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L'huile essentielle de romarin pour les peaux grasses ?

Rosemary essential oil for oily skin?

Oily skin tends to show imperfections. Therefore, it is important to take care of it. Rosemary has been used for a long time as a natural remedy. Presented in the form of essential oil, it proves potentially beneficial for oily skin. Learn more in this article.

What are the characteristics of oily skin?

An oily skin is defined as a skin type that exhibits a shiny and glossy appearance across the entire face, unlike combination skin types that only display this characteristic in the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin). This phenomenon is due to an imbalance in the production of sebum, which is secreted in excess by the sebaceous glands located in the dermis. The overproduction of sebum is typically caused by endogenous factors, such as heredity or hormonal fluctuations. It can also be a result of environmental factors like diet or stress.

Sebum is primarily composed of lipids, such as triglycerides and waxes (esters of fatty acids and alcohols), along with small quantities of squalene and cholesterol. It forms part of the hydrolipidic film present on the skin's surface, playing a crucial role in protecting the skin against external aggressions. Furthermore, it helps to maintain the hydration of the epidermis by preventing insensible water loss.

However, when sebum is produced in excess (hyperseborrhoea), it can lead to skin problems such as the emergence of blemishes. An excess of sebum can clog the skin's pores and promote the proliferation of bacteria, particularly the Cutibacterium acnes, which plays a role in acne. Furthermore, oily skin is often perceived as aesthetically displeasing due to its greasy appearance.

Rosemary, in a nutshell.

Theessential oil of rosemary is extracted from the aromatic plant Rosmarinus officinalis, more commonly known as rosemary. This essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of rosemary leaves. It is widely used to alleviate rheumatic pains, stimulate blood circulation and soothe digestive disorders. Rosemary essential oil treatments are recommended in spring and autumn to detoxify and stimulate the liver. This essential oil is also recognised for its skin benefits, particularly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

What is the effect of rosemary essential oil on oily skin?

Thanks to its numerous active molecules, rosemary essential oil is attributed with several beneficial properties for individuals with oily skin.

The α-pinene and borneol, found in rosemary essential oil, exert their anti-inflammatory activity. The α-pinene works by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of NF-kappa B and reducing inflammatory markers, while borneol suppresses the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. A study has also shown that these components of rosemary essential oil have inhibited inflammation induced by Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria that develops in acne-prone skin, through the inhibition or suppression of cytokine production.

Some sources suggest that rosemary essential oil may have sebum-regulating and astringent properties, which could help to tighten the skin's pores reducing the likelihood of hair follicles being blocked by sebum, leading to the formation of comedones (blackheads) and spots. However, it is important to note that to date, no scientific study has demonstrated that the application of rosemary essential oil has visible beneficial effects on oily skin.

What other active ingredients are favoured for oily skin?

If you have oily skin, we recommend you to consider the following active ingredients, whose benefits have been scientifically proven.

  • The vegetable oil of jojoba.

    Thejojoba vegetable oil is composed of esters, saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and sterols. Its composition is similar to that of sebum, which is naturally produced by the body, giving it a particular affinity with the skin. Thus, when applied, it blends with the sebum to form a light film that strengthens the skin's hydrolipidic film, thereby preventing dehydration.

    Jojoba oil has a rebalancing and sebum-regulating action, which allows it to give the complexion a matte and non-shiny appearance while reducing the occurrence of imperfections such as enlarged pores, spots and blackheads. Moreover, it is non-comedogenic and non-greasy, meaning it does not clog pores and is quickly absorbed by the skin without leaving a greasy sensation. By penetrating quickly, it deeply nourishes, thus helping to keep the skin hydrated and supple.

  • Salicylic acid.

    Thanks to its peeling effect, thesalicylic acid purifies the upper layer of the epidermis, promoting the removal of dead cells. It also has anti-bacterial and astringent properties that help regulate sebum overproduction, improve the appearance of enlarged pores, and reduce inflammation.


FU Y. & al. Investigation of antibacterial activity of rosemary essential oil against Propionibacterium acnes with atomic force microscopy. Planta Medica (2007).

BHOWAL M. & al. Eucalyptol: Safety and Pharmacological Profile. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2015).

EL HACHLAFI N. & al. In Vitro and in Vivo Biological Investigations of Camphene and Its Mechanism Insights: A Review. Food Reviews International (2021).

WINKELMAN W. Aromatherapy, Botanicals, and Essential Oils in Acne. Clinics in Dermatology (2018).

KHARAZMKIA A. & al. Potential effects of alpha-pinene, a monoterpene commonly found in essential oils against Toxoplasma gondii infection; an in vitro and in vivo study. Journal of Parasitic Diseases (2022).


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