The Most Potent Essential Oil for Acne – Tea Tree Oil

Let me tell you a riddle: it’s a tea (but you don’t sip on it), it’s an oil (but you don’t cook with it), and is one of the most potent treatments for acne? Tea tree essential oil.

Especially if you have acne, you know how difficult can be to treat it. Prescribed medication, antibiotics, hormonal pills, burning solutions only harm your delicate skin even more, they may trigger violent outbreaks when you less expect it and may prolong your agony.

And why would suffer like that, when there are other natural, healthy, safe, and truly effective remedies like Tea Tree essential oil?

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree, or Melaleuca, is an evergreen shrub from the myrtle family with a funny inflorescence that looks like a bottle brush. The flowers are full of nectar that are sought by insects, birds and some mammals. Melaleuca tree grows in Australia, Indonesia, South-East Asia in a variety of habitats, mostly in swamps. The leaves are green, bluish-green, or silvery-green and have distinct oil glands, making them radiate a pleasant aroma when crushed.

Its name comes from the Greek melas (black) and leucon (white), referring to the dark trunk and the white flowers of the tree.

Tea Tree essential oil is extracted through distillation from the leaves and stems, sometimes from the bark, wood, or roots of the shrub, too. It is a volatile oil (meaning that it evaporates quickly within minutes, unlike common oils, which are heavy and greasy). It is pale yellow to colorless and has a strong, camphorated aroma.

Research shows that it has antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory properties.

Aboriginal people have long been used the crushed leaves to cover skin infections and wounds until they were completely healed.

Why is Tea Tree Oil Good for Acne?

The Tea tree oil benefits for acne come from its antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, cicatrizant, balsamic, regenerating, antioxidant properties.

The microbes that cause acne are Propionibacterium acnes, Propionibacterium granulosum, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. They have become a real problem in the last years, due to their antibiotic and multidrug resistance. Thinking that the main prescribed treatments doctor recommend for acne are… antibiotics, now we understand why these don’t work anymore, nowadays. Antibiotics and some other drugs simply can’t kill bacteria anymore – microbes have developed a drug resistance, over time.

However, essential oils such as Melaleuca oil have fantastic, fresh, undiscovered, irresistible killing powers against these bacteria and microbes. Great news for acne sufferers!

Moreover, Tea tree oil has increased efficiency, with no side effects, compared to benzoyl peroxide, for example. Tea Tree oil managed to reduce the numbers of both open and closed comedones, research shows.

Topical treatment with 5% tea tree oil was very well tolerated by patients with acne and proved to be efficient for mild to moderate acne.

How Does Tea Tree Oil Help Acne?

This little warrior with giant healing powers fights acne with each drop. In one tiny drop of Tea Tree oil is concentrated the power of thousands of Tea Tree fresh leaves.

Tea tree oil acts strategically on acne:

1. The tiny volatile molecules with antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic properties will gather their armies and fight the acne-causing, infection producing bacteria.

2. Tea tree oil goes deep into the skin pores, acting as a miraculous and healing solvent, dissolving the clogs formed in there and cleaning up the pores.

3. It regulates the sebaceous glands in the pores, preventing excess oiliness and other breakouts.

4. The antioxidative properties of Tea Tree oil will protect your skin from oxidative stress.

5. The cicatrizant, balsamic and regenerating properties of Tea tree oil will help your comedones heal faster and your acne scars disappear without leaving marks.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne

Drip and Dab


The simplest method to apply Tea Tree oil is to drip one drop of essential oil on:

1. the tip of your finger (after you have thoroughly washed your hands with soap and water, duh!)

2. a cotton bud

3. a cotton pad (but the first two options are more economic and effective)

Then apply gently directly on your pimples, comedones, or acne spots.

Leave it on, give it time to penetrate the skin and do its work or you can leave it overnight.

No need to wash it off your skin, as it evaporates and the smell fades away. But the benefits remain.

You can do this morning and evening.

Dilute and Apply


If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you can dilute the Tea Tree essential oil with a carrier oil (non-comedogenic, of course) or water, in a 5% to 95% ratio (tea tree to oil or water).

Apply with a cotton bud or pad.

Blend, baby, Blend


For extra power, you can combine the already potent Tea tree oil with other acne-healing essential oils, such as Lavender oil, Bergamot oil, Rose oil, etc.

Make a blend in a small, dark bottle with a dropper, adding 20 drops of each desired essential oil, stir to mix, then use it one drop at a time, whenever your routine asks for it.

Apply it dilute it with water or a non-comedogenic oil, in a 5 to 95 ratio.

Tea Tree Oil Treatment Serum


You can make a treatment serum containing Tea tree oil, other anti-acne essential oils, and a mix or non-comedogenic oils (jojoba oil or almond oil are among the best).

  • 1 oz. Jojoba oil (or ½ oz. jojoba oil and ½ oz. almond oil)
  • 12 drops Tea tree essential oil
  • ​7 drops Lavender essential oil
  • ​5 drops Bergamot essential oil
  • 1 oz. dark bottle with dropper

Add all ingredients in the bottle and stir well to combine.

Apply it gently on your acne affected area in the evening and leave it on overnight.

Baking Soda, Bentonite Clay and Tea tree oil Gentle Acne Scrub


These ingredients are really gentle and kind to your acne affected, sensitive, inflamed skin. Baking soda helps fighting acne and bentonite clay, too.

  • 2 tablespoons Bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • ​2 drops of Tea tree oil
  • ​2-3 tablespoons of water
  • Small plastic bowl

Mix the clay with baking soda in the bowl, then add the tea tree oil and add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, to incorporate well all ingredients. Don’t put all the water from the start, so you don’t end up with a liquid mixture. Add it little by little, and if you only need 1 tablespoon to make a thick, paste-like consistency, be it.

Apply it on your acne affected area.

Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wash off with lukewarm water.

Aloe Vera, Honey, and Tea Tree Gel


Honey has antiacne, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and you can find it right in your kitchen. Also, Aloe vera regenerates your skin and heals acne scars.

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh Aloe vera gel or juice
  • 2 drops Tea tree essential oil

Mix the ingredients and apply on the acne affected area.

Don’t worry that aloe very blobs are jelly like and will run down on your face. Honey is thick and sticky and it will do the trick.

Leave it on for 10-15 minutes (in the meantime, read our article about how to find the perfect natural moisturizer for acne-prone skin), then wash it off with lukewarm water.

Follow it with a natural moisturizer or cream.

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