Tea tree oil and acne - Can you use this tree oil to help fight acne and reduce breakouts?
Latest research shows tea tree oil works as well as the leading over-the-counter acne medication without causing redness or skin peeling.
If you're looking for an effective treatment for breakouts, you'll be delighted to learn how this natural tree oil can stop acne-causing bacteria and prevent future breakouts.
There are many popular acne products to choose from, such as Oxy 5 and Clearisil. You'll find the majority of these over-the-counter products contain either 5% or 10 % benzoyl peroxide.
Studies show these acne medications may help reduce acne but they may also cause side effects in some individuals - and may even make acne worse.
I never had acne problems when I was a teenager, but suffered major breakouts when I reached my late twenties and early thirties.
My doctor prescribed all sorts of acne treatments, including antibiotics, benzoyl peroxides, and even Accutane. The Accutane really dried out my skin. It made my skin peel and it get all raw and red. I still got pimples after this treatment.
Reading through a health magazine, I stumbled across an article touting the health benefits of tea tree oil and acne. I never knew you could use this oil as an acne treatment. So I went out and bought a bottle of tea tree oil to try it out. And you know what? I found it's really works and there's research to prove this.
Camperdown, Australia - Researchers did a clinical trial on 124 patients with mild to moderate acne. Patients were treated with either 5% tea tree oil gel or 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.
Researchers discovered 5% tea tree oil works equally well as benzoyl peroxide for reducing inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.
Patients also found the tea tree oil and acne treatment caused fewer side effects. Some patients in the group using benzoyl peroxide experienced excessive dryness, itchiness, redness and skin flaking.
London, UK - Did you know that tea tree oil actually kills the bacteria responsible for causing acne in some people?
The 3 strains of bacteria responsible for causing acne in some people are:
Researchers in England discovered that 3 active ingredients in tea tree oil, including terpinen-4-ol, can fight these bacteria and help reduce inflammation of the oil gland reducing acne breakouts.
The tea tree oil and acne studies above provide further proof this natural tree oil may be an effective alternative to traditional over-the-counter medications.
Tea tree oil was found to be just as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide and it has a lower chance of causing dryness, peeling or redness. Tea tree oil may also be a safer alternative for people who may be allergic to benzoyl peroxides.
I'm not a doctor or dermatologist, but I know there are basic skincare steps everyone should follow if they want healthy skin. Each step has a purpose and following them will help reduce acne problems.
Step 1 - Clean your Skin with Skin-friendly Soaps
Use the correct soap to remove oil and dirt. You want to clean your pores and keep your skin moisturized at the same time. Some soaps may over-dry your skin leading to more acne breakouts.
Your soap should remove excess oil but not completely strip all the oils from your skin. An effective soap for acne-prone skin should gently cleanse and moisturize your skin without harsh detergents and man-made chemicals.
Step 2 - Exfoliate Your Face
Exfoliating can prevent future breakouts and improve your skin texture. It increases circulation to your skin and eliminates rough dry patches. It also increases the effect of your moisturizer by allowing it to penetrate deeper into your skin.
Choose an acne exfoliant that's gentle on your skin and won't cause excessive scrubbing and skin damage.
Step 3 - Use a Toner to Restore the pH Balance of Your Skin
Some people may skip this step, but I think it's one of the most important steps if you want to control your acne. A good acne toner will control oily acne breakouts, help prevent blackheads, remove any left over soap or make-up and restore the pH balance to your skin. I found toners are also great to use on other oily areas like your back and shoulders.
Step 4 - Use an Acne Treatment
Use an acne cream or oil that will fight and prevent future breakouts. It should penetrate the layer of oil and unclog your pores without causing excessive dryness, peeling or irritation. This is where tea tree oil and acne treatments come in. This healthy oil is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal agent that won't cause dryness or redness. While benzoyl peroxide is a popular acne treatment, it may aggravate acne in some people, especially those allergic to it.
Step 5 - Use Make-up Sparingly during your Acne Treatment
Try to use as little make-up as possible, preferably none, during your acne treatment. Make-ups with an oil-base can lead to increased oil production and block your pores. A mineral-based make-up may be more compatible with your skin.
Here's what I found when I used 100% tea tree oil on acne: The swelling and redness would go down and the pimple would get smaller. I found it took a little longer for the pimple to fade away, but my skin would be softer and smoother compared to using traditional pimple creams.
Following the above steps may help reduce acne breakouts. You can also try using fish oils for acne. Fish oils contain special fats called omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are proven to fight inflammation in the body and may help in treating inflammatory acne.
The research on tea tree oil and acne looks promising. However, using tea tree oil is only one way to treat problem skin. You can also use acne treatments that contain 100% organic natural ingredients.
I like to use coconut oil for skin moisturizing. Coconut oil is an excellent source of fatty acids that help soften and moisturize skin cells. It's one of my favorite skin oils and it's replaced all my body lotions I used to use for moisturizing.
Where can you get good quality organic skin care products? You can try looking in your local drug store or health food store. Another great place to look is by searching online.
Look for products that contain botanical oils and other natural healing products. I'd suggest doing a skin test on a small patch of skin on your arm before trying out a new product on your face. This may help reduce the chance of possible allergic reactions.
A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne. Tea tree oil and acne study. The Medical Journal of Australia. 1990 Oct 15;153(8):455-8
Antimicrobial effects of tea-tree oil and its major components on Staphylococcus aureus, Staph. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes. Tea tree oil and acne study. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 1995 Oct;21(4):242-5