Tea Tree essential oil is the natural skincare powerhouse you’ve been searching for. Its natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties can help reduce redness, clear away acne and promote glowing skin. Recent research has also found Tea Tree to be effective at helping to relieve skin inflammation like eczema and psoriasis.
Also known as Melaleuca oil, Tea Tree essential oil is derived through steam distillation from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. The highest quality Tea Tree is grown in its native home of eastern Australia. Always make sure you’re only using 100% pure Tea Tree essential oil. Fragrances and diluted products will not have the same wondrous effects.
Renowned among the Aboriginal tribes Down Under, Tea Tree has been used for centuries to encourage wound healing, reduce the appearance of scars, and soothe irritation all over the body. Because of its potency, you only need a few drops to get a natural skincare boost. Here are some of our favorite Tea Tree oil benefits for the skin.
In the U.S. alone, more than 40 million people suffer from acne. It’s the most common skin problem in the country. That’s a lot of people that may benefit from regular use of Tea Tree oil. Not only can it be a powerful tool against fighting flare-ups, but it can also prevent painful acne from forming in the first place.
In 2017, participants in a small study applied Tea Tree oil to their faces twice a day for 12 weeks to test its effectiveness. After 12 weeks, researchers concluded that applying Tea Tree “significantly improved mild to moderate acne.” By adding Tea Tree to your skincare routine, you can help balance natural sebum levels to reduce excessive oiliness and acne-causing bacteria.
One of the main constituents of Tea Tree is a compound called Terpinen-4-ol, which is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has extraordinary cleansing properties that can help ward off infection and act as a natural astringent. When added to natural toner like rosewater or witch hazel, Tea Tree helps shrink the appearance of pores for a refreshed, dewy look.
Because of its penetrative qualities, Tea Tree oil can get deeper into your skin to help unclog your pores. If you’re experiencing an oil build-up on your nose or chin, Tea Tree can help bring your skin back to a healthier state.
How to use Tea Tree for acne: To avoid irritation, always dilute Tea Tree oil with a skin-friendly carrier oil (like squalane or grapeseed) or moisturizer at 1% before applying to your face. That’s 3 drops of Tea Tree per 10 ml of carrier oil or moisturizer. If you’re applying topically to other parts of the body, you can dilute Tea Tree at 3%.
Aromawest Skincare Hack: Add 3 drops of Tea Tree to 10 ml of hyaluronic acid and apply at bedtime. This mixture rehydrates your skin, boosting collagen production while reducing discoloration and puffiness.
Redness and swelling are no match for Tea Tree’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It can be incredibly effective at helping to soothe dermatitis, athlete’s foot, eczema and psoriasis. With naturally high levels of Terpinen-4-ol, Tea Tree has been shown to reduce histamine-induced skin inflammation.
Interestingly, Tea Tree can also help prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Rich in antioxidant activity, Tea Tree can help improve the appearance of scars, age spots and blemishes. By encouraging blood flow, it can also be used as a topical treatment to help reduce the inflammation of overworked muscles.
Promotes Wound Healing
Rich in antibacterial properties, Tea Tree has been shown to enhance healing. Research suggests it can help reduce the risk of infections and the spread of bacteria. Interestingly, a 10% Tea Tree solution was found to be effective in decreasing the quantity of colonized MRSA, a type of bacteria found on the skin, and promoting the healing of chronic wounds among the elderly according to a 2014 study.
Tea Tree can also help speed up healing when compared to other methods, as reported by a small study. From the striking results of the study, researchers encouraged additional research to be conducted.
Supports Healthy Hair & Scalp
Want luscious locks and a dandruff-free hairline? Tea Tree’s anti-fungal properties work overtime to keep your hair and scalp healthy. In one clinical study, participants who added 5% of Tea Tree to their shampoo experienced a 41% reduction in dandruff in over just 4 weeks. Participants also experienced a decrease in itchiness and greasiness.
When used regularly in shampoo, Tea Tree can also help prevent buildup and spur the turnover of dead skin cells. Because it can help boost blood circulation on the scalp, Tea Tree also supports healthy hair growth. It stimulates the hair follicles and eliminates any blockages on the scalp that might be preventing moisture.
Tea Tree Shampoo DIY: Give your locks a lift with this easy DIY. Simply add 12 drops of Tea Tree to a shampoo base. Wet your hair and massage it into your scalp. Let it sit for about 30 seconds and then rinse thoroughly.
Chin, K. B., & Cordell, B. (2013). The effect of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on wound healing using a dressing model. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 19(12), 942–945. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2012.0787
Koh, K. J., Pearce, A. L., Marshman, G., Finlay-Jones, J. J., & Hart, P. H. (2002). Tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation. The British journal of dermatology, 147(6), 1212–1217. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.05034.x
Malhi, H. K., Tu, J., Riley, T. V., Kumarasinghe, S. P., & Hammer, K. A. (2017). Tea tree oil gel for mild to moderate acne; a 12 week uncontrolled, open-label phase II pilot study. The Australasian journal of dermatology, 58(3), 205–210. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajd.12465
Mazzarello, V., Donadu, M. G., Ferrari, M., Piga, G., Usai, D., Zanetti, S., & Sotgiu, M. A. (2018). Treatment of acne with a combination of propolis, tea tree oil, and Aloe vera compared to erythromycin cream: two double-blind investigations. Clinical pharmacology : advances and applications, 10, 175–181. https://doi.org/10.2147/CPAA.S180474Satchell, A. C., Saurajen, A., Bell, C., & Barnetson, R. S. (2002). Treatment of dandruff with 5% tea tree oil shampoo. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47(6), 852–855. https://doi.org/10.1067/mjd.2002.122734