Oil of Oregano Acne Treatment

A sprig of wild oregano flowers that have been dried.
A sprig of wild oregano flowers that have been dried.

When you feel an eruption of acne coming on, you could reach for a bottle of alcohol to dry out those zits, or you could try a natural antiseptic remedy such as oil of oregano. Oil of oregano, which has been in use as a folk remedy since before Ancient Greece, is one of the most powerful natural antiseptics known to man.

How Does it Work?

One of the major causes of acne is a buildup of bacteria in pores. When pores are clogged with oil, dirt or dead skin, these bacteria causes the pore to become infected, resulting in a pimple. Antiseptics such as oil of oregano can slow the growth of bacteria and prevent the formation of pimples.

Why Does it Work?

Unlike the oregano that grows in your herb garden, oil of oregano is derived from wild oregano. This makes the oil more potent. Part of what makes it such an effective antiseptic is that it contains the volatile antimicrobials thymol and carvacrol. Oil of oregano also contains flavonoids, vitamins and phytonutrients. Flavonoids are antioxidants that help the skin to fight cellular degeneration, vitamins are nutrients that nourish the body and phytonutrients are plant derivatives that may be beneficial.

How Do You Use it?

Oil of oregano is a strong disinfectant. Because of this, using it directly on the skin can lead to irritation. Although some manufacturers of the oil will advise you to dilute the oil in a "carrier oil" such as olive oil, this is not a good solution for acne treatment. Oils can clog the pores and actually contribute to your acne problem. Instead, it is best to dilute it before use. Put two to three drops in a glass of water and dab on your acne with a cotton ball. If you develop redness in your skin, discontinue using it for a few days. Then when you resume using it, mix fewer drops of the oil of oregano with water.

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