Tea Tree Oil For Acne: The Secret To Beautiful Skin

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Acne, a common skin condition, can significantly impact one’s self-esteem. While various over-the-counter products promise quick fixes, natural remedies like tea tree oil have gained attention for their gentleness and efficacy.

This potent essential oil has gained popularity for its remarkable properties in addressing acne-related issues. Tea tree oil is a 100 percent natural antiseptic extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, an Australian indigenous tree.

For many years, they have been used in the treatment of skin conditions, including acne. It is in fact considered the best remedy for acne scars on oily skin. Although it has been used as a treatment method for many years, not many people know how it works. So, how good is tea tree oil for acne? In this article, we’ll delve into the world of tea tree oil and explore how it can become your skin’s new best friend.

Is Tea Tree Oil Effective for Acne?

person opening a small red bottle

This product is known to help ease acne, but that depends on how it is used, the type of skin, and the depth of the breakout. While it works in some people, it fails in others. It is known to be highly effective in mild acne.

If you notice the development of¬†hormonal¬†or¬†cystic acne, seek medical attention. Some skin types may react negatively to this nature’s antiseptic, worsening the condition. But this rarely happens.

People suffering from acne also wonder if tea tree oil can be used to clear acne scars. Although acne scars can affect the level of confidence significantly, they are not easy to remove.

Because of the risks involved with laser and chemical treatment, these may not be viable options. Fortunately, tea tree oil can clear the scars.

How Does Tea Tree Oil Work?

Acne forms when the skin is exposed to conditions that trigger its development. When tea tree oil is applied to the skin, the growth of Propionibacterium acne is counteracted. This acne treatment product contains antimicrobial compounds ideal for preventing microbial growth. It also consists of a volatile oil known as terpenes which contain antibacterial properties necessary for fighting breakouts.

Scientific studies[1] show that tea tree oil is packed with many benefits including terpinene-4-ol known to boost the healing process more than commercial concoctions such as benzoyl peroxide. Terpinen-4-ol offers antimicrobial properties that protect your skin from harmful bacteria.

These attributes are however impacted by your mode of storage. Storing tea tree oil poorly can lead to a decline in antimicrobial activity. Be sure to store it in a cool and dark place, away from light and moisture. More so, tea tree oil is non-carcinogenic, unlike commercial chemical-rich acne treatments.

It means you can use it as much as you like. Because it easily gets through the pores of the skin, it can be used to unblock sebaceous glands or as a disinfectant. It destroys the acne-causing bacteria residing in the hair follicles reducing the chances of the development of a breakout. The process dries out blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads. 

How to Use Tea Tree Oil

essential oil dropper bottle

If you are not reactive to skin care products, you could comfortably use tea tree oil to clear acne. It is crucial that you use it as a spot treatment and not apply it to the entire face. In its purest form, this oil can cause irritation, burning, stinging, peeling, and even dryness. 

If the breakout is clogged up in most parts, you can still apply it on the entire face to treat current acne and prevent new rashes from forming. Here are a few ways you can use tea tree oil for acne-prone skin.

  • Using Tea Tree Oil Directly, Unmixed

Ingredients will include a Q-tip or a cotton swab to spread the oil and about 1-2 drops of it. The method is as follows:

  1. Dip the Q-tip in water.

  2. Pour the recommended drops of the antiseptic on the Q-tip and spread it around the pimple.

  3. Leave it to settle and act on the skin all night and then wash it off in the morning.

  4. Repeat the process for several nights.

You might notice a mild stinging sensation. However, if the sting is unbearable quit applying it in its unmixed state.

  • Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel

You need a teaspoon of witch hazel, 2-3 drops of the natural antiseptic, and a Q-tip. The process is as follows:

  1. Dilute the natural antiseptic in witch hazel.

  2. Dip your Q-tip in the mixture and cover the pimples in it.

  3. Let it sit overnight and then wash it off in the morning.

  4. Repeat the procedure for several nights.

  • Lavender and Tea Tree Oil

You will need 2-3 drops of lavender oil, a Q-tip, a tablespoon of jojoba oil, and 2-3 drops of the natural antiseptic. Here is the procedure:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a dark container and shake well.

  2. Dip your Q-tip in the mixture and apply it directly to the pimples leaving it to settle overnight.

  3. Clean your face in the morning using a mild cleanser and repeat the process for several nights.

tea tree oil for acne with leaves

  • Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera

You will need 2-3 drops of tea tree oil, one and a half teaspoons of Aloe Vera gel, and a Q-tip. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Mix the two ingredients.

  2. Dip your Q-tip in the mixture and spread it on the rashes.

  3. Clean it off using cold water and repeat the process for several nights.

  • Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil

This combination reduces rashes, redness, and acne. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities present may treat and prevent blemishes. You will need 3-5 drops of tea tree oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a Q-tip. The process is as follows:

  1. Dilute the antiseptic oil in coconut oil.

  2. Dip the Q-tip in the mixture and spread it on the affected area of your face.

  3. Let it sit overnight and wash it off in the morning.

  4. Repeat the procedure for several nights.

Although tea tree oil in combination with other ingredients is highly effective, it can be harmful when used incorrectly. This is the reason why you should only apply it to the pimples and not the entire face.

Alternatively, you may also consider other gentler procedures such as the microdermabrasion acne procedure to weigh your options for effective treatment without putting you at risk of a painful experience.

Where to Buy Tea Tree Oil for Acne

Tea tree oils are easy to find. Any outlet selling essential oils may have it. You can also buy tea tree oil products in a beauty boutique or specialty store. Amazon is the surest place to get unique products including Keeva Tea Tree Oil for Acne Treatment, Hollywood Beauty Tea Tree Oil, and The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil.

Before making a purchase, go through the reviews of the oil on Reddit to find out what other customers think about a specific brand of essential oil. The best products are 100% pure and are of the highest quality.

While using tea tree essential oil in the wrong concentrations can cause skin irritation, it can prove highly beneficial when used correctly. It may be harmful when ingested but comes in handy for topical applications. Understand that scars and rashes can sometimes take months to disappear, so don’t try to force them out by overusing the antiseptic product.

small bottle with two flowers

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tea tree oil suitable for all skin types?

Yes, tea tree oil is generally suitable for various skin types, but it’s important to do a patch test first.

How long does it take to see results?

Results vary, but with consistent use, improvements can be observed within a few weeks.

Can I use tea tree oil undiluted?

No, undiluted tea tree oil can be too harsh. Always dilute it before applying to the skin.

Can I leave tea tree oil on overnight?

Leaving diluted tea tree oil overnight can be effective for spot treatment.

Are there any alternatives to tea tree oil for acne treatment?

Yes, alternatives like lavender oil and witch hazel can also have acne-fighting properties.

essential oil bottle laid out with white leaves and brown small plate


The utilization of tea tree oil provides a natural and effective remedy for individuals grappling with acne issues. With its proven antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, when used in conjunction with proper application methods, tea tree oil can play a pivotal role in fostering clearer and more vibrant skin.

Always bear in mind the potential for individual variations in skin reactions, underscoring the importance of attentiveness to your skin’s cues and the wisdom of seeking professional guidance when warranted. By integrating tea tree oil into a holistic skincare regimen, one can potentially unlock the benefits of this botanical solution and enjoy the journey towards healthier, acne-resilient skin.

Also, check out the other comparison review I did below for more options on facial care procedure: