Tea tree oil is hands down the most effective natural remedy I’ve ever tried for acne. It’s even effective against cystic acne, those underground monster zits that hurt so bad. As someone who used to suffer from pretty terrible acne, I know how frustrating it can be to try lots of different treatments only to find that the acne comes right back after a couple weeks. I found this to be true both with conventional and natural therapies.
However, this did not occur when I started using essential oils for skin care. And since I’m obviously always in favor of using natural remedies in place of the harsh chemical stuff, that was super exciting for me.
Methods I’ve Used
Here are a few different ways you can use tea tree oil for acne:
- Mix a few drops (2-6 or so depending on the severity of the situation!) with your regular moisturizer. Avoid your eyes!
- Add a few drops to your regular cleanser. Again, be careful not to get it in your eyes!
- Mix 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of sesame or olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey and 10-ish drops of tea tree oil for a acne-fighting scrub. This is good for run of the mill breakouts, but could be a little too harsh for cystic acne. Tea tree oil and honey are even natural preservatives so you can keep this in a jar right in your medicine cabinet.
- For acne on your body, you can add tea tree oil to your bath.
- Add 5 drops of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of plain yogurt and apply as a mask. Rinse with cool water after 15-20 minutes. This is my fave! <3
- Make an acne-fighting facial serum (learn how here). You can also buy the one I make in my Etsy shop!
How Tea Tree Oil Works
Tea tree oil (also called Melaleuca oil) has powerful antibacterial (and even antifungal and antiviral!) properties and is effective against MRSA, which is a strain of bacteria that has developed resistance to some man-made antibiotics. So it’s a natural product that can fight the spread of yucky sick germs. Its properties also make it useful in fighting acne. My skin is really fussy, but tea tree oil never fails to whip it into shape when I break out.
What Brand of Tea Tree Oil Should I Use?
I’ve purchased some essential oils that ended up not being pure. It’s really annoying! Two brands that I have come to trust are:
- Aura Cacia – Love them! You can also buy bulk tea tree oil from Abe’s Market by clicking here. This is the most cost effective option, especially if you love using essential oils for many different purposes like me, and it’s not as pricey as you’d think when you consider how much acne skincare stuff can cost sometimes.
- Eden’s Garden – This is the first brand I EVER used and after experimenting quite a bit, Istill like it. I haven’t tried all their oils, but I can vouch for the Tea Tree Oil. Buy their oils from Amazon for the best deal. (Update 3/15/2014: It looks like there is even a 2-for-1 promo going on – no idea how long that will be available, but click through to see if it’s still active!)
- Mountain Rose Herbs: The quality of everything I’ve gotten from MRH is unmatched. I highly recommend them for everything from essential oils to straight herbs and other natural products. They have everything you could possibly need for natural care products whether you want them premade or but the ingredients to make your own. MRH is by far my favorite source.
It’s best to dilute tea tree oil with water or a carrier oil or water before using it to treat rashes, cuts or acne. Additionally, sensitive skin or not, it is possible to overdose with external use. Tea tree oil should be used sparingly no matter what the application is.