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Best Essential Oils for Oily Skin

oily skin

There are four skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination—each has their own characteristics. One of the most unique of the four is oily skin. As with all skin types, there are conventional ways to cleanse, nourish and treat skin, and there are alternative ways. One natural way is with essential oils. Highlighted below is an overview of how essential oils can be used to maintain the health of oily skin.

oily skinWhat Is Oily Skin?

Most experts believe that oily skin has nothing to do with a person’s diet or lifestyle choices. Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands producing an excessive amount of oil. There are advantages to this skin type, however.

For example, less moisturizer is needed to soften the skin, and the oil contributes to fewer fine lines and wrinkles, which slows the aging process. However, oily skin can lead to clogged pores, which can result in pimples and acne.

A conventional product to reduce oil may or may not contain toxic chemicals. An essential oil or an essential oil blend, on the other hand, would include none of those toxins.1,2,3

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are concentrated oils that come from flowers, leaves, plant stems, bark, and roots.  Their use dates back thousands of years and can be traced to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, and Chinese for medicinal, spiritual and beauty purposes.

Today, essential oils are used as natural oils that can contribute positively to the mind, body, and soul, and the practice is called aromatherapy. Essential oils can be used in primarily three ways. You can breathe them in, such as with an essential oil diffuser, put a few drops in bath water, or rub them onto the skin when mixed with a carrier oil.4

Best Essential Oils for Oily Skin

Tea Tree Essential Oil

One of the best essential oils for oily skin is melaleuca oil, also known as tea tree oil. This is an oil derived from the tea tree, a multi-trunked tree found in Australia. You will see that the oil is especially popular these days, especially in places where massage therapists practice.

What’s great about this oil is that it has antibacterial properties, which are ideal for treating conditions such as pimples and acne, common with oily skin. This is a potent oil that should always be diluted with a carrier oil to avoid allergic skin reactions and should not be ingested.5

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

You may consider ylang-ylang essential oil exotic, but it’s become more popular in the 21st-century as individuals increasingly appreciate the positive effects of essential oils. This oil comes from a flower found in the Cananga tree. It is a tropical tree with a pleasant smell that is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The yellow essential oil has many uses, including balancing the condition of oily skin and regulating its sebum production. Of the essential oils, ylang-ylang is known to be one of the least irritating. Therefore, it’s especially good for oily skin that may also be sensitive.6,7

oily skinRoman Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman Chamomile is derived from the perennial chamomile plant that has flowers that look like a daisy. The plant is found in places like North America and Europe. This essential oil is excellent for reducing the effects of acne and the scarring that acne can produce.8

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil comes from the rosemary plant, which is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary is an essential oil that’s as popular as a lavender essential oil for its many uses, including benefitting oily skin. The oil has antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities that are good for oily skin and for reducing the spread of bacteria. It naturally rejuvenates the skin and is an excellent natural alternative to commercial toners.9,10

Lemon Essential Oiloily skin

Citrus limon, otherwise known as the lemon, is native to a tree found in South Asia. Lemon essential oil comes from this tree. It’s a potent oil and one of the best for naturally treating oily skin, especially skin that is acne prone because it provides free radical protection and balances oil glands.

This essential oil, like many of the others that are ideal for oily skin, contains antibacterial properties that reduce the appearance of acne and helps minimize the spread of the condition.  It’s also a natural astringent that individuals can use on oily skin without the toxins that contribute to dryness.11

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood oil that is derived from the wood of cedar trees that can be found in North America.  It is useful for preventing clogged pores and the spread of acne bacteria. As with almost all essential oils, you should always dilute cedarwood oil with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or olive oil. It can also be combined with other essential oils to benefit oily skin.

For example, you can combine three drops of cedarwood essential oil with two drops of tea tree oil and three drops of lavender oil. Mix this blend with four teaspoons of jojoba carrier oil. Then, apply it to the face either as a facial massage or with clean cotton balls.12,13

oily skinLavender Essential Oil

Probably the most versatile of all essential oils is lavender oil, which comes from the flowery lavender plant native to Africa, Asia, and Europe. This is an essential oil with a pleasant, floral scent that contains antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that are ideal for regulating oily skin and reducing the appearance and spread of acne.14,15

Jasmine Essential Oil

This essential oil comes from the flower of the jasmine plant. The plant is native to tropical regions in places like Asia and Australia. As with all of the essential oils that are good for reducing the conditions of oily skin, jasmine is a good essential oil for those who suffer from acne. The excess sebum production can be balanced with the properties of jasmine oil.16

Geranium Essential Oiloily skin

This essential oil may not be as well-known as lavender or tea tree, but its properties are suitable for regulating sebum production and reducing the appearance of oily skin, as well as healing acne scars. Geranium essential oil comes from the Pelargonium species or the leaves of the geranium plant. This is an essential oil that can be used as a natural astringent. It is also common to mix geranium essential oil with lavender oil for a beneficial essential oil blend.17


If your skin is oily, it’s important that you keep its oil production under control, particularly if you suffer from acne. Acne and oily skin go hand in hand for many people. You can choose a conventional way to reduce the problem of acne, and it may be your best course of action if you suffer from a severe form of the condition. However, the use of essential oils has been proven to be a natural and safe way to control acne if you choose essential oils such as lavender, ylang-ylang, or lemon, for example.

Essential oils provide you with a natural, pure way to control your skin’s oil production. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. Even though these substances are pure with no additives, they are highly concentrated and can be irritating to the skin if used in their undiluted form.

PhotoCredits: Rudo film/shutterstock.com, AnnyStudio/shutterstock.com, AmyLv/shutterstock.com, grafvision/shutterstock.com, kostrez/shutterstock.com, Roman Samborskyi/shutterstock.com

Rachel Donovan

By Rachel Donovan

Rachel is a freelance writer who enjoys writing and researching interesting and new topics. As a California native, she can be found spending her time on the beach with a good book.

Favorite MONQ blend: Ocean

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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