Can Your Acne-prone Skin Benefit From Tea Tree Oil? We Investigate


Can Your Acne-prone Skin Benefit From Tea Tree Oil? We Investigate

By Shammi Mondal


Tea tree oil has been one of those quiet, steadfast skincare ingredients that has been crucial in our fight against raging acne breakouts. It’s not flashy like acids or retinol, but a staple that skincare lovers have come to rely on over the years. So if you’re thinking about adding an acne-fighting ingredient to your skincare routine and want to know how tea tree oil benefits your skin, keep reading.


What is tea tree oil?  

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the melaleuca alternifolia tree that is native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. The essential oil has many compounds, one of them is terpinen-4-ol, which has anti-microbial properties and vigorously fights against bacterial infections. Tea tree oil is also rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a solid choice for your skin.


A little backstory on tea tree oil  

Tea tree oil has been used for centuries for its noteworthy skincare benefits. That's right, this powerful essential oil has been a go-to remedy for everything from acne to insect bites.


It initially wasssed as an insect repellent by the indigenous people of Australia for thousands of years. It wasn't until the 1920s that the oil was finally recognized for its medicinal properties and got used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.


Fast forward to today, tea tree oil is found in several skincare products. Its ability to fight off bacteria and soothe inflammation makes it a must-have for anyone looking to keep their skin clear and healthy.

How does tea tree oil benefit your skin?  

Tea tree oil is a skincare superhero and offers a natural remedy for a variety of skin concerns, here are the noteworthy benefits of tea tree oil.


  1. Kills bacteria: Acne is caused by a bacteria called p.acnes and tea tree oil’s anti-microbial properties can efficiently tackle staphylococcus aureus and p.acnes: the bacteria that causes painful sores and acne. The presence of the active ingredient terpinen-4-ol effectively kills acne-causing bacteria. Infact, research published in 2020 in the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences further confirmed the acne-erasing trait of tea tree oil.

  2. Reduces inflammation: Tea tree oil not only feels cooling, but also has a healing effect on your skin. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the essential oil calms sunburnt skin. It also is exceptional in healing inflamed acne and skin conditions, like psoriasis.

  3. Heals wounds and cuts: You can be a pro at shaving, but razor burns and cuts can happen to anyone, and tea tree oil is a champion at healing those cuts and shielding them from germs. The essential oil also helps in healing bigger wounds, thanks to its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties that trigger the activity of white blood cells to fasten up the healing process.

Read more: Know more about the herbal acne fighting active ingredient

How should you use tea tree oil?  

Tea tree oil is great for the skin, especially if you have acne-prone or oily skin. However, the oil can be used on all skin types, but you must apply it the right way to prevent further damage. Here are ways in which you can successfully include tea tree oil into your skin care routine.


1. Tea tree oil face wash FTW

If your skin is not familiar with the ingredient, we recommend you start with a tea tree oil-based face wash for your skin. The right concentration in your face cleanser will not only keep your pores clean, but also help your skin get accustomed to the ingredient.

2. Pick a tea tree oil spot treatment

If you’re troubled by sudden outbreaks of zits and want a fast remedy, count on a tea tree oil spot treatment. Its anti-inflammatory properties will efficiently reduce the size of the bump and help dry down the pimple faster. Dot the treatment on active flare-ups to see it subside and eventually go away.

3. Go strong with tea tree essential oil

If your skin is accustomed to tea tree oil-rich skincare, and you want something potent, try the essential oil. Tea tree essential oil can be applied to the skin in several ways. 

  • Apply it directly on your blemishes with a cotton swab to reduce the redness and heal it over time.
  • If you have sensitive skin, mix two drops of tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil, and apply it evenly on your face or dot it on your pimples.
  • Mix a few drops of it with your moisturiser to spread onto wider areas to make the most of it. It’s best to consult your dermatologist before you try this out.

Other ways to reap the benefits of tea tree oil 

If you thought tea tree oil could only be used for your skin concerns, you’re missing out on its multifunctional benefits. The versatile ingredient can be effectively incorporated into your body care and hygiene routine.


1. Tea tree oil as a natural deodorant

Our hot and humid climate causes a lot of perspiration. Now, sweat has no odour, but when it comes in contact with bacteria, it gives rise to body odour. Tea tree’s anti-bacterial property helps control odour by reducing bacterial growth. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with your body lotion and lightly dab it under your arms to cut down on body odour.


2. Natural sanitizer with tea tree oil

The anti-bacterial traits of tea tree oil highly benefit your hygiene routine as well. It eliminates several bacteria like e.coli, s. pneumoniae and H.influenzae that cause UTI, pneumonia, and other illnesses. If rubbing alcohol-based sanitizers are making your hands dry, mix a dollop of aloe vera gel with 5-7 drops of tea tree oil, to make a hydrating and effective hand sanitizer


Your Tea tree oil 101


Q. Can you use tea tree oil directly on your skin? 

A. Yes, you can apply tea tree oil on your skin directly if your skin is accustomed to its potency. However, it is recommended that you begin applying tea tree oil to your face by diluting it with other carrier oils. If you have sensitive skin, tea tree oil can be harsh on your skin. Always consult your dermatologist before trying this.


Q. Will tea tree oil benefit my acne spots? 

A. Yes, applying tea tree oil on your blemishes will help heal them and prevent them from turning into dark spots.


Q. What carrier oil can I mix with tea tree oil for skincare?

A. Tea tree oil can be mixed with several carrier oils, like almond oil for oily skin, while mixing it with olive oil and jojoba oil work best for dry skin types.