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Tea Tree Oil For Acne: Does It Help?

Tea Tree Oil For Acne: Does It Help?

Let's face it. Tea tree oil for acne, when compared to acne heavy-hitters such as retinol and benzoyl peroxide, may sound like some of those hippie-dippie backstreet skincare treatment methods that hardly work. Right? But this couldn't be any further from the truth. You see, tea tree oil acne remedies have been giving those 'tried-and-true' skincare ingredients a run for their money for eons now. While it may not be as ubiquitous in almost all acne treatments like its more mainstream counterparts, there's no refuting that using pure tea tree oil for acne packs quite a sizable punch, despite being a tad gentler on sensitive skin.

The practice of using 100 tea tree oil for acne harks back several generations now. The current tea tree oil for breakouts owes its highly-acclaimed medicinal properties to its natural antiseptic elements. More specifically, its roots as a formidable acne-fighter can be traced back to the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia, an Australian indigenous tree that native Aboriginals relied on for their traditional medicinal needs. But does tea tree oil work for acne? Does it aggravate or is it helpful in the grand scheme of things? Let's pan and zoom our cameras on the alleged tea tree oil benefits for acne and how they can help you reach your skincare goals.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Acne

If you're wondering how does tea tree oil help acne, you'll be surprised by the numerous benefits that this natural antiseptic can unleash to your inflamed skin to help with breakouts. Here's a quick outline of that.

Inhibits the Activity of Acne-causing Bacteria

There's a reason tea tree oil has been used for centuries across different civilizations as a nature-given antiseptic to help with the dressing on wounds. Even with the absence of modern science, the antibacterial properties of tree tea oil were omnipresent enough to raise the eyebrows of our ancestors.

tree tea oil in a jar


The nexus between tea tree oil's impressive antiseptic abilities and acne comes about when you consider that breakouts are chiefly precipitated by a certain strain of bacteria that thrives on our skin. Experts believe that there are more than 100 beneficial components in this oil, and one of the most important ones (Terpinen-4-ol) is a known blemish-buster. The component's antimicrobial properties can slow down the progression and multiplication of p.acnes, thereby lowering the chances of it reaching a level where it can colonize the skin pores long enough to cause the inflamed and red spots that we associate with a nasty breakout.

It’s Anti-inflammatory in Nature

One of the reasons tree tea oil was a highly-acclaimed pimple-reducer even in the folk medicine era is due to its relentless anti-inflammatory nature. There's plenty of anecdotal and observational evidence that shows how it can stomp the brakes on the typical inflammatory cascades that trigger redness and inflammation. If not for anything else, this is a significant benefit for acne-troubled skin since it makes the angry-looking zits and sores less conspicuous. Which, of course, means that you're also likely to be less self-conscious about the havoc that acne is wreaking on your complexion.

It Works for a Broad Range of Acne

The reason tea tree oil benefits for acne are irrefutable even in the advent of modern science is mainly that it has proven to be effective against a broad array of acne types. It is, for instance, as effective against comedonal acne as it is against inflammatory acne. Comedonal breakouts, for those who may not be familiar with the term, are smaller blemishes such as whiteheads and blackheads. Inflammatory acne, on the other hand, are the red, conspicuous and angry-looking pimples.

how to use tea tree oil on face for acne

As you would expect, tree tea oil's natural anti-inflammatory effects make it better suited to deal with moderate to mild acne cases than the more severe ones. However, this does not mean that it is totally ineffective against severe acne as it can also lessen the severity of the lesions. Of course, when compared head-to-head against other conventional antibacterial acne-busters such as benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil appears to be a bit slower in addressing inflammatory and comedonal acne. On the brighter side, however, being 100% natural means that tea tree oil has fewer and less punitive side effects. As such, it can be deployed against breakouts in a wider variety of different skin types, unlike other acne-fighting ingredients.

It's Moisturizing as Much as it Works Against Acne

Tree tea oil might be a sworn enemy of acne but that does not keep it from being a moisturizer and a skin-nourisher. If anything, this is what separates it from ordinary topical treatments such as retinoids and benzoyl peroxide which are not for their characteristic skin-drying properties. In a way, apart from not having to worry about side effects like irritation and perpetual dryness haunting your acne treatment regimen, tea tree oil can also double up as an emollient to go along with your makeup kit.

It Can Unclog Skin Pores

Studies show that tea tree oil skin clearing benefits stem from its unmatched ability to hydrate your skin while keeping your skin pores clear. Not just that, users have reported that it has a way of helping you achieve that dewy and elusive Instagram-filter-esque glow. The unblocked pores and reduced oiliness paired with better hydration implies that acne is less likely to trouble you when you incorporate tree tea oil into your skincare regimen.

Besides, experts believe that tea tree oil is able to penetrate deep into one skin pores and extract toxins, bacteria, grime and a slew of other impurities that would normally clog up your pores. This nature of disinfection can also contribute to lightning scars and make blemishes less conspicuous.

It Speeds up the Healing of Acne Lesions

Besides its remarkable antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is known for its legendary ability to boost the skin's healing and repair process. The extract from native australia tea tree, also known as Melaleuca oil, aids in inhibiting the proliferation of acne-triggering bacteria believed to obstruct our complexion's ability to self-repair. Tea tree oil, as you can see, can prove to be extraordinarily useful to people who are trapped in this vicious cycle instigated by acne-causing pathogens.

how to use tea tree oil for acne scars

In addition, fast healing of acne wounds implies that your complexion won't be as affected by scarring and disfigurement that is typical of breakouts. It's also far much easier to get rid of blemishes and blotches resulting from short stints of blackheads than a festering lesion that took ages to heal.

Staves off Future Breakouts

The breakout preventative effects of Melaleuca oil are well-documented. Apparently, tea tree oil can stave off future acne breakouts in people with overly sensitive skin when applied on a regular and consistent basis. Dermatologists often attribute this to tea tree oil's antibacterial effects that have a way of inhibiting the activity of acne-triggering pathogens. The idea behind is simple, really. By restricting the population of cutibacterium acnes to a certain minimum threshold, Melaleuca oil is able to make sure that the pathogens will never become strong enough to precipitate a nasty breakout. All other factors held constant, and this alone can stop pimples even before they appear.

A Formidable Antioxidant

Apart from being a legendary acne-fighter, tea tree oil contains a conglomeration of antioxidants and a collection of useful nutrients of dermatological significance. This treasure-trove plays an incredible role in combating oxidation from environmental aggressors, something that contributes immensely to keeping skin beautiful, healthy and pleasant-to-look at.

It's a Decent Exfoliator

Observation and anecdotal evidence points to tea tree oil being able (to some extent) to remove dead skin and squamous epithelial cells of the epidermis. In a way, this allows for the rejuvenation and regrowth of newer, fresher, and brighter cells in its place. What's more, this kind of revitalization is also associated with restored skin elasticity and scars becoming less conspicuous. It’s no wonder acne scar removers like AENO’s Acne Scar finisher make heavy use of it in their formulation.

does tea tree oil exfoliate

Reduces the Risk of Acne Scarring

It's no secret that acne scars normally develop in the aftermath of breakouts that took too long to heal or were severe enough to impact the underlying layers of the epidermis. The fact that using tea tree oil to address acne concerns prevents the breakouts from showing up in the first place, means that your risks of suffering scarring are significantly lessened. And with a reduced risk of scarring, you have a better chance of rocking an amazingly flawless complexion, particularly if you are usually prone to breakouts.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne?

If you are wondering how to use tea tree oil for acne, then you can rest easy because we have worked out a few tricks that you can employ to extract the most of this indeginous Australian medicinal herb. Here's how to apply tea tree oil on face.

pure tea tree oil for acne

Let's make it clear from the outset that tea tree oil can be used in many different formulations, including spot treatment creams, toners, washers, and cleansers. And depending on the formulation, experts recommend using it at least twice a day for between six and 12 weeks for best results.

Secondly, tea tree is an essential oil. As such, it is not recommended to be used without a lotion mixture or carrier oil as it is dazzlingly potent. If anything, essential oils being super concentrated are not to be applied to the skin directly without a lotion mixture (or a diluting medium) as they can trigger redness, inflammation, burning, or even irritate your skin further. So matter the state of your skin, avoid direct application of essential concentrated oil like Melaleuca oil to avoid having to deal with an unpleasant skin reaction afterward.

Having said that, if you're looking to use tea tree oil for pimples, you may want to take extra caution when diluting this essential oil to deploy it against breakouts. Be extra mindful of the ratio between essential oils and carrier oils in your topical tea tree oil pimple mixtures. Also, remember that diluting tea tree oil for zits doesn't necessarily lessen its effectiveness or potency. The dilution only creates a bigger volume of the ensuing mixture allowing just a small amount of the oil to be applied across a large surface area of your skin. You should adjust the amount of Melaleuca oil used depending on your inherent sensitivity, state of the skin, and age.

The carrier, oil in this case, includes the likes of

  • Evening primrose
  • Almond oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Rosehip oil

In light of this, let's take a quick look at the various pairings and formulations that you can use to make melaleuca oil more tolerable to your skin and more effective or helpful to handle your acne situation.

Tea Tree oil for Zits

If you're looking to use tea tree oil for zits, chances are you're a beginner who is learning to employ this ingredient to solve your skin issues. Intrinsically, this is similar to combining one drop of the oil with at least two tablespoons of a diluting carrier oil prior to using it. This keeps the oil potent enough to combat the zits while still ensuring that it's still mild enough not to exacerbate the papules and blackheads further.

Tea Tree Oil and Severe Acne

One of the legendary uses of melaleuca linariifolia oil extract is aiding the fight against severe acne lesions. It is here that its exceptional ability to speed up healing, load up antioxidants and lessen inflammation really manifests itself. Speaking of which, there are several proven formulations for making use of tea tree oil to deal with highly inflammatory acne. One of the most effective and common ones is combining salicylic acid and tea tree oil together.

tea tree oil and cystic acne

Speaking of which, salicylic acid and tea tree oil remain the best pairing of highly effective and synergistic skin care ingredients as they operate on entirely different levels. It's actually the reason top-tier anti-acne patches like these ones by AENO employ the essential oil alongside this beta-hydroxy acid. Tea tree oil, for instance, works to get rid of the acne-causing bacteria and tone down the ensuing inflammation. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, aids in the removal of surface oil, debris and dirt that can clog, block or plug your skin pores. Combining these two does not just heal your pimples but also makes it less likely for breakouts to trouble you in the future.

Tea Tree oil for Spots

As you would expect, it turns out that you can actually use tea tree oil for dark spots. In this case, 3 drops of this essential oil should be combined with not less than 2 tablespoons of suitable carrier oil of choice. This should be enough to allay the intensity of Melaleuca oil without hurting its potency.

Tea Tree oil for Whiteheads

Given its ability to deal with a broad range of skin problems, it shouldn't come as a surprise that tea tree oil can be deployed effectively against whiteheads. If anything, using tea tree oil for blemishes and whiteheads ranks as one of the applications that seasoned/experienced essential oil utilizers use to keep their complexion in excellent order. In this situation;

  • Place some yogurt in a large bowl before adding two to three drops of this essential oil.
  • Apply the yogurt and tree tea oil combination evenly on your face after mixing the two thoroughly.
  • Allow it to sit and seep into your skin pores for at least 20 minutes.
  • Wash it off with plenty of warm water.

The Takeaway

While there's no refuting that tea tree oil is indeed mother nature's gift to our complexion, a lot of its beneficial elements will only come to fruition in the presence of secondary ingredients like salicylic acid and a diluting-carrier oil. That's why it's highly advisable to work with proven formulations that have been expertly developed by seasoned creators of anti-acne medications. Besides, apart from being miles better in the fight against acne than home remedies, laboratory-developed face creams that make use of tea tree oil employ a balanced execution of ingredients making them less likely to worsen or aggravate your pimples further.

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