Best oils for acne prone skin

FullSizeRender (22)So, I’ve recently become obsessed with oils.

It started this summer. (I chatted about it in another post on acne scars here:)

I was having a hard time finding a moisturizer for my skin.

And since I always had so many skin issues when I was younger and couldn’t use normal products, I’m basically a kid in a candy shop about products and their lovely goodness. I’ll spend hours in Duane Reade (and CVS… and Walgreens… haha!)

And one fateful night in June I found a super thick Burt’s Bees night cream; I really wanted moisture, moisture, moisture.

I used it for three weeks until….

I realized that my skin had slowly become a mass of clogged pores, bumps, and general dead skin build up all over my skin. It looked awful.

I realized, finally through experience, that heavy creams are REALLY not the way to go for oily skin, and that, contrary to what you’d think, oil is actually BETTER for your skin.


(Full disclosure, this is going to be the first of many articles on oils. I feel like I’m totally late to the party, too, because I know SO many people talk about this and I just haven’t. But oh well, better late than never right?) (**Also, see the disclosure at the bottom. Sometimes companies are NOT the best when they produce these oils, so be really careful when you go to purchase:) I have some brand recommendations below:)

I know you have questions about the best creams and products for your skin, so I wanted to give you a BIG honking bird’s eye view of what type of products are best for your skin, even when you’re struggling with acne.

Below, you’ll find 9 of the Best Oils for Acne Prone Skin. Grab 1 (or all 9 haha, if you have an “overexcitement problem” like me hehe) and give them a whirl:)

best oils for acne prone skin

Hemp oil:

What is it:

This oil is obtained by cold-pressing hemp seeds.

Why it’s great for you:

This oil contains a ton of fatty acids; gamma linoleic acids, and a very high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid.

These are super beneficial to your skin, hair and nails because they’ve been shown to decrease the inflammation that can come with acne.

It’s really light and can be really great when you’re suffering from acne because it’s not too heavy.

So many people have had a lot of luck in keeping their skin moisturized while they use hemp seed oil, and it can over time, help you to avoid breaking out further. A lot of people report that it even HELPS PREVENT breakouts! Give it a try.

Where you can buy:

You can grab this in a health food store – always test it out on a little patch on your arm first though, so that you can make sure you aren’t allergic:)

Or, grab it online here, I like this brand for hemp oil: Nutiva Organic Hemp Oil, 24-Ounce Bottle.

Grape seed oil:

What is it:

Haha, this one is not difficult to guess, it’s oil pressed from the seeds of grapes.

Why it’s great for you:

Again, we’re talking amazing fatty acids for you.

Grape seed oil contains a lot of linoleic acid to help strengthen your skin (see above) as well as antioxidants and vitamins D, C, E.  All of these vitamins help your skin to repair after breakouts and help to minimize breakouts. 

Where you can buy:

You can grab this in a health food store – always test it out on a little patch on your arm first though, so that you can make sure you aren’t allergic:)

OR, grab it online here, I love this brand: Now Foods Grape Seed Oil, 16 Ounce.

Jojoba oil:

Quick note on this: I tried jojoba oil for a while and while it was nice, it wasn’t a perfect fit for my skin. It kept it feeling rather dry and flaky. BUT, I know that it’s really worked for a LOT of people suffering with acne. So it could be really awesome. I also tried it recently, years after I’ve been able to heal my acne naturally, so I’m quite sure that my skin’s chemistry has changed a lot.

What is it:

This oil is the botanical extract of the seed of the jojoba tree. This oil is unique because it’s very close to the sebum that our body naturally produces. The basic idea is that when you apply this oil, your skin thinks that it has enough oil, so it calms it’s production of sebum (the oil that can help to cause breakouts).

Why it’s great for you:

It has a ton of anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties (so important when you’re healing your acne naturally) as well as Vitamins A, B and E.

Where you can buy:

Pick some up today in its purest form, and try it out in a few small places on your skin. It might make your skin appear a bit oily at first, but don’t fret, that’s normal at the beginning.

Also, if you want to grab it online, the brand I like has it here as well:) : NOW Foods Jojoba Oil Pure, 4 ounce.

Coconut oil:

What is it:

Very difficult: oil from a coconut:)

Why it’s great for you:

The reason coconut oil is awesome for your skin is because it has two powerful antimicrobial agents in it – capric acid and lauric acid. So basically, it helps to remove the bacteria on your face that can start the chain reaction for acne itself. I find that it leaves my skin feeling really moisturized but not too oily. If you’re worried about looking oily, apply this (and the following two moisturizers) at night, so that you’re not feeling oily all day.

Where you can buy:

Any store really, it’s really increased in popularity so you can find it anywhere.

Or, online, grab it here:) : Spectrum Essentials Unrefined Organic Coconut Oil Bodycare 15 Ounces.

Sesame Oil:

What is it:

Oil derived from the sesame seed.

Why it’s great for you:

It contains a ton of vitamin E, and also contains also contains palmitic acids, stearic acid, and linoleic acids. So again, we’re talking some major anti-inflammatory fatty acids here, which are really powerful for your skin. 

Where you can buy:

Pick some up today in its purest form, and try it out in a few small places on your skin. It might make your skin appear a bit oily at first, but don’t fret, that’s normal at the beginning.

Or, grab it online, this is a nice brand:): Aura Cacia Organic Skin Care Oil, Protecting Sesame, 4 Fluid Ounce.

Tea Tree Oil:

Full disclaimer on this one. I totally, totally hated tea tree oil for my acne.

The smell, for some reason, made me want to DIE inside, like, I still can’t really smell it anymore without gagging, haha.

But I know a lot of people have had a ton of success with it for their acne, so I wanted to include it on this list.

What is it:

Haha, again, oil derived from the tea tree leaf:)

Why it’s great for you:

It’s super anti-inflammatory so it can really help with redness. It has some pretty awesome soothing and antimicrobial factors to it- so again, it may kill the bacteria on your skin that is causing your breakouts.

Where you can buy:

They have little “roller tube” options of it everywhere (I shudder when I pass them) (ok I’ll stop now…:) so grab one to try today!

Or, grab the online version here, but make sure you are careful and dilute the oil.

Sometimes, when you purchase an oil you have to dilute it (because the version they’re selling is super strong) so be extra careful and do some research! NOW Foods Tea Tree Oil, 1-Ounce.

Castor Oil:

I’ve personally done a lot of reading about castor oil because I love the consistency, it’s quite thick!

I’ve used it mostly for my hair, I’ll apply at the roots and massage in every now and then for some really great hair growth:)

ALSO, another safety caveat: certain publications have stated that castor oil is harmful for your eyes, (and I’ve read that other people have applied it directly to their eyelashes for growth) so sometimes I think the world is a bit split on this. My advice: do your own research, talk to your doctor, and make sure you always do a quick test on your skin for allergies:)

What is it:

A vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of a castor plant.

Why it’s great for you:

It’s famous for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and also antifungal properties as well. It’s rich in ricinoleic acid as well, which helps fight acne breakouts.

Where you can buy:

You can totally buy this oil in any health store.

Buy it online here as well, I love this brand: NOW Solutions Castor Oil, 100 % Pure, 16 ounce.

Evening Primrose Oil:

What is it:

Oil from an evening primrose seed.

Why it’s great for you:

It has a ton of antioxidants and helps to fight free radicals, and people often use it to fix PMS symptoms; they have for years. Again, we’re talking fatty acid powerhouse here, it has a ton of GLA fatty acids (gamma-linolenic acids) which can help to have a hormonal balancing affect. You can find evening primrose teas, lotions; it’s really been used for centuries for hormonal balancing-type stuffs. 

Where you can buy:

Ok, so this brand is based in the US and I bought this version this summer (after my Burt’s Bees Incident above that I mentioned) and I freaking LOVE it.

Or, again, if you’re noticing a pattern, you can buy it here from a brand I’m pretty into: NOW Foods Evening Prim Oil, 4 ounce.

Tamanu oil:

What is it:

This oil comes from the seed from the fruit of a flower on a tree that only blooms 2X a year! (Hehe, funny sentence). Ergo, this is a super hot commodity.

Why it’s great for you:

One of the best parts about Tamanu oil is that it’s super rich in fatty acids- noticing a pattern here haha?

It’s also known to have a unique ability to promote wound healing and to accelerate the growth of new skin; which is really helpful if you’re healing from a bad breakout AND if you want to help with some scarring.

It’s also antibacterial, has a ton of antioxidants, is antimicrobial and antifungal as well.  It’s pretty thick and has a fruity/earthy smell to it… always test a little spot on your skin first too! 

Where you can buy:

Again, you can always pick it up in health stores if you like a hands-on experience.

If you want to grab it online, I like this brand:): Tamanu Oil – Pure and Cold Pressed – For Skin, Nails, Face, Hair and Scars – Calophyllum Inophyllum (Foraha Nut Seed Oil) – 100 % 30 Days Money Back Guarantee.



There you have it, a big honking list of some of the best oils and creams for acne clearing. What do you think? How does this list look to you?

I’m ALL about everyone helping everyone heal their acne together, so, leave me a comment below: What is YOUR favorite moisturizer for acne prone skin?

P.S. Some of the above names links to affiliate links for a few products that I like and I do receive a commission for them, just FYI.

**Also, quick caveat about ALL of the above oils: Sometimes these oils can be processed in a way that isn’t always the best. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you, but often to make money (and to be more efficient) companies will process these oils with harmful ingredients. Whenever you purchase products, make sure that they’re as pure as humanly possible.



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11 Responses to Best oils for acne prone skin

  1. I also like rosehip oil. Wow can’t believe anyone could hate the smell of tea tree oil – i love it :)

    • Haha I KNOW!!! I got super traumatized when I was younger and it was just all over for me Krissy haha, Rosehip!!! Love it!

  2. I have become obsessed with oils too! I’ve struggled with hormonal cystic acne for quite sometime. The oils were doing wonders for my skin but then I started breaking out again. I started reading about the benefits of using oils that are higher in linoleic acid than oleic acid. Some of these oils are hemp, rose hip, grape seed oil and evening primrose. Castle oil is somewhat balanced. Jojoba, Tamanu and sweet almond oil are higher in oleic acid. Though I love all these oils I now mostly use hemp and aloe with lavender, rose hip and grapeseed on occasion too. My skin is clearing up again! People rave about coconut oil but it has a high comedogenic rating and it does break my skin out. But everyone’s skin is different and it does help others acne. Thanks for the post!

    • Oh my goodness YES Becca, I hear you!!! I love that you’re loving the oils! I also hated coconut oil too, but I do know some people have had a lot of success with it. I guess it’s just one of those trial and error things, right? I’m so glad you’ve found some relief!! XO

  3. This may sound silly, but exactly how do you clean with oils? I tried something in the past (jojoba I think) but it made my entire face break out. I have very hormonal acne so I’m thinking hemp oil might be good. Do you take makeup off first? Do you rinse the oil off? I have no idea….please help!

    • Hi Carly! You know what? I’m actually not the best at answering this question, so I’m going to go do some research for you because I want to know too! Haha. I think you’re supposed to take off eye make up, like usual, but the oil is supposed to clean your skin, that way. I’m going to look into it though and let you know:) !!

  4. Hello! Everywhere bit of research I read online or have heard from dermatologists says to RUN far from coconut oil if you have acne prone skin. It’s one of the highest rated oils on comedogenic scale as one that clogs pores. Jojoba oil is high up there too. I know this article isn’t brand new, have you done any more research on coconut oil or jojoba since? I steer clear of both of those since they cause horrible breakouts.

    You left out Argan Oil which is a much better replacement for jojoba or coconut for us acne prone gals. Thank you!!

    • Hey Amy!

      So… I love this question. I’ve heard mixed reviews about coconut oil and jojoba oil, because I’ve also read that it’s rated high on the comedogenic scale as well, but I’ve spoken to quite a few people that really love it for their skin.

      I think it’s super important to read studies and to always know where things rate in terms of research…but I like to give out all of the options just because I know people’s skin reacts to different things, differently. You know what I mean?

      For me, finding the oil that worked best for my skin was SO trial and error, the weirdest products (that other people usually love) usually blow up my skin, and vice versa.

      So maybe what I could do is add some more details about the comedogenic scale, just to give a more full picture of the oils themselves…Yes!

      I DEFINITELY need to add argan oil, you’re right! I <3 this oil so much for my skin, even after I've cleared my acne, it's really moisturizing for me without causing more breakouts.

      Thank you for this comment, a few addendums are in order!!

      Much love,

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