The outer layers of the skin include the pores and the channels that house the hair follicles. This channel also serves as the conduit from which sebum and other lipids are secreted to lubricate the skin and hair. The area of the hair follicle also naturally includes some types of bacteria. A number of different problems in this area can result in acne or the other skin blemishes that lead to acne.
The first step is the pore or channel of the hair follicle becomes clogged. This may be caused by an external source (dirt or products applied to the skin) but more commonly is from excess sebum being produced in combination with the naturally occurring dead cells of the epidermis. The lining of the channel housing the hair follicle is a part of the epidermis that continually moves cells from its inner layers to the surface where the dead cells are discarded.
These dead cells and the sebum can then plug the pore and entrap bacteria in the channel. Smaller pores that are plugged are first seen as whiteheads and the larger pores form blackheads. If the bacteria cause an infection these may become pimples. If the bacterial infection continues the hair follicle channel can rupture and the infection spread with the resulting inflammatory response of the body forming larger areas of irritation. The reason for excess sebum or other clogging of the hair follicle channels are varied. The types of skin, that is heredity, is definitely a factor. Other factors include:
- Hormonal levels (teenage years) and changes related to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or stress
- Medications that may affect hormones such as birth control, etc.
- Cosmetics or hair care products
- Excess moisture from perspiration or a high humidity climate may compound the problem
Many now suggest that diet (chocolate, nuts, etc.) are not a cause of acne.
Please note: The information provided below is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have used essential oils and has NOT been scientifically verified with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns please seek professional medical attention.
Essential Oils to Use: Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Melaleuca, Rosemary
Also consider: Cedar Wood, Juniper, Lemon, Lemongrass, Sandalwood, Thyme
Daily treatment: After cleansing the skin put 3-5 drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil in the palm of the hand with 3-4 drops of the essential oil. Pat this on the affected area and let it soak in. Repeat this at night as well. The oils found most effective are:
Adding 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil to a glass of water (multiple times per day) is an excellent natural cleanse.
The need to experiment – From the experiences of others it is noted that different folks will have more positive results with different oils so it may be necessary to experiment to find the best protocol.
Sensitive skin – Those with acne often have sensitive skin so should consider cleanses and even the taking vitamins will help the body to rid itself of toxins that are eliminated through the skin. While it is good to rid the body of the toxins they may cause further irritation to the skin as they are eliminated. Therefore it may be necessary to reduce the amount or frequency of these types of products.
Virgin Coconut Oil – There are strong healing properties in Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for the skin. It is recommended to use this with the essential oils.
Scarring – Topical application of Helichrysum, Frankincense, or Rosemary will aid if there is scarring to the skin.