My mom often kept tea tree oil around the house growing up and while I saw it, I never used it or quite understood its amazing properties. More than anything, I really recall its distinctive smell. But ironically in the past few years I have seen an exponential rise in the commercial advertisement and marketing of tea tree based products.
After a bad onset of adult acne, I found myself trying a plethora of products and eventually came across a tea tree based product line. The acne I was experiencing was cystic in nature and led to scarring and very bad hyperpigmentation. This became a vicious cycle because my zits were trapped under the skin and non-productive, so when I tried to pop the bumps nothing would come out (I’m a picker :/) but of course the bump would then balloon in size which in turn led me to picking with it even more because I now looked other worldly smh.
So after treating my acne with tea tree oil, I found that the bumps would quickly (overnight) reduce in size as well as begin to come to a head. For obvious reasons this became my fast-acting “go to” and secret weapon for breakouts and blemishes. In addition, the versatility of tea tree oil is quite impressive and is great for not only acne but also any type of rise or swelling from hair bumps to bruises.
However, not all products are made equally and strength or concentration of tea tree oil can vary based on products/ brand. So much so that the American Botanical Council recently released an adulterant bulletin addressing issues such as the mislabeling of tea tree oil, especially in regard to eucalyptus oils and other Melaleuca species that aren’t recognized as standard forms. (See link below to read article).
Overall I think the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil make this an ideal use for breakouts, spot correcting and various other types of issues. However, in my experience daily use of some of the tea tree-based products (face wash, toners, mask etc.) can dry your skin out.
For those with mild to moderate oily skin, I would recommend limiting use to a couple times a week.
For those with oily skin, I would recommend limiting use to 2-3 times a week. Despite having oily skin; you stand the chance of increasing oil production if you dry your skin out too much or don’t have a well-rounded moisturizer/ regimen to offset it with.
Lastly, everyone’s skin is different and factors such as diet, hydration etc. contribute to your response. Thus, my ultimate advice is to for you to find your balance and do what works for you.
See below to learn more about the amazing tea tree plant:
The tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia) is an evergreen shrub or small tree native to Australia.
Tea tree leaves and stems are collected and oil is harvested through steam distillation
*topical- face wash, toners, moisturizers, mask, oil, lotion etc.
*oil can easily be added to your own concoction or regimen
*acne- bumps, blemishes, breakout
*puffy under eyes