Does Tea Tree Oil Really Prevent Acne?
The fast-paced modern day lifestyle can be quite hectic for many, and as a result, you may notice an occasional pimple on your skin, especially on the face. These bumps or pimples are called acne vulgaris, or simply acne.
For most people, having acne is not a pleasant experience; it can seriously damage your self-esteem. Acne breaks out mostly as a result of stress, unhealthy habits, and hormonal imbalances.
What is acne?
Acne is a common skin disorder that occurs when the skin manufactures too much natural oil, or sebum. Pimples occur as a result of the clogging of skin follicles that bond with the pores.
When the skin manufactures excess sebum, dead skin cells get mixed up with bacteria on the surface, and they all get stuck in the pores. The pores begin to swell as the number of bacteria increases; this also contributes to the spread of acne to other areas of the skin.
In their quest to deal with this common skin problem, many people have resorted to using some of the countless skin care products the market has to offer. Whereas not all of these products are bad, many of them contain harmful chemicals that may do more harm than good for your skin.
Natural is the way to go when it comes to acne and skin care. Many people have confirmed that tea tree oil has worked wonders on their skin.
What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil is a pale yellow, somewhat colorless natural oil that occurs in the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant found in Australia.
Over the years, many Australian indigenous communities have used the tree’s leaves for curing different kinds of skin disorders. The leaves are widely regarded as antiseptic.
In the modern world, manufacturers have been using tea tree oil as the active ingredient in skin products like face washes and creams.
Does tea tree oil prevent acne?
According to a study conducted in 1990, a solution containing 5% tea tree oil can be used to treat acne with the same efficacy as a solution containing 5% benzoyl peroxide. These findings can be found in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Dr. Asa Hershoff, a homeopath, and naturopath from Los Angeles, USA, adds that the ability of tea tree oil to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi helps in the stimulation of the immune system and hence helps prevent acne.
A solution that is made up of 5% of this natural remedy can give the same results as a drugstore prescription of benzoyl peroxide for dealing with acne.
How does it work?
When applied to the affected area, tea tree oil kills the acne-causing bacteria found on the skin surface. This is because it contains the compound terpinen-4-ol.
Tea tree oil also sinks deep into the skin to unclog sebaceous glands. This is important in preventing further spread of acne; it also cleanses the pores and dries out pimples.
This oil can also remove dead skin cells and control oil production that ensures the skin stays balanced. Its antifungal and antiseptic functions are also important in preventing acne breakouts, thus avoiding inflammation.
How do I use tea tree oil for fighting acne?
It is important that you make sure that the oil is 100% pure, so that it is most effective on your skin. This also helps ensure that it does not contain any preservatives your skin might be allergic to. Note, however, that the oil is very potent in this state, so you should dilute it before application.
If acne has already broken out, apply the oil lightly to the affected area using a cotton pad; the oil can sometimes cause an allergic reaction, resulting in peeling or redness.
You can also use tea tree oil to promote the general health of your skin by adding it to your skin care product. Put one to two drops of the oil into your moisturizer; make it a habit of applying this mixture twice a day. This works better than purchasing a tea tree moisturizer because you can control the oil dosage according to your needs, and it is also 100% pure. If your skin reacts negatively, try using the tea tree solution every 2 days.
Tea tree oil can also be used to prevent pimples from reaching the skin surface. If you feel a pimple forming, apply the oil immediately.
When you want to achieve a cleansing massage on your face, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a good massage oil, such as almond oil, and smoothly rub the mixture into your face. This should be done for a couple of nights to ensure your skin clears up.
Sometimes the tea tree oil is more effective on a pimple when you mix a drop of it with Vaseline because Vaseline ensures that the oil stays longer on your skin.
You can also use the oil as a toner after you are done cleansing your face; use a cotton pad to gently apply a mixture of water and 2 drops of the oil.
If you do not like the smell of the oil, try to distract yourself with something else, or by reminding yourself of how happy you will be after your acne is gone!
Tea tree oil can be used for a variety of different purposes, depending on your individual needs. It can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. If, for instance, you have dry skin, you can mix a few drops of the oil with your moisturizer. You can also try using it as a toner after cleansing.
You should be aware that seeing the full results of this oil take time, so do not get discouraged if you do not see immediate changes. It should take 1 to 3 weeks for you to start noticing the beneficial effects of the oil on your skin. Remember, the results are worth waiting for!