Determining the Viability of a Topically Applied Essential Oil Treatment as an Alternative to Conventional Dermal Antibacterial Treatments
Matthew Wong, Arjun Vallipuram
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 080 H

This experiment investigated and determined the effectiveness of the antibacterial properties of various essential oils (EOs), and their interactions in a vitamin E infused cream. These treatments were tested to represent the dermal delivery method used against commonly-found skin bacteria.

The essential oils used were from these plants: oregano, cinnamon tree, peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus tree, and the narrow-leaved paperbark. The topically applied mixtures were created by conducting the liquid oils and vitamin E cream to create 10:1 (E cream: oil) formulae. The conventional treatment used was Polysporin.

Testing was conducted on two bacteria, (belonging to the gena Staphylococcus, and Bacillus) swabbed topically from two different human subjects, and on lab sourced S. epidermidis. Bacteria isolated in a lab were streaked out and grown in a liquid culture before being plated atop agar plates.

Lawns of bacteria were grown in an incubator. Results were taken photographically by an imaging system. Each well on the plates was measured for the zone of inhibition, and observations were recorded. According to the results, the hypothesis held true. The treatments that included the essential oils of cinnamon and oregano were more effective against the bacteria than Polysporin and bore the best results. Another notable finding is the enhanced influence of vitamin E cream on tea tree oil (paperbark oil). The outcomes suggest that the promising antibacterial properties of essential oils considered (for further research as an alternative to using last resort antibiotic containing treatments.