Anti-Bacterial/Acne Fighting Essential Oils
Natural Preservatives for Skin Care
Top 5 or so
By Jeanne Rose
Essential oils can be great allies in the fight against
bacteria/acne. Used full strength or diluted with a carrier oil,
essential oils can be applied topically to relieve mild to moderate
acne. When choosing an essential oil you must consider your skin
type, the kind of acne you are dealing with, and whether or not the
oil of your choice has to be diluted before use. Some essential oils
should not be used full strength and it is important to follow the
indications on the bottle. Generally, the more sensitive your skin,
the more diluted your oils should be. When using essential oils on
the skin it is important to choose carrier oil that will not be
sticky or clog pores; Sunflower oil or
Calendula infused oil is an
excellent choice for the face or body. Essential oils can be
problematic during pregnancy, even if they are applied to the skin,
and an expert in
herbal study or medicine should be
before any use. Essential oils can be very strong or very mild
depending on strength in the formula. As with any acne treatment, if
a rash or irritation develops you should discontinue use
immediately; if it persists you should see health practitioner.
Regarding essential oils in skin care products they can be added to
reduce skin bacteria or fungus.
Choose one from each group:
Oil/Palmarosa Oil/Plai (antibacterial - anti-yeast,
tree oil with Palmarosa is an excellent antibacterial treatment
making it an excellent acne fighter as well as a general purpose
wound cleaner. It helps soothe irritations, rashes and burns,
control acne and dandruff, and treat warts and other fungal
infections. The properties of this oil make it one of the best
combination essential oils to have in your medicine cabinet. As an
acne treatment, Tea tree/Palmarosa oil is fast acting and acts to
clear up the skin while calming the effected area.
Oil/Grapefruit (astringent [drying], and aromatic [smells good])
Bergamot oil has a revitalizing fragrance and it blends well with
other oils making it an excellent addition to any acne treatment
blend. Bergamot has antibacterial and drying properties making it an
ideal spot treatment for existing blemishes. The citrus aroma has a
calming effect on the mind and soul. Should not be used full
strength except on the advice of a licensed aromatherapy
professional -- one who has completed an
3) Clove Oil/Cinnamon
carvacrol is a very potent essential oil that has burning
and purifying properties. In its pure form, it can be irritating and
should be blended with other essential oils that contain essential
oil alcohols such as Lavender or Bergamot oil and with a skin
friendly carrier oil (like Olive,
Calendula or Jojoba oil) before
being applied to the skin. Some use these oils full strength as a
spot treatment for stubborn acne, but this is not generally advised
– always dilute essential oils before use. When diluted, Oregano or
Clove oil can be applied to the skin to treat emerging or existing
breakouts. It is very strong and acts very quickly. Should not be
used full strength except on the advice of a licensed professional.
/Sandalwood from Australia (antibacterial, soothing)
Lavender oil has well known soothing properties and is slightly
antibacterial. Its scent is highly regarded and most acceptable. It
is excellent as a preventative acne treatment that can stop future
breakouts while clearing the redness often associated with acne
prone skin. Some Lavender oil can be very strong and as with all
essential oils, it should be diluted before application on the skin.
Sandalwood from Australia had antibacterial components.
European research confirms that Australian Sandalwood Oil kills
bacteria, in vitro, against many gram-positive organisms, including
Staphylococcus aureus, (and MRSA or 'Golden Staph') and many species
of Streptococcus, in addition to the organisms that are responsible
for acne, thrush, tinea, Athletes Foot and ringworm. The
concentration of oil required to inhibit the growth of all bacteria
(except Escherichia coli) is very low, confirming a
significant bacteriostatic effect.
Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis CT verbenone)
(astringent and antifungal) with Frankincense
highly aromatic essential oil is excellent for people with oily
skin. When applied topically it helps reduce oil/sebum production
thus limiting the breakouts associated with oily skin. Normally
Rosemary is not recommended for those with very dry or sensitive
skin, although the verbenone chemotype is used. The drying
properties of this oil make it an excellent spot treatment that can
be applied throughout the day to effected areas.
A PRESERVE FORMULA FOR LOTIONS AND WATER-BASED ITEMS:
A preserve formula should be able to kill Eschericia coli
and all sorts of nasty things; it should be Anti-bacterial,
Anti-fungal, and Anti-viral.
It should contain at least three of these essential oils:
Cinnamon (bacteria), Palmarosa (yeast), Frankincense (fungus),
Rosemary verbenone (fungus), Thymus vulgaris (bacterial)
or Oregano, Spikenard (fungus), Litsea cubeba (virus) or
anything with a high Citral count.
The essential oils should be at least 1%. Of course, this might
make up the entire fragrance of a mixture.
On 10-29-05, I got two 4 oz jars of Lotion from PF with
and asked that no preservatives be added. I added the following
formula at 1.5%, that is, 1.5 ml to one of the jars:
2 ml Oregano with carvacrol
2 ml Palmarosa with geraniol from PF
1.5 ml Cinnamon leaf
2 ml Thyme [50% A&N from Bosnia with para-cymene
and 50% was Thymus vulgaris with thymol]
As of 6/07, no bacteria or mold has grown in the lotion
preserved with the essential oils that I chose and at the
percentage that I chose..
In any formula always substitute hydrosols for all or part of
the water; particularly Oregano hydrosol as an antibacterial and
verbenone hydrosol as an aromatic antifungal.
Cilantro oil Inhibits
The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of crude
essential oil of cilantro plant oil (Coriandrum sativum L.) Listeria
Crude oil inhibited all the test strains at concentrations.
An evaluation of the antimicrobial properties of various plant
essential oils by Delaquis et al. (10) revealed that steam
distillates of Cilantro (the immature plant of Coriandrum sativum
L., source of Coriander seed) are highly effective against L.
monocytogenes. Cilantro oil was also far more potent than the oil
derived from Coriander seed. To our knowledge, the anti-Listeria
properties of Cilantro oils have not been described previously, and
the mechanisms underlying inhibition are unknown.
Journal of Essential Oil Research: JEOR,
Delaquis, Pascal J,
herbal and aromatic classes and some products please call us at
415-564-6785 or look at the calendar of seminars at
All rights reserved 2007.
No part of this article may be used without the prior permission of
© Authors Copyright Jeanne Rose,