With the clean beauty trend on the rise, people around the world are leaning in to the idea that their skin-care products should be as natural as possible. If you are one of them, and looking for a tried plant-based, acne-fighting ingredient to add to your routine, look no further than the tea tree oil.
Known for its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be utilized on skin, hair, and nails as a natural treatment. Tea tree oil is available as a pure essential oil. It may also be used in personal-care products, particularly those that aim to prevent or reduce acne, including cleansers, toners, body washes, gels, lotions, and other treatments. It is very important to know that tea tree oil should be applied topically, and never swallowed.
The main benefit of tea tree oil is its pimple-fighting ability. For that reason, tea tree oil may be a good choice for people with acne. To understand why it works you have to know that the four main contributors for acne are inflammation, bacteria, hormones and sebum. Tea tree oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it addresses two of those main players. While it could be slower acting meaning that results may take longer to see, it definitely has fewer if any unwanted skin reactions.
Studies on people with mild to moderate acne found that a 5% tea tree oil product applied twice daily reduced acne lesions by 23.7 to 62.1 percent after four to eight weeks.
When using tea tree oil in your skincare routine, it is a good idea to try a patch test first, by applying the oil on the inside of your forearm and waiting a day or two to see if any rash forms. To get started with adding tea tree oil to your skincare routine, either purchase a skincare product that contains tea tree oil or use the essential oil itself. To use the essential oil, dilute it into a carrier such as witch hazel toner or moisturizer. Applying undiluted oil can cause an allergic reaction on the skin. Use three drops of tea tree oil to two ounces (oz) of product. You can use tea tree oil in the morning or at night. Combine tea tree oil with a witch hazel toner if you have acne, which can be done after cleansing your skin, or combine the oil with a moisturiser (such as coconut oil) as a last step in your evening skin-care routine, if you also have dry or sensitive skin.
Tea tree oil can make skin more sun sensitive so avoid applying it immediately before going outdoors. No matter what skin-care products you are using, it’s always important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
For people with acne-prone skin, apply a product containing tea tree oil once or twice a day, focusing on pimple trouble zones like the chin or T-zone. You must be consistent with use to see best results. Give it 12 weeks of consistent use before assessing the effects on your acne. If after 12 weeks, you are not seeing results, you may need a stronger acne product. A board-certified dermatologist can help develop an acne-fighting plan appropriate for your skin.
While it’s generally tolerated well, it does cause irritation in a small number of people, so look out for reactions if you are new to tea tree oil products.
TEA TREE OIL USES
Tea tree oil is used topically on the skin for its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties in addressing skin conditions, such as acne.
You can use tea tree oil as a natural treatment for nail fungus or athlete’s foot. Research shows tea tree oil inhibits the growth of fungus in onychomycosis, the name for the fungal infection of fingernails and toenails that causes thick, discolored, distorted, and even smelly nails.
Tea tree oil may also promote a healthy scalp. It’s a great ingredient for clarifying hair, so it’s helpful for conditions like seborrheic dermatitis (a variation of dandruff) and scalp folliculitis, as well as general itchiness of the scalp.