Why Plant-Based Oils are Actually Good For Acne

Beauty, Healthy Living v March 2, 2015


Many of my clients ask me to suggest skincare products for their teen or young adult children who struggle with acne. Usually, I recommend botanical oil serums. It may seem counter-intuitive, but plant-based oils can actually be extremely therapeutic for problems with acne. More times than not it’s the drying out of oily and acne prone skin that causes oil glands to overcompensate by producing the excessive amount of sebum that induces breakouts.

It is true that there are some oils that can irritate skin, and cause these types of problems, but many botanical oils can provide important benefits. Not only can they fight inflammation and bacteria, but they can also work as humectants to bind moisture to the skin.

Those suffering from acne often have inadequate levels of essential fatty acids in their skin which can exacerbate the severity of their condition. The topical application of botanical oils like borage seed, hemp seed, rose hip seed, apricot seed, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed (which all contain high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids) can actually improve acne conditions.


How Plant Based Oils Can Help:


Calendula herbal oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that will also fight bacteria when applied topically, thereby addressing two of the causes of acne simultaneously.  The use of anti-inflammatory topical ingredients both soothes the irritation and helps stave off future inflammation. Studies have also shown that calendula stimulates cell regeneration which can also help to clear acne lesions.


Linoleic Acids

Topical application of oils containing linoleic acids (borage, sunflower, rose hip seed, pumpkin seed) can help sebum become more liquid and soothing to the skin. It also helps sebum to clear more easily from the follicles, which in turn reduces inflammation inside the follicle.


Jojoba Seed

Rather than battling oily skin by using harsh cleansers and astringents which may cause oil glands to overcompensate by producing an excessive amount of sebum, try using a moisturizer containing jojoba seed oil. Jojoba is composed of liquid wax esters and has a structure that closely resembles natural sebum. Topical use can also assist in reducing oil production in the skin. This reduction of sebum can help alleviate acne because sebum, unlike jojoba oil, can block pores. If there is a buildup of natural oils present in the skin, jojoba can dissolve and remove the excess sebum.


Using a blend of appropriately selected oils in your daily skincare products can help fight acne’s inflammation and bacterial proliferation. The right blend of oils will also increase moisture content to create a soothing and well-tolerated approach to the treatment of acne.


I recommend Pomegranate & Argan Antioxidant Oil Serum, an intensive serum that provides a rich blend of oils high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids plus calendula and jojoba seed oils. Try mixing the perfect amount of serum for your needs with Cucumber & Calendula Nutrient Mist to create a truly potent “on the spot” emulsion that will increase moisture, balance oil production and repair irritated skin.




nancy_480x320_tornGuest Blogger: Nancy Newsom

Founder and Chief Alchemist of Botanic Organic

My decision to create a natural and organic line of skin care products evolved from my interest in preparing locally grown, unprocessed organic foods for my family. Becoming more conscious about what we put into our bodies, leads us to also question what we put onto our bodies. My initial reason to create formulas with organic and plant based ingredients was simply to do no harm both to my body and to the wider environment. However, as I began to notice improvements to my skin from using unrefined oils, plant extracts and plant distillates, I became convinced that these beautiful and natural gifts from nature could do a better job of caring for my skin than anything a large cosmetic company could synthesize in a laboratory. Botanic Organic is the result of a passion gone wild and it continues to be an exciting, fun and incredibly rewarding path to follow.


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