Is emu oil good for acne? That is the question I seek to explore today. This emu oil acne treatment discussion will start by trying to identify the connection between emu oil and acne (including cystic acne) lesions and marks treatment, then list some of the conventional ways in which people use this natural acne remedy that is growing fast in popularity before exploring its relation with acne scars. Finally, I will explore the effectiveness of emu oil for rosacea acne.
What is Emu Oil?
Emu oil is derived from the Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), the second largest bird after ostrich. The Emu is a flightless bird that is indigenous to Australia. Emu oil is obtained when fat from the bird (mainly from the back of the bird - or the rump if you like) is rendered (melted) and then processed.
The aboriginal population of Australia has since time immemorial used emu oil as a healing aid to cure numerous medical ailments and conditions ranging from joint pain and burns to sore muscles and rashes and to moisturize and eliminate bacteria on their skin. They also used it to soothe and rejuvenate sun-damaged skin.
Today emu oil has gained widespread acceptance in many parts of the world and people continue to find new uses for the oil. Emu oil acne treatment is one good example of contemporary uses.
The Connection between Emu Oil and Acne Scars and Marks TreatmentA study conducted at The Forsyth Institute has ascertained that that emu oil indeed has anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically. The oil was shown to reduce inflammation by as much as 72 percent.
Although there is not enough scientific evidence to support emu oil acne treatment, anecdotal evidence suggests that the oil does reduce the redness and inflammation (swelling) associated with acne breakouts be they blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, name it.
Emu oil is also touted to have excellent bacteriostatic properties. This essentially means that it is able to slow bacterial reproduction and growth and hence speed up the rate at which they are eliminated from the skin. Because bacteria play a role in some acne breakouts, this makes a solid justification for emu oil acne treatment.
Studies have revealed that emu oil comprises of 70 percent unsaturated fatty acids with oleic acid (a fatty acid naturally found in human skin) taking the largest stake (20%). Other fatty acids found in emu oil are linoleic acid and linolenic acid. These fatty acids play a key role in promoting healthy skin.
Because emu oil is non-greasy and doesn’t clog the skin pores (is non-comedogenic), and also penetrates deep into the skin, it is considered one of the best natural acne treatments (unless of course, you are a vegetarian). Furthermore, this Australian “treat” is hypoallergenic and is thus suitable for virtually any skin type, not to mention that is richly nourishing and moisturizing to the skin (an added benefit for the skin).
Anecdotal evidence available online in reviews and forums seem to support the efficacy of emu oil acne treatment with many swearing to its effectiveness in improving the swelling, redness, and even soreness caused by acne breakouts, include cystic acne. Cystic acne is the most serious form of acne and is marked with considerable inflammation and soreness; that is where the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the oil come in handy.
There is a segment of users who hold the view emu oil causes acne. Such people argue from the point of view that the oleic acid found abundantly in emu oil is comedogenic and could thus clog the pores.
The evidence available online suggests otherwise. It is possible that the other components comprising the oil have a balancing effect, but this area is still a bone of contention and more research is required. It is also worth the mention that emu oil acne treatment, as with any other treatment option, may not work for everyone, so jump aboard with an open mind.
How to Use Emu Oil for Acne Treatment
With all the benefits highlighted in the previous section in as far as breakouts are concerned, it is no doubt that emu oil is a great addition to the skin care regime of people suffering from acne breakout and those with acne prone skin. Below are various ways in which you can use emu oil for acne treatment:
Emu Oil Acne Spot TreatmentFor facial acne, the following emu oil acne treatment regimen is recommended.
- Wash your face with mild cleanser and water, then pat it dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing the towel across the face as this can increase inflammation and redness.
- Pour a few drops of emu oil onto a clean cotton swab and then dab it gently on the area of the face affected by the pimples, blackheads, etc. and the associated red marks to leave behind a thin film of the oil. Remember a little goes a long way.
- Allow the oil time to set in on its own; you don’t have to rub it in. If you need to reapply, use a clean cotton swab for the second application, third, and so on. If your skin feels oily a few minutes down the line, you have probably used too much; cut down a bit next time.
- Repeat this treatment twice daily preferably in the morning and evening, preferably before bedtime to allow the oil to work through your skin overnight.
This emu oil acne treatment regimen will help to stop bacterial action in the skin and reduce swelling and redness, thus promote faster healing while at the same time reducing the risk of scarring. Beyond these obvious acne benefits of emu oil, it will also nourish your skin and leave it soft and glowing.
A word of caution: If the oil makes your skin itchy or worsens the breakout, stop using it. This is nevertheless very unlikely based on the anecdotal evidence available.
Emu Oil and Tea Tree Oil for Cystic AcneCystic acne is a bit stubborn and not easily treated compared to other forms of acne. The cysts are usually deeply embedded in the skin with the area around them being deeply inflamed and sore. Emu oil can help clear cystic acne when used consistently, but you may want to increase emu oil acne cyst treatment efficacy by using the oil alongside tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is yet another Australian (and New Zealand) acne magic which despite being very toxic when taken orally, is very effective and indeed very popular for treatment of acne and other dermal conditions.
Emu oil is a great carrier of other essential oils and renders itself to seamless integration - so to speak - with tea tree oil. The following treatment regimen may help with cystic acne.
- Cleanse your face and then pat it dry.
- Pour a few drops of emu oil into the palm of your hand followed by a few drops of tea tree oil.
- With the help of a clean cotton swab, apply the oil blend onto your face, paying close attention to the areas showing acne marks, pimples, or cysts.
- Repeat two times each day, in the morning and evening.
Emu Oil Cleanse for the BackWe have so far focused on emu oil acne treatment with regards to facial acne? For acne pimples that appear on the back, chest, etc. you can as well dab some emu oil on them after shower.
Another option is to get your hands on one of those emu oil soap products available on the market and use it to bathe or shower. There are also numerous moisturizers that contain emu oil and those could as well come in handy for back and chest acne.
These emu oil-containing soaps and moisturizers could be a viable choice for those who find the oil itself too greasy.
Emu Oil for Acne Scars HealingNow about emu oil acne scars treatment, there are two important categories of acne sufferers that you need to consider: those battling an active acne breakout in the form of pimples, marks, etc. and those struggling with acne scars. Acne scars are the painful aftermath of acne flare-ups and range from pitted scars to boxcar scars among others. They form as part of the body’s natural healing and are aimed at strengthening the affected area as it heals.
Acne scars usually fade away on their own after some time but because they impact on the skin aesthetics for the entire time they are still around, any product that helps to clear them away faster is always welcome which brings us to the question, “does emu oil help acne scars?”
Well, emu oil can reduce redness, swelling, and pain due to active acne breakouts when used consistently, and reduce the extent of scarring (scar formation). As an anti-inflammatory agent, it will also help to accelerate the natural healing process and help reduce the coloring in (redness), and the appearance of the scars, during this stage of acne healing.
This emu oil acne treatment benefits can however not be extended to - which effectively makes the oil not a good choice for - old acne scars. Yes, emu oil is not a good choice for old acne scars that remain after acne has completely healed, unless they still have some streak of redness or inflammation. This is because emu oil does very little in healing of and getting rid of the scar tissue directly. It may still be worth a shot.
Consider trying licorice extract which is a far much better remedy for fading of acne scars. We will explore licorice acne scars healing in another blog post.
Emu Oil for Rosacea Acne TreatmentAccording to the Healthline website, Rosacea acne is a chronic skin ailments that manifests itself in tiny, red-colored, and sometimes us-filled skin bumps mainly on the nose, cheeks and forehead. As the National Rosacea Society says, rosacea affects over 16 million people in America alone.
The condition occurs in cycles, meaning that the bumps and other symptoms come and go, only to flare up again later. Each cycle last a few weeks to several months.
NB: Despite the name, Rosacea acne is not true acne (Acne vulgaris is).
Among the most common triggers for rosacea are alcohol, coffee, fatty foods, excessive sun, stress, and spicy foods. There is no cure for rosacea, but there are several remedies that can help to control it more effectively. One good remedy for rosacea is emu oil and there are lots of affirmative online reviews to support this claim.
The benefits of emu oil for rosacea are immense and include:
- It reduces inflammation and redness due to rosacea thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- It moisturizes and rejuvenate the skin and thus promotes healing: Emu Oil has deep moisturizing action. Couple that with a composition that closely mirrors that of the natural skin and you have the making for a great skin restoration agent and rosacea healing agent.
How to Use Emu Oil for Rosacea acne
- Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser and then dry it gently with a towel.
- Apply a thin film of emu oil to the rosacea-affected areas of the skin
- Repeat the process three times daily until the condition heals.
Best Emu Oil for Acne TreatmentEven with the overwhelming evidence to support emu oil acne treatment, you should keep in mind that the oil is "not created equally". After extraction from the emu, emu oil is rendered (melted) to obtain raw or crude oil which is then taken through a refining process that culminates in 100 percent pure emu oil that is free of odor, impurities, metals, and free fatty acids. Some manufacturers may cut corners in the refining process.
That is where The American Emu Association (AEA) comes in. The organization is charged with ensuring compliance with stringent measures during the refining process. To certify that a product is safe to use both topically and in supplements (orally), the AEA issues the AEA Certified Fully Refined seal.
The best emu oil for acne treatment should thus not only be 100% pure but also carry the AEA seal. Below are some of the best products: