Who does not dream of flawlessly glowing skin? If you too desire a radiant complexion, then essential oils can be a one-stop solution for all your skin problems. The goodness of naturally extracted essential oils nourishes your skin from within and makes it smoother than ever.
Tea tree oil is one of the highly beneficial oils for your skin. It reduces rashes, treats acne and other skin problems. In fact, tea tree oil is considered to be the miracle treatment for acne.
Here we will discuss the benefits that tea tree oil offers and unique ways to use it for your skin. Scroll down to read more about it.
What Expert Says
“Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Thus, it works great in treating acne. But never apply it directly, even if you have dry skin. Dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. People with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin may experience a little itchiness or redness after using this oil.”
Nikita Kolhe, (M.tech, Cosmetic Technology), Product Development Executive, SkinKraft
What Is Tea Tree Oil? Is It Safe For Skin?
Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree oil is an essential oil produced from steam distillation of the leaves of tea trees. Typically, these trees are found on the southeast coast of Australia. Traditionally Australian people used tea tree oil as an antiseptic and herbal medicine.
A little research has been done on the uses of tea tree oil for skin. It indicates that tea tree oil is capable of treating acne, eliminating lice, reducing mite infections and athlete’s foot. But there is no data to prove this oil’s effectiveness on insect bites. It is often used as a complementary therapy for surgery, burn care and dental care.
Most people can use tea tree oil on their skin without any issues. But Nikita Kolhe, Product Development Executive at SkinKraft suggests, “Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Thus, it works great in treating acne. But never apply it directly, even if you have dry skin. Dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil or olive oil. People with sensitive skin or acne-prone skin may experience a little itchiness or redness after using this oil.”
Benefits & How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Skin
1. Treats Acne
Tea tree oil is antibacterial in nature and has anti-inflammatory properties too. These two characteristics are majorly responsible for treating acne. First, the oil reduces the inflammation due to acne and then soothes the skin. The antibacterial element of the oil kills the acne bacteria and the skin starts recovering.
The University of Western Australia conducted a study on 18 participants to verify the effectiveness of tea tree oil on facial acne. The participants applied a pea-sized amount of tea tree oil medicated gel twice a day for 12 weeks. The condition of their acne was assessed after 4, 6 and 12 weeks. The results showed that most of the participant’s acne reduced significantly with time. Another research explains the efficacy of tea tree oil gel in treating acne vulgaris.
How To Use?
Mix three drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil of your choice. Experts advise using 2 ounces of witch hazel or a few drops of almond oil for best results. Dab a cotton ball into the mix and gently apply it to the affected areas of your skin.
2. Reduce Skin Dryness
One of the benefits of tea tree oil for skin is gaining smooth skin texture. It reduces dryness when used on a daily basis. Tea tree oil works as a soothing element for dry and irritated skin. It deeply moisturizes your skin and reduces flakiness. It is highly effective in controlling dandruff as well.
How To Use?
Make a mixture of 3 drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your skin daily to see significant improvement. You can also use it on your scalp and beard to avoid dandruff issues.
3. Maintains Oil Balance
Tea tree oil is highly recommended for oily skin by skin experts. It maintains the oil balance of your skin and removes the surface oil without drying out your skin. In addition, it prevents skin irritation caused by excessive oil production.
How To Use?
Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with rosehip seed oil. Mix it well and gently apply it to your skin twice a day. It will keep your skin moisturized as well as maintain the oil balance.
There is not enough scientific research to prove the effectiveness of tea tree oil in treating psoriasis. However, anecdotal sources suggest that many have benefited from its usage. However, do speak to your doctor first if you plan on using tea tree oil for treating psoriasis.
How To Use?
Dilute 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil that suits your skin. Apply it to the affected area multiple times a day.
5. Removes Skin Tags
Experts often suggest tea tree oil for skin tags. It is considered to be effective for human papillomavirus and used by doctors to treat warts.  Research shows that 12 weeks of tea tree oil application efficiently reduced warts caused by human papillomavirus.
How To Use?
Wash the skin tag area with a mild cleanser and pat it dry. Once it’s dry, mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with olive oil or coconut oil. Apply the oil mix on the skin tag and cover it with a cotton ball. Tape the cotton so that it stays in its place. Repeat the procedure thrice a day until your skin tags fall off.
6. Treats Contact Dermatitis
Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin comes in contact with an allergen. It makes your skin itchy, flaky and inflamed. Being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory at the same time, tea tree oil works great in treating contact dermatitis. The usual treatment for eczema or contact dermatitis is zinc oxide and clobetasone butyrate cream. But research has proven that tea tree oil is more effective than the mentioned cream in treating eczema-like skin conditions. 
How To Use?
Mix a few drops of the oil with your moisturizer and apply it to your skin gently. It will reduce the inflammation and flakiness of your skin. You can also use a carrier oil to dilute the tea tree essential oil.
7. Promotes Skin Whitening
You can use tea tree oil for skin whitening as well. While there is not much evidence that it can lighten your skin tone, many people have found it beneficial for reducing dark spots and tan lines. Furthermore, it promotes glowing and healthy skin.
How To Use?
Make a toner using a few drops of tea tree oil and witch hazel. Mix the two ingredients together and keep it in a bottle. Use it throughout the day several times.
8. Fights Ringworm
Tea tree oil is antifungal and experts recommend using it for skin. It is a promising treatment for ringworm. It kills the fungi that cause ringworm in your skin and improves the condition. 
How To Use?
Clean the ringworm affected skin with clean water and pat it dry with a cotton towel. Do not use the same towel on any other part of your body. It may increase the chance of contamination. Apply diluted tea tree oil directly on the affected area and let it stay. Repeat the process daily at least twice.
9. Soothes Razor Burns
Razor burns are extremely uncomfortable and give a stinging sensation. Tea tree oil soothes the skin and provides relief from the burning sensation. It can also be used as an aftershave or an after wax toner.
How To Use?
Dilute the tea tree oil with any carrier oil and apply it to the razor burned area with a cotton swab. Repeat the procedure every day till your skin is completely recovered.
10. Cures Boils
Boils on your skin usually occur due to the infections around your hair follicles. It inflames the affected area causing redness and irritation. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that fight against bacteria and cure infections.
How To Use?
Regular application of diluted tea tree oil can be very helpful. Dilute the oil with your choice of carrier oil and apply it to the boils with a fresh cotton ball.
Who Should Use Tea Tree Oil For Skin
People with dry skin or oily skin can enjoy the goodness of tea tree oil without any issues. But if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, you may feel a little irritation. In addition, pregnant women and people with any hormone-sensitive disease should avoid using tea tree oil or take a doctor’s opinion before adding it to their regular skincare routine.
It is always better to know your skin type before using this oil. Also, always do a patch test before a full application. In case you find yourself allergic to tea tree oil, it is highly recommended to avoid applying it. Also, as mentioned before, always dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin. It will reduce the chances of skin irritation.
Side Effects, Precautions & Interactions With Tea Tree Oil
According to experts, tea tree oil is safe for topical application. However, when it is applied without any dilution, it may cause skin irritation. Many people have complained about developing allergic reactions after using raw tea tree oil.
Follow the below-mentioned precautions to avoid any kind of side effects.
1. To avoid any allergic reaction, dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, rosehip seed oil etc.
2. While a topical application of tea tree oil is safe, swallowing it is the exact opposite.
3. Furthermore, it should not be used in your inner ear. Tea tree oil inside your ear can cause severe damage. 
4. Take extra care if you are using it near your eye region. Exposure to your eyes can cause severe irritation and redness.
5. Tea tree oil may interact with other drugs. So, it is essential to consult your doctor about it. However, if you are currently on any medication, talk to your doctor about using tea tree oil. A medical professional will clarify if tea tree oil will interact with your current medication. We advise you not to change or stop your medication without consulting your doctor.
Tea tree oil for skin is exceptionally useful. It treats acne, cures boils, fights against fungal infections and skin conditions like psoriasis. You can continue using tea tree essential oil even after recovering from your skin issue to avoid further recurrences. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic, never forget to do the patch test first.
Other than applying tea tree oil, you can also try over the counter products that contain this particular ingredient. However, do not completely depend on this oil if you have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Consult your doctor if your condition is not improving.
Tea Tree Oil, National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health, October 2020.
Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties, January 2006.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)-An Efficient Treatment for Warts: Two Case Reports, December 2016.
Tea tree oil attenuates experimental contact dermatitis, September 2010.
Herbal medicines for treatment of fungal infections: a systematic review of controlled clinical trials, April 2004.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)- University of Michigan Health, September 2020.
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