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Ingredient Spotlight: Clove

It’s a popular cooking ingredient, a centuries-old remedy - and a majorly powerful skincare tool? Yup! Believe it or not, clove has some powerful compounds that make it a killer skincare ingredient to add to your regimen.

Here’s everything you need to know.

The History of Clove

Originally from the Spice Islands in Indonesia, clove has been used in traditional and folk medicine around the world for thousands of years. Specifically, it has been used as a dental anesthetic, as an aphrodisiac, as a digestive aid, an insect repellant, and even as a stimulant.

This widespread use, in large part, has to do with the oil’s antioxidant, antibacterial,anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, deodorizing, and anesthetic properties.

This, of course, also translates to major skincare benefits.

Skincare Benefits

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Clove oil - or more specifically, a chemical in clove called eugenol - has been shown to have antibacterial effects against many types of bacteria, including propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne), strains of .e.Coli,and a slew of other bacteria.

This makes it an excellent natural ingredient for fighting acne and blackheads. What’s more - some varieties even naturally contain salicylic acid- a powerful BHA and acne-fighter in its own right.

That means that the acne-fighting powers can actually get deep into the pore, rather than just on the surface of the skin. That’s why clove is a key ingredient in our Quality Control acne spot treatment.

Plus, it’s all-natural, meaning its unlikely to hurt the skin or appear in too-high concentrations - unlike many synthetic options out there.


Clove is antiviral: one study found that clove had activity against the herpes simplex virus, while another noticed that it could work against the influenza virus.This indicates that it could even help fight against cold sores around the mouth - not too shabby!


Clove is proven to haveanti-inflammatoryeffects on the skin. This can not only help fight acne but also help deal with other redness, inflammation, and inflammation-related skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.


Eugenol, one of the active ingredients in clove, is a powerful antioxidant ingredient. This means that it can battle the oxidative stress that leads to skin aging, DNA damage, and even cancer (read more on free radical damage and the power of antioxidants here).

Final Thoughts

There are tons of natural compounds in the natural world that can become great skincare ingredients - and clove is one of them. Its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant-rich properties also give it the ability to:

  • Increase circulation
  • Improve texture and feel of the skin
  • Act as an astringent

Translation? Smooth, clear, and healthy skin.

Find it in: Quality Control