Naturally Treating Acne: Using the correct essential oils and the the importance of Linoleic Acid

rosehip oil

Acne mostly appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. If hair follicles in these areas become plugged with oil and dead skin cells, acne will result.

Hair follicles are connected to oil glands. These glands secrete an oily substance (sebum) to lubricate your hair and skin. Sebum normally travels along the hair shafts and through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin.

But if there is an excess of sebum and dead skin cells the two can build up in the hair follicles and form a soft plug, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. Once bacteria develop in the plugged pore it becomes inflamed in a condition we know as acne.

Use Oil to Clean Oil

Spirit based cleansers are too harsh for acne-affected skin and are likely to cause more problems than they solve. Everyone knows oil and water don’t mix so water alson is ineffective in unblocking the blocked pores. The best way to clear excess skin oil is pores is to use another beneficial oil to gently cleanse the skin, unblocking the soft plug and clearing away dead skin cells and removing the acne-causing bacteria, leaving the skin clean, lubricated and refreshed.

But not any oil will do. Recent tests on acne sufferers showed a higher level of sebum production, which is hardly surprising, but few tests have analysed the Sebum produced. The two major studies undertaken revealed that acne patients have relatively low levels of lineolic acids in their surface skin lipids and relatively high levels of oleic acid, both of which are key components of oils used in natural treatments.

In the event of an acne breakout, effective natural skin treatments should seek to redress the linoleic acid/oleic acid imbalance and a regime favouring oils high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid should be preferred.

Carrier Oils Higher in Linoleic Acid

  • Evening Primrose Oil—Linoleic–72.6%; Oleic–8.4%
  • Grape Seed Oil—Linoleic–70.6%; Oleic–16.2%
  • Safflower Oil—Linoleic–68-85%; Oleic–8-30%
  • Wheat Germ Oil—Linoleic–58.4%; Oleic–12.1%
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil—Linoleic–57.2%; Oleic–23.3%
  • Hemp Seed Oil—Linoleic–56.48%; Oleic–10.71%
  • Black Cumin Seed Oil—Linoleic–55.6%; Oleic–22.6%
  • Soybean Oil—Linoleic–52.97%; Oleic–22.72%
  • Rosehip Seed Oil—Linoleic–44.1%; Oleic–13.9%

Lesley Wall’s Essential Oil Treatments for Acne:

Rose Hip Oil is valuable in the treatment of Acne as it speeds up healing and removes scars. Use it twice a day as a moisturiser.  It is classed as a carrier oil so there is no need to dilute.

Carrot Seed Oil both speeds up skin regeneration is an excellent scar remover. But Carrot Seed Oil is powerful so to use,  dilute it with Rosehip Oil in the following proportions: 15ml  of Rosehip Oil blended with 3 drops of Carrot Seed Oil.


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