Natural Tea Tree Oil for Acne: Treatment and Skin Care

Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Aboriginal Australians have been using tea tree oil, derived from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, as traditional medicine for centuries. Today, it is popularly use for promoting healthy skin and various other purposes. One of the most well-known benefits of tea tree oil is its natural antibacterial properties, making it an excellent alternative to harsh synthetic chemicals for treating acne. 

But how effective is tea tree oil for acne breakouts? In this article, we will explore the possible benefits of tea tree oil for acne, its drawbacks, and side effects, the best ways to use it, and other uses for this versatile essential oil. 

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Although small studies have shown some potential acne-fighting abilities of this oil. Its true effect on acne is still unclear. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence supports its use as a natural and alternative treatment for acne. 

With this in mind, this article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on tea tree oil as a possible remedy for acne breakouts. While also highlighting the importance of taking safety precautions when using it. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of whether tea tree oil is a suitable option for your skincare routine.

Possible Acne Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Some experts believe that tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may help fight the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that cause acne breakouts. However, the actual effectiveness of this oil on acne remains unclear. As per a 2015 Cochrane research review that highlighted the limited number of studies conducted on this topic. 

One noteworthy study mentioned in the review was a 2007 study that showed that using 5% tea tree oil was more effective in treating mild to moderate acne than a placebo. Researchers found that those who treated their acne with tea tree gel had a 3.55-fold reduction in the number of pimples and a 5.75-fold decrease in pimple severity.

A group of participants with acne applied tea tree oil products to their faces twice a day for 12 weeks in a small study. At the end of the study, researchers concluded that using tea tree oil products had significantly improved mild to moderate acne. They also found that the treatments were well tolerated.

What Does The Research Say

According to a 2015 review that examined 35 studies on complementary treatments for acne. There is some evidence to support the use of tea tree oil for acne. However, the evidence’s quality is not the best, and it’s uncertain how effective tea tree oil is for treating acne.

A 2006 study found that tea tree oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This may help with treating inflammatory acne lesions like pimples.

Another study conducted in 2016 investigated the use of a combination of tea tree oil and resveratrol to protect the skin from sun damage. Researchers discovered during their study that most participants had less oil and bacteria on their skin. As well as smaller pores, which could have a positive impact on acne. Even though the primary focus of the study was not on acne treatment.

Researchers in a 2017 study instructed participants to apply tea tree oil to their face twice daily for 12 weeks. After the study concluded, they determined that tea tree oil can “significantly improve” mild to moderate acne without causing any severe side effects. However, it’s important to note that this study only had 14 participants. And didn’t follow other research quality standards.

In a 2018 study, researchers found that combining aloe vera, propolis, and tea tree oil can also improve acne.

Overall, the research suggests that tea tree oil may help improve acne, but it’s not a guaranteed cure. Researchers need to conduct further studies to determine the effectiveness of tea tree oil and to develop appropriate guidelines for its use.

How To Apply Tea Tree Oil

Experts explain how to use tea tree oil as a spot treatment for acne. It includes steps for using tea tree oil safely, making a homemade spot treatment, and applying the oil to the affected area.

To avoid applying unknown chemicals to the skin, it’s important to purchase 100% pure tea tree oil. Once you’ve washed and dried the affected area. Apply a small amount of the oil directly to the pimples. 

Before applying tea tree oil to the skin, it is advisable to test it on a small, healthy spot of skin to avoid irritation or dryness. In case undiluted tea tree oil is too harsh. It can be mixed with aloe vera gel, water, or a neutral oil like coconut or olive oil to make a homemade spot treatment. Mixing tea tree oil with raw, organic honey can also result in a nice mask or paste.

Leave the oil on the skin for a few hours or overnight after application. To allow it to penetrate the skin and achieve its effects. Daily use of the treatment may help to reduce active pimples and any remaining redness. In addition to spot treatments, tea tree oil can be incorporated into homemade face masks and scrubs for acne-fighting benefits. For instance, one can add a few drops of tea tree oil to green clay powder and water to make a face mask that can be left on for at least 20 minutes. 

A face scrub can also be created by blending tea tree oil with plain yogurt or other natural ingredients like jojoba oil and finely chopped tomato. It should be noted that appropriate usage guidelines are yet to be established and testing the oil on a small healthy spot of skin before use is recommended. 

If the undiluted tea tree oil proves too harsh, one can mix it with aloe vera gel, water, or a neutral oil such as coconut or olive oil to create a homemade spot treatment. Tea tree oil can also be blended with raw, organic honey to make a nice mask or paste.

Overall, the text provides clear instructions for using tea tree oil as a spot treatment for acne and highlights the importance of using 100% pure tea tree oil and testing the oil on a small part of the skin first. It also suggests various ways to incorporate tea tree oil into homemade face masks and scrubs for acne-fighting benefits.

Tea Tree Oil Is Not Good For Sensitive Skin

Experts advise that individuals with sensitive or eczema-prone skin should avoid using tea tree oil as it may cause irritation or even true allergic eczema. 

Tea tree oil can be a gentler option than benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. However, if you have finicky skin. It is important to consult a dermatologist before using tea tree oil. 

The dermatologist will evaluate your skin and provide their approval before using it. The last thing you want is to develop a breakout and a nasty rash from using tea tree oil without proper guidance.

How Often Should You Use It?

Experts recommend using tea tree oil regularly as part of an acne treatment regimen to achieve optimal results. 

After performing a patch test to ensure the safety of using diluted tea tree oil on your skin. You can apply the oil twice a day to the affected area as part of your morning and evening skincare routine. 

It is important to note that consistency is key when it comes to using acne treatments, including tea tree oil. Therefore, incorporating it into your daily skincare routine can help in effectively managing acne.

Drawbacks and Side Effects

Tea tree oil is not a magic cure for acne. And it’s not as effective as some other acne treatment medications available today. Although tea tree oil shows promise as an antimicrobial. It doesn’t address the multiple factors that cause acne breakouts. Such as the abnormal desquamation process that occurs in acne-prone skin or over-active sebaceous glands. Therefore, tea tree oil is not a comprehensive solution for acne treatment.

It’s important to note that natural treatments, like tea tree oil, are not completely benign. The skin, particularly on the face, may become irritated by tea tree oil. Some people may even develop contact dermatitis, which is a raised, itchy rash. The symptoms of contact dermatitis may include redness, soreness, inflammation, blisters, burning, and dry, cracked skin.

Furthermore, tea tree oil can be toxic if swallowed. If ingested, it can lead to serious symptoms such as confusion. Loss of coordination in the body, breathing problems, and coma. It’s also unclear whether tea tree oil is safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Safety Tips

Tea tree oil is a safe option for topical use on the skin, but it should not be ingested. Ingesting tea tree oil can result in serious symptoms, such as confusion and ataxia, which is a loss of muscle coordination. Additionally, getting tea tree oil in your eyes can cause redness and your morning and evening routine for skincare.

If properly diluted, tea tree oil can be use on the skin by most individuals without significant issues. However, some individuals may experience an allergic skin reaction or skin irritation in the area where the oil was applied. Therefore, it’s important to perform a patch test on a small portion of your skin before applying diluted tea tree oil to your face. If you notice any itching, redness, swelling, or irritation, stop using the oil right away.


Tea tree oil is not a miracle cure for acne as it may not be as effective as other available treatments. Bacteria are not the only cause of acne, despite the potential of tea tree oil as an antimicrobial agent. Abnormal desquamation process and over-active sebaceous glands are also factors that cause acne breakouts, which tea tree oil cannot treat. 

Additionally, natural treatments such as tea tree oil can cause skin irritation. Especially on the delicate skin of the face. People with sensitive or eczema-prone skin should avoid using tea tree oil, as it can cause irritation or allergic eczema. It is essential to consult a dermatologist before using tea tree oil, especially if you have finicky skin. The dermatologist will evaluate your skin and provide approval before use to avoid developing a breakout and a nasty rash.

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Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh is a content writer with a passion for both reading books and writing about health and lifestyle-based information. He has a deep understanding of the latest health trends and he is knowledgeable about a variety of lifestyle topics. He uses this knowledge to craft engaging and informative content that provides real value to the readers. His style is approachable and he strives to make complex health and wellness information accessible to everyone. For more info, you can visit his linkedIn profile.