“Got a pimple? Kill it with Benzoy Peroxide.”
“No, no, no, that’s too harsh! Use Salicylic Acid, instead”
“Forget about it, Sulfur works faster.”
“Hey, guys, what about Tea Tree Oil?”
Poor Tea Tree Oil. It knows it’s up to the job, but no one takes it seriously. Here’s what makes tea tree oil an effective acne treatment:
What The Heck Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea Tree Oil is a slightly yellow liquid derived from the Australian plant melaleuca alternifolia. The Aborigines have been using it for millennia for its antiseptic and anti fungal properties. Now, it seems scientists are waking up to the fact it’s an effective acne treatment, too.
Is Tea Tree Oil An Effective Acne Treatment?
Yep. Tea Tree Oil is an antimicrobial agent that kills P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. Plus, it reduces inflammation. Guess what acne is? An inflammatory disease.
A 1990 study compared a 5% Tea Tree Oil gel and a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide lotion for the treatment of acne. The results? Both worked but:
- Tea Tree Oil was slower than BP at treating acne
- Tea Tree Oil had fewer side effects than BP
Benzoyl Peroxide does the job so well because it’s harsh. I get it that acne is an awful disease that makes you feel ugly and robs you of your self esteem. You want something that works, and FAST, too.
But if it’s leaving you with dry, red, peeling patches of skin, don’t you think it’s worth it to try something that cures your acne more slowly but is gentler? I personally think it’s a good trade off. 🙂
Does Tea Tree Oil Has Any Side Effects?
Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that Tea Tree Oil has no side effects.
Tea Tree Oil has a strong fragrance that can irritate (and even cause allergies) in some people. If that happens, stop using it immediately.
But, usually, fewer people react negatively to Tea Tree Oil than Benzoyl Peroxide. If BP is too harsh for you or you want to try a natural alternative first, Tea Tree Oil is the way to go.
Most Skincare Products With Tea Tree Oil Don’t Work
Before you go out and stock up on skincare products with Tea Tree Oil, hear this: most of them DON’T work.
Tea Tree Oil must be used in concentrations of 5% or greater to treat acne. Most skincare products only put a few drops of it in their products. Enough to trick you to buy them. Not enough for them to do anything.
You’re much better off buying pure Tea Tree Oil and diluting it (do NOT put it on your skin as is!).
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a natural anti acne treatment, turn to Tea Tree Oil. Just make sure you’re using enough of it to do the trick!
Have you ever used Tea Tree Oil as a treatment for acne or blemishes? Share your experience in the comments below.