Emu Oil for Acne: Does It Really Work?

Emu Oil for Acne: Does It Really Work?

When people hear "oil for acne," they get alarmed. It sounds a little counterintuitive, right? But, if you stay with us, we'll give you all the information you need to know about why different oils, like emu oil, can be really beneficial and help you get rid of acne.

What is Emu Oil?

emu oil

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. We're sure you can picture it - the weird-looking big bird with the long legs?

If it still doesn't ring any bells, google it.

Emu 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.

Emu oil 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 soothe dry and inflamed skin and kill the bacteria that can clog pores. They can also aid in wound healing and more, according to anecdotal (rather than scientific) evidence.

However, one of the biggest benefits of emu oil comes from its small particles and their ability to absorb into the skin. It's believed that pure emu oil can penetrate easily into all epidermal layers. Due to this, the skin gets a plentiful amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which helps to keep it moisturized without leaving it oily.

How Does Emu Oil Work For Acne?

emu oil

Emu oil is a non-comedogenic product, meaning it won't clog your pores. In addition to this, it's hypoallergenic and safe to use on all skin types. So with these two preconditions, we can argue that at least emu oil won't worsen your skin condition. But we're guessing you're wondering if it really helps us get rid of acne.

Emu oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which assist in reducing redness and swelling. In addition, because it contains vitamin A, which is an antioxidant, it can promote healing in damaged skin.

Another way emu oil can fight off new acne outbreaks is by dissolving the sebum when penetrating the skin tissue. This allows for deep skin cleansing, reducing the appearance of new blemishes.

As we already mentioned, it unclogs pores and moisturizes the skin without making it oily, which helps control our skin's oil production. If the skin is less oily, we're less prone to those irritating acne outbreaks.

Finally, one study showed that topical application of emu oil on burn wounds in mice could aid the healing process after inflammation, suggesting it might work on wrinkles and acne scars.

Emu Oil Application: How To Use It

emu oil

Before you start, clean your hands with antibacterial soap. You also don't want to make things worse by using dirty application brushes. Next, pour a few drops of the oil onto your hand or a cotton pad and apply directly on the affected area.

You could also gently massage the oil on your entire face. Don't rub it in, but rather use soft, circular movements. Leave it on until it absorbs into the pores fully. Then, you can finish off with your favorite moisturizer.

Benefits of Emu Oil for Acne

clear skin

  • An effective moisturizer - Emu oil will do a wonderful job of keeping your skin hydrated and preventing water loss. This makes it a good solution for eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin.
  • It's great at reducing inflammation - Although research is thin, testimonials are piling up. We're not talking only about superficial inflammation on the skin tissue but rather a variety of inflammation processes in the body. A review from the journal Nutrition promotes emu oil as an effective remedy against ear inflammation, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and arthritis.
  • Improves skin elasticity - You can use this oil as a natural way to maintain skin elasticity, reducing acne scars, wrinkles, and lines.
  • It offers sun protection - For many years, Native Australians used emu oil as natural protection against sunlight exposure. Its SPF is not nearly high enough to work as a standalone sunscreen, though.
  • It prevents skin aging - Emu oil is not just good for acne-prone skin. It'll help combat the dry skin patches, wrinkles, and fine lines that come with aging.
  • It stimulates the growth of new, healthy skin cells.
  • It has wound-healing properties.
  • It increases the absorption of drugs and other nutrients - For example, one research paper concluded that when curcumin is mixed with emu oil, its bioavailability increases five times, making the results of this combo five times more effective. This can work with other ingredients that are known to reduce pimples and over-the-counter acne treatments.

Additional Benefits of Emu Oil

weight loss

  • According to some anecdotal evidence, emu oil can help with weight loss and cholesterol control. This is possibly due to the high amount of fatty acids in the oil - a lot of research supports this idea. All you need is a teaspoon or two twice daily.
  • Emu oil has been used to treat various health problems for centuries. It's believed that the oil it's can help treat chronic back pain, diabetes, gum disease, headaches, osteoarthritis, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It even improves the overall health of your hair. It can give your hair more volume, add shine, decrease split ends, and protect against dandruff.
  • If you apply emu oil before heading outdoors, you might repel insects. This is partly due to the substance called terpenes found in the oil.
  • It also reduces breast sensitivity, which is really good news for new mothers. It's not uncommon to feel pain when newborns latch onto the breast. A lot of the time, women's breasts feel sore, cracked, and dry after breastfeeding. Use a cotton pad with a few drops of emu oil to massage the nipple. However, a word of caution: wipe your nipple and breast with a warm cloth before feeding your baby to remove any residual oil. Emu oil has not been proven safe for infants and children. Remember this - it's really important!
  • It improves gut health. According to this study, the consumption of emu oil was found to reduce the severity of colon inflammation.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions


  • People suffering from Peyronie's disease might experience a mild localized rash from emu oil.
  • The product's composition might cause your skin to react negatively. This is because not all emu oil products are created equal.
  • Check for the smell when you first purchase your emu oil product. It shouldn't have a smell, but if it does, return it and ask for a new one. Keep the emu oil in the fridge.
  • It's not advisable to use the product on open wounds.
  • In rare cases, skin irritation can occur after applying the oil directly to the skin. Try a patch test on a less sensitive area, like the back of your hand. Wait to see how your skin reacts to it. This way, you'll know it's safe to apply it to your face.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should talk to their doctor before using emu oil.
  • Some users have noticed stomach irritation and discomfort after consuming the oil.

A Word of Caution

As the skincare and beauty industry, in general, is moving more towards using cruelty-free and ethical ingredients, there are plenty of other oils you can try that offer the same healing and moisturizing properties that emu oil does, such as tea tree, lavender, bergamot and more.

You can still use the same steps we've highlighted above for the application of other oils.

Use an Acne Treatment You Know Will Work

Finding products and treatments for oily skin can be a chore, which is why so many of us turn to more natural ingredients. But what if we told you there was a way to get the beautiful skin you deserve?

Misumi's Complete Clear 3-Step System is the best way to clean acne-prone skin. The cleanser, toner, and moisturizer in this kit have the ability to reduce inflammation, clear away debris and dead skin cells, combat redness, stop breakouts, moisturize your skin, and more.

Add these three products to your skincare routine, and you won't be disappointed. Try it now!

Final Judgement

emu oil for acne

Now that you know what emu oil is and how it works, you might be able to use it for your acne problem. But is it worth it? A lot of people swear by it, although research is thin. Almost all the studies we presented in the text were done on animals, so it's difficult to know the full effects on people.

The good news is there aren't many side effects. So, feel free to try it out, but leave any high expectations at the door. Don't forget - you'll have to take some risks to get the skin you want, but make sure you're informed about the product you're using. We'll always be here to share our knowledge with you.


Improvement of bioavailability and anti-inflammatory potential of curcumin in combination with emu oil

Effects of Topical Emu Oil on Burn Wounds

Review on emu products for use as complementary and alternative medicine

Orally administered emu oil attenuates disease in a mouse model of Crohn’s-like colitis

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