Best Natural Oils for Seborrheic Dermatitis

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis? This skin condition can cause redness and inflammation, as well as flaky skin or dandruff. Fortunately, there are many natural plant oils that have been found to be helpful in treating this condition.

In this post, we’ll give you the lowdown on some of the best oils for seborrheic dermatitis so you can start improving your skin’s health naturally. We’ll discuss their various benefits including anti-fungal properties, moisturizing effects and healing capabilities. Finally, we’ll provide you with an easy guide to using them safely on your skin.

Can I put oil on seborrheic dermatitis?

First of all, it’s important to understand that oils can be an excellent addition to your seborrheic dermatitis treatment regimen, but they are not a cure on their own.

Because oils have many different properties and benefits, they can help alleviate some of the symptoms of this condition while also improving overall skin health.

Some oils, such as tea tree oil, are known for their anti-fungal properties, making them particularly helpful in treating seborrheic dermatitis. Other oils, such as coconut oil or MCT oil, can help moisturize the skin and reduce inflammation.

Oils to avoid with seborrheic dermatitis

There are also oils that you should avoid when you have seborrheic dermatitis or at least use them with caution. These oils can sometimes trigger or aggravate the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, including oils like mineral oil and petroleum jelly.

Olive oil

Out of natural oils, olive oil is not recommended for seborrheic dermatitis due to its high oleic acid content which can make this condition worse.

Argan oil

Argan oil offers many benefits for the skin and hair but, like olive oil, it is high in oleic acid and therefore not recommended for people with seborrheic dermatitis. However, it may be beneficial when consumed orally.

Pore clogging oils

Remember to avoid any oils that could potentially clog your pores because this may worsen the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. This includes coconut oil, carrot seed oil, chia seed oil and cocoa butter. However, some of these oils can be used on the scalp, just make sure you know how to use them to get desired results.

Nut oils

If you have nut allergies, you should also avoid nut oils such as almond and walnut oil.

Oils with fragrance or synthetic ingredients

You should also avoid oils that contain fragrances or synthetic ingredients, as these can irritate your skin and cause further flare-ups.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to stick with oils that are non-comedogenic and typically considered hypoallergenic.

To avoid any undesired reactions it’s important to be cautious and test oils on a small patch of skin before applying them more broadly.

How do natural oils help seborrheic dermatitis?

Natural plant oils contain powerful compounds that balance out dry skin, reduce irritation, and even fight off the fungal overgrowth that can lead to this inflammatory skin condition.

Commonly used natural oils include tea tree, coconut and jojoba; each oil has unique properties that help soothe irritated skin and control outbreaks. 

When applied on the affected area or scalp, the oils penetrate deep into the pores to combat bacteria and fungus which can cause flare-ups of seborrheic dermatitis. These same natural oils also contain nutrients such as vitamins A, E and F which nourish weakened skin cells to promote healthy skin cell growth.

Unlike some over-the-counter remedies typically used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, natural oils are gentle on sensitive skin without harsh chemicals or alcohols that can further irritate already inflamed areas.

Using oils on your skin regularly can help reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, such as redness, flaking, and itchiness. They can also help strengthen your skin’s overall health, promoting healing and preventing future flare-ups.

A guide to some of the best oils for seborrheic dermatitis

There is no one “best” oil for seborrheic dermatitis, as different oils may work better for different people. However, here are some of the most popular oils that are often recommended for this condition and their benefits:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been used as a natural remedy for centuries, and one of its most common applications is to treat seborrheic dermatitis. The oil contains many substances like terpinen-4-ol which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe dry, itchy skin.

Tea tree oil also has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which makes it effective for killing the yeast-like fungus known as Malassezia that causes seborrheic dermatitis.

Tea tree oil can help reduce irritation, itching, and redness on the skin and scalp, as well as prevent future flare-ups by targeting the underlying causes of the condition.

When using tea tree oil for symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, it is important to dilute it with a carrier oil (such as almond oil) before applying it to your skin as concentrated tea tree oil can cause irritation if used on its own.

Coconut oil

While coconut oil may not be the best oil to use on the face, it can be very effective for seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp. It has moisturizing and antifungal properties that help soothe irritated skin while also reducing inflammation and redness.

Additionally, coconut oil contains naturally-occurring beneficial fats that provide long-term hydration for the skin. Applying a small amount directly onto affected areas will keep them moisturized and can also aid in plaque reduction and enhance healing. While evidence is still limited at this stage, research suggests it could be an effective remedy for seborrheic dermatitis.

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil can also be a great asset for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. It has long been popular for its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and antiseptic properties that help relieve the redness, itchiness and dryness associated with this condition.

Its unique blend of chemicals including liquid wax esters, fatty acids and vitamin E gives this oil its nourishing benefits which are especially helpful when treating seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp.

Jojoba oil provides an effective barrier on the scalp that keeps moisture in and bacteria, allergens and pollutants out.

Another great feature of jojoba oil is its approval as a safe ingredient for use in many cosmetics as it does not clog pores or cause skin irritation.

MCT oil

MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil has been found to provide many potential benefits for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. MCT oil is extracted from coconut and other plants and is extremely beneficial for the skin due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties.

A lab study published in 1999 revealed that MCT oil is capable of suppressing the growth of Malassezia, the yeast that is often the root cause of seborrheic dermatitis.

MCT oil may also help to reduce the size and appearance of seborrheic dermatitis lesions on the scalp thanks to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice for those looking for natural oils to treat this condition.

Additionally, it may help reach deep into the layers of the skin and nourish healthy skin cells.

Castor oil

Castor oil is becoming a popular choice for treating seborrheic dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid which reduces skin irritations and has been found to be quite effective in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis.

Castor oil can also help moisturize dry skin and remove bacteria, reducing the severity of outbreaks. However, although many have found this natural remedy to be extremely helpful in relieving their symptoms there is limited scientific evidence to support this.

Squalene oil

Squalene oil is a naturally occurring lipid derived from plants or animals, and its topical application has been linked to anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal benefits for dry skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.

Research has shown that squalene oil can help soothe inflammation and redness, as well as hydrate the skin to promote healing.

Its high concentration of antioxidants also helps to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals found in our environment while locking in moisture to help promote a healthier skin barrier. 

Which natural oil is best for seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp?

Among the best natural oils for seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp are jojoba oil, tea tree oil, and MCT oil. These oils are all known for their moisturizing, anti-bacterial, and antiseptic properties, which can help provide relief from the symptoms of this condition.

Neem oil, castor oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil and squalene oil are also great oils to consider for seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp.

Ultimately, the best oil for you will depend on your individual needs and the severity of your condition, so it is best to consult with a dermatologist for recommendations.

Some may find that a particular oil works better than others, or that a combination of oils is most effective in managing their symptoms. Whatever oils you choose, be sure to apply them in a gentle and consistent manner to help promote healing and get relief from your seborrheic dermatitis.

What is the best oil for seborrheic dermatitis on the face?

When it comes to choosing the best oil for seborrheic dermatitis on the face, there are a few things that one should consider.

The ideal oil should:

  • have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe skin symptoms associated with seborrheic dermatitis
  • be non-comedogenic so as not to clog pores and worsen skin irritation
  • contain ingredients that moisturize and nourish the skin while aiding in cell regeneration

Some of the best oils for seborrheic dermatitis on the face include tea tree oil (diluted), squalane oil, oregano oil (diluted) and rosemary oil (diluted).

Squalane oil can be used as a carrier oil when diluting oils for topical application and is also known for its moisturizing properties, making it one of the best oils for seborrheic dermatitis on the face.

Using a combination of these oils or using them exclusively can help reduce inflammation and irritation significantly and provide relief for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis on their faces.

How to use natural oils for seborrheic dermatitis

When using oils to treat seborrheic dermatitis, first you need to distinguish between essential oils and carrier oils.

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that should be used in small amounts and added to base oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil. These oils can help soothe inflammation, reduce itchiness and irritation, and promote healthier skin by moisturizing and nourishing the skin.

To use essential oil (such as tea tree oil) for seborrheic dermatitis, you can mix it with a carrier oil and apply it to the affected areas. You can also dilute the oils in a bath or add them to your regular skincare routine by using a moisturizer or face mask that contains one of these oils.

If you have seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp, you can also use essential oils to help reduce the itchiness and irritation. You can add a few drops of tea tree or other essential oils to your shampoo or scalp treatment, or you can combine essential oils with carrier oils and apply it directly to the scalp.

For seborrheic dermatitis on the face, essential oils can be added to your regular moisturizer or facial oil or applied directly to the affected areas (diluted). But keep in mind that these oils should be used with caution on the face, as they may cause breakouts or exacerbate existing skin conditions.

Some oils such as jojoba oil can be used directly on the skin without dilution. It’s important to do some research and consult with your doctor or dermatologist if you’re unsure about which oils are best for your particular seborrheic dermatitis condition.

Overall, when used correctly, natural oils can help provide relief and promote healing for those suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. To get the best results, it is important to choose the right oils and use them in a way that is safe and effective for your individual needs.

FAQs about oils and seborrheic dermatitis

Are there any side effects to using oils for seborrheic dermatitis?

While oils are generally considered safe to use for seborrheic dermatitis, there may be some side effects or potential risks associated with certain oils and their use.

For example, essential oils such as tea tree oil have been shown to cause allergic reactions in some people, including skin irritation, rashes, and burning sensations. So it’s important to do a patch test before using oils on your skin, to check for any potential allergic reactions.

Other oils may be too strong for some skin types and can cause redness or dryness. If you are prone to breakouts, you should also avoid oils that are known to clog pores, such as coconut oil.

Additionally, if you have seborrheic dermatitis on your face, be sure to speak with your doctor or dermatologist before using oils, as they may not be suitable for your skin type.

Overall, oils can be a powerful tool for treating seborrheic dermatitis. However, it’s important to choose the right oils and to always use them with caution and care when using oils on your skin. So do some research before you try oils for seborrheic dermatitis, and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Can oils make seborrheic dermatitis worse?

Oils used to treat skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis can sometimes backfire and make the condition worse. Depending on the individual’s skin, oils with heavy or rich textures can cause irritation and further damage when used on the affected areas of the skin.

Because everybody’s skin is unique, there may be some trial and error required to figure out which oil is right for you. Before using any new oil, it is best to do a patch test by applying a small amount to a non-sensitive area first in order to avoid an adverse reaction. In general, oils with lighter consistencies tend to be more suitable for treating seborrheic dermatitis than those with heavier textures.

Related articles:

Salicylic Acid for Seborrheic Dermatitis: Everything You Need to Know
Hyaluronic Acid: A Natural Solution for Seborrheic Dermatitis?

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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.