Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, native to Australia. Several benefits of tea tree oil can be mainly attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially worthwhile to note the benefits of tea tree oil for skin and hair problems. Additionally, external use of tea tree oil is particularly promoted for a variety of conditions like acne, psoriasis, nail fungus, wound healing for minor cuts, athlete’s foot, lice, insect bites and stings.
1. Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil for Skin
Most of us go through some kind of skin trouble through different phases of our lives. Almost every other day either we hear ourselves or our friends complaining about all sorts of skin problems. Consequently, seeking different solutions whether they are home remedies or medical remedies becomes a natural affair of actions. Many are the believers of natural remedies or want to give it a try in order to save the delicate skin from the uncertain reactions of harsh chemical products.
In this scenario looking for natural ingredients that benefit skin to alleviate or cure skin problems is on the continuous lookout. One such natural ingredient that is gaining much attention presently is the tea tree oil. Few important benefits of tea tree oil for skin has been highlighted below.
Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Acne is a skin condition that gives rise to pimples, whiteheads or blackheads due to the blockage of hair follicles on the skin with oil clogging. The sebaceous glands that open into a hair follicle in skin (or scalp) produces oils which is important to maintain good skin (or scalp) health. Although in cases of excess oil production, the hair follicles get clogged and gives rise to acne. This is why oily skin is more prone to developing acne.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Help to Soothe and Heal Acne?
Tea tree oil constitutes antimicrobial compounds like terpenes that check the growth of microbes in the acne affected regions, thereby reducing acne outbreaks. Tea tree oil can also penetrate to the site of action, i.e. the skin pores and unclog the pores of excess oil. Tea tree oil has moisturizing and cleansing properties to clean the skin pore of dead and oily cell debris in addition to killing of the bacteria.
The topical application of tea tree oil dissolves the natural oil of the skin and does not allow further growth of bacteria, eventually the acne dries out causing the skin to heal. Tea tree oil is not only used as an effective natural acne treatment option but also as a preventive measure for future acne recurrence or to prevent other skin infections.
Tea Tree Oil for Skin Whitening and Glow
Tea tree oil acts as a great moisturizer for the skin. With its antimicrobial and antifungal activity, it helps keeping most of the skin infections at bay. Owing to the anti-inflammatory nature of this essential oil, tea tree essential oil acts as a boon for dry skin by controlling conditions of itchy skin and eczema. It is also highly handy for oily skin due to its antiseptic property and especially controlling problems of acne that oily skin is more prone to.
Overall, since tea tree oil has the properties of controlling and preventing a variety of skin infections and is suitable for skin of all types when used in a diluted form, it results in a healthy skin, which is a crucial state of getting and maintaining healthy skin whitening and glow.
How to use tea tree oil on face?
Make a concoction of one part tea tree oil with nine parts waters. Mix or shake well before topical application on the affected area. One more option is to add few drops of tea tree essential oil to your bath. Tea tree oil based gels are also available in the market that can be topically applied on the affected regions for treatment. With that being said, exercise caution and do not use concentrated tea tree oil directly on skin as it may cause irritation. Always undertake a patch test of diluted tea tree oil on skin to check for any reaction or sensitivity.
2. Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil for Hair
The benefits of tea tree oil for hair is extensive for hair health problems of dry and itchy scalp, dandruff, hair loss or for the treatment of head lice.
Tea Tree Oil for Dry Scalp
Just like skin, scalp condition also differs from individual to individual either due to the genetic makeup or environmental factors. Whatever may be the reason, people with dry scalp occasionally develop scaly patches that may also turn out to be itchy. As tea tree oil acts as a natural cleanser, its topical application can clear the scalp of dead skin and clogged hair follicles. Its antimicrobial and antifungal activity checks the growth of microbes, soon improving dry and itchy scalp.
Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
Dandruff is characterized by appearance of dry flaky skin shed from the scalp, sometimes associated with itching. Dry scalp is more prone to developing the problem of dandruff. However, even oily scalp can cause the problem of dandruff due to excess oil production, irritated and itchy skin, poor scalp hygiene or fungal infection. Tea tree oil is an excellent natural cleanser and clears out dry scalp flakes while soothing the scalp and relieving from itchiness and fungal infection due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effects.
Tea Tree Oil for Reducing Hair Fall and Boosting Hair Growth
Few of the important cause of hair fall include clogged hair follicles either due to dandruff build up or excessive oil production by sebaceous glands and deposition of dead cells. Excessive scratching of the scalp weakens the hair roots resulting in hair loss. Some fungal infections have also been reported to deteriorate the scalp health and bring about hair loss.
As regular use of tea tree oil cleanses the scalp and prevents microbial growth, dandruff, itchy and dry scalp, it is effective in reducing hair fall that is caused by these issues. Furthermore, tea tree oil is also said to increase blood circulation leading to increased supply of nutrients to the scalp with consequential boost in healthy hair growth.
3. Tea Tree Oil for Preventing Head Lice
The problem of head lice is prevalent especially among children. Topical application of tea tree oil on scalp can treat the problem of head lice on account of the insecticidal property of this versatile essential oil.
How To Use Tea Tree Oil on Hair and Scalp?
Shampoos formulated with tea tree oils can be used to attain healthy hair and scalp or you can make your own concoctions to attain the benefits of tea tree oil for hair and scalp. Mix 10 to 15 drops of tea tree essential oil for 250 ml of shampoo of your choice. Froth the shampoo on your scalp and leave it for around 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing it off.
You could also make hair oil DIY by mixing 10 to 15 drops of tea tree oil in any carrier oil of your choice like coconut oil or almond oil and massage this hair oil on your hair and scalp leaving it for at least 30 minutes or overnight followed by regular shampoo and conditioner. You can also make your very own DIY hair spray by adding 4 to 5 drops of tea tree essential oil in about 30 ml of water, and shake it before spraying on your hair and scalp.
4. Tea Tree Oil for Treatment of Nail Fungus Infection
The antifungal effect of tea tree oil can help get rid of nail fungus. Mix an equal part of tea tree essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply to the affected area. Regular washing of hands between applications is essential in order to prevent further spread of the fungus.
5. Tea Tree Oil for Hand Sanitizer and All-Purpose cleaner
Tea tree oil is an effective alternative to chemical disinfectant and sanitizers because of its antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. To make your very own all-purpose natural cleaner, simply mix 20 to 25 drops of tea tree oil, half cup of apple cider vinegar and three-fourth cup of water. Mix well and store it in a spray bottle for easy application and cleaning of surfaces.
Because of the excellent antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and skin soothing attributes of tea tree oil, it can be very effectively used to make natural hand sanitizer. One simple way to make your very own hand sanitizer with tea tree oil is to add 30 drops of tea tree essential oil, 5 to 12 drops of lavender essential oil, 1 ounce of aloe vera gel, 5 to 10 drops vitamin E oil into 3 ounces of 90% ethyl alcohol. This combination sanitizes the hands while leaving them moisturized and soft.
6. Tea Tree Oil as Insect Repellant
The insecticidal property of tea tree oil can propagate its use as an insect repellant. A simple insect repellant spray can be made by mixing together 20 drops each of tea tree essential oil, citronella essential oil, lavender essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, geranium essential oil, 1 tablespoon vodka into about 200 ml of distilled water. Store it in a spray bottle and use it as an insect repellant spray.
7. Tea Tree Oil as A Natural Deodorant
The bad odor due to combination of sweat, oily secretion from sebaceous glands and bacterial growth is a common problem that most of us face. Tea tree oil can help this condition when used as a natural deodorant due to its antimicrobial activity. To make a simple tea tree oil natural deodorant, mix 20 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops lavender oil and half cup distilled water. Mix well and store in a roll on bottle for easy application on under arms.
8. Tea Tree Oil as Antiseptic for Minor Cuts and Wound Healing
The germicidal property of tea tree oil can very well be used to disinfect minor cuts or wounds. Make a concoction of one drop tea tree oil with 10 to 12 drops of coconut oil and mix well. Apply a drop of this mixture on the minor cut or wound area only after cleaning the affected area with plain soap and water. Cover with a bandage to protect it. The anti-inflammatory and soothing effect of tea tree essential oil also aid in wound healing.
9. Tea Tree Oil as A Natural Mouth Wash
Tea tree oil can be used as a natural mouth wash for oral rinse to maintain oral hygiene. The disinfection brought about by tea tree oil is useful for maintain oral health. One simple way to use tea tree oil as a mouth wash is to add one or two drops of tea tree oil in a glass of warm water, and use it as a mouth rinse. Be cautious that ingestion of tea tree oil can be toxic like any other mouth wash available in the market, hence care should be taken to avoid its ingestion.
10. Tea Tree Oil for Treatment of Athlete’s Foot
Tea tree oil can be used to treat Athlete’s foot accompanied by blisters, inflammation, redness and peeling off. Anti-fungal medication is employed for the treatment of Athlete’s Foot. The antifungal effect of tea tree oil can also be used to provide some relief from the same condition. Mix half cup of arrow root powder, half cup baking soda and 30 drops of tea tree oil. Store in an airtight container and mix well and apply on the affected area.
Word of Caution While Using Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested. Therefore, it is important to keep it outside the reach of children. Tea tree essential oil should not be used in concentrated form to avoid any associated reactions. All concoctions made with tea tree oil must dilute this oil to minimize or vanish any harsh effect. Some people may have sensitivity to even the diluted form of this essential oil. Hence, a patch test is recommended when using it for the first time.
Take Home Message
The use of tea tree oil finds an immense array of applications from beauty remedies, health remedies to use as disinfectants. Being aware of the properties of tea tree oil and how can it be used for different purposes while exercising caution is the simple mantra to utilize the top 10 benefits of tea tree oil.