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Scalp Treatment for Acne Prone Skin


A few months ago I featured an interview with Olivia Dufour on how she cleared up hormonal acne naturally. In the interview, Olivia mentioned that one of the things that helped her clear up hormonal breakouts on her face was regularly doing a scalp treatment using Jojoba Oil and a few drops of Oregon Grape tincture.

This not only peaked my interest, but I also received so many emails from all of you wanting to know more about this special scalp treatment for treating acne prone skin.

I have to say when I first heard that scalp treatments helped her clear up her complexion, it made a lot of sense.

Our scalp and hair line is right next to our face. If your scalp is having issues of being too dry or oily, or you have a chronic fungal issues like dandruff, or inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema; it can very well affect the skin on your face.

I know a lot of people who’ve switched to using more natural shampoos and conditioners without silicones, harsh chemicals and detergents, SLSs, and synthetic fragrances – and not only did their hair get fuller, shinier, and healthier; but their complexion significantly improved too.

I’ve also noticed over the years a striking pattern of people having chronic skin conditions (rosacea in particular), also having chronic scalp issues such as dandruff or excess oil production. I don’t this is a coincidence either.

So when Olivia mentioned her scalp treatment for acne prone skin using Jojoba Oil and Oregon Grape, I was intrigued and wanted to try it myself and share the steps with you.

For many years now I’ve been doing hair and scalp treatments using various carrier oils, essential oils, and apple cider vinegar rinses – but I never used Jojoba Oil or Oregon Grape on my hair, so this was new to me too!

So, before we get into the video demo and instructions for doing the Oregon Grape Scalp Treatment, I want to explain why Olivia chose to use Oregon Grape and Jojoba Oil for balancing her scalp and healing acne.

A scalp treatment for acne prone skin using oregon grape extract, jojoba oil, Widu wooden brush, and haircare products from Living Libations.

Olivia’s Scalp Treatment For Acne

The Ingredients:

Jojoba Oil:

Jojoba Oil is actually a wax that comes from a nut. Unlike any other oil, Jojoba Oil closely resembles human sebum (the waxy/oily substance that our skin glands produce), and therefore easily moisturizes and conditions your skin.

Because Jojoba Oil resembles your own sebum, it’s the one oil that is most compatible with all skin types. It’s also known to balance out overactive sebaceous glands that are producing too much oil/sebum, which makes it an effective remedy for acne, dermatitis, dandruff, oily or itchy scalp, and removing buildup of dead skin cells.

Oregon Grape:

For this scalp treatment, we’ll also be using Oregon Grape Tincture (Oregon Grape is a shrub).

Studies have shown that Oregon Grape has strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and liver protecting properties that when used topically is effective at healing skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Oregon Grape contains an alkaloid called berberine, and studies have shown berberine slows down abnormal cell growth.

Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are caused by abnormally fast cell turnover, which in turn causes build up of dead skin cells and plaques, and dry, flaky, irritated, itchy skin. Since the berberine in Oregon Grape slows down abnormal cell turnover, this is what will allow the skin and scalp to finally heal, and function normally again.

Jojoba Oil & Oregon Grape:

When used regularly as a scalp treatment, Jojoba Oil and Oregon Grape together can balance out most scalp issues (including dry, flaky, itchy, inflamed, irritated, scaly, or oily scalps). Once your scalp is healthy, there’s a higher likelihood that skin conditions affecting your face like acne and dermatitis could improve and balance out as well.

What you’ll need:

1 tbsp Jojoba Oil  (if you have short hair, use 1/2 tbsp of Jojoba Oil)

10 drops Oregon Grape

Small mixing bowl

Wide tooth comb

Wooden bristle brush

A hair tie or elastic to tie your hair back

Natural Shampoo / Conditioner


For best results, only do this scalp treatment on the days you’re planning to wash your hair (and do the scalp treatment before washing your hair, not after!).

1- Brush or comb out your hair.

2- Mix the Jojoba Oil and Oregon Grape drops in a small mixing bowl.

3- With your fingers, gently apply the Jojoba Oil/Oregon Grape mixture to your entire scalp.

4- With the beds of your fingers (not using your nails), gently massage the oil in a circular motion throughout your scalp.

5- Any remaining oil can be applied to the length of your hair for extra conditioning.

6- With a wide tooth comb, comb your hair (this will not only detangle your hair, but will also evenly distribute the oil throughout your hair and scalp.

7- Using a wooden bristle brush, gently massage your scalp using small, circular motions for a few minutes. This will help the oils penetrate your scalp more deeply.

8- Comb your hair one more time and then tie your hair up in a lose bun (if your hair isn’t long enough for a bun, you can just comb your hair back and leave it, or put it up in a pony tail.

9- Leave the Jojoba Oil/Oregon Grape mixture in your hair for at least an hour before washing it out.

10- When you are ready to wash you hair, comb through your hair one last time before shampooing and conditioning.

11- For best results, do this scalp treatment 2-3 times a week, always on the days you’re going to wash your hair.

For Best Results:

– Do this scalp treatment at least twice a week.

– Leave the scalp treatment in your hair for as long as possible (at least one hour). I’ve even left scalp treatments in my hair overnight, and my hair and scalp is super moisturized the next day.

– Use a shampoo/condition that doesn’t contain harsh detergents, chemicals, silicones, or fragrances (essential oils are fine, but not synthetic fragrances).

– You can always follow the scalp treatment with an Apple Cider Rinse (put 2 tbsp of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in 2 cups (500ml) filtered water. After shampooing & conditioning your hair, pour the apple cider solution over your scalp and hair. Don’t rinse it out). This is great as a hair clarifier, gently cleansing your hair and scalp of any oil or product build up. Plus, it leaves your hair even more soft and shiny.

– Install a shower filter. This is really important for the health of your skin, scalp, and hair. A shower water filter will remove chlorine, heavy metals, chemicals, and harsh minerals from your bathing water. It will make your shower water less harsh, preventing it from drying out and irritating your hair and skin. If you suffer from a chronic skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, having a shower water filter is a must.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Natasha!

    I am so glad I found this video on scalp care. My scalp has been suffering since December of 2020 when I began using a new shampoo and conditioner, but did not realize it was the culprit of my dry scalp and hair loss until June. Since then, with different products my hair is getting healthier but my scalp will still become itchy and dry at the slightest irritation, and I still am suffering from increased hair loss. You mentioned to stay away from SLS and fragrance in shampoo and conditioners, I am hoping you could respond with a list of ingredients that I should avoid? I am getting frustrated because every “natural” product I find has a ton of ingredients listed and I cannot decipher if they are truly natural, since most of them seem like chemicals. (For example, the ingredients listed for “Aquableu Advanced Therapy Anti-Thinning Shampoo and Conditioner Set”). Please help! Thank you.

    1. Hi Karli,

      Sorry for the late reply, I didn’t see your comment until now. As for finding a shampoo/conditioner that doesn’t cause irritated scalp, I recommend avoiding hair products that contain SLS and using a mild shampoo (nothing too strong or clarifying that can irritate your scalp). Unfortunately both mainstream and natural shampoos can cause irritation and itchy scalp, usually it has to do with having a sensitivity to an ingredient in the product, but difficult to figure out what. It can also be caused by hard water and products not rinsing out properly. The only way around it is trying different products until you find something that works.

      For the hair loss, I recommend getting your vitamin D and iron levels tested, and if you are vegetarian or vegan get your vitamin B12 tested. Sometimes hair loss can actually be caused by a deficiency. Best to get your levels checked to rule that out.

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