The in vitro Antimicrobial Activity and Chemometric Modelling of 59 Commercial Essential Oils against Pathogens of Dermatological Relevance

Chem Biodivers. 2017 Jan;14(1). doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201600218. Epub 2017 Jan 3.


This study reports on the inhibitory concentration of 59 commercial essential oils recommended for dermatological conditions, and identifies putative compounds responsible for antimicrobial activity. Essential oils were investigated for antimicrobial activity using minimum inhibitory concentration assays. Ten essential oils were identified as having superior antimicrobial activity. The essential oil compositions were determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and the data analysed with the antimicrobial activity using multivariate tools. Orthogonal projections to latent structures models were created for seven of the pathogens. Eugenol was identified as the main biomarker responsible for antimicrobial activity in the majority of the essential oils. The essential oils mostly displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity, with five oils displaying broad-spectrum activity against the 13 tested micro-organisms. The antimicrobial efficacies of the essential oils highlight their potential in treating dermatological infections and through chemometric modelling, bioactive volatiles have been identified.

Keywords: Acne; Antimicrobial activities; Dermatophyte; Essential oil; Eugenol; Infection; Skin diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Dermatologic Agents / chemistry*
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology
  • Eugenol
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Eugenol