Essential Oils for Oily & Acne Prone Skin

What identifies as oily and acne prone skin? Those with oily and acne prone skin have overactive sebaceous glands which causes excess sebum on the skin, leading to blemishes – blackheads, whiteheads and pimples, and may or may not progress to acne. There are many reasons for the cause of acne and many ways to treat this it, incorporating essential oils into your routine is one to consider.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is hands down one of the most popular ingredients used in skin care formulated for oily and acne prone skin, especially spot treatment products. It is well known for its powerful yet gentle anti-septic properties, helping you to achieve clearer skin without dehydrating your skin like the common chemical used to treat acne, benzoyl peroxide. You can combine 2 – 3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel and apply it as a soothing spot treatment.


Lemongrass oil is a natural astringent, making it a popular ingredient in toners. It minimises the appearance of large pores and balances the sebum levels on your skin. It also possesses natural cleansing, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief to redness and itching. Lemongrass essential oil is popular to use as a facial steam at home. After cleansing your face, boil some water in a pot, add a few drops of the essential oil, drape a towel over your head and steam your face for about 5 – 10 minutes and follow through with your usual skin care routine. You can also add about 3 drops of tea tree oil to the steam mixture for an extra purifying boost.


Treating oily skin and acne isn’t just about constant cleansing and purifying, it also needs to be balanced with something soothing. Lavender essential oil is another popular ingredient in cosmetics due to its soothing, anti-septic and anti-microbial properties that assists in calming the skin while eliminating bacteria and promoting speedier wound healing. You can incorporate lavender essential oil as a facial steam, similar to lemongrass, or combine a few drops of lavender with jojoba oil (lightweight carrier oil suitable for oily skin) and apply onto the face with a cotton pad or via a dropper.


Speaking of soothing, chamomile has been used since way back in ancient Egypt for many uses, including skin care. It’s not just for sleepless nights. Chamomile essential oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and it is gentle enough for sensitive skin as many people with oily and acne prone skin also tend to struggle with redness and skin sensitivity. You can add 1 – 3 drops to your cleanser, toner or moisturiser, or jojoba oil to improve the texture of your skin.

Please remember to never use essential oils alone. Using essential oils without dilution will not only cause irritation, but create more problems on your skin instead of less. Moreover, don’t be afraid to use oils on your skin, even if it’s oily. Oil and moisture are necessary for healthy glowing skin. The issue with oil is when it becomes too little, the skin gets dry. But when it’s too much, the skin gets oily and becomes prone to having pimples. It’s all about finding the balance. Last but not least, this article is not advice from a professional. Please consult a dermatologist or a medical professional should you require more information about your skin condition.