Tea tree oil is lauded as a natural way to treat acne, and here’s a few tips to get the most out of using this product.
Tea tree oil is often used to treat wounds and other skin ailments due to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. The oil is rich in Terpinene-4-ol, which destroys the skin-based bacteria responsible for acne. Thanks to these qualities, tea tree oil is an excellent treatment for oily and acne-prone skin. It can lower bacteria levels on the skin, reduce inflammation and target breakouts. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the swelling associated with deeper active acne.
Tea tree oil helps speed up the healing process and inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria. This can help stop the acne cycle and prevent future breakouts. While benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are traditionally recommended for acne, tea tree oil makes a great alternative, natural remedy. One Australian study found tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, which can sometimes be very drying on the skin.
Pure tea tree essential oil is powerful, and it is usually recommended you dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive, almond or avocado oil. However, those with acne-prone skin are best to avoid pore-clogging oils and dilute it in a water-soluble product or witch hazel. Undiluted tea tree oil could potentially cause irritation in the form of dryness, burning, stinging or even peeling.
“Tea tree oil is a popular ingredient in beauty and skincare products right now,” says Megan Menard, senior manager at Shoppers Drug Mart. “We’re seeing it paired with complementary ingredients for additional benefits, such as witch hazel to help repair broken skin and fight bacteria, while facial masks may contain natural clay, bentonite and aloe vera to remove oil and soothe skin.”
While tea tree oil is gentler than many acne creams, overuse could cause dryness, leading the skin to produce more oil to compensate. Look for skincare products such as Life Brand tea tree oil cleansers and toners, which have the tea tree oil already mixed in and are mild enough to be used daily.
Tea tree oil is an effective, natural remedy for acne-prone skin. Give it about a month to see results, and consider other factors that can lead to acne such as overproduction of oil and the formation of clogged pores.