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How Do I Use Olive Oil for Acne?

Sarah Sullins
Sarah Sullins

Many individuals massage olive oil on their face or use olive oil-based face washes or scrubs when they have acne. These methods can treat both acne and the scars that occur as a result of it. Other types of oils can also be used to help with this skin condition.

People excrete oil from their pores every day. Most believe this oil is bad, and that cleansers must be used to dry out the face and get rid of oil, but in reality, it's there for a reason. It protects the skin, moisturizes it, and helps keep it clean. When your pores are infiltrated by dirt, dead skin, and bacteria, the oil can not do its job properly and you are left with clogged pores. These clogged pores develop into blackheads, pimples, and zits.

After massaging one's face with olive oil, the next step is to steam the pores with a hot wash cloth, which loosens and removes trapped dirt and oil.
After massaging one's face with olive oil, the next step is to steam the pores with a hot wash cloth, which loosens and removes trapped dirt and oil.

Using olive oil for acne is successful because oil is able to dissolve oil. When olive oil is applied to the face, it dissolves the hardened oil in your pores and allows you to more easily get rid of the dirt and bacteria. After wiping the old oil away, the olive oil also provides your skin with the moisture it needs to function correctly.

Generally, two types of oil are used in face washes: castor oil and olive oil. The ratio you will need may vary, depending on how your skin reacts to it. Most individuals have to experiment with the ratio to find what works best.

Containers of olive oil.
Containers of olive oil.

After the oils have been combined, you can then apply them to your face. You will only need to use about a quarter-sized portion of the oil mixture. Apply it to your dry face and gently massage it into your skin for about a minute. You can then take a hot wet washcloth and drape it over your face; this will steam out your pores to help you dissolve built up oil and bring dirt and grime to the top of your skin. After another minute, take the washcloth off, dampen a clean washcloth, and wipe all of the oil off your face.

A boy with acne.
A boy with acne.

To treat scarring with olive oil, you can use a similar treatment. Using only olive oil, apply a small portion to the affected area, massage for five minutes, and then steam out your pores. You can then use an olive oil scrub to exfoliate your skin and remove any dead tissue.

Discussion Comments


I have had open pores and red scars on my face for the last three years due to pimples. I used so many products, but I didn't get any results. Can anyone suggest the best possible treatment to reduce my acne?


Olive oil is great for skin. I think you should all use it.


@anon339278, and anyone with acne problems:

Use 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tbs of plain yogurt. Mix them together, apply with a brush and leave on the face for 30 min -1 hour, then wash with cold water. It will reduce the inflammation, remove redness and help with breakouts. Hope it helps.


I have really bed acne scars, like really bad, they're like red acne scars. I was wondering if anyone could help me please? I have been to the dermatologist more than six times and she gave me so many chemicals and nothing worked. Can anyone help me please? Please?


I've used olive oil forever as a skin moisturizer and it does me well. One incident, I switched to cocoa butter as a moisturizer, and for me, it didn't work. My skin was generally breaking out and oily. But then, I went back to using olive oil and my skin cleared up within the first four days.


I have Kirkland olive oil which I bought from Costco. Will I be able to use it?


I used olive oil to help get rid of my blackheads and acne. I obviously had my doubts at first because I broke out, however after this nothing came back! It was incredible as I had have permanent blackheads for over 10 years. I still massage my face with castor oil and olive oil mix every now and again (its like a little facial treat)but at the beginning I used this every night before bed and it really helped my skin oil balance out.

I now have normal skin not ever combination anymore and I'm pretty happy with using my olive oil bar to wash my face and this makes my makeup go on better, not that I "need" to wear it anymore.


Olive oil is great for skin. It clears up scars and blemishes and prevents aging. But only 100% pure, virgin olive oil should be used. If you use any other kind of olive oil, you won't get all the benefits.

For example, riviera olive oil is a little bit of olive oil mixed with vegetable oil. That's why it's a lighter color. It's not going to have much benefit for skin.


@MikeMason-- It's not a good idea to leave olive oil on the skin. It does help with acne, but only when it's used for cleaning the skin.

I use olive oil to do the oil cleansing method. This involves first opening up my pores by applying a hot towel to my face. Then I take a little bit of olive oil on my fingers and massage it into my face in circular motions. I do this for at least fifteen minutes.

This removes all the gunk out of my pores that eventually result in pimples and blackheads. You can actually feel stuff coming out while massaging. But I never leave the olive oil on my skin. I always wash my face with a facial cleanser afterward and rinse with cold water to close my pores.


Olive oil actually makes me break out!

I used olive oil for a while as a beard oil and broke out all over my chin and cheeks.


Not only does olive oil help with acne, but it also makes a great cleanser. This is so much better for your face than many of the cleansers and acne products that are on the market.

If it's good enough to use on my food, it should be good enough for my skin.


I have acne scars from bad acne I had when I was in high school. I use a mixture of half castor oil and half olive oil and keep this mixed up in a glass bottle in my bathroom.

This feels wonderful when you massage it into your face. As far as the acne scars, they have almost completely gone away. This was not something that happened over night, but over the course of several months.

Thankfully, I no longer get acne, but remember what it feels like, and would sure be willing to try this if my face started breaking out again. Maybe the olive oil I use now is helping to prevent that from happening.


@Mykol-- I was skeptical when I first heard about this too, but decided I didn't have anything to lose by giving it a try.

I was surprised at how well it worked. I used this at night before going to bed and couldn't believe how soft my skin felt in the morning. It wasn't oily, but had a nice glow to it.

I haven't tried using this in the morning yet. I don't know if it would affect how my makeup would go on or not.

My acne is definitely less noticeable, but not completely gone. I think it has something to do with balancing the moisture in your skin. If you try to dry it out, I think the oil glands will work even harder.


I can see how using olive oil could help with acne scars, but I think it would be too oily if you were trying to get rid of acne.

Has anyone used olive oil with good results to get rid of acne?

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    • After massaging one's face with olive oil, the next step is to steam the pores with a hot wash cloth, which loosens and removes trapped dirt and oil.
      By: dianamower
      After massaging one's face with olive oil, the next step is to steam the pores with a hot wash cloth, which loosens and removes trapped dirt and oil.
    • Containers of olive oil.
      Containers of olive oil.
    • A boy with acne.
      By: Jörg Hackemann
      A boy with acne.
    • A bar of soap made with olive oil, which can help with acne.
      By: Diana Taliun
      A bar of soap made with olive oil, which can help with acne.
    • Olive oil is a natural way to treat acne scarring.
      By: Budimir Jevtic
      Olive oil is a natural way to treat acne scarring.