What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that comes from the tea tree. It’s also known as melaleuca oil because the Latin name for the tree is Melaleuca Alternifolia. The tea tree is found in Australia and Aboriginal people crush the leaves to create poultices and apply them to cuts, bruises and skin infections. The oil is distilled from the leaves of the tree. This process involves steaming the leaves until they release the oil from inside the cells. Then the oil is collected to use for a variety of different home remedies.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat rashes, sunburns, psoriasis, ringworm, lice, fungal infections, bug bites, cuts, ear infections, athlete’s foot, and of course, acne. It can also be used in a hot bath or an essential oil diffuser to treat upper respiratory infections and inflammation. It’s effective against many bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
How Does Tea Tree Oil for Acne Work?
Since tea tree oil is effective against bacterial infections, it helps treat infected skin cells. Acne forms when pores get clogged with dirt, makeup, and oils. Plus, when your body has inflammation, your pores are more likely to get closed up, leading to infection as well. Tea tree oil reduces inflammation associated with acne and cleanses the skin and pores as well.
Many studies show that melaleuca oil is as effective as many medications on the market. It contains a compound called terpinene-4-ol that is more effective than benzoyl peroxide for treating acne. It’s non-carcinogenic and works as an antibacterial agent that absorbs into the skin to kill acne-causing bacteria that live on the hair follicles.
It speeds up skin healing, removes dirt and grease, and promotes healthy skin. You can even use it in small amounts to prevent some acne breakouts. If you struggle with acne on other parts of your body, add a drop or two of the oil to a fresh bath. Your skin will absorb all the essential oil goodness. The use of tea tree oil in between breakouts can also reduce the chance of acne forming which will reduce scarring overall.
How to Apply Tea Tree Oil?
These are the steps to prepare your face and the oil to put on your acne. It’s important to learn how to apply it the right way so you don’t cause any damage to your skin.
- Wash your face. Gently remove dirt, grease, pollution, and makeup from your face before you apply tea tree oil to treat acne breakouts. Use a mild soap or cleanser and a soft cloth to clean the area.
- Spot test the tea tree oil on your skin. It’s important to put a small dab of oil on your hand before you apply it all over your face. This will help you learn whether or not you have a skin sensitivity to it.
- Dilute the tea tree oil. It sounds like using less tea tree oil would make it less effective, but it turns out that this is incorrect. Mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil. A carrier oil is a liquid oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. A ratio of one drop of tea tree oil to 1-2 tablespoon of carrier oil is enough to get all the benefits of the oil.
- Apply the tea tree oil. Use a Q-Tip or other applicator to put the oil on your face. It’s a great spot treatment for acne breakouts. Some people choose to leave it on, while others wash it off within an hour or so. If you wash it off, just use a wet towel as over-washing your face with soap can be drying and lead to irritation.
- Add tea tree oil to other skin treatments. You may want to add a drop or two of tea tree oil to your next facial mask and cream. It’s a great addition that can help rejuvenate and protect your skin.
How Often Should You Use It?
Tea tree oil is safe enough to be used daily on acne breakouts. Because it’s non-carcinogenic and it’s less likely to cause harmful problems like many other harsh chemicals used to treat acne. Add it to your lotion for your morning routine or to your nightly routine.
It’s important to take a break from using it once every few weeks or so so that you don’t develop skin sensitivity or dry out your pores.
What Should You Mind Carefully?
Tea tree essential oil is heavily concentrated and can be harmful if ingested, or if used too frequently on the skin in heavy doses.
There is a risk of an allergic reaction to tea tree oil. It’s best to do a patch test with it to ensure you won’t have any reactions to it. Additionally, when you use it too much it can cause blisters, skin irritation, and can damage skin cells. It’s best to dilute it for topical use.
While tea tree oil is a great home remedy to treat acne breakouts, it’s not the best for acne scars. There are other essential oils, such as helichrysum that are more effective at treating the scarring left behind from acne breakouts.
How to Choose the Best Tea Tree Oil?
Not all tea tree oil is the same, and it’s best to use pure essential oil as opposed to a product that “contains tea tree oil”. What this means is that your local grocery store may sell tea tree oil for a very cheap price, but it’s not necessarily the real thing. Purchasing it from a quality company that’s known for essential oils. While there are multi-level marketing companies that offer essential oils, there are also many direct-to-consumer companies that offer the same quality oils at more affordable prices.
The oil should be in a dark bottle and have an earthy aroma. The bottle should be labeled with Melaleuca Alternifolia and not just tea tree oil. Try and find one that’s organic and has been tested for quality and purity. It’s important to do a research before you buy to ensure you get the right tea tree oil to help with your acne.
What Other Skin Conditions Can Tea Tree Oil Be Used for?
Because tea tree oil is so good for the skin, it’s also an effective home remedy for many other common skin conditions. These are some of the most common ones:
- Insect bites
- Psoriasis and eczema
As you can see, tea tree oil is a great home remedy for acne and many other skin conditions. When used the right way, there is little risk of tea tree oil causing harm, unlike many other products on the market. It works to kill off bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungus to bring balance to your skin. Try some in your skincare routine today.