Emu or other, when people hear “oil for acne” they get alarmed. It does sound a little counter-intuitive, right? But, If you stay with me, I will give you all the information you need to know why in some cases oils, like emu, can be really beneficial and help you get rid of acne.
The emu is a large, flightless bird, native to Australia. Fun fact - it’s the second largest living bird, by height right after the ostrich. I’m sure you can think of it - the weird-looking, big bird, long legs? If it still doesn’t ring any bells, go google it. Well, the oil comes from the fat tissue of the emu, as the body of an emu contains 3 gallons of oil. The aboriginals began the tradition of extracting it, but soon the skincare industry took over and made it into a popular acne treatment. Its fat consists of several unsaturated fatty acids. To break it down completely, it’s made of oleic acid (42 percent); palmitic acid (21 percent); linoleic acids (21 percent) and a lot of antioxidants. All these components help fight inflammation, dry skin and the bacteria that can develop in pores, and they can aid wound healing and more, that is, according to anecdotal, rather than scientific evidence.
The biggest benefit of the emu oil, though, comes from its small particles and their ability to absorb into the skin. It’s believed that pure emu oil has the unique ability to penetrate easily into all epidermal layers of the skin. Due to this, the skin gets a plentiful amount of omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids, which helps to keep it moisturized, without leaving the skin oily.
Emu oil is a non-comedogenic product - which means it won’t clog your pores. In addition to this, it’s hypoallergenic and safe to use on all skin types. Fulfilling these two preconditions, we can argue that at least, emu oil won’t make your skin condition worse. But, I’m guessing you are wondering, how does it really help us get rid of acne?
Emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in reducing redness and swelling. Because it contains Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant, it can promote healing in damaged skin.
Another way in which emu oil can fight off new acne outbreaks is by dissolving the sebum when penetrating into the skin tissue. This allows for deep skin cleansing, reducing the appearance of new blemishes.
As I already mentioned, it penetrates deep into the skin, unclogs the pores, and moistures the skin without making it oily, which additionally helps control our skin’s oil production. If the skin is less oily, that means it will be less prone to acne outbreaks.
Finally, one study showed that topical application of emu oil on burn wounds in mice can aid the healing process after inflammation, suggesting it might work on wrinkles and acne scars.
The first advice, before you start with the application, is to clean your hands with antibacterial soap. Make sure you don’t make your condition worse by using dirty application brushes or having contaminated fingers. Next, pour a few drops of the oil onto the hands or a cotton pad and apply directly on the affected area. Another possibility is to gently massage the oil on the entire face as a whole. Don’t rub it in, but rather use soft, circular movements. Leave it on the skin until it absorbs fully, then you can finish off with your favorite moisturizer.
Now that you know what emu oil is, and how it works, you can have it in the back of your head, as one of the possible solutions for your acne problem. Will it be worth it? Honestly, a lot of people swear by it, although research is thin. Almost all of the studies we presented in the text were done on animals and can be problematic when we try to pass those results on to people. The good news is, there aren’t many side-effects, so it seems like a pretty safe product - if you are in for some experimentation. The bottom line is: feel free to try it on, but go easy on the expectations. Don’t forget - you’ll have to take some risks in order to get the skin you want, but do it informed. We’ll always be here to share our knowledge with you.