Essential Skincare II: Breakouts & Cleansing

From the time we go through puberty, breakouts can be our worst nightmare. Acne can feel like a barrier between our natural beauty and the world, an infected, messy barrier, and it can be challenging to treat because it often has multiple causes. Narrowing down the root cause of breakouts can be a journey in and of itself.

One reason we begin breaking out during puberty is that our bodies go through rapid, hormone-induced changes that can alter our skin dramatically, including an increase in sweat and oil production. The naturally balanced pH of our skin as children seemingly mutates overnight, turning once cherubic faces into minefields of bacteria and infection.

So, Now What?

In this article, we’ll cover some holistic remedies for cleansing acne-prone skin. It’s easy to go overboard when dealing with breakouts. People often over-cleanse their skin, exacerbating the problem by causing their oil glands to overproduce sebum. This is the body’s attempt to compensate for the over-drying caused by cleansing. In this case, soap is our worst enemy. Soap is designed to strip oil from the skin as well as dirt, which seems like a great idea until you recognize that the goal for skin is BALANCE, not desertification. Balancing the pH of the skin promotes an ideal environment where sebum production and bacteria can find a happy medium in the environment that is your face.

Your Personal Biome

It might sound crazy to think of your body as an ecosystem, but that’s what it is! Your body contains multitudes of bacteria that live symbiotically, helping digest and process food in your gut as well as many other functions. We even have dust mites that live on our eyelashes that eat unhealthy bacteria that live on our skin. These same dust mites help prevent some forms of breakouts caused by harmful bacteria. Weird, huh?

Essential Oils for Cleansing

iTOVi is all about personalization, so why not find the essential oil your body responds to most for your skincare routine? We all know that when it comes to cleansing your skin, essential oils are a fantastic option.

Certain essential oils are high in phenolic acid or alcohols like linalool, menthol, geraniol, and santalol. These powerful ingredients have antimicrobial properties, cleansing skin of unhealthy bacteria, dirt, and helping to balance the body’s natural pH without over-drying or stripping the body’s natural oils.

Carrier Oils: Why They Matter

Essential oils are highly concentrated and need to be diluted with carrier oils. Not all carrier oils are created equal — certain kinds can clog pores, so we recommend using ones that match the pH of your skin, like olive, almond, or jojoba oil. While coconut oil is fantastic for skin, it can potentially clog pores and can exacerbate breakouts for some people, and so it is not recommended to use for those with oily skin.

Your Unique Skin Needs

In this article, we’ve chosen to highlight less commonly known essential oils that promote healthy skin to round out your oil knowledge-base and offer something different. We’ll be sure to mention the more commonly used oils as well and ones that have similar benefits to ensure you’ve got options.

Green Mandarin

Cleansing and purifying for skin, Green Mandarin also promotes an energizing and positive environment when diffused, and is excellent for cleansing surfaces throughout your home.

Lemon Myrtle

Purifying and cleansing, Lemon Myrtle promotes a clear complexion by combating oily skin. It also boasts a refreshing aroma that is uplifting and clarifying to the mind. This oil is also effective at purifying one’s environment.

Tea Tree/Melaleuca

Tea Tree is a popular and versatile oil that has many uses. One of tea tree’s most popular functions is as a gentle antiseptic that helps prevent and heal breakouts.

Healing & Skin Restoration

Heal breakouts, promote skin rejuvenation, and minimize the appearance of scars.


Copaiba oil comes from the resin of the copaiba tree that grows​ in tropical regions of South America. This oil has a sweet, honey-like scent that users find uplifting and soothing, and supports overall health, calms the nervous system, and promotes a brighter complexion.


Helichrysum contains antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that work to support skin health. It also encourages a deeply peaceful environment, emotional release, and is both rejuvenating and restorative.

Melissa/Lemon Balm

Melissa, or Lemon Balm, has healing properties that can be used to treat skin, including some antibacterial and antiviral components. Also, it is used to promote joy, enthusiasm, optimism, relaxation, and restful sleep.


Spikenard has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that can be used to support skin health. The musky, warm aroma of spikenard has a soothing effect and can help with symptoms of sleeplessness and anxious feelings.


Rose essential oil has a soothing scent and is moisturizing and rejuvenating for the skin.

Recipes for Cleansing and Preventing Breakouts

Heal My Breakouts Blend

This blend works to target breakouts, eliminating them at their source and soothing damaged skin.

  • 2 oz. Aloe Vera Gel
  • 7 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Myrrh Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Combine ingredients and dab gently on breakouts and acne-prone skin. It is wise to patch-test your skin before applying to ensure it isn’t too sensitive.

Soothe & Refresh Moisturizing Blend

This is an excellent option for skin that feels painful and needs relief, while also being refreshing and cleansing at the same time.

  • 8 drops Copaiba Essential Oil
  • 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 13 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 2 oz of Jojoba oil or facial moisturizer of your choice

Clean My Face Daily Cleanser

A fabulous option for daily cleansing.

  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • 1 tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil
  • (if acne prone, replace frankincense and lemon oils with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil)


We’ll leave you with this gentle reminder: everyone’s skin is unique due to their genetics, diet, and environment, and will respond differently to various oils and recipes. We recommend experimenting to see which ones help you the most! And remember – diet, hygiene, and water intake all contribute to healthy skin, too.

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