Aromatherapy recipe for acne

This post is all about using essential oils to help to cure and prevent acne. 

We’ll look at:-

  • What is acne?
  • What do we need the essential oils to do?
  • A beautiful daily moisturiser recipe
  • Natural vegetable oils for cleansing
  • Facial steam for acne
  • Contraindications to the essential oils
  • Some information about my Aromatherapy Skincare course 

Prefer to listen instead?

What is acne?

I'm sure we're all very well aware of what acne is. It's oily skin with pimples, pustules, and possibly blackheads. It’s a bacterial skin infection and the main cause is a hormone imbalance. Which is why is most commonly affects teenagers and women going through the menopause.

It’s so stressful, and it can really knock your confidence, especially for teenagers because how they look is SO important.

What do we need essential oils to do?

We're looking for essential oils that will: -

  • Balance hormones,
  • Reduce oiliness, pimples, blackheads, and inflammation,
  • Ease stress.

The Recipe

There are a lot of essential oils that will help acne, in this recipe I’ll share three.

Geranium essential oil

Geranium essential is an incredible hormone balancer. And not only does it balance hormones, but it also balances the production of sebum, (the skin’s natural oil) If your skin is too oily, it will reduce sebum and if it’s too dry it will increase the production of sebum.

Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial, and it reduces stress.

Orange essential oil

You can use either Sweet or Bitter Orange essential oil, they have very similar properties.

Orange essential oil is astringent, which means it helps to tighten the pores and it also reduces oiliness. It’s also a beautiful uplifting oil and wonderful for stress.

Chamomile essential oil

You can use either German or Roman Chamomile.

German Chamomile (also called Blue Chamomile) is one of the most anti-inflammatory essential oils you can get. But the aroma is very strong, and a lot of people dislike it intensely.  

Roman Chamomile, while not as anti-inflammatory as German Chamomile, has a much gentler aroma, and more people like it.

A quick note about proportions

When making products with essential oils for adults i.e., anyone over twelve years old, who doesn’t have sensitive skin and is not pregnant, you would use a 2% blend i.e., 2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon (5ml) of the carrier (cream, oil etc that you will mix the essential oils in)

When making essential oil products for children (under twelve and over one year old), pregnant women or anyone with sensitive skin, you would a 1% i.e., 1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon (5ml) of the carrier (cream, oil etc that you will mix the essential oils in)

The recipe given here is for an adult who doesn’t have sensitive skin and is not pregnant.

If you're using essential oils for anyone under the age of one, you use lower dilutions. I'll cover that in a later post.


  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of a non-perfumed cream, such as Silcock’s Base or Aqueous Lotion,
  • 2 drops of Geranium essential oil,
  • 1 drop of Orange essential oil, either sweet or bitter orange,1 drop of Chamomile essential oil, either German or Roman.

You can make more or less than this but use these proportions.

Cleansing acne prone skin

Jojoba oil is wonderful for acne and oily skin. Jojoba oil, despite its name, is a wax not an oil. It mimics sebum, the skin’s natural oil and it unclogs pores. However, it is quite expensive, and not easy to get.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is anti-inflammatory, and it balances the production of sebum by the skin. The brand you get in your local supermarket is fine. In fact, natural product makers say if a product is not fit to be eaten, it shouldn’t be used on the skin.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which comes from the first pressing of the olives has more therapeutic properties than Virgin or Pure Olive Oil. Virgin Olive Oil comes from the second pressing of the olives and has fewer therapeutic properties. So called “Pure” Olive Oil is produced from the leftovers of olive oil products. It’s produced at a very high heat, and it has few if any therapeutic properties.

Witch hazel or a mix of witch hazel and rose water are lovely toners. But leaving a little oil on the skin, particularly overnight, will help reduce oiliness.

Facial Steam

Facial steam helps acne by opening up pores, allowing dirt and bacteria to be removed more easily. It also improves blood circulation, promotes faster healing, and enhances the effect of essential oils and other products.

Ideally use facial steam once or twice a week at the most, and use the moisturiser afterwards.

If you don’t have a facial steamer, you could use a basin of hot water to which you have added essential oils. Lean over the basin, covering your head with a towel, for a minute or so. Repeat for up to five minutes.

Essential oils for a facial steam

Add one drop each of Grapefruit and Lavender essential oils to the water or steamer.  

Grapefruit is very helpful for acne because it's astringent (tightens pores) and it helps to reduce bacteria.

Lavender is very good for acne because it balances the production of semen by the skin, and it's a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Both Grapefruit and Lavender are fantastic for stress.

Contraindications to the essential oils

  • Don't use Geranium, Chamomile or Lavender for pregnant women. There is an outside chance that they could bring on a period, and it's always better to err on the side of caution when using essential oils.
  • Don't choose Grapefruit or Orange essential oils on skin that will be exposed to bright sunlight or a sunbed within the next forty-eight hours. Citrus oils are phototoxic. They interfere with the melanocytes that produce melanin (the brown pigment), and they can cause severe burns.

Sinusitis Cash Injection for Therapists

With this short class and 5 minute treatment you will be able to:-

  • Increase your rates by €5 or €10 by offering a sinusitis/hay fever treatment as a valuable upgrade, 
  • Double your bookings by including the sinusitis treatment as part of a unique referral/reward scheme,
  • Create an extra income stream by selling the powerful blend to your clients who need it (options for aromatherapists and non aromatherapists) 

And if you're cringing at the thought of charging THAT much, think of the VALUE you're offering to your clients, and how much MORE they would happily pay.


My name is Jenny, and I’ve been a holistic therapist and tutor for over 20 years.

I ran my own holistic college and wellness centre for many years and, since 2017, I have been teaching holistic therapies and holistic therapy marketing online.

In this blog, in my podcast, my book and in social media I share tips about aromatherapy, essential oils, reflexology and marketing tips for therapists.

Jenny Sheridanteacher, therapist, author

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