Chamomile Essential Oil

Flowers of German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile Essential Oil is extracted from several species of Chamomile plant. German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are the two species that are most commonly used to produce essential oil.

Chemical Composition of Chamomile Essential Oil
Chemical Composition of Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile Essential Oil is used in many Naturopathic skin care remedies, but the utility of Chamomile essential oil as an acne treatment requires further investigation. Chamomile essential oil contains a number of molecules with antibacterial activity. These molecules may help reduce the growth of acne-causing bacteria, including P. acnes bacteria.  The primary family of molecular compounds found Chamomile Essential Oil are called Bisabolols.

Cup of Chamomile Tea
Cup of Chamomile Tea

In addition to topical preparations, Chamomile tea is very popular and is reported to have anti-anxiety and sleep-inducing properties. Chamomile is also routinely used in Aromatherapy.

Chamomile Images

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang Flower

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is extracted from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. Ylang Ylang essential oil has a sweet floral aroma that has been used as a perfume since antiquity.

Fresh Ylang Ylang Flowers
Fresh Ylang Ylang Flowers

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is often used in aromatherapy, and for making topical Naturopathic preparations. The usefulness of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil as an acne treatment is unclear. Some people have reported that topical treatments containing Ylang Ylang Essential Oil helped to improve their acne symptoms. However, these reports are anecdotal and further scientific research is required.

Chemical Composition of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Chemical Composition of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil appears to have mild antibacterial properties, but it is far less antibacterial than other essential oils (eg. Thyme, Clove, etc). Ylang Ylang Essential Oil is expected to be mildly toxic to the acne-causing P. acnes bacteria. Ylang Ylang may also have a positive impact on skin tone, but there is currently no conclusive evidence about that relationship. The primary molecular compounds found in Ylang Ylang Essential Oil are Linalool, Germacrene D, Caryophyllene, p-Methylanisole, Geranyl Acetate and Benzyl Benzoate.

Ylang Ylang Images

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy is a technique that involves using olfactory stimulation to improve mood, relieve anxiety and support a sense of well-being. Application of Aromatherapy can be done topically, via inhalation or water immersion. Essential oils and other plant extracts, as well as many other naturally occurring compounds can be used in Aromatherapy.

Creating Aromatherapy Blend
Creating an Aromatherapy Blend

It is unclear whether Aromatherapy can be a useful treatment for acne itself. There has been little scientific research on the relationship between olfactory stimulation, the immune system and the development of acne. However, there is some scientific evidence that Aromatherapy may help alleviate the psychological impact of acne.

Aromatherapy is often used in combination with other Naturopathic treatments. There is very little risk of side effects from Aromatherapy, and it can be combined with most other types of Naturopathic and Pharmaceutical acne treatments. Overall, the benefits of Aromatherapy are unclear, but it may be a valuable component of a holistic acne treatment program for some individuals.

Aromatherapy Videos

Aromatherapy Images

References

Aromatherapy @ Wikipedia
In vitro bioactivities of essential oils used for acne control. Lertsatitthanakorn, et al. 2006.
Aromatherapy in dermatology. Stevensen. 1998.
The clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of essential oils and aromatherapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Agnew, et al. 2014.
The Encyclopedia of essential oils: the complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health, and well being. Lawless. 2013.
Topical and oral complementary and alternative medicine in acne: A consideration of context. Magin, et al. 2012.
Aromatherapy An AZ: The most comprehensive guide to aromatherapy ever published. Davis. 2011.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture Upper Back and Neck

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that involves putting thin needles into the skin and superficial tissue of a patient. Acupuncture is an important element of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture is believed to help redirect the flow of Qi (life force energy) through the body in a way that can be helpful for healing, pain relief, stress reduction and more. The existence of Qi is virtually impossible to prove via scientific methods, and there is an ongoing debate about whether Qi actually exists. There are many strong opinions on both sides of the issue.

Acupuncture in Action
Acupuncture in Action

Acupuncture is commonly used as part of holistic treatment plans for many types of medical conditions, including acne. However, Acupuncture is rarely used by itself as a treatment for acne. There are numerous studies in medical and scientific journals that report treatment regimens which include Acupuncture were effective for improving acne symptoms. But, many of these studies do not have appropriate controls and should not be considered as reliable. Although the scientific evidence for a positive connection between acne and Acupuncture is weak, it is possible that this treatment may be helpful for some individuals. And it should be noted that some people have reported that their acne symptoms improved after undergoing Acupuncture therapy.

Acupuncture is frequently used employed in holistic pain management, as well as many other ailments. There are several possible reasons why Acupuncture may be helpful for the treatment of acne. The most compelling reason is that Acupuncture therapy can reduce stress levels for many people. Consistently elevated levels of stress can suppress the immune system, which can trigger acne symptoms. Acupuncture is considered safe as long as a new, single use needle is used.

Acupuncture Videos

Acupuncture Images

References

Acupuncture @ Wikipedia
Efficacy of ah shi point acupuncture on acne vulgaris. Son, et al. 2010.
Anti-inflammatory effect of Keigai-rengyo-to extract and acupuncture in male patients with acne vulgaris: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Kim, et al. 2010.
He-Ne laser auricular irradiation plus body acupuncture for treatment of acne vulgaris in 36 cases. Lihong, et al. 2006.
Acupuncture, electrostimulation, and reflex therapy in dermatology. Chen, et al. 2003.
Therapeutic effect observation on treatment of acne with acupuncture plus moving cupping and blood-letting. Wang, et al. 2008.
Evaluation of therapeutic effect and safety for clinical randomized and controlled trials of treatment of acne with acupuncture and moxibustion. Li, et al. 2009.
Treatment of acne with ear acupuncture–a clinical observation of 80 cases. Xu. 1989.
Advances in the acupuncture treatment of acne. Dai. 1997.
Acupuncture in dermatology: an historical perspective. Tan. 2007.
Randomized control study on the treatment of 26 cases of acne conglobata with encircling acupuncture combined with venesection and cupping. Liu, et al. 2008.
Clinical and experimental studies on combination of acupuncture with medicine for treatment of female delayed and persistent acne of different TCM syndrome-types. Lan, et al. 2004.