Did you ever wish for a magic wand which could zap off acne and pimples? What if we say you can have one? Yes! Tea tree oil offers numerous benefits for your skin, making it magical! It is a staple ingredient in many skincare products like soaps, lotions, cleansers, and serums.
But what is tea tree oil? Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is a native Austrian tree. Though it has been in cultivation for almost 100 years, the ingredient has been gaining popularity in recent times for its wonderful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties (1).
This article will explore more about the benefits of tea tree oil for the skin, its risks, and a list of products with this ingredient.
6 Incredible Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Face and Skin:
Tea tree oil is a potent ingredient used alone or with other skincare agents. Tea tree oil offers many solutions for your skin woes, from treating acne to microbial infections.
Let us now look into the detailed information about tea tree oil benefits for skin and face:
1. Treats Acne and Pimples:
Tea tree oil is the next best treatment to benzoyl peroxide for treating pimples and facial and back acne naturally. A study shows that over-the-counter products that contain tea tree oil can effectively reduce mild to moderate acne and lesions on the face (2). This action can be attributed to tea tree oil’s powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, tea tree oil contains a compound called terpene, which can fight acne-causing bacteria and restrict their growth.
2. Accelerates Wound Healing Process:
The Australian aboriginals used tea tree oil to treat wounds, cuts and burns on the skin. Even modern science agrees that tea tree oil is a faster wound healer. A 2013 study shows that nine out of 10 who received topical tea tree oil combined with conventional medication had reduced wound healing time (3). The strong antibacterial properties of this essential oil can fight infections and quickly heal skin scars.
3. Prevents Blemishes and Dark Spots:
Tea tree indirectly prevents the formation of blemishes, scars and dark spots caused by acne. A study shows that tea tree oil can fight bacteria that infect your skin pores, while the anti-inflammatory properties minimise the appearance of surface-level scars caused by acne (4). Additionally, the antioxidants present in this oil, like α-terpinene, α-terpinolene, and γ-terpinene, fight free radicals to prevent dark spots from appearing on the face.
4. May Remove Skin Tags:
Skin tags are loose, painless growths of skin that are usually harmless but embarrassing. Many people use tea tree oil to remove skin tags due to its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest the same, patients who used tea tree oil on these growths claimed it made them dry out and eventually fall off.
5. Can Treat Eczema and Psoriasis:
Tea tree oil offers many benefits to people with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil can reduce lesions and offer solace from itching. The anti-septic and anti-microbial properties can soothe your skin and lower the risk of infections spreading. Additionally, a 2011 study confirms that tea tree oil is an effective anti-eczema agent than other topical medications, bringing down inflammation and itching due to dry skin (5).
6. Controls Excess Sebum Production:
Although there is no sufficient evidence to prove that tea tree oil controls excess oil on the skin, it helps in reducing the risk of acne in this skin type. The anti-microbial properties fight many types of bacteria that cause lesions on the skin.
A study in 2016 showed that a gel-cream sunscreen containing tea tree oil was found to be effective in controlling excess oil on the skin and minimising the problem of acne (6). The same properties of tea tree oil may reduce blackheads and whiteheads on the face.
Precautions To Take While Using Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree is a highly concentrated essential oil and extremely potent. You must never use undiluted tea tree oil directly on the skin, as it can cause severe burns. Here are some important points to note while using tea tree oil:
- Always mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut, almond etc., in a 1:12 ratio (tea tree oil: carrier oil in drops) before applying it to the skin.
- Watch out for symptoms like redness, irritation, itching, sensitivity etc., after using tea tree oil on a small area of your skin. If you develop any of these, discontinue its use immediately and rinse it thoroughly with water.
- Avoid ingesting tea tree oil or applying it on sensitive areas like eyes, nose, mouth, broken skin, cuts, wounds etc. Before using tea tree oil for wound healing, it’s better to check with a doctor or a certified aromatherapist.
- Do not use tea tree oil on younger children, pregnant women, people with pre-existing illnesses like asthma, or those using skin medications without asking the doctor.
Those are some of the best benefits of tea tree oil, worth knowing. You can also try using branded skincare products which use tea tree oil as a key ingredient. Although they offer similar benefits, essential oils always have the upper hand!
1. What are the best brands for tea tree oil-based skincare products?
Almost all major skincare brands use tea tree oil as the main ingredient to tackle acne and skin infections. Trusted companies like Body Shop, Juicy Chemistry, Mama Earth, Natural Vibes etc., use organic and fine quality tea tree essential oil in their lotions and serums.
2. Can I leave tea tree oil on my skin overnight?
We recommend a patch test before using tea tree oil as an overnight treatment. Apply diluted tea tree oil on a small area of your skin and wait for 6-8 hours. If you notice no allergic reactions, you can proceed with your plan. It is also better to check with a dermatologist to be safer.
3. Will tea tree oil blend with moisturisers?
Yes! Tea tree oil can be mixed with moisturisers and lotions for easy application. Again, a patch test is recommended to ensure the ingredients don’t clash. Once you know that the ratio is correct, you can use it regularly.