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

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

Everything to know 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 to explore, especially if you’ve tried classic over-the-counter acne treatments that resulted in rashes, irritation, and flaking. While the beautiful world of tea tree oil might be smelly, it is one of those non-irritating acne remedies worthy of internet praise.

How does tea tree oil treat acne?

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

Of course, there are certain caveats. Tea tree oil may be extremely drying to certain individuals if used undiluted, which is the biggest no-no. Furthermore, due to how strongly concentrated tea tree oil is, it’s shockingly 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 should you apply tea tree oil?

One of the most effective ways to use it is to apply it with a damp Q-tip (to further dilute it) after applying moisturizer at night, so there’s a buffer between it and your skin. Then, using a damp Q-tip, swab the inside of the tea tree oil lid to scoop up a little quantity of product before dabbing it over zits.

Again, ensuring you’re using small amounts of this stuff is key. Don’t go overboard!

Are there any risks to tea tree oil?

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

All Images: Courtesy Unsplash

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