Tea tree oil, extracted from leaves of a tree native to Australia, is well known for it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It is used to for a number of things, including bad breath, athlete’s foot, cold sores, body odor and even acne. While tea tree oil is effective in killing the bacteria which causes acne, it is important that you learn how to use it first.
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, which grows in Australia. Tea tree oil is extracted using steam and is sold as an essential oil. Tea tree oil has many uses and benefits. Tea tree oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and germicidal properties. So it is no surprise that one of the most effective uses for tea tree oil is as a natural acne and oily skin treatment product.
Proper Skin Care for Acne
Of course, a person must follow proper skin care for acne in order to have glowing, clear skin. Even using a tea tree oil skin care treatment can’t do it alone. Some of the things that should be done to improve skin health and eliminate acne are:
Wash face twice daily with a mild cleanser. Do not use a soap that dries out the skin too much, as this will stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil, which will cause more pimples.
Do not squeeze or pick at pimples and blemishes. This can cause acne scars and infection. Also, do not rub or touch your face often. This stimulates the skin and causes oiliness, as well as spreads germs. If you have a habit of rubbing your forehead or chin, you need to break it to clear up acne skin.
Keep your hair clean and try to keep it away from your face, especially if you use lots of styling products. If you use makeup, use it sparingly and be sure to remove it every night. Sleeping with makeup on is a major contributor to acne prone skin.
Scientific Evidence on The Efficacy of Tea Tree Oil in Treating Acne
An Iranian study published in the February 2007 edition of the Indian Journal of Dermatollogy, Venereology and Leprology reported that a 5 percent tea tree oil gel was an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne vulgaris. The study, designed as a double blind clinical trial, randomly divided a group of 60 people suffering from mild to moderate acne to either receive treatment in the form of a 5% tea tree oil gel or a placebo. The researchers concluded that the group receiving the tea tree oil treatment experienced significant relief both in terms of lesion counts and severity of their acne.
An earlier Australian study, as reported by Inside Cosmeceuticals, a web portal providing information on innovative personal care products and ingredients, had compared 5% tea tree oil against 5% benzoyl peroxide in treating both inflamed and non-inflamed acne. The researchers had concluded that the 5% tea tree oil treated acne as effectively and with lesser side effects as the benzoyl peroxide treatment.
Tips for Use
- Dilute tea tree oil depending on your skin type. For use on normal to oily skin, mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water, or for sensitive skin, combine 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts aloe vera gel. Tea tree oil is very strong and should never be applied directly to the skin unless diluted.
- Experiment with your solution. If you find that your mixture causes no adverse reactions, such as redness, dry skin or itching and would like a stronger mixture to treat acne, you can slowly begin to increase the strength of the dilution; however, make sure that you use each new mixture for at least one week before making it stronger.
- Use your tea tree oil solution by first washing your face with a gentle cleanser and patting dry. To help cut oil and acne, place the solution to a cotton ball and apply a light layer to your skin. After drying, apply an oil-free moisturizer. Repeat at night before bed.
- Make a tea tree oil mask which can be applied once or twice a week to help control acne break-outs. Add one or two drops of tea tree oil to enough natural green clay powder to make a mask, adding enough water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste evenly to your face and neck and leave for 30 minutes. Additionally, you can use this mask to spot treat pimples, leaving the mask on overnight.