Tea tree oil is praised to high heavens by many beauty bloggers, mainly because of its benefit with skin ailments. The benefits can be attributed to the properties as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, and fungicide substance.
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree. However, the tree is unrelated with the common tea plant that is used to make black or green tea we drink today. The tea tree plant has the botanical name Melaleuce alternifolia. It is native to the southeastern Australia.
There are many reasons for the popularity of tea tree oil. Below are some benefits of tea tree oil you may want to consider:
Tea tree oil for acne
This is probably one of the most popular benefits of tea tree oil. A 5% solution of tea tree oil works just as perfect as the other popular acne remedy, benzoyl peroxide, according to Australian researchers. It may work slower than benzoyl peroxide, but it is way gentler to skin. Simply mix one part of tea tree oil (the essential one, not product containing tea tree oil) with 5 part of water. With cotton swab, apply the solution to the affected area and leave overnight.
Tea tree oil for athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is caused by tinea, a fungus that can also cause itch and ringworm. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that disinfect the affected area of the foot and prevents the fungal infection from spreading to other parts of the body. There are two ways to cure athlete’s foot with tea tree oil: first, by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a piece of cotton or linen and place it on the affected area. Wait for 30 minutes and then discard the cotton or linen. The other way is with tea tree oil foot bath. Partly fill a foot bath or shallow tub with lukewarm water. Add 10 to 15 drops of tea tree oil, stir well, and soak your feet in the solution for 15 to 20 minutes. Dry your feet using a towel. Both ways can be repeated for 2-3 times a day until the infection heals. However if you have a sensitive skin, it is recommended to consult with your dermatologist before using tea tree oil cure for athlete’s foot.
Tea tree oil as makeup remover
Tea tree oil also can be used as makeup remover. For normal to dry skin, mix ¼ cup canola oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a 120 ml glass jar with lid and shake until well-mixed. To use, saturate a soft cotton ball with the oil and sweep over your face to remove makeup. Rinse well with warm water and follow with your preferred skincare routine. The rest of the oil can be stored in a cool, dark place (do not refrigerate).
Tea tree oil for hair
Tea tree oil is also beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp. Like coconut oil, tea tree oil has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff and can be used for the lice treatment. Simply mix several drops of tea tree essential oil with aloe vera gel, coconut milk and other essential oils like lavender oil. Apply on hair and scalp, and let dry for about 15 minutes. Wash it off with your favorite shampoo.
Tea tree oil for psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition characterized by outbreaks of red, itchy, and scaly skin. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory compounds, which is beneficial to ease psoriasis symptoms. Combine 10-15 drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of melted coconut oil, and apply to the affected area 2-3 times per day as needed until the symptoms subside.
Tea tree oil to eliminate toenail fungus
A research revealed that topical application of 100% tea tree oil solution, twice daily for six months, can cure fungal toenail infection in about 18% of people who try it. Just make sure that you use pure tea tree oil as diluted tea tree oil showed no effect to get rid of toenail fungus.
Tea tree oil as deodorant
Due to its antibacterial effect, tea tree oil may help control underarm odor caused by bacteria. You can make homemade tea tree oil deodorant by mixing 10-20 drops tea tree essential oil, 3 tbsp baking soda, 3tbsp cornstarch, and 3 tbsp coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil and stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into a small, glass jar or container and let it set for a couple of hours.
Does it have any side effects?
In most cases, tea tree is considered safe and doesn’t cause any side effects. However some reactions may appear if you have sensitive skin. Regardless of your skin type, keep tea tree oil away from eyes, inner nose, mucous area and sensitive parts of your skin. This essential oil has camphoraceous odor followed by menthol-like cooling effect which can make your skin feel like it’s slightly burning if you apply too much.
These benefits of tea tree oil make it reasonable to keep a bottle of tea tree oil ready in your medicine cabinet. Contact your doctor if the symptoms remain after being treated with tea tree oil or cause certain allergic reactions.