If you have been struggling with acne and oily skin, chances are you already familiar with the benefits of tea tree oil for skin. Tea tree oil isn’t exactly the new name in skincare, it has been around for a while.
It is the ancient name touted for being a natural antiseptic. So, it is only natural that tea tree oil has found its way to the modern-day skincare world.
Short bakckground on tea tree oil and what is the hype?
Interestingly enough, tea tree oil is one of the least known things about Australia. Of course, I mean after the incredible fauna that is home to kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, koalas … the list goes on.
And again, interestingly enough, the name doesn’t have any correlation to tea, the name “tea tree” is used to refer to several plants. It is just that when famous British explorer James Cook took one of his voyages to Australia, he made tea using several herbs, hence, the name stuck.
In addition, there is the so-called Brown Lake in Australia, and along with its banks, tea trees (melaleuca) grow in abundance. Hence, we can assume that it looks like a huge cup of strong tea precisely because of this environment.
Tea tree oil, which is derived from tea tree leaves, has been around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the 1920’s that its commercial use took over.
So, it is time to move to the “hype” part.
What are the benefits of tea tree oil for skin?
For a while, people used it as a primary antibiotic, although it was still two decades before antibiotics were actually discovered. Before antibiotics people used aniseptic herbs to heal wounds or open cuts, and tea tree has been a great help with that. Due to this antiseptic quality, it is still common to use it for disinfecting cuts and open wounds.
#1. Benefits of tea tree oil for skin: Tea tree oil is a natural sanitizer
Due to its ability to fight off bacteria, the tea tree oil is a great addition to any sanitizer, especially hand sanitizers. It is especially important to have it around in times of the current pandemic, making sure that we don’t entirely dry our skin out. Here is a quick DIY hand sanitizer recipe if you want to make your own hand sanitizer:
You will need:
- 5-12 drops lavender essential oil
- 25 drops tea tree essential oil
- ethyl alcohol 90% or 91%+ isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol (around 3 ounces or so)
- 1 ounce aloe vera gel for hydration
- ¼ teaspoon of Vitamin E oil for softening effect
Quick instructions: Mix oils first and then add the alcohol. Add the aloe vera gel to the mixture and make sure you mix it well. When done mixing, but it in an air-tight, dark bottle and try to keep it away from light and in a cool place. There you go, easy DIY hand sanitizer with tea tree oil!
#2. Benefits of tea tree oil for skin: It is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory
As we mentioned before, tea tree oil is great for disinfecting cuts and open wounds. According to research, adding tea tree oil to wounds accelerated the healing process. Tea tree oil for skin is great as it targets the acne bacteria directly, thus, preventing the breakouts. If you have red pastules (like I do) and clogged pores, definitely look for tea tree oil.
#3. Benefits of tea tree oil for skin: Tea tree oil helps deal with acne and blackheads
It is a great ally in fighting against acne. Many products for oily and acne-prone skin will enjoy this ingredient. At the same time, it has proven effective for dealing with blackheads. Along with benzoyl peroxide, one of the most known acne-fighting remedies, it continues to be one of the best natural elements.
If you have oily skin, you might be familiar with BP. Unlike benzoyl peroxide, it has fewer side effects on the skin. Tea tree oil is less likely to dry your skin out, cause flaking or irritation which are common side effects of benzoyl peroxide. Also, it is not going to stain your pillows unlike benzoyl peroxide. If you have been struggling with acne, you know what I am talking about.
The most basic way of using tea tree oil against blackheads is with spot treatment.
#4. Benefits of tea tree oil for skin: It is effective ingredient against dandruff
Struggling with the greasiness, itchiness of your scalp is no fun. Luckily, adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo will definitely make a difference. Thanks to its oil absorbing quality, it will soak up the oils and give you that freshness your hair is craving for.
We are not done yet! Benefits of tea tree oil aren’t only limited to skin only. It will also soothe the scalp and reduce dandruff due to its anti-fungal nature. There are a number of shampoos infused with tea tree oil. You’ll definitely find what works for you. More on products, scroll down further.
#5. Benefits of tea tree oil for skin: It soothes dry skin and helps combat itching
If you have dry skin, chances are you experience itching and irritation. Tea tree oil soothes the skin, provides instant relief. That’s why many moisturizing creams, body washes and lotions will have tea tree oil to reduce inflammation.
At the same time, you can use tea tree oil to treat redness and itching caused by insect bites. Got bit by insects in the camp site? Grab your tea tree oil and put it on asap.
How does tea tree oil work in skincare?
Tea tree oil is used in a number of skin care products such as cleansers, face washes, lotions, toners, and so on. This is a great ingredient for oily and combination skin that experiences epidermis imbalance the most. Tea tree oil in skincare really makes sure that the perfect balance is achieved.
Although all skin types can enjoy the benefits of tea tree oil for skin, it would probably suit best for acne prone, oily, sensitive and congested skin.
Best products with tea tree oil for skin
Whether it is toners, cleansers, serums or creams tea tree oil for skin has a number of uses. Here are our best product picks with tea tree oil. Best products with tea tree oil are the ones that target many skin concerns at the same time.
Best tea tree oil toner: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner
This is one of the staple products with tea tree oil. It is a mattifying toner that specifically targets extra oiliness and minimizes large pores. If you are struggling with acne and oily skin, this drugstore product can be a great place to start.
This toner has hydrating ingredients like Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Glycerin. It does contain Alcohol Denat which is used to combat oiliness and enhance the effectiveness of the product. That said, it can be drying, so be careful and stop using if your skin feels extra dry.
More about alcohol in skincare: The Truth About Alcohol in Skincare: Friend or Foe?
Best tea tree cleanser: St. Ives Acne Control Face Cleanser
Although personally I am not a big fan of this brand (the apricot scrub, anyone?), this is one of the decent products out there to provide maximum benefits of tea tree oil. It is formulated with salicylic acid, another holy grail for acne prone skin.
Plus, it is oil free, dermatologist tested, and non-comedogenic. (meaning, it won’t clog your pores) For the price point (only $6.25) it is a pretty good deal.
Best tea tree moisturizer: Tea Tree Oil Face Cream by Majestic Pure
This non-greasy, cruelty free cream is made with 5% Tea Tree Oil, 3 types of ceramides, (so you get the anti-aging benefit too), some hydrating agents like shea butter, Sodium hyaluronate ( a form of hyaluronic acid). The ceramides will help rebuild the skin barrier, which is especially good for sensitive, oily skin. It will help control the oil while not drying your skin out.
Are there any side effects to using tea tree oil?
Generally, it is safe to use. However, depending on your skin allergies, it may show some reactions. Just to be extra cautious, you can do a patch test before applying it to your face or any wound. If you have extremely sensitive skin, it might cause some irritation or peeling. Stop using it if you experience any of the symptoms.
Tea tree oil is not meant to be consumed orally and is considered toxic to the digestive system. So, make sure to keep it out of children’s reach.