Tea tree oil is the holy grail of acne-free skin (plus, check out best buys)

Tea tree oil seems like one of those hippie-dippie alternative remedies that can’t be as effective as tried-and-true agents like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, right? Wrong. Once you dab it on the whiteheads and bumps at night, you’ll wake up with the same pimples, but much smaller and visibly less irritated. Keep reading to learn more.

All About Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Finding an effective spot treatment can be difficult whether you have sensitive skin, dry skin, hormonal acne, or all of the above. However, tea tree oil for acne is an option worth exploring, especially if you’ve tried conventional over-the-counter acne treatments that have resulted in breakouts, irritation, and flaking. While the beautiful world of tea tree oil can be smelly, it’s one of those praiseworthy non-irritating acne remedies on the internet.

How does tea tree oil treat acne?

Tea tree oil uses natural antibacterial properties to kill bacteria at a slower, gentler rate. So why use it if it’s slower? Because “it’s also a natural anti-inflammatory,” says a dermatologist, it will help reduce redness and irritation in your skin without causing more. This is a significant problem for anyone with hypersensitive skin.

Of course, there are some caveats. Tea tree oil can be extremely dry for some people if used undiluted, which is the biggest no-no. Additionally, due to the high concentration of tea tree oil, it is incredibly unpleasant when applied to clean, dry skin, despite the fact that it seems so harmless (oil! tea!) . But don’t panic, as long as you dilute it before applying it, you’ll be fine.

How to apply tea tree oil?

One of the most effective ways to use it is to apply it with a damp cotton swab (to dilute it further) after applying moisturizer at night, so there’s a buffer between it and your skin. Then, using a damp cotton swab, dab the inside of the lid with tea tree oil to pick up a small amount of product before dabbing it on the pimples.

Again, it is essential to ensure that you use small amounts of this product. Don’t overdo it!

Are there any risks with tea tree oil?

“Tea tree oil is also photosensitive, so avoid direct sunlight or use it only at night,” dermatologists recommend. Tea tree oil changes when exposed to sunlight, and not in a good way. Effects can range from sunspots and blisters to rashes and even burns. To be on the safe side, limit its use to your nighttime skincare regimen only.

All images: Courtesy of Unsplash

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