Effect of Citrus Oils on Acne Bacteria

Study: To test the effectiveness of the biological activities of Citrus obovoides and Citrus natsudaidai essential oils against acne-inducing bacteria. The citrus essential oils were obtained by steam distillation of fruits collected and analyzed using gas chromatograph (GC)-flame ionization detectors (FID) and GC-MS.

Summary Key Findings:
(1) The citrus oils exhibited antibacterial activity against both P. acnes and S. epidermidis.
(2) The citrus essential oils exhibited superoxide anion radical-scavenging activity.
(3) The citrus oils exhibited low cytotoxicity at 0.1 microl/ml in both cell lines.
(4) The citrus oils reduced P. acnes-induced secretion of oil and had anti-inflammatory effects.

Source: Kim SS, Baik JS, Oh TH, Yoon WJ, Lee NH, Hyun CG. Department of Chemistry, Cheju National University
PMID: 18838824 [PubMed - MEDLINE]

Remove Acne with Orange Fruit Essential Oil

Study: To test the effectiveness of antimicrobial formulations for fighting acne using orange fruit essential oil (Citrus sinensis). Gel formulations were designed based on essential oils, and their effectiveness was evaluated in patients affected by acne. A masked simple experimental study was conducted of three gel formulations on twenty eight volunteer patients, separated in four groups of seven patients. Treatments were applied daily for eight weeks.

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) All groups reported an improvement of the acne condition, which ranged between 43% and 75% clearance of acne.
(2) There was no evidence of discomfort or side effects after application
(3) Essential oil formulations were chemically and physically stable during application of treatments. This was demonstrated by gas chromatography.

Source: Matiz G, Osorio MR, Camacho F, Atencia M, Herazo J. Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Universidad de Cartagena
PMID: 23235794 [PubMed]

Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

Study: To test the effectiveness and safety of salicylic acid for the treatment of acne. Most cases of acne vulgaris are either mild or moderate in severity and well-suited for treatment with nonprescription agents that are safe, effective, and convenient to use.

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) A review of four clinical studies attests to the efficacy of 0.5% and 2% solutions of salicylic acid for the treatment of acne vulgaris.
(2) Reduced the number of primary acne pimples and the severity of all acne.
(3) Salicylic acid has shown to be superior to benzoyl peroxide in reducing the total number of acne lesions. (4) Negative reactions to salicylic acid are generally limited to mild, local irritation occurring in a minority of patients.

PMID: 1535287 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Antibacterial Effects of Citrus Oils on Removing Acne

Study: To test the antibacterial effect of citrus oil against P. acnes bacteria. Studies were conducted regarding the antibacterial activity of citrus oil to Propionibacterium acnes, the primary bacteria involved in acne.

Summary of key findings:
(1) Two key studies show high levels of antibacterial activity in all citrus essential oils.
(2) Citrus oils dissolve sebum, and dissolving antibacterial compounds.
(3) Citrus oils are an anti-inflammatory.

Source: Anti-Oxidant Effect of Citrus Essential Oil Components on Human Low Density Lipoprotein In Vivo.
Takahashi, et al. 2003.
Biological lemon and sweet orange essential oil composition.
Verzera, et al. 2004.

MSM: An Anti-inflammatory

Study: To test the effectiveness of a topical application of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM is a compound normally found in many of the foods we eat. It is chemically related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), a popular treatment for arthritis.

Summary of Key Findings
(1) a topical application of methylsulfonylmethane with silymarin ( milk thistle) for 1 month appeared to be effective in the treatment of 46 subjects with the skin condition rosacea.

Brien S, Prescott P, Bashir N, et al. Systematic review of the nutritional supplements dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Apr 14.

Health of Blood Vessels

Study:To test the effectiveness of bioflavinoids in citrus fruits in the strengthening of the blood vessels.

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) In a review of 12 studies involving over 5,000 cases, researchers found that people who consumed the highest amounts of flavonoids had a lower risk of cancer than those who consumed less.
(2) A combination of vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids for decreasing bruising was identified in 29 collegiate athletes.

PMID: 17597820 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Free full text
Manthey JA, Grohmann K, Guthrie N. Biological properties of citrus flavonoids pertaining to cancer and inflammation. Curr Med Chem. 2001;8:135-153.

Fighting Acne with Lemongrass and Lime

Study: To test the effectiveness of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus DC), Kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC), holy basil (Ocimum sanctum L.), and ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) against Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) The essential oils exhibited the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC).
(2) and MBC values of lemongrass oil were 0.6 μl/ml and those of kaffir lime oil and holy basil oil were 5 μl/ml. Antioxidant activity using the DPPH free radical scavenging assay showed that the IC50 values of holy basil oil (0.03 μl/ml), plai oil (6.9 μl/ml) and citronella grass oil (2 μl/ml) were lower than that of ascorbic acid (7.9 μl/ml). Anti-inflammatory activity of the oils determined using the 5-lipoxygenase inhibition assay found that IC50 values of holy basil oil (0.04 μl/ml), kaffir lime oil (0.05 μl/ml) and citronella grass oil (0.15 μl/ml) were less than that of nordihydroquaretic acid (1.7 μg/ml). Since P. acnes has a role in the inflammation of acne leading to scar formation, citronella grass oil may help to relieve acne blemishes. However, further investigation in the form of clinical studies would be necessary.


Vitamin A to get rid of acne

Study: To test the effectiveness of Vitamin A in the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) Five studies show that lack of vitamin A causes clogged pores, due to the hyperkeratinization of the hair follicles, which accelaraltes oil production.
(2) Administering vitamin A returns hair follicles to normal, which results in fewer clogged pores.
(3) The studies show that vitamin C is also known to play an important part combating infections and keeping pores open and clear.


Beneficial Effects of Vitamin C

Study: To test the effectiveness of skin care products containing antioxidants for anti-aging remedies, including topically applied Vitamin C for treating photo aged skin.

Summary of Key Findings:
(1) Topically applied antioxidants exert their benefits by offering protection from damaging free radicals produced when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light or allowed to age naturally.
(2) Skin care care products containing vitamin C promote collagen synthesis, photoprotection from ultraviolet A and B, lightening hyperpigmentation, and improvement of a variety of inflammatory dermatoses.

Bowe W, Joshi S, Shalita A. Diet and acne. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2010; (62)1.
Brown DJ, Dattner AM. Phytotherapeutic approaches to common dermatologic conditions. Arch Dermtol. 1998;134:1401-1404.
Gfesser M, Worret WI. Seasonal variations in the severity of acne vulgaris. Int J Dermatol. 1996;35(2):116-117.

Other Resources
Anti-Oxidant Effect of Citrus Essential Oil Components on Human Low Density Lipoprotein In Vivo. Takahashi, et al. 2003.
Biological lemon and sweet orange essential oil composition. Verzera, et al. 2004.
Biological Activities of Korean Citrus Essential Oils Against Acne Inducing Bacteria. Kim, et al. 2008.
Biological effects of essential oils – A review. Bakkali, et al. 2007.
Essential Oil of Citrus Fruit Waste Attenuates LPS-induced Nitric Oxide Production and Inhibits the Growth of Skin Pathogens. Yang, et al. 2009.
Limonene Suppresses LPS Induced Production of Nitric Oxide, Prostaglandin and Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines. Yoon, et al. 2010.
The effect of lemon, orange and bergamot essential oils and their components on the survival of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro and in food systems. Fisher, et al. 2006.
Comparison of Fast and Conventional GC Analysis for Citrus Essential Oils. Mondello, et al. 2003.