I know you. You’re like me. You seek natural remedies to help alleviate your symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. You’re hoping clove oil will help.
Indeed, research has shown that clove oil may be effective in combatting the growth of our dreaded dandruff-causing fungus, Malassezia. Yes, you heard me right – that same spice you use to make gingerbread cookies can also be used to soothe your flaky scalp (and skin).
Let’s take a deep dive into how best to use clove oil for seb derm:
What is clove oil?
Clove oil is extracted from the leaves, stems, and buds of the clove tree, which is native to Southeast Asia and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The oil is usually colorless or light yellow, and has a spicy scent.
Clove oil is rich in eugenol, a fat-soluble antioxidant and anesthetic. Other significant components include caryophyllene and eugenol acetate, which contribute to the oil’s therapeutic properties as well
Clove is high in manganese, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, vitamins A, B-Complex, and C. Clove extract is used in a variety of natural treatments due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic, and carminative (a nicer way of saying anti-fart) properties.
Antifungal and anti-Inflammatory effects of clove oil
Eugenol, the primary compound in clove oil, has been shown to inhibit the growth of various fungi, including Malassezia yeasts, which are known to play a role in seborrheic dermatitis development. Another lab study suggested that clove oil was better at inhibiting Malassezia than ginger, cucurmin and khat.
Eugenol, the main compound found in clove essential oil, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. This means that when applied topically to the skin, eugenol can help reduce redness, irritation, and inflammation associated with seb derm.
In fact, clove essential oil is known as a natural treatment for seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff and one I use personally on a daily basis.
Bear in mind that the evidence for clove oil is all in-vitro, meaning there are only lab studies. Clove oil has not been tested on humans for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. Further research and clinical trials are necessary to establish whether clove oil is effective for these conditions and the optimal concentration and application methods of clove oil.
Nevertheless, the anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects of clove oil show promise for managing seb derm.
How to use clove oil for seborrheic dermatitis
Pure clove oil is highly concentrated and therefore needs to be diluted with a carrier oil that is safe for seb derm such as jojoba oil or squalane oil before use.
A lab study showed that clove oil was effective at inhibiting seb derm in concentrations as low as 10%. Start with diluting 1 drop of clove oil in 10 drops of carrier oil. If you’re tolerating that, you can add a 2-3 drops of clove oil to the mix. Use the same principle if you’re mixing clove oil in your moisturizer.
In general, I find the skin on the scalp and body is less sensitive and can take a stronger concentration of clove oil. If you’re using clove oil on your face, don’t use more than 1:10 ratio.
For your scalp, you can even add a few drops of clove oil to your shampoo, conditioner or hair mask.
My favorite way to use clove oil is in my lotion. I decanter some lotion into a separate container and add a few drops of clove oil and lavender (for its soothing effect). Then I use the lotion on my body after my shower, concentrating on areas that are affected by seb derm.
You can also get ready-made clove oil products like the Juara Clove and Tumeric Face Serum.
Skin benefits of clove oil
Clove essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it effective in treating acne and other skin infections. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and reduce redness and swelling associated with skin irritations.
Clove oil can also help fade black spots and acne scars due to its mild exfoliating properties that remove dead skin cells and promote an even skin tone. If you’ve used clove oil before, you’ll know it leaves you with a warm, tingly sensation when you apply it. This is the clove oil stimulating circulation and improving blood flow to the skin. This helps promote a healthy, glowing complexion.
Precautions and Side Effects
Although clove oil has potential benefits in managing seborrheic dermatitis symptoms, remember there is always the possibility side effects. Always perform a patch test on a small area of skin before applying the oil to the scalp or affected areas.
Always start with a very diluted version (1:10 ratio) and work upwards. If you experience any adverse reactions, discontinue using the oil and consult a healthcare professional.