Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic extracted from the leaves of an indigenous Australian tree known as Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil is an excellent skin treatment option, especially for oily, acne-prone skin, which is why it is considered the best natural remedy for acne. Although the use of tea tree oil for acne has been found to be quite effective, not many know how it works.
Acne cannot take hold of a person’s skin when one of the conditions that contribute to its development is absent. The application of tea tree oil can help counteract the growth of unwanted pimples and blackheads, which is why this essential oil is especially useful in the fight against acne.
Consisting of antimicrobial compounds that help prevent microbial growth, tea tree oil contains impressive antibacterial properties known as terpenes, a type of volatile oil, that work against breakouts, effectively destroying the acne-causing bacteria
Although tea tree oil is not safe for ingestion, this essential oil is perfectly fine for topical application. In addition to this, tea tree oil is non-carcinogenic, which cannot be said about many of the chemical-rich, commercially used cures of acne. It can, therefore, be used as frequently as needed, especially when you make your own remedy.
How does tea tree oil work?
Tea tree oil for acne can work its way into skin pores, helping to disinfect the skin. This essential oil can help unblock the sebaceous glands by penetrating deep into the skin and unclogging the pores. Since acne often forms inside the pores, this is where any acne treatments have to reach.
The oily, dead skin cell plugs will repel water but not oil, which is why tea tree oil offers the perfect solution, particularly for oily, acne-prone skin. It will also destroy the acne-causing bacteria living inside the hair follicles, further reducing the likelihood of acne outbreaks. Besides treating inflammation and soothing the skin, this process of disinfection helps dry out whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples, allowing the skin to return to normal.
Tea tree oil also works as a moisturizing solvent and can be utilized as a cleanser. It removes grease and dust easily and helps protect the skin from oxidative stress. When applied, tea tree oil mixes with the skin’s natural oil, preventing the blocked pores from becoming the bacteria’s food. Without nourishment, the acne-causing bacteria won’t grow.
And finally, tea tree oil can help speed up the skin’s healing process when used. This essential oil can aid in inhibiting the growth of the harmful, acne-causing bacteria known to hinder your skin’s ability to heal. Tea tree oil can, therefore, prove useful to those trapped in a never-ending cycle of acne.
What is acne?
Acne is defined in scientific terms as a chronic inflammatory skin condition. This definition portrays acne as a progressive, long-term skin disease that your immune system reacts to in a way that creates the inflamed, pink-red spots characteristic of acne.
As an affliction of the sebum (oil) glands and hair follicles (pores), acne usually develops due to the combined occurrence of three different skin issues.
- The over-secretion of sebum or oil - Every pore in the skin holds a sebaceous gland that secretes oil, and excessive oil production is the beginning of the acne-causing cycle, which is why oily skin types are more susceptible to acne.
- Trapped dead skin inside of pores - Normally, our skin cells will shed almost completely every 30 days. But this natural process of exfoliation can be a bit slow at times. Your skin’s failure to exfoliate quickly enough will often lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells inside of pores.
- Increased levels of the acne-causing bacteria - Acne usually begins inside pores where dead skin cells and pore-clogging plugs of oil provide food for these types of bacteria.
Oily skin is the beginning of the acne-causing cycle. Unfortunately, hormonal changes can often make the skin oily, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of developing acne. This is why acne is common during puberty. It is also why women are more susceptible to acne breakouts during their menstrual cycles.
The fact that teenagers and menstruating women are not the only ones affected proves that hormonal change is not the only factor that contributes to the development of acne. In fact, acne is becoming more common in adults. Studies show that lifestyle, diet and stress can contribute to acne outbreaks.
You could be suffering from acne if your skin is plagued with inflammatory spots. Identifying these spots is not hard. Besides being rather painful, they will often cause pink-red inflammation, form a pus-filled head, and can leave brown hyperpigmentation marks when healed.
The miraculous benefits of tea tree oil
This essential oil has been used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions for a very long time and can be found in an array of cosmetic products. While it’s a known miraculous remedy for active acne breakouts, its effectiveness in treating acne scars remains unclear, however there’s no harm in trying out this remedy.
Here are 3 DIY recipes on how to use tea tree oil for acne:
- Spot treatment - Put some coconut oil in a bowl, add two or three drops of tea tree oil, and then mix it well. Use a Q-tip to apply the mixture directly onto the breakout area. Let it sit until morning before washing it off.
- Mask - Put some yogurt in a bowl and add two or three drops of tea tree oil. Once you’ve mixed it well, apply on your scars. Allow about 20 minutes before washing off.
- Mist - Mix one cup of water, a teaspoon of witch hazel and two or three drops of tea tree oil in a bowl. Pour the resulting solution into a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well before you spray it onto your skin. When you are done spraying, use your hands to rub it in.
An ounce of carrier oil is recommended for every 12 drops of essential oil. You can get the best results by using this essential oil for the entire body, applying twice daily. While the use of too much tea tree oil can often cause irritation, it can be extremely beneficial if used in the right concentrations.
Remember, acne and its scars can take as much as several days/weeks to fade. So don’t try to make your breakouts fade faster, at least not by overusing tea tree oil. This could, in the end, make any scars more noticeable.
Besides its ability to cut through dust and grease with ease, tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties. In addition to helping treat acne, tea tree oil is also known to have preventative effects on future acne outbreaks. Once you have concocted your simple DIY remedy for any breakouts, make sure that you give your face the time and energy it needs to heal and replenish.