Tea tree oil is an essential oil which is derived from the plant Melaleuca alternifolia which is native to the eastern portion of Australia (primarily near the coast). A common source of confusion with tea tree oil is that it is derived from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. This is not the case. They are two entirely different plants.
Tea tree oil is a substance which, like almost all essential oils, is toxic when taken orally. It is used in cosmetics and other commercial products in very low concentrations and has been touted as being useful for a number of medical conditions including dandruff, acne, and lice. Studies have shown that tea tree oil may have antimicrobial properties. Antimicrobial or antibacterial properties are particularly important to those people who suffer from acne.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne
- Direct application – This would be direct application to the skin. This is a harsh treatment and is typically not recommended.
- Spot treatment – If the undiluted type is too harsh for your skin (it usually is) then a few drops can be mixed in with other spot treatments in order to dilute the oil for use. A few drops can be mixed in with honey in order to be stored and used as a spot treatment. Simply apply, allow to sit for fifteen or so minutes, and wash it off. This mixture can be stored in containers such as those used for lip balm for easy storage.
- Face masks – Adding a few drops to either a store bought or a home made face mask treatment can impart the beneficial effects of the oil in an easy to apply way. These face masks can be used to dry out pimples and to help kill the bacteria that cause acne breakouts.
- Scrubs – Combining around a half cup of sugar, a quarter cup olive oil, a tablespoon of honey, and ten or so drops of the liquid will yield a nice facial scrub that can be applied to the face. Apply directly to clean and dry skin in a circular motion for approximately two to five minutes. This is great for those suffering from mild breakouts but may be too abrasive for those people suffering from cystic acne.
- Bath oil – A few drops in bath water can help to alleviate congestion, add a fragrant and nice odor to the bath water, and can help to cleanse and refresh skin. This may be the easiest way to apply it to the entire body and will typically be a very light application.
The Right Brand to Buy
One of the best brands for sale is by NOW. It’s a reliable natural products company that makes 100% pure oils. The best deal for this brand is found on Amazon. The reviews speak for themselves. It’s good to have a bottle or two in your medicine cabinet because you never know when you may need it.
Tea tree oil may be useful for acne sufferers to add to their regime. Care must be taken, however, not to use too much of it. The oil is really potent so be careful not to overuse it. In addition to acne, tea tree oil has a lot of other health benefits as well. It can be used for: hair conditioner, athletes foot, and cuts and scrapes, infections, and various other uses. Overall this oil is well-worth buying.