Tea tree oil is known natural treatment for several skin conditions. In the first place, it is very effective in treating acne, especially acne vulgaris1.
If you are constantly fighting acne – and acne scars, you know how difficult it can be to find the right skin care products that won’t clog your pores, and will soothe your acne-prone skin and reduce acne scars.
And – if you ever searched for the perfect ingredients with antibacterial properties as the treatment for your acne-prone skin, you probably encountered tea tree oil. And you probably wondered if adding tea tree oil will really effectively solve your issues.
Well, (pure) tea tree oil is an essential oil that actually has several (topical) uses and health benefits. It may help keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy and improve severe acne – all backed up with scientific data2!
Make sure you read this article to find out all the benefits of tea tree, and – how to properly use it. Why? Because using tea tree oil is beneficial only when used in the right way. Otherwise, it is ineffective, or may cause skin irritations.
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia3, an Australian tea tree. This herbal remedy has multiple benefits for skin health, and is helpful in the treatment of various skin conditions. It is actually an alternative to conventional treatments.
As a topical treatment, tea tree oil can be used in the treatment of various conditions and symptoms that affect skin, nails, or hair, helping you treat certain skin conditions or simply improve the overall appearance of your skin.
Furthermore, it may also be used as a deodorant, insect repellent, hand sanitizer, or even a mouthwash. There are many more uses we will go through later on in this text.
Being inexpensive and safe (but make sure you perform a patch test before the first use!), tea tree oil is widely available.
You can find it as 100% undiluted, or neat, oil. Also, diluted forms are available, ranging from 5–50% strength in products aimed for the skin care, usually combined with a carrier oil, like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, lavender oil, and other oils.
Generally, pure essential oil can cause irritations. Be careful with this one, too.
Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Skin?
Yes, tea tree oil is good for skin. Applying tea tree oil will surely be a great add in your skin care routine.
Tea tree oil products are especially beneficial for those with oily skin prone to acne, as it has an antibacterial properties (especially on acne causing bacteria). But the story doesn’t end there. So keep on reading!
What Does Tea Tree Oil Do For Your Face?
Here are the major benefits of applying tea tree oil on your face.
- Acne warrior
Let’s start with the most popular use. Tea tree oil is considered as one of the most powerful ingredients against acne.
Its antimicrobial properties (primarily antibacterial properties) successfully reduce the activity of acne causing bacteria, eventually killing them. In the end, it results in acne-free skin.
One study even studied the antibacterial properties of benzoyl peroxide, common anti-acne medication, and tea tree oil, and compared them.
The results have shown – those two were equally effective4! Interesting, right?
- Nail fungus, bye-bye
If you ever had a fungal infection on your nails – nail fungus, you know how irritating and boring it can be. Unfortunately, it is also a pretty common infection, hard to get rid of. There are several treatment options.
For those of you who prefer natural remedy over conventional medications when it’s possible – luckily, tea tree oil has antifungal properties, making it a great topical treatment for nail fungus.
You can use it alone, or with other antifungal remedies. For the same reason, it may help treat athlete’s foot.
If you don’t have an idea how to use it, you can mix a few drops of tea tree oil alone, or with equal amount of coconut oil and apply it to the affected area.
- Soother of (any) skin inflammation
Among other benefits, tea tree oil helps relieve inflamed skin and soothe your irritated skin, no matter what caused that skin irritation5. So, it may help soothe sunburns, insect bites, dermatitis, rosacea, and many more.
Tea tree oil has anti inflammatory properties, making it a great soothing agent that helps reduce inflammation and the severity of skin symptoms related to skin irritation, including redness, itchiness, swelling, or pain. It may even help with psoriasis.
- Dandruff controller
Tea tree oil shampoo is a powerful weapon against hair dandruff, those boring white flakes of dead skin that fall from your scalp. If you have it, you know how annoying and embarrassing it may be.
Well, if you think you tried everything – think twice. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to shampoo has been found to reduce dandruff6! How come?
Well, as we said, tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Also, it is has a bit lower pH, making it more acidic, and helping clear the dandruff.
- Insect defender
Another reason why you should always have tea tree oil with you, especially during the summer days, or when being in nature – tea tree oil may help keep boring insects (including mosquitos!) away! Oh, wonderful, right?
It is probably due to the scent, the insects find too strong, or disgusting. But, no matter why, it really works! It is even more effective than DEET, the most common active ingredient in insect repellants7.
- Natural deodorant
If you are a fan of natural cosmetics, you will love this use of tea tree oil. It can be use to control underarm odor related to perspiration.
This essential oil has antibacterial properties, as we already said. And bacteria is actually responsible for the odor of your sweat.
And, if you fight the bacteria, you will get rid of the smell. So, tea tree oil is a great alternative to commercial deodorants.
- Wound (and hand) antiseptic
Besides other properties, tea tree essential oil has antiseptic properties. As such, it can be used for disinfection of minor cuts, scrapes, and skin abrasions.
With any broken skin, there is a risk of skin bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, disinfectants are important – in preventing infection.
The good news is: you can use tea tree oil as an antiseptic agent if you experience a minor cut.
But, that’s not it, this magical essential oil may also encourage wound healing, primarily due to its anti inflammatory properties – and consecutively reducing inflammation caused by skin breaking.
For the same reason, it is a great natural hand sanitizer. It may kill several common bacteria and viruses responsible for causing illness.
- Natural mouthwash
Tea tree oil helps fight germs causing tooth decay and bad breath, also reducing inflammation caused by gingivitis. With those abilities, it can compare with other, regular mouthwashes.
But, be careful, although it is natural, it shouldn’t be swallowed – just like any other mouthwash. Otherwise, it can be toxic.
Risks Of Using Tea Tree Oil On Your Face
According to research, tea tree oil is safe, overall. However, as any ingredient, it may cause some unwanted effects.
For that reason, be careful not to ingest it, as it may be toxic if you swallow it (and keep it away from children and pets).
In some people, it may cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis8. Therefore, before using it for the first time, perform a patch test by putting 1-2 drops on the small area of your skin and wait for 24 hours to see if there will be any reaction.
Also, if you have sensitive skin, you should use diluted tea tree essential oil, not the undiluted version. You can dilute tea tree oil with some carrier oil, like olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil.
Be careful with the area around the eyes, as the contact of tea tree oil with eyes may cause redness and irritation.
How Do You Use Tea Tree Oil On Face?
There are so many ways to incorporate tea tree oil into your skin care routine. You can add it to your regular products, such as cleanser, moisturizer, toner, or face wash, in a diluted form.
You can also gently dab your blemishes with tea tree oil using a cotton ball or swab. Then, allow them to dry and continue with moisturizer.
Another option is to use it as an overnight treatment. In that case, apply it on freshly washed skin using a cotton ball, and rinse off your face with warm water in the morning.
There is also an option of buying ready-made products containing tea tree oil. You can find different skin care products on the market – from tea tree oil gel, cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, creams, or ointments. The choice is on you!
How Long Does It Take For Tea Tree Oil To Work?
Well, it depends on several factors. Tea tree oil is a part of acne treatment will probably take a few weeks for you to see noticeable results. Generally, it can take for about 12 weeks for your skin to reap the benefits of tea tree oil.
For most common skin conditions, tea tree oil will start to work within a few days, however.
But keep in mind that, if you have eczema or some other more serious skin condition you suffer for longer periods of time, it may take more time for you to see results.
Who Should Use Tea Tree Oil?
All skin types can benefit from tea tree oil: oily skin, dry skin (yes, it may even soothe dry skin), sensitive skin (in diluted form) – but in the first place – acne-prone skin.
Also, if you have frequent fungal infections, or dandruff, you should definitely try the tea tree essential oil.
Tea Tree Oil – FAQ
Now you know more about the tea tree essential oil. Still, there are so many questions and things to think about. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Can I Leave Tea Tree Oil On My Face Overnight?
Yes, it is actually one of the ways to incorporate tea tree essential oil to your skin care routine. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil on freshly washed skin using a cotton ball, and rinse off your face with warm water in the morning.
Be careful, however. Tea tree oil, just like other essential oils can cause some skin irritation. And the rules are, pretty much, the same. You should use essential oils only at night.
Why? Essential oils can make your skin photosensitive i.e. sensitive to light, and you may risk sun damage.
Does Tea Tree Oil Lighten The Skin?
Actually, yes. Tea tree oil penetrates deep into your skin pores, removing toxins and preventing the pore clogging that contributes to acne breakouts.
This process of disinfection can help lighten scarred areas of the skin.
Does Tea Tree Oil Remove Dark Spots?
Yes – the mechanism is the same as with lightening of your skin. As the tea tree oil lightens scarred areas of the skin, it helps you get rid of the dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars.
Can I Use Tea Tree Oil Everyday?
Yes, you can. It is safe and effective to use as directed. You can use it even twice a day in cases of severe acne, or if you are fighting fungal infections. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you start gradually, starting with 2-3 times a week.
Can I Apply Tea Tree Oil On Pimples?
Absolutely. Gently apply diluted tea tree oils (with a carrier oil) by dabbing it on your blemishes with a cotton round or pad. Then, allow it to dry and continue with your usual moisturizer.
However, you shouldn’t apply tea tree oil on popped pimples, and broken skin in general.
The purpose of this article is informative and entertaining. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Safety should be your priority.