Tea tree oil is for more than fungus infections and athletes foot. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of a tea tree and contains an antibacterial property called terpenes. (1) Terpenes not only fights bacteria, but it can also sooth irritated skin. In 2016, the Australasian College of Dermatologists studied the effects of tea tree oil on acne over 3 months and compared it to the results of using face wash. They concluded that, "This study shows that the use of the tea tree oil products significantly improved mild to moderate acne and that the products were well tolerated." (2) Another study, however conducted in 1990, compared the effectiveness of 5% tea tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide and found that both remedies produced the same reduction in acne lesions, but there was a slower onset of action in patients using the tea-tree oil. (3)
Tea tree oil is currently being tested in clinical trials by the University of Western Australia to determine if a tea tree containing gel reduced and improves acne in 20 individuals. (4) The results of the study are not yet posted, but I will make sure to have a follow up post when they are! But you don't half to wait to experience the action of tea tree oil.
Homemade Recipe For Acne Treatment Using Tea Tree Oil
Most drug stores and chain grocery stores carry tea tree oil. However, make sure that you purchase 100% tea tree oil or else there can be unwanted side effects when applying it directly onto skin. You will also need to purchase pure aloe vera gel or to dilute the tea tree oil in order to make a homemade acne and spot treatment. I would advise placing a small amount of tea tree oil on the top of your hand before using the acne treatments in order to test whether you can an allergic reaction to the oil or not.
Acne Gel - Mix 12-15 drops of the pure tea tree oil and ~1-2 tablespoons (depending on the strength you want) of the pure aloe vera gel into a small bowl - Apply to acne skin at bedtime. - Rinse in the morning. - This recipe can be doubled or tripled to make a larger batch
Spot Treatment - Dip a cotton swab into the 100% tea tree oil and place on and around the acne infected area(s). Resources: 1. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/tea-tree-oil-benefits_n_4818635.html 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27000386 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2145499 4. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01657110