Confidence is a fragile thing. For those of us who weren’t born with the innate ability to walk with our heads high, it means that we need to work on it. No-one wants to live their lives in a shell. The problem is that our confidence can be knocked by small things.
Or to be more precise, many little black bumps lurking visibly under a thin layer of skin. Blackheads.
What Are Blackheads? How do we prevent blackheads? What causes them? And how can we use essential oils to beat them once and for all?
Blackheads are bumps under your skin that result when a hair follicle becomes blocked by sebum and debris. Think of your skin as a factory. Sometimes the workers get lazy and dump the garbage anywhere. This causes a blockage and results in those unsightly little bumps.
Why Essential Oils Are Good For Blackheads
There are many skin care products out there. It can be tough to narrow your choices to just one. There are different brands, and each brand has a few different ranges. You really need to know your stuff before you choose just one. Then comes the nail-biting question. Will it work?
Many of those brands use essential oils in their products. It might be easier to cut out the middleman and find an essential oil to help fight your blackheads. What would that involve? And how would you find the right oil for your skin?
Since blackheads are basically a build up of dirt (sebum and debris count as dirt) the logical way to get rid of them is by cleaning the skin and destroying the bacteria. Your skin is a delicate organ, so you also don’t want to burn it with powerful oils. That means the oil needs to be diluted properly, and needs to be gentle on your skin.
In short, we’re looking for something that cleans, nourishes and lends antibacterial support. Let’s see what we can find.
Essential Oils for Blackheads
1. Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternafolia)
Tea tree oil is quickly becoming a favorite in households all over the world. This is because this oil has a property called terpenes. Dermatologists claim that this property destroys bacteria while soothing your skin. The Australasian College of Dermatologists found that using tea tree oil for two months improved mild/moderate forms of acne. This is helpful because blackheads are technically a mild form of acne.
If you clear the blackheads in time, then you could stop the bacteria from building up and causing a bigger problem. Besides, getting rid of the existing bacteria could clear up the problem.
Mix a drop or two with your usual moisturizer and apply after taking a shower.
Best For: Getting rid of bacteria.
2. Lavender Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia)
Lavender is one of the most widely used essential oils in the world, and it’s also been around for a long time. This is no surprise when you consider the benefits that come attached to this oil. When it comes to blackheads and acne, Lavender is in the same class as tea tree oil.
It’s a little more gentle on the skin though. And who can resist lavender? There’s a reason it’s been around for so long! You might want to try this oil if you find that your skin is too sensitive for Tea Tree oil.
Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply directly to the affected area.
Best for: Gentle skin care.
3. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus)
Have you ever smelt lemongrass essential oil? It’s as if the oil goes straight to your brain and tells it to relax. This made researchers curious, and one study decided to test the effect of lemongrass oil on skin irritations. Not only were their test animal very calm, but the researchers noticed the oil soothed pain.
Since blackheads are nothing more than skin irritations, this means that lemongrass is an ally in your fight for clear skin. Another benefit is that you’ll smell fantastic.
Add a few drops to bentonite clay to make a face mask. Clay masks should be a part of every skin care regime.
Best for: Soothing skin irritations.
4. Lemon (Citrus Limonum)
It’s long been accepted that lemon essential oil has antioxidant properties. This means that the oil has been known to hydrate and take good care of your skin. Some users have noticed a marked improvement in their skin health after using the oil.
All this mean that the oil can help to repair skin and cell damage. Say goodbye to ugly marks caused by blackheads. If you look after your skin, then you won’t have to worry about removing blackheads. On that note, remember to keep your skin hydrated. Add a drop or two to your moisturiser and make sure to moisturise twice a day.
Add 1 drops to a teaspoon of aloe vera gel and apply to affected areas twice a day.
Best For: Helping with Light Skin Damage.
5. Tangerine (Citrus Tangerina)
Like most citrus essential oils, Tangerine has astringent properites. Not only is it good for your skin, but it’s also popularly used in skin care. In fact, many popular brands use the oil in their products. Keep an eye out the next time you’re on the market for a face wash.
The reason why this oil is so popular is largely due to the fact that it is said to have cytophylactic abilities. This means that it helps to promote skin cell generation. This keeps your skin healthy, since dead skin cells often end up in your pores and cause blackheads.
Note: Most citrus oils are known for their phototoxicity, and Tangerine oil is no different. Be sure not to spend too much time in the sun.
Add a drop to some carrier oil and massage it into your skin in little circular motions, at night before bed. Be gentle, your skin is sensitive.
Best for: Promoting cell generation.
6. Rose (Rosa Damascena)
Roses are more than just flowers in your mother’s garden or material for romantic fodder, and this oil proves it. The oil has compounds called Eugenol (an antioxidant), Methyl Eugenol (an antiseptic), and Nerol (an antibiotic). All these compounds means that rose oil is a popular oil for skin care products.
The antiseptic compounds helps it be tough on bacteria and other nasty little things hiding in your blackheads. The antioxidant compound supports care of your skin while the Methyl Eugenol gets to work. The oil soothes your skin while killing the bacteria that causes your blackheads to go nuclear. Oh, and you’ll come out smelling like a rose.
Mix the oil with a carrier oil, then put some of the mixture onto a warm, damp cloth. Wipe your face with the cloth after showering and before moisturizing.
Best for: Anti-bacterial support
7. Cedarwood (Juniperus Virginiana)
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a case report in 2016 that discussed how dermatologists are turning to more natural remedies like essential oils. Cedarwood is a popular choice because it lends antiseptic support.
It also gives off woodsy vibes that will make you want to go camping. If you enjoy camping, then that relieves stress, which is often the cause behind blackheads. What’s there to lose?
Let’s take advantage of that woodsy smell. Put some essential oil and carrier oil on a warm face cloth. This time, drape the cloth lightly over your face (keep your eyes closed, and leave your mouth uncovered) for a minute or two. Remember to breathe. You’ll feel as though you’re being pampered at a spa, and your skin will thank you for it.
Best for: Antiseptic support
8. Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis)
Besides having a cool name, this oil also has antiseptic properties. Many users add it to a carrier oil to make a soothing moisturizer. They find that the oil takes care of their skin, cutting blackheads off at the source. Why not try a Juniper Berry moisturizer?
Add a few drops to a scentless moisturiser and use daily.
Best for: Blackhead prevention
9. Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea)
Clary Sage has a compound called linalyl acetate, which reduces inflammation. This is great for when your acne is a little out of control. The oil also has phytoestrogens which supports hormonal balance. Since hormones could be causing your blackheads, then this is a good option to consider.
Mix 3 drops with 5 ml carrier oil, and apply to affected areas.
Best for: Anti inflammatory support
Essential Oils for Blackheads Recipes
Tea Tree Acne Rub
- 3 drops Tea tree oil
- 1 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
- 3 tbsp Coconut oil (or 24 drops)
Mix the ingredients together well in a small bowl and keep in a cool, dark place. The simply apply a small amount to your skin every night before bed. Aloe vera is renowned for its healing properties. This makes it a wonderful addition to the rub. Your skin goes through a lot during day-to-day life. It deserves a little aloe vera love.
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 drops Lavender oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Apply generously to your skin, then wait for about 5-10 minutes. Remove with a damp cloth. Be careful when removing the mask, wetting the mask could cause it to leak into your eyes if you’re not careful. As you can imagine, this isn’t the best feeling in the world.
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 drops Lavender oil
- 1 drops Tea tree oil
- 1 drop Frankincense
Mix together to make a past. Apply on your skin once daily. Most of these ingredients are useful for fighting against blackheads. Leave it on for a few minutes then wash off. If it burns your skin, then rather avoid this one.
- Essential oils with anti-bacterial properties will be especially useful. Just make sure that they’re diluted properly.
- Using Lavender, Tea Tree or Lemongrass oils with a carrier oil should help clean up your skin and could likely keep blackheads at bay.
- Helpful essential oils include Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon, Tangerine, Rose, Clary Sage, Juniper Berry, and Cedarwood.
- You can make a few homemade remedies with these oils, including a Tea Tree Acne Rub, an Acne Scar Paste, and a Lavender Mask.