Manuka Oil for Acne Scars and Cystic Acne Treatment

Manuka Oil for Acne Treatment

Does Manuka Oil Clear Acne? That is the question that we seek to delve into today. We will not only explain why it works for acne spots but also explain how to use manuka oil for acne spots and scars treatment. Finally, we shall review the reviews (pun intended) available online to give you an idea of the typical results achievable.

How Manuka Oil Works For Acne Scars

Manuka honey has long been used to treat acne and manuka oil is also fast becoming a treatment of choice. Manuka essential oil is extracted from the manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) tree which is native to New Zealand, through steam distillation of its leaves.

The Maori people who are indigenous to the Aotearoa region of New Zealand – having migrated there 900 years ago from the Pacific islands – have been using manuka seed capsules, leaves, and bark in various ways ranging from chewing to poultices and infusions to heal conditions such as rheumatism, fever, colds, urinary problems, and skin disorders for centuries.

The use of manuka oil for acne scars and spots treatment is just catching up thanks to its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. To better understand the relationship between manuka oil and acne, it is important, first of all, to consider how acne lesions develop in the first place.

Adult acne develops in people – both men and women – who are particularly sensitive to androgen hormones even at their normal levels. As a result, their sebaceous glands produce sebum (skin oil) in excess amounts. At the same time, the dead skin cells in the skin pores are not shed off properly, leading to clogging of the hair follicles. This then causes a build-up of oils which culminate in either a whitehead or a blackhead.

The naturally occurring Propionibacterium acnes bacteria on the skin often find the oil build-up suitable environment for its multiplication. When that happens, the skin gets inflamed and red or pus-filled bumps form on the skin.

The use of manuka oil for acne treatment majorly revolves around addressing these underlying phenomena, that is, skin pore clogging, inflammation and bacterial action.

Scientific studies have shown that manuka oil has significant antimicrobial activity thanks to its abundance of triketones, key among them being Leptospermone, Flavesone, and Isoleptospermone. Manuka oil also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to acne breakouts. The above two characteristics constitute the backbone of manuka oil acne treatment.

A recent scientific study conducted by The Cawthron Institute showed that manuka essential oil produced in the Te Araroa region of the East Cape was 20-30 times more effective than Australian tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) against gram-positive bacteria. The oil is also effective against MRSA – standing for Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus – bacteria (or Staph A), which is resistant to most common antibiotics.

Further research has revealed that manuka oil is potent against bacteria that cause acne. One study done at for example showed that manuka oil completely inhibited the activity of the bacteria species associated with Acne vulgaris at a concentration of 0.07% v/v.

The acne healing benefits of manuka oil are attributed to the presence of high levels of cyclic triketones (especially Leptospermone, Isoleptospermone, and Flavesone), with a concentration of between 20 and 30 percent.

How to Use Manuka Oil for Acne Spots

Now that you know that you can safely use manuka oil for acne treatment even if you have oily skin, how do you use it to treat those nasty acne spots and pimples?

Manuka Oil Spot Treatment for Acne

manuka oil for acne spot treatment

The Astrologyzine website suggests using the essential oil for spot treatment.

However, because essential oils are usually very concentrated, you should dilute the oil before applying it to the skin.

Below is an easy manuka oil spot treatment you can use. This topical treatment will help to kill bacteria and soothe the inflammation and redness. And since manuka oil absorbs very well into the skin, you won’t feel as such greasy.

  1. Wash your face with water and manuka soap (Any gentle cleanser will do just fine).
  2. Dilute a few drops of manuka oil with 1 to 2 ounces of water, witch hazel, or almond oil. a small amount of manuka oil into the palm of your hands and then dilute
  3. Apply it to the spots-inflicted areas of your face or skin with the help of a cotton bud.
  4. Repeat the process two times daily, in the morning and evening. You will especially want to leave the oil on overnight.

Manuka Oil Face Mask for Acne

In addition to spot treatment, you can as well capture the acne healing benefits of manuka oil by applying it as a face mask. All you have to do is apply dilute essential oil (dilute as explained in the previous section) all over your face. For best results, leave the mask on overnight.

A word of caution: Perform a patch test on a hidden part of the skin before applying manuka oil to your whole face just to rule out the possibility of irritation.

Manuka Oil in Moisturizers

Another way to use manuka oil for acne scars and spots is to add the essential oil to your favorite face wash or moisturizing lotion.

  • Pour about ten drops of the moisturizer into the palms of your hand followed by 2-3 drops of manuka oil. Mix the two ingredients thoroughly and then massage the mixture gently into your skin. Repeat the process 2 times daily and those acne blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples will soon be cleared.

Combination Manuka Oil Spot Treatment

If you want to take the natural healing action a little bit further, why not use manuka oil and tamanu oil together in combination. Just mix a few drops of either oil into the palms of your hand and then apply the resulting mixture to the acne-affected areas of your skin.

Manuka Oil and Neem Mask For Acne

Native to India, neem has antibacterial properties that can help to kill the bacteria associated with acne breakouts. It can also help to control the oiliness associated with the condition. It is thus a great natural remedy for those with oily, acne-prone skin. It can be used in a combination acne face mask alongside manuka oil as explained below:

  1. Get a tablespoon of neem powder
  2. Add enough water to make a fine paste
  3. Add about 5-10 drops of manuka oil and stir thoroughly until the mixture is well blended.
  4. Apply the mixture to your face as a mask and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water

NB: You may experience a worsening of the breakout immediately after you start using manuka oil for acne treatment as result of skin purging. This is a fancy word for the elimination of toxins from the skin.

Skin purging has to do with the toxins accumulated in the skin before you apply the manuka oil than with the oil itself. The skin will adjust itself shortly with continued use; wait at least 2 weeks before discontinuing your manuka oil acne treatment regime.

Manuka Oil for Acne Scars Treatment

Scars form when a wound stays around for too long. When that happens, the body deposits a mass of dense connective tissue – composed of cells called fibroblasts – in the site of the wound to close the wound.

Acne pimples often cause scars ranging from hypertrophic to pitted scars. Severe acne breakouts such as cystic acne and nodules naturally carry a higher risk of scar formation. Although acne scars heal and fade away with time, there are natural home remedies that could help to heal the scars quickly. The question then follows: is manuka oil good for acne scars?

Well, the existing anecdotal evidence is affirmative to the effectiveness of manuka oil for acne scars.

First of all, manuka oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action will help to heal active acne breakouts quickly which then reduces the chances of scarring. Secondly, manuka oil promotes the growth of new cells to replace those damaged by acne inflammation. This promotes quick healing of acne lesions and recovery from scarring.

Keep in mind however that manuka oil won’t give you overnight results. Regular and consistent use is key to effective treatment of scars and pimples.

Manuka Oil for Cystic Acne

cystic acne on jawline

Another question is bound to follow closely, “Does manuka oil work for acne cysts?”

According to Chris Kilham of Fox News, the antibacterial and healing properties of manuka oil are effective against acne cysts.

As Kilham says, “If you put it [manuka oil] on cystic acne regularly, it’s going to take it way down or get rid of it completely.”

According to one user on, the best way to use manuka oil for cystic acne treatment is to use it alongside emu oil. This capitalizes on the carrier properties of emu oil to make the natural treatment regimen more effective:

  1. Dab some manuka oil on the acne cyst.
  2. Next, apply a small amount emu oil (or jojoba oil) a few minutes down the line. This will help to take the manuka oil further deeper into the skin for more effective bacteria killing action.
  3. Repeat the process 2-3 times daily for best results. Most acne cysts will clear within one week of using this natural remedy.

For a cyst that has burst or seems on the brink of bursting open, slather on a generous amount of manuka honey (instead of manuka oil) and then dress the cyst neatly with a bandage. Change the dressing every few hours until the cyst has healed. This manuka oil acne home treatment may be somewhat tricky to put to work for cystic acne on the jawline but it is worth every effort.

In addition to this, try to get foods that are rich in zinc. Oral zinc supplements and topical preparations that contain zinc are touted to help heal acne faster.

Best Manuka Oil for Acne Treatment – Where to Buy Manuka Oil

As for where to buy manuka essential oil, your local health food store is a nice place to start your search. If you are not successful following that route, you can always order a bottle of the essential oil online on Amazon.

Look for a pure manuka oil product that has been produced in the East Cape region of New Zealand.

The study by Cawthron Institute concluded that manuka oil from trees growing in the East Cape area of New Zealand had more antimicrobial action than samples collected from other regions. This is because the oil from this region has more of Triketones (Leptospermone, Isoleptospermone, and Flavesone), the main active ingredients.

Organic manuka oil products are also great as they are free of chemicals. Among the best manuka oil for acne treatment are:

Manuka Oil Acne Reviews

Reviews offer a great window with which to “see” the kind of results that a treatment or skin care product can give. They give meaningful anecdotal evidence to support scientific studies or to make up for the lack of it. Here are some reviews I found online with regards to using manuka oil for acne scars and spots treatment:

“I am a 24-year-old girl, I have been suffering from acne… I bought East Cape manuka oil, and YES, it worked for me. Initially I thought I was getting much more acne, due to this oil, but eventually, within a Month, they cleared out”.

Another user (a mother) had this to say in her review:

My teenage daughter was plagued by constant acne. The Manuka Oil (twice daily) has cleared her up entirely.”

Despite her enthusiastic reviews, this customer was hesitant to give the manuka oil product a 5-star rating simply because she found the intense smell somewhat offensive.

Another reviewer on had this to say:

Manuka oil acne reviews - 1

Because not every acne scar or spot treatment works for everyone, we also had to look for some negative reviews from users who got disappointing results with manuka oil acne treatment.

One Amazon customer had this to say in her review:

Manuka oil acne reviews 2

What is your take on using manuka oil for acne scars and spots treatment? Let us discuss it. Please share your opinion in the comments.