What You Need to Know About Tea Tree Oil

Today’s topic is all about the ever so popular tea tree oil! In the past, we’ve included skin care products that have been formulated with tea tree oil. In fact, our most recent pouch, July Sooni Mask Pouch, included the Moksha Dear Tea Tree Mask, which is made with tea tree oil and tea tree extract!

History of Tea Tree

Tea tree oil (TTO) comes from the tree, Melaleuca Alternifolia, commonly known as tea tree. Tea trees are mainly found in Australia, and has been utilized by Australians for medicinal purposes for nearly a century. Historians say that it was Captain James Cook who coined the name “tea tree” after observing the indigenous people of Australia using the leaves from the tree to make tea! The indigenous Australians also extracted the oil from the leaves and inhaled it, believing that it can treat coughs and colds. They would also apply the oil topically to wounds for healing purposes.

Photo of Tea Tree (Credit: Wikipedia)

During WWII, Australian soldiers used TTO to treat wounds and was commonly found in first aid kits at the time. Since then, tea tree oil has become commonplace in a variety of forms such as essential oils, cleaning supplies, and skin care products. 

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Now let’s talk about TTO in skincare. Thanks to its powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, TTO has become so popular in skin care.

  • TTO is well known as an acne-fighter! It attacks acne-causing bacteria, but is considered more gentle on the skin than benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, which are also popular acne-fighting ingredients. While there are success stories of people using TTO to treat acne, keep in mind that acne can be caused by a variety of reasons outside of bacteria.
  • TTO is great for calming any redness and inflammation
  • Due to its anti-fungal properties, TTO can help treat fungal infections such as dandruff and athlete’s foot. It’s why you’ll often see tea tree oil in shampoos marketed as anti-dandruff shampoo.

Precautions for Tea Tree Oil
Now that you’ve read about the great properties and benefits of TTO, we do want to bring up some important precautions you should take when using TTO.  Using 100% tea tree oil (which is readily available) can cause skin irritation or reaction as it is too strong. If you do want to use pure TTO, we highly recommend that dilute your skin care products such as a moisturizer with just a drop of TTO. Also, don’t forget to test patch as always!

Another important warning we want to point out is that tea tree essential oils should never be ingested. Carefully read the labels prior to using tea tree essential oils.

What has your experience with TTO been? Let us know in the comments!