April 6, 2024

How Applying Emu Oil May Help Improve Skin Texture and Healing Acne Scarring

4 min read
minor acne and the healing process of acne scarring. The skin texture should appear natural

Benefits and Evidence of Treating Acne Scarring with Emu Oil

For those suffering from acne scarring, the desire to reduce the appearance of these scars can be strong. While treatments like dermabrasion and laser surgery are options, these can be painful and expensive. A natural alternative that is growing in popularity is the use of emu oil for acne scars. Derived from the fat of the emu bird native to Australia, emu oil is said to have regenerative properties that may help diminish scarring. In this article, we’ll look at the evidence behind using emu oil for acne scarring, its benefits over other ingredients, proper application techniques, and what dermatologists say about its effectiveness.

What Causes Acne Scars and Marking?

Acne scars form when inflamed blemishes and lesions damage the collagen layers of skin through infection and inflammation. Two types of scarring primarily occur:

  • Atrophic scars – Indented scars brought about by loss of collagen. Hypertrophic scars – Raised, thickened scars from excess collagen formation.

In addition to scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can cause red or brown marks after acne clears up. These scars and spots afflict the self-confidence of sufferers and make applying makeup difficult. Finding solutions to reduce their appearance is a priority for many acne sufferers.

How Might Emu Oil Improve Acne Scars?

Emu oil is derived from the thick pads of fat on the backs of emus. When rendered, it maintains a rich fatty acid profile with purported anti-inflammatory and skin-regenerative properties. Some key components of emu oil that may help acne scarring include:

  • Linoleic Acid – An omega-6 fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties that may calm aggravation associated with scarring.
  • Oleic Acid – A moisturizing omega-9 fatty acid that helps improve skin barrier function.
  • Vitamin A – Promotes new skin cell turnover which may reduce pitted scarring.
  • Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells from further damage.

When applied topically, these nutrients may help soothe, replenish, and renew scarred skin tissue, promoting a more even texture and tone over time.

Why Choose Emu Oil Over Other Oils?

While plant-based oils like coconut, argan, and olive oil also offer skin benefits, emu oil provides some unique advantages:

  • It is non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog pores. This makes it suitable for acne-prone skin.
  • Emu oil penetrates skin deeply and quickly without leaving a greasy residue.
  • It contains a high concentration of essential fatty acids that deeply nourish skin.
  • The oil has natural bactericidal properties to protect skin from infection.
  • It is well tolerated, even by sensitive skin, due to its low allergenic potential.

When seeking to heal acne scarring non-invasively, emu oil checks many boxes for being a well-suited natural remedy.

How to Apply Emu Oil for Best Results

When using emu oil for acne scarring, following best practices for application optimizes results:

  • Cleanse and dry skin thoroughly before applying. This allows maximum absorption.
  • Massage 4-6 drops gently into affected areas using fingertips 1-2 times per day. Don’t rub aggressively.
  • Start with lower concentrations like a 20% emu oil cream if skin is very sensitive.
  • Apply immediately after microneedling treatments to enhance collagen-boosting effects.
  • Allow the oil to fully absorb before applying other skin products like moisturizer or makeup.
  • Use consistently for at least 2-3 months to see improvements in scar texture and tone.

Adhering to proper usage guidelines allows emu oil’s beneficial properties to really work their ‘magic’ on acne scarring.

Dermatologist Opinions on Emu Oil Efficacy

Most dermatologists consider emu oil generally safe for topical use barring any allergies. However, they warn that evidence for its anti-scarring effects is limited. Some medical opinions include:

  • “More research is needed on emu oil’s effects. Anecdotally, some patients do report improvements.”
  • “I recommend patients try emu oil along with other proven scar therapies like daily sunscreen, silicone sheeting, retinoids, and laser resurfacing.”
  • “While emu oil is hydrating, I have not seen significant scar reduction attributable solely to emu oil application in my practice.”

Dermatology experts seem to take a cautiously optimistic stance on incorporating emu oil as part of an overall scar improvement regimen. Patients may find it beneficial when persistent and realistic expectations are maintained.

A Natural Option to Reduce Acne Scarring

While emu oil is no “miracle cure”, when used correctly it may aid in healing acne scarring and gradually improve the look of old acne marks for some users. With its soothing, deeply moisturizing properties, emu oil is worth exploring as an alternative or supplementary therapy to improve the appearance and feel of facial skin previously marred by acne scarring. When incorporating any new product, we recommend consulting your dermatologist first.

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