ABSTRACT

In this study, the in vitro activity of 105 combinations of 15 essential oils against Propionibacterium acnes was assessed, with the aim of identifying essential oil blends that might exhibit synergistic or antagonistic effects. These 15 essential oils were chosen because they are used in aromatherapy for the treatment of acne. The mixtures of the essential oils at ratio of 1 : 1 were tested. In the disk diffusion test, the diameters of the inhibition zone increased for 57 combinations and decreased for 47 combinations when compared with the mean values of the inhibition zone diameters for individual oils. The diameter of the inhibition zone was not changed for the other one combination (grapefruit- bergamot). The highest enhancing effect was detected for the palmarosa-rosemary combination (inhibition zone diameter increased by 105.7%). The highest levels of reduction of the inhibitory activity were seen in the peppermint-grapefruit and peppermint-lemon combinations (inhibition zone diameters decreased by 63.5% and 57.4%, respectively). In the checkerboard dilution test, the palmarosa-rosemary combination showed a partial synergistic effect, whereas the peppermint-grapefruit and peppermint-lemon combinations showed antagonisms. These data indicate variable degrees of interaction between antibacterial activities of essential oil blends against P. acnes.

KEYWORD

Antagonism, Blend, Essential oil, Propionibacterium acnes, Synergy

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