Tea tree oil is known to have antifungal and antiseptic properties, and has been used for many years as an antimicrobial agent and to help clear skin of acne. study with over 100 participants, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, demonstrated that a 5% tea tree oil gel was just as effective as a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in the treatment of acne. Though the tea tree oil worked more slowly to clear acne, it produced fewer side effects.
Sandalwood essential oil has been shown to inhibit growth of a type of bacteria that is commonly a cause of acne. It is thought that a specific component of sandalwood essential oil, farnesol, is responsible for antibacterial and antifungal activity. Other essential oils containing farnesol include jasmine, palmarosa, and ylang ylang. These essential oils may also be effective against acne.
Make your own aromatherapy acne wash by adding up to 5% of the essential oils mentioned above to unscented face or body wash. For an aromatherapy acne gel, use pure aloe vera gel as a base, and add up to 5% of the essential oils mentioned above.
Be sure to avoid getting essential oils in or near the eyes. Also beware that because there are many products that contain tea tree oil, the risk of sensitization is increased due to increased exposure. There is always the potential for becoming sensitized to specific essential oils, so it’s wise to rotate use of different essential oils, rather than using the same essential oils over and over.