8 Scientifically-backed benefits of oregano oil for skin

Oregano is a fragrant herb that is best known as an ingredient in Italian cuisine. A concentrated extract can also be made into an essential oil packed with antioxidants and potent compounds.

Despite its lack of strength, oregano oil appears useful when consumed or applied to the skin, although it’s not as strong as essential oil.

Although essential oils should not be consumed, oregano oil is an effective natural antibiotic and antifungal agent, and it may help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.

What is oregano oil?

Botanically known as Origanum vulgare, oregano is a flowering plant from the same family as mint. It’s often used as an herb to flavor food. Although it’s native to Europe, it now grows worldwide.

Oregano has been popular since ancient Greek and Roman civilizations used it for medicinal purposes. The name oregano comes from the Greek words “oros,” meaning mountain, and “ganos,” meaning joy or delight.

For centuries, the herb has also been used as a spice in cooking. The leaves and shoots of the plant are air-dried to produce oregano essential oil. 

Once dried, the oil is extracted and concentrated by steam distillation [1]. Oregano essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically. However, it should not be consumed orally.

Oregano oil extract can be produced via several extraction methods using compounds like carbon dioxide or alcohol. It’s widely available as a supplement and can often be found in pill or capsule form [2].

Oregano contains compounds called phenols, terpenes, and terpenoids. They have powerful antioxidant properties and are responsible for its fragrance.

  • Carvacrol: The most abundant phenol in oregano, it has been shown to stop the growth of several different types of bacteria [3].
  • Thymol: This natural antifungal can also support the immune system and protect against toxins [4].
  • Rosmarinic acid: This powerful antioxidant helps protect against damage caused by free radicals.

These compounds are thought to underlie oregano’s many health benefits.

How to use oregano oil for your skin?

What are the benefits of oregano oil?

1. Boosts the complexion’s brightness

A rich source of antioxidants, oregano is used in skincare and cosmetics to combat signs of aging. When paired with a skin-friendly carrier oil, these properties can help bring back a radiant complexion to dull skin.

Moreover, it has astringent properties that help tighten the skin and delay the aging process. To see good results, rub the oil twice a week on the skin. 

Mix it with vegetable oil or other cosmetic products, such as face washes and creams. Before washing off the pack in the morning, leave it on the face and skin overnight.

2. Nourishes skin

Oregano oil is being used because it is loaded with natural nutrients that offer many benefits for the skin. Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K. This concentrated oil can improve skin elasticity, making you look even more youthful.

Oregano essential oil is a concentrated oil; applying it directly on the skin will result in side effects. Hence, concentrated oils are used after diluting them with a carrier oil. Two familiar and effective carrier oils for topical application are coconut oil and jojoba oil.

The antioxidant properties of oregano extract are suitable for the hair and skin. It controls hair fall and benefits the skin by maintaining its elasticity and soothing skin irritation. 

The oregano oil for hair and skin can be used as follows: 3 drops of oregano oil mixed with one and a half tablespoons of carrier oil of your choice is massaged into the skin and scalp. The skin benefits of oregano oil take about two to three weeks to be effective.

3. Helps prevent skin infections

It is one of the anti-inflammatory essential oils, which, when applied on wounds, helps prevent the injuries from becoming septic and also prevents tetanus germs from entering the body through the wound [5].

As well as protecting the body during surgical recovery, these antiseptic properties also prevent infection in other types of wounds.

4. May improve acne

Oregano oil’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and gut-modulating effects may work in tandem to improve acne. Goldsborough said she often sees clients taking oregano oil for gastrointestinal reasons go on to experience skin improvements.

In animal studies, researchers have found that oregano oil reduces inflammation driven by Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria known to cause acne and skin inflammation [6]. However, most research on oregano and acne has been done using topical application of oregano essential oil.

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5. Anti-allergenic agent

The anti-allergenic nature of the oil extracted from oregano is due to a combination of effects of its sedative and anti-inflammatory properties.

The oil’s sedative nature soothes the body’s hypersensitivity, which relieves allergic reactions. The severity of the allergies is reduced due to the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Scalp refresher

Minty and herbaceous, applying oregano oil to the scalp provides a refreshing, cooling sensation. Oregano oil’s antifungal and anti-infective properties can also help remove dandruff and promote scalp health to keep flakes at bay.

An itchy scalp is another irritation that bothers people. It may be caused by hives, dandruff, side effects of products, or scabies. Applying oregano oil on the scalp after diluting it with olive oil soothes the skin and reduces inflammation.

Skin tags and warts affecting your confidence? Remedy it with oregano oil. Its antiviral properties provide an effective solution to help remedy skin tags and even remove warts. Here is a recipe for making a wart and skin tag remedy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil
  • 3–4 Drops oregano
  • ½ Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Warm Water

Steps:

  • Mix the following ingredients in a cup or bowl and apply it over the skin tag or wart using a towel.
  • Press on the skin tag or wart for 5–10 minutes and repeat three times a day until the skin tag or wart falls off.

7. Treats toenail fungus

The thymol in oregano oil is a potent antibacterial and antifungal property that can help treat fungal infections. One of the most common places that fungus grows on the body is on the toenails, and it often comes with symptoms like itching and flaky skin.

Here is a recipe for treating this infection before switching to more pharmaceutical remedies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Drop Oregano
  • 4 Drops Prickly Pear Seed Carrier Oil
  • 1 Small Bowl

Steps:

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and dab using a cotton ball, applying liberally onto the infected toenails.
  • Use twice a day and keep your feet dry to prevent relapse of infection.

8. Cold sore treatment

Oregano oil has antiviral properties due to the compound carvacrol, which is present in aromatic plants. The effect of oregano and its ingredients on the herpes simplex virus was established in 1996.

You can apply the diluted oil on a clean cotton ball and rub it on the affected region to reduce the inflammation of cold sores.

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How to use oregano oil for your skin?

Here’s a practical guide on how to incorporate this potent oil into your daily skin care routine.

1. Direct application

Oregano oil is potent, so it’s crucial to dilute it with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil before application. A safe ratio is one part oregano oil to three parts carrier oil. 

Apply this mixture to problem areas—such as breakouts or fungal infections—using a cotton swab. 

This targeted application can help manage skin concerns without exposing the entire skin surface to the potent oil.

2. As a facial cleanser

You can make a facial cleanser at home by adding oregano oil to your regular face wash.

This boosts your cleanser’s ability to fight bacteria and pollutants, providing extra protection against acne and other skin issues.

3. Soothing baths

For a soothing experience that also benefits the skin, add 5-10 drops of oregano oil to a warm bath along with Epsom salts. This combination can help alleviate skin irritations and fungal infections, providing a calming effect.

Precautions

It is important to conduct a patch test before using oregano oil on sensitive skin as it can cause irritation.

Apply a small amount of the diluted oil to your forearm and wait for 24 hours to check for any adverse reactions. 

Avoid using oregano oil on broken or damaged skin and consult a healthcare provider if you have any underlying skin conditions.

By following these simple precautions and proper usage tips, you can harness the benefits of oregano oil for your skin while minimizing the risk of adverse reactions or skin irritation.

In closing

Oregano oil presents a compelling array of scientifically-backed benefits for your skin. From its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties to its ability to soothe inflammation and hydrate your skin, this natural remedy can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine.

However, remember to exercise caution by diluting it, performing patch tests, and avoiding sensitive areas. When used wisely, oregano oil can contribute to healthier, more radiant skin.

If you’re considering its use for specific skin concerns, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice. Embrace the potential of oregano oil and nurture your skin’s well-being.

FAQs

Can oregano oil remove dark spots?

Oregano oil is not specifically proven to remove dark spots. It is commonly used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help improve overall skin health.

How many drops of oregano oil for skin?

For skin applications, use 1 drop of oregano oil diluted with 3 drops of a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Always perform a patch test before widespread use.

Is oregano oil good for scars?

Oregano oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can support skin healing, potentially reducing the appearance of scars when used consistently as part of a skincare regimen.

How do you dilute oregano oil for topical use?

To use oregano oil topically, dilute it by mixing 1 part oregano oil with three parts of carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture sparingly to the skin.

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[1] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0972060X.2007.10643545
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6508890/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22044355
[4] https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-015-0947-2
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25808312
[6] https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/23/8/1987

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.