too.

An easy way to use the oils on your skin is by simply adding a few drops of your essential oil of choice to a teaspoon of carrier oil, then apply with a cotton ball or pad. A cotton swab is great for concentrated spot application.

You can also make a simple toner with witch hazel and a few drops of essential oil.

Simple Acne Face Oil recipe:

Phase 1: 10ml Jojoba carrier oil

8ml Hemp carrier oil

2 ml Rosehip carrier oil

Phase 2: 2 drops Lavender Essential oil

1 drop Yarrow Essential oil

1 drop Geranium Essential oil

Mix Phase 2 to Phase 1 together in a 20 ml roller botter, use morning and night after cleansing.

Simple Acne Face Mask recipe:

30 ml Aloe Vera Gel

15 ml Lavender Hydrolat or Neroli Hydrolat

2 drops of Lavender Essential oil

1 drop of Frankincense Essential oil

Mix well and applied on the face for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse with leukemia water.

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