This indigo hued anti-acne roller smells wonderful and means business when it comes to zits. Snovel91 requested this Burt’s Bees inspired recipe back around Christmas, and I’ve just collected all the essential oils to make it. Based on their Herbal Blemish Stick, this roller is loaded with great herbs and essential oils, and shrinks zits in record time. It was love at first blast for me, and I bet it will be for you, too 🙂
Now, the first think you will likely think when looking at this recipe is “yipes, that is a lot of essential oils”. And you will be correct—there’s eight in total, plus two herbs, and a carrier oil I ordered especially for this recipe (though I’ve since founds loads of other uses for it). The good news is that the essential oils are, for the most part, easy to find and inexpensive. You probably already have over half of them if you’re a DIY junkie like yours truly. However, if the only ingredient you have on hand is the cheap vodka, you might want to consider just buying the original. It’s only about $13, and pretty darn close to this one.
The base of this recipe is an alcohol tincture made from dried calendula and while willow bark. Calendula is a great anti-inflammatory and healing herb, and white willow bark is a natural source of salicylic acid, an awesome acne-fighting ingredient (and the active ingredient in Asprin).
To that base we add borage oil, a heavy oil that’s a great source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. And then come the essential oils—all eight of them.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that yarrow essential oil is a beautiful deep blue colour, which is what gives this entire concoction its indigo hue. It’s said to be healing and uplifting. Parsley seed essential oil (which smells little of parsley) is anti-microbial and astringent. Tea tree oil is a perennial anti-acne favourite for its anti-everything properties (bacterial/viral/fungal/microbial/etc.). Lemon essential oil is antiseptic and cleansing, as is lavender. Fennel is restoring, juniper berry is purifying, and eucalyptus globulus is a long-time favourite for skin ailments of all kinds.
All these ingredients come together to create a deep blue liquid that smells awesome and rolls onto the skin in a thin sheen that kicks pimple butt. It does go on a touch blue, and with the photosensitivity from the lemon essential oil, I’d recommend applying this one before bed, and then waking up to happier, healthier skin. Enjoy!
Yarrow & Borage Acne Blaster
2 tsp dried calendula petals
2 tsp dried white willow bark
60mL cheap vodka
20 drops borage oil
8 drops yarrow essential oil
8 drops parsley seed essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops fennel essential oil
3 drops juniper essential oil
3 drops eucalyptus globulus essential oil
1 (5mL) roller bottle
In a 125ml/4oz mason jar combine the dried herbs and cheap vodka. Seal and let infuse overnight or longer.
The next day, use an eyedropper to draw out some of the infused vodka (but no plant matter) and count out 50 drops into your roller bottle. You’ll have leftovers, so save those for your next batch!
Add the rest of the ingredients to your roller bottle, drop by drop—they should just about fill it, with just enough room left for the roller attachment.
Cap the roller, screw on the lid, and turn to combine the ingredients.
To use, upend the roller and glide it liberally over any effected areas.
I just love your easy concoctions and recipes!
Was wondering how long you think this lasts?
You should be good for at least 12 months if similar concoctions of mine are any indication, though the alcohol content of your alcohol of choice will definitely effect it. More water = shorter shelf life.
Thanks for the tutorial! I actually found this product a few months ago and wanted to do a dupe, haha. I’ve been slowly collecting the few EO’s I don’t have. I did not, however, know that Yarrow EO was blue (my favorite color!) Now I need a bottle.
No worries 🙂 Let me know what you think when yours is done!
Wow! This looks VERY interesting. I have all but one of these oils; think I will run to the herb store and see if they have the oil tomorrow. Thanks so much. Tamara
Let me know how it works out for you 🙂
Hizzah!!! Thank you for making and posting the recipe!!!
Yay! Thanks for the awesome suggestion 🙂
I don’t get pimples…famous last words! Order for yarrow etc just went in, thanks!
Ah yes, right up there with “I never get sick” 😉
It’s a beautiful color!
Thanks, Mary! I am loving the colour of yarrow EO—I want to put it in everything now 🙂
Can I use blue tansy instead of yarrow?
Would recommend a substitute for the willow bark and borage oil? I can’t find willow bark in my part of the world.
Hmm. You could dissolve half a tablet of aspirin in the alcohol instead of using the white willow bark since it contains the same active ingredient. You could try seabuckthorn oil or argan oil instead of the borage—I’ve found both to be helpful against acne 🙂
I have a 10 yr old daughter who is just starting to deal with some early acne (hairline) and oily skin. She also has very sensitive skin. I hesitate to put all the chemicals out there on her beautiful face…I wonder how this would work for her?
Hi Shelley! I have an entire section of anti-acne recipes you should check out 🙂 With sensitive skin you might look at a gentle toner to start with.
Marie, I’m curious as to what you think of yarrow EO around the eyes? I was thinking yarrow would make a beautiful teal/blue eye-liner and water-liner? Do you think it will irritate the eyes?
Please, please don’t put yarrow essential oil around your eyes. This is a very good example of how not everything natural is safe for all applications. Yarrow is a class III flammable liquid with a very low flash point (just 54°C). The MSDS sheet specifies that eyes should be protected from yarrow EO and flushed thoroughly (with potential medical attention) if it gets into the eyes. I would recommend reading the MSDS sheet yourself for more information (and for general information on any ingredient—they are very useful).
Hi! the only organic borage oil i have found is Barlean’s Organic Oils Balance Omega Twin and it is also made with flax oil. is this ok to use? If not, what is your source?
Thanks so much
Hi Bari—it doesn’t sound like this is the same thing at all. I got mine from New Directions Aromatics—scroll up to the big box above the comments for the link 🙂
I was wondering if you used sweet or bitter fennel EO. Love your recipes. Thanks.
Sweet 🙂 Thanks for DIYing with me!
I have everything except the yarrow and Parsley seed eo’s. It doesn’t look like Saffire Blue carry them, although they do have yarrow flowers and Parsley leaf and root powders. Do you think I could use those instead?
You could dry infusing the alcohol with the herbs and straining out the solids before adding the rest of the EOs 🙂
Thanks Marie! I’ll try that. Too bad it won’t be that cool blue colour though! 🙂
I look forward to hearing how it turns out!
I made your recipe recently for my 18 year old grandson who was suffering from a face full of acne. It took him a while to use it and tell me of his results. Like most boys his age his response is not long, but wanted you to see his review of your formula:
“The Acne Blaster worked well. I applied it a few days ago and the spot where I applied it is clear”.
Then I made a tube for the daughter of a Reflexology friend and here is what she said;
“Tara is pretty pleased with your potion! She says it works. She uses it every night. And her skin looks very good now”.
You should feel great about these testimonies.
BTW,I have been modifying your recipe with a few drops of either Myrtle or Helichrysum, but can’t tell if these are helping more? But I doubt they are hurting.
As always….you ROCK!!
Yay! That’s so fantastic 🙂 Thank you so much for doing some research and sharing your results, it’s hugely appreciated!
hi! love your recipes but I can’t figure this one out…I’ve followed it to a t and come up with a half full bottle every time 🙁 can you post a ml measurement for the essential oils? thank you so much for your good stuff!
Hi Tami! Are you certain you’re using a 5mL bottle? This might be an easy fix 🙂 If you’re following it to a “T” it’s probably the bottle, not you 😉
I have the same problem, the bottle is not getting full.. And are those ingredients suppose to combine? They are separating after shaking. Thank you in advance.
Hi Marina! How strong was the alcohol you used? Weak alcohol is usually the culprit of separation.
Hi Marie, fantastic recipe! Would it be possible to infuse the herbs in oil rather than making an alcohol tincture?
Hi Lou! You can, but the alcohol does serve a purpose here—it helps dry out and combat acne.
Hi Marie, your ideas are very inspiring, I love your blog, BUT the concentration of essential oils here looks very high! Essential oils are complex, powerful chemical compounds and there are safety issues to be taken into consideration depending on how they are used and where.
The max recommended concentration for the face is 1% or less, depending on the contraindications of the particular oils used, age and health conditions of the recipient. Please see Robert Tisserand/Rodney Young on “Essential Oil Safety” and dermal dosing limits.
Hi Brenda! I’ve written an FAQ on this 🙂
Could I exchange the Vodka for 99% Isopropyl Alcohol?
Yup! It probably won’t smell as great, though, since I find 99% Isopropyl Alcohol really stinks haha.
Everywhere I look yarrow essential oil is really expensive, but the actual flower is more in my budget. Could I substitute the flower instead? Maybe putting it in the jar and let it diffuse with the rest?
You can certainly try, though having not actually tried it myself I can’t really comment on if it’ll work or not 🙂
Hi Marie love your recipes can’t wait for the book! Can you tell me for a 16 year old boy with acne which of your acne recipes would you recommend the most? Thank you!
Hey Sharleen! Above everything else I’d recommend this awesome serum. My skin has improved SO MUCH since starting to use it! Combine that with some black soap and he should see some very noticeable improvements in a couple weeks (that, and encourage him to stop touching his face if that’s a bad habit of his… it’s definitely a bad habit of mine and I notice a major improvement in my skin whenever I manage to stop).
I made it this weekend, as I’ve already seen EOs working as anti-acne. And this works 🙂 but my yarrow is clearly diluted. The whole mix looks green, no blue in it.
Essential oils which are supposed to be blue but have turned green are probably exhibiting signs of oxidation. Check the production date on your bottle.
Wahoo! I’m so glad it’s working for you 🙂 All naturally sourced products can vary in colour, so it may just be that yours is a different harvest/season than mine.
Hello there! Not sure if this was asked previously, but is the vodka necessary? My skin is sensitive, and while all the other ingredients sound lovely, alcohol on my skin does not. Do you have an alternative to that, by chance?
I’d recommend a light carrier oil instead, though the alcohol does contribute to drying the blemish out, which is part of what makes this work 🙂
This is the most amazing thing I have ever made! My partner has really bad acne issues and nothing they have tried has ever worked for their skin to clear it up. As a present to them, I made them a stick and it cleared most of their blemishes overnight without irritating their skin.
I use it for myself now because it also helps my eczema. Thank you for this terrific how-to guide.
YAY!!! I’m so thrilled, thank you so much for sharing!
Maybe I am resurecting an old post but I’d like to make this for my teenage daughter . I am wondering if there should be a solubilizer included to keep it from separating? Put the EOS in Polysorbate 20 or 80 before combining? With all your new training, would you edit this recipe a bit? Thanks!
The alcohol dissolves the EOs quite well; I only recently threw this away while moving and it was a uniform blue with no separation.
My further training would turn a bit of a critical eye to the EO concentrations, though. I don’t have the time to go back and re-evaluate all of them, but I suspect it’s higher than advised.
You should definitely look into getting some hydrocolloid acne patches for her—they are amazing. They are my first line of defence for pimples now—they help them heal faster and without scarring and are so much more than just a normal bandaid.
Thanks Marie! Yes, I did some research and alcohol disperses oil quite well (hence how the coconut daiquiri doesn’t separate ! ). My roller balls are 10ml so I will get more dilution. Thanks for the tip re acne patches. My only curiosity now is why my ND yarrow eo (same Latin name) isn’t blue . Oh well, still excited about this! Thanks so much
The blue content comes from azulene, so it could just be that the crop your EO was harvested from was lower in azulene 🙂 Mine was obviously very high in it!
Hi Marie, thanks for this amazing recipe.
1 noob question.
I don’t find any retailer to purchase white willow bark, can i substitute with white willow powder?
Whilst yes, you can substitute the powder for the bark, the amounts given in the formula wouldn’t quite be the same. It would take a fair bit of time to try to figure out how much powder to use to how much vodka to get the same results. I’d probably start with 50% of the powder by volume and go from there 🙂
I have a similar question to one on the anti-cramp oil. I can buy 15ml roll on bottle. But I am not sure about the scaling of the recipe 3 times gives the EO amounts. I noticed this recipe is also from 2014. So similar to the anti-cramp oil, what are your thoughts on scaling everything 3x?
Can you please suggest substitute of vodka as i live in Muslim country cant buy…
Rubbing alcohol, perhaps? You do need a high proof, volatile alcohol for this.
I wanted to say one thing about mixing Tea Tree Oil & Lavender. When mixed together, studies found they caused boys to grow breasts. I work with a women’s health doctor, who teaches women how to eliminate Xeno Hormones aka fake hormones, from their everyday products. He brought it to my attention, and I thought I’d share with you. Can the lavender be substituted with a different oil?
Hi Joanne! Please review this content from essential oil expert Robert Tisserand. I have absolutely no concerns about using lavender essential oil at low topical concentrations, and I don’t think you need to be concerned about it, either 🙂 That said, I do have more information on essential oil substitutions here.
Thank you for your recipe. Would this be suitable for Adult Acne ? The ones they appear on the face once a month
Hi Mit! I’d actually recommend this instead; I’ve experienced great results with niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and additional hydration—far better than anything I ever got from essential oils 🙂