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How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne – 9 Effective Ways

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How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne – 9 Effective Ways April 24, 2019

Is there a natural remedy for acne? As a skin care enthusiast, I am always looking out for natural remedies to improve my skin health. Tea tree oil is one of the staples in my DIY arsenal – because it can help in getting rid of acne.

If you have stubborn and cystic acne, we recommend you consult a dermatologist. But if you have mild acne, you can try tea tree oil to get rid of it. In this article, we have shared nine quick and easy ways to treat acne with tea tree oil. Scroll down.

Does Tea Tree Oil Help Acne?

Well, it depends. Tea tree oil works like magic for a few people and doesn’t work at all for a few others. It depends on the type of acne you have and, of course, your skin type.

Tea tree oil can be an effective spot treatment for mild breakouts. However, cystic and hormonal acne will require medical attention. Moreover, essential oils, especially tea tree oil, do not suit all skin types. If you are allergic to tea tree oil, your skin might react negatively to it and worsen your condition.

However, if it suits you, it can help your skin get better.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Acne: What Does Research Say?

1. It Has Antimicrobial Properties

Tea tree oil possesses antimicrobial properties due to the presence of a compound called terpinen-4-ol. It can protect your skin from harmful bacteria and prevent a lot of skin issues (1).

However, this activity of tea tree oil largely depends on how you store it. If not stored correctly, the antimicrobial activity of tea tree oil can decline. So, store it in a cool and dark place, away from moisture, light, and air.

2. It Reduces Oiliness

Excessive oiliness is an issue in people who have acne. Tea tree oil helps in reducing oiliness, thanks to its antiseptic properties.

A study involving five participants required them to use a sunscreen mixed with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil was effective in reducing oiliness in the nose area in one subject (about 42.57%) and in the cheek and forehead areas (to a certain extent) in the rest of the subjects. Only in one subject, the oiliness increased in all areas (2).

3. It Reduces Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory effect of tea tree oil is not unknown. It helps in reducing the number of inflamed acne lesions (1). It also soothes your skin by reducing the swelling.

Here are nine DIY recipes with tea tree oil that you can try at home to treat acne and reduce inflammation.

9 Ways To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

1. Pure Tea Tree Oil

Pure Tea Tree Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1-2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • A Q-tip or cotton swab
Method
  1. Dip the Q-tip or cotton swab in water.
  2. Pour a drop or two of tea tree essential oil on the Q-tip or cotton swab and apply it directly to the pimple (don’t rub, just dab).
  3. Leave it on overnight.
  4. Wash your face the next day.
  5. Repeat this once every alternate night.

Note: A mild stinging sensation is fine, but if it stings really bad, do not apply pure tea tree oil on your lesions. You can use concentrated tea tree oil.

2. Lavender Oil And Tea Tree Oil

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops lavender oil
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • 1 Q-tip
Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bottle (preferably, a dark glass bottle). Shake it well.
  2. Dip a Q-tip in the bottle and dab the oil blend on the acne. Leave it on overnight.
  3. Wash your face with a mild cleanser the next morning.
  4. Repeat once every alternate night.

3. Almond Oil And Tea Tree Oil

Almond Oil And Tea Tree Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon almond oil
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 Q-tip
Method
  1. Mix the almond and tea tree oils.
  2. Dip the Q-tip in the blend and apply it to the acne.
  3. You can either leave it on overnight or wash it off after a few hours.
  4. Use this remedy once every alternate day.

4. Tea Tree Oil And Baking Soda

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil (jojoba or almond oil)
  • Water
Method
  1. Dilute the tea tree oil with the carrier oil.
  2. Take the baking soda in a bowl and add enough water to make a paste.
  3. Add the diluted tea tree oil to this mixture and mix well.
  4. Apply the paste to the acne and let it dry.
  5. Wash it with water after 5 minutes.
  6. Repeat the treatment once every alternate day.

5. Lemon Juice And Tea Tree Oil

Lemon Juice And Tea Tree Oil Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (dilute it with water)
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 Q-tip
Method
  1. Mix the tea tree oil with the diluted lemon juice.
  2. Dip the Q-tip into the mixture and apply it gently to the acne spots.
  3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Wash with cold water.
  5. Repeat this once every alternate day.

6. Tea Tree Oil And Calamine Lotion

You Will Need
  • Calamine lotion
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
Method
  1. Pour calamine lotion on your palm. Add the tea tree oil to it and mix gently.
  2. Use your fingers to dab the oil-lotion mix on the acne lesions (don’t apply on the entire face).
  3. Massage it very gently (avoid rubbing hard). Let your skin absorb it overnight.
  4. Wash it off the next morning.
  5. Repeat this every alternate night.

7. Tea Tree Oil And Witch Hazel

Tea Tree Oil And Witch Hazel Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon witch hazel
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 Q-tip
Method
  1. Dilute the tea tree oil in the witch hazel (you may store it in a glass bottle).
  2. Dip the Q-tip into the mixture and apply directly to the acne lesion(s).
  3. Let it dry and then wash it off. You can also keep it overnight.
  4. Repeat this every alternate day or night.

8. Tea Tree Oil And Apple Cider Vinegar

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (preferably with the mother)
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 Q-tip
Method
  1. Dilute the tea tree oil in the ACV.
  2. Dip the Q-tip into the mixture and apply on the acne spots.
  3. Let it dry for 5-10 minutes and then wash it off.
  4. Repeat this once every alternate day.

9. Tea Tree Oil And Aloe Vera Gel

Tea Tree Oil And Aloe Vera Gel Pinit

Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh aloe vera gel
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • A cotton swab or Q-tip
Method
  1. Mix the tea tree oil and the aloe vera gel.
  2. Use the cotton swab or Q-tip to apply the mixture to the affected area. Let it dry.
  3. Wash it off with cold water.
  4. Repeat this once every alternate day.

Wondering why you need to use tea tree oil just on the acne spots and not on the entire face? Or why use it only once every alternate day and not daily? Well, there are certain dos and don’ts to follow while using tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is extremely strong and excellent for spot treatment. However, it does more harm than good if used incorrectly.

Potential Risks Of Tea Tree Oil

When overused, tea tree oil can:

  • Irritate your skin
  • Make it extremely dry
  • Throw your skin’s pH off balance
  • Damage the moisture repair barrier of your skin
  • Make your skin photosensitive (vulnerable to sun damage)

Hence, tea tree oil is generally used as a spot treatment. Here’s a checklist of what not to do when using tea tree oil.

What You Should Not Do While Using Tea Tree Oil

  • Never apply it all over your face. Use tea tree oil just as a spot treatment.
  • Never add tea tree oil to your face cream, serum, or any skin care product that you will use all over your face.
  • Do not cover the acne spots after dabbing tea tree oil on them.
  • Do not use tea tree oil simultaneously with other acne treatment products (especially products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other active agents).
  • Do not apply tea tree oil more than once a day. In this case, less is more!
  • Never use tea tree oil on broken, irritated, scaly, and dry skin.
  • Do not continue using tea tree oil if it burns and dries out your skin or causes redness.
  • Do not go out in the sun after applying tea tree oil.

You will find tea tree oil easily. You can buy it from the store or online. Here are a few tea tree oil brands you may check out.

Best Tea Tree Oils For Acne

You need to use tea tree oil for at least a month before you start seeing any results. If you do not notice any change in your condition after a month, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist.

Have you ever used tea tree oil for acne? Did it work for you? Do share your experience in the comments section below!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How long does it take to treat acne with tea tree oil?

If it suits your skin, it will take at least a month to show results.

How to dilute tea tree oil for acne treatment?

You can dilute it with any carrier oil, such as jojoba and almond oils.

How often to use tea tree oil on acne?

Once a day is fine. Use it every alternate day

Does tea tree oil help with acne scars?

There’s no such scientific evidence to back this up. However, tea tree oil may reduce the formation of scars by preventing acne breakouts.

References

  1. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil)..” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Development and Preliminary..” Journal of Dermatology Research and Therapy, ClinMed International Library.

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