How Effective Is Lavender Oil for Acne?

T. Alaine

Lavender oil is touted as a treatment for acne blemishes and scars because of its natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Using lavender oil for acne can be effective because this oil is believed to kill bacteria, encourage healthy skin cell regeneration, and reduce the redness associated with blemishes and acne scars. Many skincare products contain lavender oil, including facial cleansers, toners and lotions. Undiluted lavender oil usually can be found in health food stores or pharmacies.

A boy with acne.
A boy with acne.

One of the primary reasons that lavender oil for acne is considered an effective treatment is that this essential oil can help fight bacteria. As an antiseptic, sweeping some lavender oil over the skin can help get rid of germs and bacteria that get trapped in pores and cause pimples or blemishes to appear. Along with regular cleansing, applying lavender oil to acne-prone skin can help prevent future breakouts.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

In addition to preventing future breakouts, using lavender oil can also help reduce the appearance of existing acne blemishes and scars. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the tenderness and swelling that is often associated with pimples. Even better news for people with acne is that lavender oil also can help reduce the redness that usually accompanies pimples. So, not only can lavender oil help prevent acne from developing, it also can help make existing blemishes less obvious while the skin heals.

Lavender oil is thought to kill bacteria and help regenerate healthy skin in those with acne.
Lavender oil is thought to kill bacteria and help regenerate healthy skin in those with acne.

Another benefit of using lavender oil for acne is that it can help speed cell turnover. Acne scars can range from tiny pimples to more severe rash-like patches of blemishes. These more severe cases can sometimes resemble open sores, making the skin even more susceptible to infection or irritation. Lavender oil promotes healing of the skin and can help speed recovery of blemishes by encouraging new, healthy skin cells to develop.

People who have sensitive skin may not find lavendar oil very effective.
People who have sensitive skin may not find lavendar oil very effective.

Many people who have acne worry that putting oil onto their skin can further clog their pores and worsen their acne. Some people might find this to be true of lavender oil, but it generally is a very thin, fast-absorbing oil in its pure form. The application method also can be altered to fit individual needs and increase the effectiveness for different skin types.

People who have sensitive skin might not find lavender oil for acne to be effective because it is too intense for them and irritates their skin. These people will benefit most from diluting some pure lavender oil with water and sweeping it over the skin as a toner. The diluted oil will retain the same acne-fighting benefits but will be much more mild and more agreeable to sensitive skin types.

By contrast, lavender oil also can be used undiluted for people who want a more potent product. Individual blemishes can be dotted with a small amount of pure oil using a cotton swab, which will ensure that the oil is only a spot treatment and does not come into contact with unaffected skin. Blemishes that are more clustered can be similarly swabbed with a larger cotton pad for easier coverage.

Lavender oil can help reduce the appearance of existing acne scars and blemishes.
Lavender oil can help reduce the appearance of existing acne scars and blemishes.

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Discussion Comments


I'm so glad that I discovered lavender oil for acne. I was so tired of prescription medications and creams. I think these make acne problems worse in the long run.

I was recommended lavender oil or tea tree oil for my acne by a herbalist. I'm allergic to tea tree oil, so naturally, I gave lavender oil a shot. It's really working! I have not had any new breakouts this week and my acne spots from before are healing quickly! I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it's definitely worth a try.


@turquoise-- Lavender oil is one of the few oils that can be applied undiluted to skin. But people with sensitive skin can react to it, so it's best to test some on your arm first before applying it.

I personally dilute my lavender oil with my regular moisturizer. I think this works better because the moisturizer prevents dryness from the lavender oil.

If you have fresh, organic essential lavender oil, it should work for acne just as well when it's diluted. If you don't want to apply it all over your face, just use it as a spot treatment when necessary to dry out pimples. The great part about lavender oil is that it prevents acne scars too. It's like an all-in-one treatment.


Lavender seems to be effective for acne, but the problem is that when I use it undiluted, it causes some irritation and dryness. And when I dilute it, I feel like it doesn't work as well. So I've stopped using it for a while because I don't know what to do with it.

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