The benefits of tea tree oil for skin care are endless. For many years, people have used it for its powerful antibacterial properties. It is a remedy for a number of skin ailments such as acne, skin tags and psoriasis. Here is more on why you should have this as a medicine cabinet staple.
Tea Tree Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Skin
- How to use Tea Tree Oil for Skin
- What is the Best Tea Tree Oil?
- Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Also known as melaleuca oil. It is an essential oil with a fresh camphor scent. Its color may be something in between pale yellow and near colorless. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia- a plant which is native to Australia. It is obtained through steam distillation of the leaves.
For many years, the native aborigines used tea tree oil to cure sores, burns and other skin ailments. With over 300 species of tea trees, it is one of the most extensively researched oil for its medicinal benefits.
Tea tree has grown to be a cosmetic favorite in the modern world. It is used as an ingredient in a number of skin care and hair products such as shampoos, lotions and soaps.
Tea tree oil is not in any way associated with tea the beverage. It is neither related to Tea Oil which is extracted from the seeds of the Tea Plant.
Studies on the use of tea tree oil for medical conditions of the skin are inconclusive. DO NOT use tea tree oil to replace prescription medications for skin ailments.
Properties of Tea Tree Oil
- Cicatrisant- ability to promote skin healing
- Anti- viral
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Skin
The benefits of tea tree oil for skin are largely attributed to its antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties.
It is best practice to dilute potent oils such as TTO with base/ carrier oils. To dilute TTO combine a 2 parts of TTO to 1 part of the base oil.
Tea Tree Oil for Skin Whitening
Tea tree oil has excellent anti-septic properties. It removes impurities thus improving the complexion, texture and the general skin tone. Incorporate tea tree oil into your skin care routine for enhance results. Use it to remove skin pigmentation and brighten the skin in an instant.
Skin lightening masks with tea tree oil will help to remove discoloration due to age spots and sun tan. You can also do spot treatment with tea tree oil for dark spots on the face.
DO NOT expect overnight results. Use tea tree oil regularly to get desired results.
How to use Tea Tree Oil to Lighten Skin
What you need: 3 drops of TTO, ½ a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of baking soda and ½ a teaspoon of water.
- Combine the ingredients above to make smooth paste
- Apply it on clean skin and gently massage for 5 minutes
- Leave it on the skin for 15-20 minutes
- Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat dry
This remedy will also help to lighten acne scars and scars from old injuries.
Tea Tree Oil for Skin Tags
Skin tags are flesh colored skin growths. They are common on the face (eyelids), neck and places with folds such as the armpits and anus. Most people opt for natural skin tags removal methods such as tea tree oil. It is natural, effective and safe to use on the skin.
Note that, studies on the use of tea tree oil to get rid of skin tags and warts are not conclusive.
How does tea tree oil work for skin tags? TTO gradually dries up the skin tags. It deprives them of blood and oxygen. With time, it reduces in sizes, changes color and eventually falls off.
How to Remove Skin Tags with Tea Tree Oil
- Clean the skin tag and the surrounding areas with warm water and mild soap
- Pat dry
- Place a few drops of undiluted TTO on a gauze pad or cotton ball
- Wipe over the skin tag taking care not to rub too hard
- Allow the oil to dry naturally
Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in Tea Tree Oil. Use medical tape to hold it in place. After a few days, you will notice that the skin tag will start to dry up. Do this three times a day until the skin tag falls off.
Australia Tea Tree Oil for Wrinkles
Tea Tree oil may possess anti-aging properties that boost production of collagen and also improve blood circulation. It is also rich in antioxidants. These are important things to consider when trying to reverse premature aging.
Well, while this does not top the list of home remedies for wrinkles, giving it a try won’t hurt. Due to the risk it poses, may not be the best way to get rid of wrinkles under eyes.
Some people claim that tea tree oil makes a good makeup remover. I however think that TTO is very strong and may not be that efficient. It cannot be used to remove eye makeup. Use other milder alternatives such as coconut oil and olive oil to naturally and effectively remove makeup.
Burns and Bruises
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. All these are very important factors in treatment and healing of burns. Apply tea tree oil to reduce pain and risk of infections associated with minor/superficial burns. It also soothes and aids in faster healing.
It is even described that native Aboriginals of Australia used to have pools surrounded by tea trees. The leaves would fall and create a natural healing bath for cuts, boils, wounds and other skin problems.
The fact that this oil is not heavy makes it an excellent remedy for minor burns. It allow the skin to breath and heal naturally.
- Rub a few drops of tea tree oil to the burn one to three times in a day.
- Alternatively, place a few drops of TTO on a clean medical gauze and wrap it around the burn.
Get the necessary medical attention for treatment of severe burns.
Use tea tree oil to treat injuries such as minor cuts and bruises.
Tea tree oil encourages blood flow. Apply it to bumps and cold sores to reduce symptoms of inflammation and aid in healing.
Tea Tree Oil for Boils
The antibacterial properties of melaleuca oil is used in the treatment of bacterial skin conditions such as boils.
- Apply a few drops of Australia tea tree essential oil to the boil.
- Spread it gently using your hands and then cover using a clean bandage.
- Do this for three days or until the boil is ready to be drained.
Tea Tree Oil and Acne
Can tea tree oil help acne? Tea tree oil is one of the most effective remedies for acne. It has strong antibacterial properties that help to get rid of acne causing bacteria.
It easily penetrates the skin, opening up pores and aiding in the removal of excess sebum that causes acne.
A study done on the benefits of melaleuca oil for acne compared to those of benzoyl peroxide. It was found that a 5% concentration of tea tree oil is able to treat mild acne which is comparative to 15 of benzoyl peroxide in a cream.
Tea tree oil was also found to take longer to show desired results. It was also found that tea tree oil has less side effects such as itching, redness and peeling which are common with the use of benzoyl peroxide.
Melaleuca Oil mask for Acne
- Combine 3 drops of TTO with a tablespoon each of honey and yogurt
- Apply a thin layer of this paste to problematic areas
- Leave it on for 15-20 minutes
- Rinse your face using cool water
Other uses of Tea Tree Oil for Skin
- Insect Bites
- mRazor Burns
- Food Odor
- Fungal Infections such as Athletes foot and nail fungus
- Dry skin
- Chicken Pox
- Soften Cuticles
- Jock Itch
- Mosquito repellent
How to use Tea Tree Oil for Skin
Tea tree oil can support skin health in a number of ways. You can use it variably by incorporating it into your skin care routine. Use tea tree oil in the following ways:
- The most common way to use tea tree oil is by mixing it with a carrier or base oil.
- You can use undiluted tea tree oil directly on your skin in the affected areas
- Use tea tree oil in a water bath. Add a few drops of TTO into your bath water and soak to get benefits
- Use tea tree oil in skin care remedies such as face masks, scrubs and moisturizers
- Add TTO to skin care products such as lotions, soaps and creams to enhance desired effects
What is the Best Tea Tree Oil?
Always buy 100%, organic, medical grade and pure essential oils. This ensures that it is free of chemical solvents and additives that may be harmful to your skin. Read the labels carefully to make sure the correct name of the species is clearly listed on the bottle. In this case it is Melaleuca alternifolia.
Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca oil is generally considered safe. In most cases it does not cause side effects on the skin. In non- allergic people, it should be applied on the skin in recommended doses and durations. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may experience some unwanted reaction. Skin reactions range from mild skin inflammation (contact dermatitis) to severe forms with bumps and blistering.
Applying TTO to the breast tissue may have mild hormonal activity. Using it on boys before puberty may cause gynecomastia.
- Use tea tree oil as a short term remedy to avoid skin irritation
- If you have dry or sensitive skin, always dilute tea tree oil with carrier oils such as coconut oil and olive oil
- It may cause inflammation, blistering and skin dryness.
- If you are using tea tree oil for the first time, do a patch test to check for potential allergies.
- Stop its use immediately if you notice any allergic reactions and consult a doctor
- DO NOT use tea tree oil to replace prescription medications for skin conditions
- NEVER ingest tea tree oil
- DO NOT apply TTO on sensitive areas such as the skin surrounding the eyes and genitals
- Store it in cool, dark and air tight place- preferably a dark colored glass container
- Use with caution if pregnant or breastfeeding
- Should be used cautiously when used with Vancomycin
- Use cautiously with Lavender oil