Tea tree oil enters the room -- acne runs for the exit fast! Acne doesn't end with puberty - sad but true! Studies have found that acne can continue well into adult years, affecting up to 15% of women.
No one wants inflamed little red spots covering their faces. These little buggers are irritating and can cause so much pain. But don't worry because mother nature's got us covered. Tea tree oil to the rescue!
Whether you suffer from acne, have acne-prone skin, or generally concerned with the overall state of your skin — you are want to stick around to know more about this oil.
Read on because today, we are going to spill the tea on tea tree oil — what it is, how it came to be, and how our skin can reap all its benefits!
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil, sometimes called Melaleuca Oil, is an essential oil extracted through steam distillation, from the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant native to Eastern Australia.
The pure Australian variant of this oil is world-renowned for its purity and quality. This oil is recognized to have antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. If you recognize these properties, you might already know why this oil is perfect for acne-prone skin!
Take note that the oil is toxic when ingested, so you must avoid using it around the mouth area.
The oil appears very light yellow to nearly colorless. The most notable feature of the oil is its odor: a very strong minty-fresh and medicinal smell known as a "Camphoraceous odor."
Interesting Facts About Tea Tree Oil
Recognized for more than 70 years for its benefits, the use of tea trees originated from the indigenous Bundjalung people of eastern Australia.
For many years, it is believed they utilized tea trees for traditional medicine in a variety of ways — inhaling the oil from crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds, applying the leaves on minor wounds, and brewing tea for the treatment of sore throats.
An area where tea trees abundantly grow today is called "Bungawalbyn," which translates to "healing ground." Captain James Cook coined the name "tea tree" when he observed how the Bundjdalung people used the leaves to prepare a healing tea. Reportedly, his men were first to brew a type of beer from making tea out of tea tree leaves.
Since the early 1930s, tea tree oil has been sold in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and other European countries.
(Source: Australian Tea Tree Industry Association)
Different Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Before we go to the good skin stuff about tea tree oil, here are the general known uses of this oil:
- As dandruff treatment
- Athlete's foot remedy
- Nail fungus remover
- Insect bites treatment
- Regulate dental hygiene
- Using a diffuser, this oil boosts immunity, fights infections, reduces anxiety, and relieves insomnia as well as congestion. It also eliminates airborne bacteria.
Skin Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Now that we know all these things about tea tree oil, it's time to get down to business. What's in it for our skin? A lot!
Reduces itching and irritation
When acne flares up, you can bet that it will make its presence known. It takes a lot of self-control not to itch the living heck out of pesky pimples. The good thing is, because of its anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is known to reduce itching and irritation!
As this study found, people with dry skin and eczema, suffering from irritation and itchiness, as people with acne also do, will benefit from using this oil.
Combats oily skin
Though acne doesn't really skip any skin types, people with oily skin (like me) tend to be more prone to acne. Overproduction of sebum leads to clogged pores that are highly likely to develop into fully developed acne. Many products on the market boast the ability to combat oily skin -- some costing heaps of money!
With tea tree oil, however, you won't even leave a dent in your savings! This inexpensive oil's antiseptic properties can combat oily skin effectively.
This study shows that participants showed significant improvements in their oiliness upon using a product with this oil for 30 days.
Calms redness and swelling
Redness and swelling are all too familiar with acne flare-ups. This combo makes acne stand out even more while we writhe in discomfort. Luckily, this combo is up tea tree oil's alley!
Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties of this oil make it a top choice for acne concerns. These two properties directly combat the redness and swelling combo.
Helps heal bacteria-caused wounds
It is quite possible to cross the dark side when faced with acne — by dark side, I mean picking on your skin. That’s an ultimate no-no! Not only will this action further irritate acne, picking on fresh pimples to pop them or itch them will exacerbate the problem. Then, fresh pimples may transform into fresh wounds.
If you have reached this point of no return, tea tree oil got your back!
A study found that this oil can aid in healing bacteria-caused wounds when used alongside conventional treatment.
Keeps acne at bay
With all the goodness found in this oil that answers most of the concerns of acne-prone skin, continuous usage of the oil helps prevent acne from ever coming back!
Of course, tea tree oil can't be the only thing in your arsenal when combating acne. But having it is like having a secret weapon. Religious application of the oil, when done the right way, helps prevent acne and reduce acne scars — leaving you with smooth, clear skin.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an extremely potent essential oil and must be used in small quantities. For example, when diluting this oil in a carrier oil, the recommended proportion is 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to 12 drops of carrier oil. Patch-testing is, of course, highly advised along with dilution.
Take careful note of this! Skipping dilution and patch-testing can lead to serious chemical burns that will only irritate your skin further.
When you are sure that you are not allergic to this oil, you can incorporate this essential oil to your existing products or use it as an ingredient in your DIY projects!
Here are some simple things you can do to use tea tree oil.
As a Spot Treatment
Sometimes, our troubled areas are just a few pesky pimples that refuse to go away. To target specific pimples, lightly soak a q-tip in diluted tea tree oil and dab on the perimeter of the pimples. Some people use undiluted tea tree oil as a spot treatment but this can cause irritation if your skin is more on the 'dry or sensitive side'.
As a Toner
An excellent way to reap the benefits of this oil without is to use it as a toner. Toners are easy to apply and refresh the skin. For a powerful combo, combine this oil with witch hazel extract. Witch hazel is known to fight acne effectively while keeping the skin nourished.
To do this, dilute 3 drops of tea tree oil into 2 ounces of witch hazel. If you have sensitive skin, it is better to start with a lower concentration of this oil, so 1 drop will do. You can increase the strength depending on the response of your skin.
Use this toner in your am and pm routine to see desired results.
P.S. Essential oils are not water-soluble solutions, so to prevent tea tree 'stuck' in a signe drop of witch hazel, remember to shake your toner well before every use.
As a Moisturizer add-on
Another good thing about tea tree oil is that it is so potent that there is no need for a complicated recipe to enjoy its benefits. As this oil can be drying and irritating on its own, pairing it with a moisturizing base will help immensely.
A good choice can be aloe vera. Fresh aloe vera nourishes and seals moisture in, while leaving a cooling feeling. Store-bought can be an option too as long as the aloe is in high percentage. Since aloe vera has a gel consistency, mixing it with this oil is quite hassle-free.
A proportion of 2 tbsp. of aloe vera and 2 drops of tea tree oil will be enough for this moisturizer. If the aloe vera is too much for face use, you can either lessen the amount of aloe vera in proportion to the oil; or, use the excess your arms and legs!
Is Tea Tree Oil Safe?
Tea tree oil is safe to use on the skin. As it is a very potent essential oil, adequate dilution is a must! Read this guide on diluting so you can be sure to avoid any disastrous happenings with this oil.
As mentioned above, this oil is toxic when ingested. So, it must not go anywhere near the mouth.
Always perform a patch test when using a new oil. Dilute a small amount of the EO in a carrier oil and place a drop of it on the inner area of your elbow. Leave it on for 24 hours, and observe the skin for any reactions.
For safety purposes, it is not advised for pregnant and breastfeeding women to use essential oils without consulting medical professionals.
For children and the elderly, it is highly advised to contact your physician or doctor before using oils. Self-treatment of chronic diseases by applying tea tree oil may also hold serious consequences without professional advice.
How to Choose Tea Tree Oil
In choosing your tea tree oil, it is crucial to note that it is better to opt for Australian tea tree oil. The Australian plant (Melaleuca Alternifolia) has been extensively studied compared to other species. So, we can rest assured that the pure Australian variant of this oil will stay true to the studied benefits!
In relation to this, make sure you do not buy “tea tree oil” extracted from Camellia Sinensis or Camellia Oleifera, which is Chinese Tea Seed Oil. This is a cold-pressed cooking oil used in Chinese cuisine. This oil is often marketed as being "Chinese Tea Tree Oil." Ascertain that your product is Australian.
As with all carrier oils, remember not to buy this oil from food stores. Apart from these reminders, here are the things you should look for when choosing your tea tree oil:
- 100% essential oil
- Therapeutic grade
I highly recommend Plant Therapy's tea tree oil. I trust this brand for this oil because they produce oils that are pure, unadulterated, and manufactured for therapeutic purposes and not only for their aromas.
Whether you are battling acne or you want to achieve the best that your skin can be, tea tree oil is one of mother nature's gifts that you can benefit from.
The properties naturally contained in tea tree oil at a low price, make it an indispensable beauty product that can level up your skin health and appearance.
Thank you for reading the post till the end!
Let me know what you think about tea tree oil in the comments below!
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