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What is acne?
When pores get clogged, the sebum or oil that usually drains through it gets blocked causing bacteria to enter the skin causing acne vulgaris or simply acne. Acne is a very common skin condition associated with poor hygiene or diet, stress, heredity and hormone imbalance.

There are several types of acne. If the trapped sebum and bacteria remain under the surface of the skin, a whitehead forms. When the pore opens up to the surface of the skin, the sebum oxidizes and turns into a darker color turning into a blackhead. In cases wherein there is a break in the follicular wall, white blood cells rush to it and sometimes even travel to the surface of the skin causing inflammation.

How can oregano oil help reduce the risk of acne?

Oregano oil is a powerful antiseptic. Its main ingredient is carvacrol, which many have cited for its excellent antimicrobial properties (See this). The Cure is in the Cupboard author Dr. Cass Ingram says “oil of oregano’s antiseptic powers are immense . . . it inhibits the growth of the majority of bacteria, something that prescription antibiotics fail to accomplish”. Its anti-inflammatory effects (Landa, et al., 2009) may also reduce the swelling in cystic acne.

How should oregano oil be used for acne?
Dilute 2 to 3 drops of pure oregano oil in a glass of water and use a cotton ball to apply it to your acne once daily. Do not use a carrier oil for this particular application because it will only clog your pores even further and worsen your problem. It may burn or sting, but this will go away after just a few minutes. Be careful not to let it go to your eyes and if you experience redness, stop and try a more diluted solution after a few days.

Never use pure oregano oil undiluted either internally or externally. Also do not forget to do a patch test on the inner aspect of your skin to make sure you’re not allergic to it.

Acne may not be a serious or life-threatening disease, but it causes low self-esteem, social isolation and depression in some people. If you’re suffering from cystic acne that hasn’t responded well to antibiotics or simply want supportive care  for it, get a bottle of oregano oil and it may just help provide the relief you’re looking for.


Landa P., Kokoska L., Pribylova M., Vanek T. and Marsik P. In vitro anti-inflammatory activity of carvacrol: Inhibitory effect on COX-2 catalyzed prostaglandin E(2) biosynthesis. Archives of Pharmacal Research. 2009; 32(1): 75-78.