When people want to know if massage oil can cause acne, they are most likely worried about the oils clogging their pores and causing pimples to form. There are many different oils used in massage, so it’s not surprising that questions such as this arise. Unfortunately, the answer to the question of whether or not massage oil can cause acne isn’t straightforward, due to the fact that there are different types of oils and we don’t all have the same skin type or issues.
Can Massage Oil Cause Acne?
If you’re using massage oil to relax or as part of a detoxifying face mask, your main concern is probably how it feels on your skin. But if you’re thinking about rubbing it all over your face as a moisturizer or acne treatment—you might want to reconsider. There’s no research showing that olive oil, coconut oil, or any other kind of massage oil will help with adult acne in any way (and none of those oils are recommended for massaging). They could actually cause problems down the road if used in high concentrations around your hair follicles. We tend to think that natural products like these oils are inherently safer than conventional makeup products; however, some ingredients in natural oils can break down collagen and clog pores.
Is massage oil comedogenic (pore-clogging)?
Although some skin types are more susceptible to oil-caused breakouts than others, experts agree that a face full of acne may not be caused by massage oil per se. First off, consider that acne-prone skin contains larger pores—the kind that tend to trap debris and bacteria. Add in oils (whether used on skin or hair) which can cause even oily skin to look greasy if too much is applied at once. So it’s possible for massage oil to make pores clog with trapped dead cells and bacteria, resulting in acne. Again though, it all depends on your own unique skin type!
1) Choose your oils wisely
Massage oils are a double-edged sword. While using them for a soothing massage is great for your skin and can help you de-stress (and make some new friends), frequent application of oil can lead to acne flareups. If you’re prone to acne or want to avoid it, look out for ingredients like sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, rice bran oil and castor seed oil. These oils are high in linoleic acid—an omega-6 fatty acid that causes inflammation which can breakouts. Also be sure to keep your bottle of massage oil clean. Bacteria loves warm, dark places just as much as we do! To learn more about acne prevention check out our post on how to prevent pimples naturally. And if you’re looking for an easy way to get rid of pimples fast without any harsh chemicals check out our review on Exposed Skin Care’s Chemical Free Facial Cleanser! It really works!
2) Look for pure essential oils as base ingredients
When picking out a massage oil, it’s best to go with one that lists essential oils as its base ingredients. Pure essential oils come from plants and do not contain any chemical additives that could cause problems for acne-prone skin. Synthetic fragrances can be irritating or clog pores. Avoid massaging your face: Make sure you avoid applying any massage oil directly on your face. Never apply massage oil right before going to bed: Ideally, you should use your massage oil in morning hours so it can have enough time to absorb into your skin before bedtime. If you use a lighter oil that absorbs quickly, then applying it before bed is safe if you make sure there’s no residue left on your skin.
3) Avoid mixing different oils or lotions with oil.
Mixing two different oils together is a bad idea. They may cancel each other out or leave your skin feeling greasy. Instead of mixing different oils, you can alternate using them on different days. Using one type of oil for three days, then switching to another for three days is a good way to get plenty of variety in your massage routine without worrying about mixing up which lotion goes with which oil. If you have sensitive skin or are worried about breaking out with an oil, it’s also a good idea to use a small amount at first (around 3 tablespoons) instead of covering your entire body. Once you know how it affects your skin, you can then adjust your routine accordingly.
4) Use a sunscreen afterwards
If you’re giving a massage to someone with sensitive skin, or if you just have sensitive skin yourself, your first instinct might be to apply more pressure while massaging. But applying excessive pressure when massaging can make your muscles sore or even lead to bruising. To prevent these kinds of issues, focus on using long gliding strokes that don’t press down hard on the muscles in question. If your hands feel sore afterward, try switching between different lotions throughout a single massage session. You may be allergic to something in one type of lotion but not another — it only takes five minutes for an allergic reaction to develop.
5) Don’t rub hard. No need to apply pressure when massaging.
This can cause inflammation in your skin. Too much pressure will make you feel worse, not better. You want to rub in slow circles or use a sweeping motion when applying oil to your face. Even if you do get a little redness or a pimple pops up after massaging your face with oil, there’s no need to panic. It’s actually pretty common. Just stop using it for a few days until it goes away. If it doesn’t go away, you might have an underlying issue that needs attention from your dermatologist. If you still want to use massage oil on your face despite potential acne issues, try these non-comedogenic oils: jojoba oil and argan oil. They won’t clog pores or cause breakouts!
6) Exfoliate before use
Anyone who has a good deal of oil in their skin can experience acne if they’re not careful with certain products. If you have oily skin or regularly moisturize your face with oil-based products like massage oils, it’s important to exfoliate frequently before application to avoid clogged pores. Exfoliating means using a facial scrub or similar product to remove dead skin cells on your face. This allows your pores to stay clear while you apply new layers of moisturizer (which is likely oil-based). Exfoliating will also help make sure that your moisturizer absorbs completely into your skin and doesn’t just sit on top of it. Treatments: You may also want to look into treatments for topical problems like pimples or cysts.
7) Apply to clean skin after showers/baths
When you take a hot shower or bath your pores open up. When you apply lotion right after to seal in moisture, you can trap dirt and oil inside of your pores. Leave your skin alone for at least 5 minutes to let it cool down before putting on lotion. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin that breaks out easily! And even if you don’t have sensitive skin, why risk clogging up your pores!? That’s like asking for acne. You shouldn’t do it!
Don’t use massage oil on your face! It may seem like a great way to get rid of acne – but it’s not. Yes, your skin can become irritated by rubbing something into it; even if you avoid oil-based products (which is best), it can still cause a reaction. Before slathering oil on your face, take some time to figure out which acne products are right for you – chances are that no matter what you do there will be days when you feel like you have bad skin. And with oily skin, those bad skin days happen more often than they should. If oils are so great for facial massages why is it recommended not to put them on our faces?