Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Acne Prone Skin
Toothpaste, banana peels, Windex…there are tons of weird ways to try to banish blemishes, and not all of them are good ideas (looking at you, window cleaner). Some, though, are easy to find, inexpensive, and effective, and tea tree oil is one of those. Tea tree oil is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory essential oil that fights bacteria, eases inflammation, and reduces irritation. It comes from an Australian native plant called Melaleuca Alternifolia and has been valued for centuries or longer by aboriginal groups who used it to treat coughs through inhalation and topically to treat various skin ailments.
Natural ingredients are having a beauty moment again, and our estheticians have info, tips, and tricks to give you a new green tool in your breakout toolbox.
How to Apply Tea Tree Oil on Face
Step 1: Dilute the Oil
You need to dilute this very concentrated oil before you apply it to your face, or irritation, dryness, and other complications can result. First, you’ll need a carrier oil – that’s an oil you can combine with another substance that’s safe for your skin. There are a lot of options, but we’d like to highlight those you can find around the house – cold-pressed grapeseed, olive, jojoba, avocado, and coconut oils. All five are affordable and gentle options that allow you to properly dilute stronger substances before placing them on the skin.
Step 2: Test
Never apply anything new to your face without a patch test! This means taking a small amount of the diluted substance and placing it somewhere the skin mimics that of the face – you can try your inner elbow. If your skin is sensitive or reactive (it turns red, irritated, rashy, swells, or burns), find something else to put on those pimples. If all looks and feels good, it’s time to put your tea tree oil to work!
Step 3: Apply
First, wash your face with a wash made for acne-prone skin – we’re obsessed with our Marine Volcanic Mud Cleanser. Pat dry, then use a Q-tip to dab the diluted tea tree oil on your blemish. Let it dry, and repeat morning and night as needed.
Where do I find it and what do I look for?
Tea tree oil is easy to find and widely available – most drugstores and even groceries carry it, and of course, you can order online. Buy the purest oil you can find – make sure the label indicates that it is 100% tea tree oil without additives.
Don’t ingest tea tree oil! Though it’s safe for your skin, swallowing it can cause a severe reaction called ataxia, causing a loss in muscle coordination. Definitely not the desired result! Use tea tree oil as intended, don’t skip the patch test, and definitely look elsewhere for internal ingestion.
Now that you’ve purchased and diluted your tea tree oil, you can apply it to other uses as well! Tea tree oil has been shown to be effective against eczema, dandruff, fungus, and other skin maladies. Unlike many other essential oils, it’s non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores. Additionally, it’s anti-fungal and antiviral, so it works for other issues too, like athlete’s foot and cold sores.
Tea tree oil is safe, inexpensive, and effective against mild breakouts, thanks to antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. While it’s probably not a replacement for high-quality facial treatments, it can be a great tool when those aren’t available, or in addition to your beauty regimen. If you’re looking for high-quality products that contain tea tree oil, or a daily regimen using tea tree oil as a featured ingredient, check out the steps below, curated by our estheticians:
- Clean your skin with a Marine Volcanic Mud Cleanser. Organic tea tree oil in this cleanser heals problematic, acne-prone skin while reducing inflammation.
- Apply our Azelaic Toner with organic tea tree oil, which works in combination with salicylic and azelaic acids to heal breakouts overnight.
- Use Marine Moisture Gel. This weightless product does not contain tea tree oil, but it’s a hydrating addition to your acne routine.
- If you want to use a mask, try our Black Mud Nourishing Mask, perfect for oily or acne-prone skin. Try adding 1 drop of pure tea tree oil to the mask! Leave on your face for 10-12 min.
BelleCôte’s Esthetician Travel tip: When you’re traveling in an area with less than ideal water or air quality, your skin can react. Place pure tea tree oil straight on your pimple with a q-tip - it will be much better in an hour.