How Black Seed Oil Can Treat Acne Breakouts

I often get emails from readers, asking me whether various latest must-have skincare ingredients will help clear their acne. Recently, I’ve had a few emails asking: does black seed oil help acne

While I’m always happy to give advice, I always make it clear that the best way to achieve clear skin is by making fundamental dietary and lifestyle changes – and sticking to them. As I explain in my book Unmasking Acne, clearing your skin through diet takes patience and willpower, and you’re not going to see overnight results. When it comes to skin, especially acne-prone skin, there are no quick fixes. 

However, with a holistic diet and lifestyle changes, you’ll gradually clear your skin and keep breakouts at bay in the long term – to date, my method has helped over 800 people combat their acne and finally feel good in their own skin. 

Nonetheless, performing an effective skincare routine alongside these lifestyle changes can certainly be beneficial to the skin, especially when you incorporate natural oils (like black seed oil) and skin-boosting acids into your routine. 

So, does black seed oil help acne, and should you be adding it to your skincare routine? In this article, I’m going to break down the benefits of black seed oil, explain the ideal use cases for using black seed oil to treat acne, and answer some of the most common questions about using this oil: for example, is black seed oil good for acne scars?

Does Black Seed Oil Help Acne?

Firstly, if you have acne, you’ll probably be hesitant about putting any oil-based product on your skin. However, did you know that oils can often actually be better than creams when it comes to keeping acne-prone skin supple and hydrated? Oils can be used in their pure form, without extra ingredients (often comedogenic ingredients) having been added to the product which will end up clogging your pores. Oils are concentrated versions of the nutrients that you might find in a face cream, and they do the same job without weighing your skin down with excess product.

Black seed oil has numerous benefits for the skin, and while it’s not a miracle product (they don’t exist!) it can certainly help clear your skin and give you a fresh, healthy glow when used correctly.  

Benefits of Black Seed Oil:

  1. Black Seed Oil Prevents Excess Oil Production

Black seed oil is ideal for acne-prone skin, as it contains fatty acids that help get rid of excess oil and keep the surface of the skin clear. The fatty acids in black seed oil help to dissolve and destroy deposits of fat in your pores, preventing them from becoming clogged and eventually forming pimples.  

  1. Black Seed Oil Reduces Acne Scars

Does black seed oil reduce acne scars? While it’s not a miracle overnight product, black seed oil contains certain amino acids and fatty acids which can help improve the appearance of visible acne scars and dark spots on the skin. The Vitamin A in black cumin seed oil will also help to keep your skin free from inflammation, which can trigger breakouts and make your acne scars appear more pronounced.

  1. Black Seed Oil is Packed With Amino Acids

Black seed oil is nutrient-packed for your skin, containing fifteen amino acids, nine of which are essential amino acids. Black seed oil also contains omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids, folic acid, calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B1, B2, and B3. Calcium especially helps acne-prone skin, as it produces sebum and prevents the skin’s barrier from becoming dehydrated and overproducing oil. Black seed oil is a nutrient cocktail for your skin – but it’s important to use this oil correctly if you want it to help your acne.

  Black seed oil contains lots of important nutrients and amino acids. 

How To Use Black Cumin Seed Oil For Acne

In order to get the full benefit of black seed oil, you’ll need to apply it correctly according to your needs and use it frequently enough if you want to see a real impact on the skin. You’ll first need to decide whether you want to take this oil as a liquid supplement or simply apply it directly to the face as you would apply any other serum. In my view, it’s better to apply black seed oil to the face in order to access its full spectrum of skincare benefits – however, it all depends on your personal preference. 

Here’s How I Would Recommend Using Black Seed Oil For Acne-Prone Skin:

Apply Black Seed Oil Directly To The Skin

First of all, the most obvious question – can you rub black cumin seed on your face? Yes – you can apply black cumin seed oil to your face using (clean) fingertips. I would advise applying black seed oil just after cleansing and following up with an acne-friendly moisturizer or hydrating oil. 

Take a Black Seed Oil Vitamin Supplement

If you dislike oils on your face, you do have the option of taking black seed oil orally, typically a small spoonful of around 1-2g per day. Taking black seed oil in liquid form can even procure other extra benefits for your wellbeing, such as decreased stress and increased cognitive ability. However, you might notice that the benefits for your skin are less potent. 

Buy a Black Seed Oil Skincare Product 

If you don’t want to apply black seed oil to your face directly, you can always buy a skincare product that uses black seed oil as an active ingredient. However, there are a number of things to be careful about before buying a skincare product. Always check the label for acne-inflammatory ingredients, and steer clear of any products that you think might inflame your skin and trigger a breakout. Certain anti-acne skincare products will boast about their anti-acne properties while selling you a product full of comedogenic, pore-clogging ingredients. My advice would always be to find black seed oil in its pure form, rather than paying more for an expensive, brand-labeled skincare product.

My Verdict: Does Black Seed Oil Help Acne?

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know by now that I swear by a holistic diet and lifestyle changes when it comes to getting rid of acne. However, black seed oil does appear to be an effective alternative to various skin care products available on the market. We all know that keeping your skin hydrated and nourished is an essential part of any anti-acne routine; the problem is that so many manufactured moisturizers end up clogging our pores. Oils have proven to be a great alternative for many acne sufferers, so I do recommend trying out black seed oil – I certainly prefer recommending a natural oil to any harsh, artificial product that you might find on the high street.
Nonetheless, no matter what your skincare routine may be, you must also adapt your diet and lifestyle if you truly want to be free of acne. I’ve helped many acne sufferers who have tried all sorts of “miracle” oils, creams and face masks – trust me that nothing works better than treating your acne from the inside out.

Is black seed oil safe?

Black seed oil is perfectly safe to use, whether you apply it to your skin directly or take it as a vitamin supplement. However, always consult your physician before taking any new supplement, especially if you have any allergies or underlying health conditions. 

Can you put black seed oil directly on your skin?

Yes! Black seed oil is safe to put on both the skin and hair. It is often used to treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Originally Published: January 31, 2022

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood
Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision. Read more of Sam's articles.

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