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 consulted 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:

1) Tea Tree Oil/Palmarosa Oil/Plai (antibacterial - anti-yeast, antifungal)

    Tea 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.

2) Bergamot Oil/Lemon 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 Aromatherapy Studies Course.

3) Clove Oil/Cinnamon leaf/Oregano (antibacterial)

    Oregano CT 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.

4) Lavender Oil /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.

5) Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis CT verbenone) (astringent and antifungal) with Frankincense

    This 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 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 Rosemary verbenone hydrosol as an aromatic antifungal.


Cilantro oil Inhibits Listeria.

     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,  Sep/Oct 2004 by Delaquis, Pascal J,  Stanich, Kareen


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