Properties and Uses of Tea Tree Oil.
Tea Tree essential oil is being prepared by distilling the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is a tree native to Australia. People in Australia have been using this oil for the last 100 years and a number of medical studies exist confirming various benefits of Tea Tree Oil. Unlike some oils, Tea Tree Oil can’t be used internally since it can be poisonous (if larger quantities are being swallowed). Due to this it is only possible to use this essential oil topically or aromatically. It can be said that Tea Tree Oil is one of the most valued essential oils since it contains compounds that have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-fungal features.
Since it has many beneficial properties, Tea Tree Oil is being used for various different purposes related to health. Some of the most common uses include treating acne, cold sores, fungal infections, bacterial infections, fighting bead breath, healing insect bites and sunburns and more. While Tea Tree Oil is probably one of the most researched essential oils from all, not all uses of Tea Tree Oil are backed up by scientific studies. Despite of that many people who try this essential oil tend to get positive results, which further increases popularity of Tea Tree Oil as a natural remedy to treat various different ailments.
Does Tea Tree Oil help Acne?
It is worthwhile to consider Tea Tree Oil for treatment of acne because this essential oil has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial compounds. When it is applied on the skin Tea Tree Oil can work effectively against bacteria that is responsible for acne breakouts. It can help to unblock sebaceous glands and disinfect them, which in turn will minimize occurrences of breakouts. Due to these properties and features Tea Tree Oil extract is a common component in various skin related products – washes, creams, shampoos and etc. Tea Tree Oil can also work well as a solvent and it can remove grease and dust from the skin, which in turn can help to protect the skin. So if you are looking for a natural acne treatment, Tea Tree Oil can definitely be a great choice essential oil.
Since Tea Tree Oil is one of the most frequently used essential oils for acne treatment, its efficiency was also tested in a couple of different studies to investigate if it actually works for this skin condition. Findings of one study suggest that Tea Tree Oil in concentration of 5% is effective treatment for moderate and mild acne. This particular study was double-blind and there were a total of 60 participants in it. Also based on results of this test Tea Tree Oil was 3.55-5.75 times more effective when compared to placebo. Also participants in this study didn’t experience any severe side effects, which is a good indication that most individuals can use Tea Tree Oil safely to treat acne.
The main aim of another study was to compare effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil with Benzoyl Peroxide. For Tea Tree Oil concentration of 5% gel was used and for Benzoyl Peroxide – 5% lotion. This clinical trial was single-blind and it included a total of 124 participants. Findings of this study suggest that both of these topical solutions provide positive results in terms of acne treatment. Participants in the study who used Benzoyl Peroxide and Tea Tree Oil had significantly less lesions (both inflamed and non-inflamed). Findings of the same study showed that Tea Tree Oil worked slower when compared with Benzoyl Peroxide; although participants who used Tea Tree Oil also experienced fewer side effects too.
When considering trying Tea Tree Oil for acne treatment it is important to keep in mind that these studies tested slightly stronger concentration of this essential oil. While most brands selling this oil state that it is 100% pure, it actually means that there is only small part of Tea Tree Oil (only ~3%) in it and the rest is some carrier oil. What it basically means is that you might not get as significant results as these studies suggest simply because you are using slightly lighter concentration of Tea Tree Oil.
How to use it for Acne?
Prior to trying Tea Tree Oil for Acne many sources suggest to do a patch test on the skin. This can help to determine if your skin is not too sensitive to Tea Tree Oil in full strength. To perform this test all you have to do is apply 2-3 drops of this essential oil on the inside of forearm by using a cotton swab. If you don’t notice any burning or redness within a couple of hours you can safely use Tea Tree Oil in full strength. In case any of these mentioned symptoms are visible it might be a good idea to dilute Tea Tree Oil with some warm water. To reduce the strength of this essential oil by half you should mix equal amounts of this essential oil and warm water.
There are various different methods how Tea Tree Oil can be used for acne treatment or prevention. One of the simplest ways to use this essential oil would be to apply a few drops of it directly on spots or acne areas. Rinsing off is not necessary after application. For application it is very convenient to use either cotton swab or pad and also make sure that your skin is dry and clean prior to application. For this particular method it is also important to make sure that you are using 100% pure Tea Tree Oil since other types might work less effectively.
The other method how it is possible to benefit from this essential oil would be to add a few drops of it into your regular moisturizer and cleanser. Depending on how strong you want it to be, you can add between 2-6 drops. It is also important to mention that during the use of cleanser and moisturizer with Tea Tree Oil you should try to avoid any contact with your eyes.
The other quite commonly prepared home remedy for acne treatment is face wash with Tea Tree Oil and raw honey. In order to make this face wash you will need two teaspoons of raw honey and a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. After mixing these two components, rub it on your face and leave it for up to one minute. After that simply rinse it off with warm water.
One more component that Tea Tree Oil can be mixed with to provide effective acne treatment is Aloe Vera Gel. In order to try this method you will need a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and one teaspoon of Aloe Vera Gel. After mixing two of these components apply mixture on skin area (affected by acne) by using a cotton swab. In the next step wait until the solution will soak in & dry and wash it off with water. Afterwards it might be a good idea to apply your regular moisturizer in order to avoid drying of the skin.
For people who experience acne on other parts of the body like back, chest and etc. Tea Tree Oil can be quite useful too. A good way to benefit from this essential oil would be to make a bath with Tea Tree Oil. In order to do that simply add around 8-12 drops of Tea Tree Oil to your bath and stir the water. When repeated regularly this natural home remedy can help to get rid of pimples from chest, shoulders and back.