How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Back Acne


woman's back showing back acne


Did you know that tea tree oil is an effective treatment for back acne?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from the Australian native plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. 

The plant’s leaves and oils were traditionally used by the Aborigine people of Australia to treat skin, joint and muscle problems.

Studies show that tea tree oils have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and is effective against a range of bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

Here you’ll learn why tea tree oils are an effective treatment for back acne and a step-by-step guide showing you how to easily apply it to your back.


Got back acne?

Scientists believe there are multiple factors that may cause back acne.

The skin on your back and face contain numerous sebaceous glands. 

These glands in your skin secrete oils which help to protect and lubricate your skin.

Plugged skin pores can lead to inflammation and acne

In some circumstance, the skin cells located near the surface of your skin may block the openings of the sebaceous glands, causing the oil to build up. This can also lead to an accumulation of bacteria which can cause inflammation and the appearance of a pimple. states that some causes of acne include diet, hormones, medications and even cosmetics. 

Some popular methods to treat acne include prescription antibiotics and over-the-counter acne medications and lotions.

Many of these medications or lotions contain the active ingredients, 5% or 10 % benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl peroxide reduces acne by increasing skin cell turn-over. This action helps remove dead skin cells and sebum that may plug your pores.  Benzoyl peroxide also  helps kill the bacteria that can cause acne. 

Studies show these acne medications may help reduce acne but they may also cause side effects, such as skin redness or peeling.  In some people these medications can actually make acne worse.

Having back acne may be more challenging to treat than facial acne.  The back has a much larger surface area containing a higher number of sebaceous glands.

If left untreated, back acne can lead to dark spots and scarring.  


Why You Should Use Tea Tree Oil for Back Acne


man's smooth bare back without back acne

While there are many over-the-counter products you can use to treat acne, tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective way to naturally reduce pimple breakouts.

In fact, studies show that an active ingredient found in tea tree oil is just as effective as a popular acne medication, without causing any significant side effects:

But does tea tree oil really work to stop acne?

Well, in addition to the above research studies, you can find online reviews from people who’ve actually tried using tea tree oil for acne.

On the popular acne website, there were over 722 tea tree oil and acne reviews and over 546 reviewers gave it 4 out of 5 stars.


How to Use Tea Tree Oils on Back Acne

One of the main problem I found with treating back acne is due to its location.  It’s a lot easier to apply lotions or medication to acne on your face, compared to putting in on your back.

Unless you’ve got the flexibility of a Yogi master, it can be hard to reach around to put acne lotion on your middle and upper back.

However, here’s an easy-to-follow method you can use to apply tea tree oil to your ENTIRE back so you can effectively treat your acne:

  1. Wet and soap your back in the shower or tub.
  2. Take one of those back scrubber brushes with a long handle. Wet the bristles of the brush head first then add a few drops of tea tree oil to the brush.

applying tea tree oil to back scrubber brush

Apply tea tree oil to your back scrubber brush

  1. Now gently scrub your entire back with the brush head, completely covering it with the tea tree oil. The scrubbing action will help exfoliate any dead skin cells that may plug your pores and the tea tree oil will help kill off any acne-causing bacteria.

young man scrubbing bare back with tea tree oil on brush

Gently scrub your entire back with the brush

  1. You should try to leave the tea tree oil on your back for about 5 – 10 minutes. You may feel a cool, tingling sensation from the tea tree oil. Feels great, doesn’t it?
  2. While waiting for the tea tree oil to work its magic you can shampoo your hair and finish the rest of your shower.
  3. After waiting for 5 – 10 minutes to let the oil soak in your back, rinse yourself off and you’re all done!

More Tips to Prevent Back Acne Breakouts:

While you can use tea tree oil to treat the acne you currently have on your back, there are things you can do to help minimize or reduce the chances for future breakouts. 

Optimize Your Diet:

Researchers believe a diet of high glycemic foods and refined carbohydrates increases risk for acne.

In fact, numerous studies point to the health benefits of essential fatty acids for the skin. These healthy fats have been shown to improve skin moisture, reduce inflammation and enhance the natural skin barrier. All factors that may help improve your skin health and reduce breakouts.

  • Eat more healthy fats, fruits and green vegetables. Avoid refined carbohydrates and processed foods.

Improve Your Body Hygiene:

Do whatever you can to keep your back skin clean and healthy.

  • Wear moisture wicking fabrics to draw sweat and moisture away from your back
  • Shower immediately after working out or getting sweaty to help prevent sweat and dirt from clogging your pores


Suggested Products to Help You Get Rid of Back Acne


Here’s a list of some products that may help you get rid of back acne and improve you skin’s health:

  • Thursday Plantation 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil could be an effective product for treating back acne. Thursday Plantation has been making quality tea tree oils since 1976. They claim their oils have a low para-cymene content to minimize skin irritation and they’re tested to ensure they’re pesticide-free. I’ve used this product and found it works quite well for its astringent and anti-microbial properties.

  • Plant Life 100% Tea Tree Oil is made from 100% pure Australian tea tree which is just what you need to fight those acne-causing bacteria.

    While you can use 100% tea tree oils like above, you can also get skin care products that have tea tree oil mixed into them, such as soaps and body washes. These specialty products combine the anti-microbial powers of tea tree oils in ready-to-use body washes.

  • Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Herbal Skin Wash contains tea tree oils that may help remove the excess sebum responsible for back acne. This is a soap-free cleanser that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulphates or benzoyl peroxides.

  • Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Castile Tea Tree Oil Liquid Soap is another tea tree soap wash. The benefits of using castile soaps is they’re an all-vegetable, oil-based soap that doesn’t contain any foaming agents or detergents like sodium lauryl sulphates.

    This product may be ideal for people with sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts. This natural soap is certified organic under USDA Organic National Program. 



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Author Details
Author Details
Kevin is a full-time blogger with a passion for functional, whole food nutrition. A former Registered Respiratory Therapist with over 25 years experience in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, he also has additional training as a Certified Natural Products Advisor. He enjoys a vibrant lifestyle that includes healthy foods, workouts focusing on core strength with flexibility and longboarding to stay fit and agile.