Essential oils are a great tool for a variety of different things. Whether you’re looking for non-toxic cleaning solutions or trying to relieve an ailment like anxiety or pain, these oils have healing properties that can be a huge help. And now, to add to that list, we’re here to tell you that you can use fresh-smelling tea tree oil for skin woes like acne, eczema, dandruff, and more!
Tea Tree Oil for Skin — How it Works
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree (also called the tea tree), and it’s been used as a complementary therapy in wound-healing, burn care, and dental care for years. The main active compound in tea tree oil is called terpinen, and it’s known for killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi — making the oil super useful for so many health and household purposes (try making our DIY essential oil toilet bowl cleaner!).
Among its many impressive health benefits, tea tree oil has specifically proven to be a great addition to your skincare routine, particularly if you suffer from ailments that are aggravated or caused by bacterial or fungal buildup. However, before using tea tree oil for skin, always be sure to perform a patch test of your tea tree oil solution beforehand to check for any adverse reactions. We love this organic tea tree oil from Mary Tylor Naturals (buy on Amazon, $16.95).
Tea Tree Oil for Acne
If you have acne anywhere on the body, it could be because bacteria from sweat or oil on your skin have built up, causing your skin to become inflamed and pimples to form. Tea tree oil, as a natural antiseptic and antimicrobial, helps to combat that build up to heal — and even prevent — stubborn breakouts. Not only that, but it’s also a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can reduce redness and swelling! To use tea tree oil for acne, make your own spot-treatment by diluting two drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of your choice of carrier oil, like jojoba oil. You can also add three to five drops of tea tree oil to three ounces of witch hazel in a bottle to make your own toner, and apply it once a day to prevent future breakouts.
Tea Tree Oil for Eczema
Tea tree oil is helpful for skin conditions like eczema. In fact, it’s been shown to be more effective than some prescribed eczema treatments like zinc oxide and clobetasone butyrate creams! Again, this is probably because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. You can use the same solution mentioned above, combining three drops tea tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba twice daily. (Click through to see how tea tree oil can cure athlete’s foot, too.)
Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
And last but not least, tea tree oil can also be used to treat pesky scalp conditions like dandruff. Dandruff causes a buildup of dry skin and flaky patches on the scalp, and it can be quite itchy and uncomfortable, not to mention, unsightly. Applying tea tree oil to the scalp can help relieve the itch, soothe away any inflammation, and combat the dry skin.
To use tea tree oil on your scalp, make a “scalp mask” with five drops of tea tree oil and one to two tablespoons of carrier oil, and apply your mixture directly onto your scalp, rubbing it in gently. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before washing your hair in the shower. Do this treatment at least twice per week for best results. You can also put a few drops of tea tree oil into your shampoo and wash with the mixture, or try a shampoo and conditioner duo that already has tea tree oil in it! We’re huge fans of this one from Avalon Organics (buy on Amazon, $12.07 for the shampoo, $18.47 for the conditioner).
Here’s to healthier, happier skin!