Tea tree oil is an essential oil with many applications, and has been shown to be effective in acne treatment. Distilled by steam from the leaves of the melaleuca alternifolia plant, it is flora native to Australia and has been used for centuries by the natives as an antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-microbial. Additionally, tea tree oil has shown antiviral properties as well.

What Makes Tea Tree Oil Effective Acne Treatment

Investigated scientifically only relatively recently, tea tree oil has been recognized by Australian natives as effective against a long list of infectious agents. This is due to terpenoids contained within the plant oils, and it is believed that terpinen-4-01 is responsible for the majority of the antimicrobial activity. Because there are few side-effects, tea tree oil is a natural alternative to antibiotics and topical treatments for not only acne, but dandruff, head lice and MRSA. 

A single blind study conducted by the Department of Dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia confirmed tea tree oil can be just as effective as medication, creams and cleansers for acne treatment without major side-effects, although it may take longer to work.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil as Acne Treatment

Tea tree oil is toxic when taken internally. Undiluted, it can cause irritation, redness, blistering, overdrying and itching. It is important to follow directions when using tea tree oil in acne treatment. Before implementing this type of acne treatment, it is recommended to discuss it with a trained medical health care provider.

Generally, a 5% solution of tea tree oil is effective in acne treatment. Proportionally, 5% of tea tree oil is mixed with 95% distilled water for good results. Alternatively, 1 part tea tree oil can be blended with 9 parts aloe vera gel.

  1. Wash the face with a gentle cleaner.
  2. Pat dry gently.
  3. Apply the teal tree oil solution to the face and let it air dry.
  4. Apply an oil-free moisturizer.
  5. This routine can be performed morning and night.

Additionally, 1 to 2 times a week a mask can be applied to help with acne treatment.

  1. Use 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and mix with a natural green clay powder and water to make a paste.
  2. Wash face with a mild cleaner.
  3. Pat dry gently.
  4. Apply the mask mixture and leave on for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse with warm water to remove and pat dry.

This mask can also be left on overnight.

Tea tree oil has a long anecdotal history of fighting various infections that has been borne out by recent scientific research. Many acne treatments involve ingredients that can cause serious side-effects, but tea tree oil, when properly used, offers small risk to the sufferers of acne.