Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has a ton of beneficial properties. As such it has been used medicinally for decades. It’s antibacterial, and you can use it to treat acne, lice problems, fungus, insect bites, and athlete’s foot. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find this essential oil as an ingredient in many skincare products like cleansers, soaps, lotions, etc. In this article, we’ll discuss its benefits if you have acne and how to make the most of this wonderful oil.
What is Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes inflamed pink or red spots to appear on the skin. Acne usually occurs when there’s over-secretion of sebum oil from the sebaceous glands from the pores. You’re more likely to get acne if you have oily skin, but it can affect any skin type. Acne can also be caused by trapped dead skin in the pores. Usually, our skin sheds every 30 days, but sometimes it can take longer. Lack of exfoliation can result in the accumulation of dead skin cells in the pores which can lead to acne, breakouts and blackheads. Finally, acne can also be caused by bacteria called Propionibacterium. These bacteria get a perfect breeding ground to grow inside the pores when they’re clogged by oil and dead skin cells.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Tea tree oil is native to Australia, where indigenous people have used it as traditional medicine for centuries. Presently, people use it regularly for self-care, and you can find it in many personal care products in the stores. One of the benefits is that it helps in combating acne, however many people will benefit from using this oil in their skincare even if they don’t struggle with acne.
Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic. This means it can combat bacteria, fungus, and viruses, thereby preventing dirt from clogging the pores.
Tea tree oil is a natural moisturizer and aids in restoring the natural oil balance of the skin. If the skin produces oil in excess, it could lead to many issues, oily skin being the least of your worries. The additional oil production in the skin can also lead to acne, breakouts, blackheads and scarring.
Contains Beneficial Nutrients and Compounds
The anti-oxidants and other nutrients present in it help keep the skin healthy and beautiful.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help rejuvenate skin cells by removing the dead cells and developing new ones. It also restores the elasticity of the skin. There has been research on its ability to heal acne, and there’s some evidence to make a case for it. Since it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial traits, it can treat lesions and pimples. In one study, fourteen participants used it twice a day for twelve weeks, and it helped reduce their acne without noticeable side effects.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne
There are several ways to use this essential oil to apply to your skin. But you shouldn’t apply it directly as it can cause irritation. You can find this product in an array of products in stores like cleansers, face washes, toners, spot treatments, moisturizers, etc.
You can also use DIY methods at home to apply it. To start using tea tree oil at home, here are a few ways to get you started:
Method 1: Add to a Lightweight Carrier Oil
For acne and acne spots, it’s not a good idea to mix the tea tree essential oil with just any carrier oil like coconut, or olive. Instead you should mix it with a lightweight non-comedogenic oil that won’t block pores or cause extra oil production. Use a drop of the essential oil with every two teaspoons of carrier oil. Depending on your skin type, you can tweak this amount to suit you.
Method 2: Apply Directly
Instead of mixing with a carrier oil, add a drop of tea tree essential oil to a damp cotton ball and blot on the spots.
Measure 3: Make a DIY Face Mask
To make a mask, add a few drops of the essential oil to a bowl of yogurt. Once you’ve mixed it, apply it to the scars and leave for 20 minutes.
Measure 4: Make a DIY Face Mist
To make a mist, mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, a teaspoon of witch hazel, and a cup of water. Shake the mixture before spraying it on your skin. Once you’ve done spraying, gently rub it on the skin.
Best Practices when Using Tea Tree Oil
It would help if you ‘patch test’ your skin before applying the product to make sure it suits you. To test it, apply a tiny amount to the inside of your elbow. Leave for 24 hours and check for any signs of irritation or discomfort. If you don’t get any skin problems, it’s safe to apply elsewhere.
It’s best to incorporate the acne treatment into your nightly skincare regime. If you apply at any other time, let the skin absorb the essential oils before going out in the sun. Tea tree oil increases your skin’s photosensitivity, and it would be best if you avoided the sun after its application.
Acne scars take some time to fade, in many cases, about 12 weeks. Don’t overuse the treatment hoping for quicker results, as it could cause the scars to stand out even more.
Overall, tea tree oil is very beneficial for treating acne, but you shouldn’t expect instant results. Also, it’s highly concentrated and could cause skin irritation in some cases. If you start noticing any side effects or eczema, you should discontinue its use.