The natural and versatile essential oil, tea tree oil, has been used for centuries to treat various health and skin problems. This oil is considered as wonderful cure for the skin as it can cure almost all the skin problems. It is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia) found in Australia, after steaming them. The oil is clear to pale yellow in color and has camphor-like aroma. It is a common ingredient in many health care and cosmetic products like shampoos, soaps and ointments due to its amazing healing powers. Tea tree oil is totally different from tea oil so don’t get confused between them. It has antibiotic, germicidal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
There are about 100 bio-active components in tree tea oil such as Cineole, Terpinen-4-ol, Terpinene, Cymene, and Pinene. From all the compounds, Terpinen-4-ol is the main active ingredient of the oil, which has anti-microbial properties. Terpenoids provides anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to the oil and make it powerful to fight against fungus, viruses and the bacteria. The oil can be applied directly on the skin but it can cause allergic skin reactions to the people with sensitive skin. So, people with sensitive skin should use the oil after mixing with distilled water or vitamin E oil. To buy high-quality oil, always look for oil that have 30% or above terpinen-4-ol and at least 15% cineole.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits For Skin
Tea tree oil can be used as a natural alternative to Benzoyl Peroxide for treating acne, the most common problem among the teenagers. As per a study, 5% of tea tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide have same effect in the treatment of acne. Even some dermatologists suggest the tea tree oil with glycolic acid to their patients. You should use the tea tree oil in diluted form as applying it directly leads to blistering and irritation. The tea tree oil returns the lost radiance and the natural texture of the skin.
There are three to four ways to use oil for acne. First way: Mix 2 drops of oil in 1 mug of lukewarm water and use this mixture to wash your face daily. Second way: Apply the mixture (few drops of oil in the water) on the affected area with the help of cotton ball regularly. Third way: Use tea tree oil products such as facial cleansers, soap, facial masks and toners. Fourth way: Add tea tree oil to aloe vera gel and apply to the affected area.
The most troublesome, embarrassing and common problem, dandruff can be treated easily and naturally with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil not only helps you to get rid of dandruff but also treat other scalp problems like scalp fungus, head lice, itchy scalp and brittle hair. It prevents the build-up bacteria by unblock hair follicles and moisturizes the scalp. According to studies, anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil help to control dandruff and provide healthy scalp and clean hair.
You can buy shampoos and conditioners that have tea tree oil or just add 2 drops of oil to your shampoo. Wash your hair with this shampoo for combating dandruff. The other way to use tea tree oil is to massage the scalp with the mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil. You can also rinse hair with a concoction (100 ml warm water + 6 drops of tea tree oil) just after shampooing or apply the solution (6 drops of tea tree oil + 5 drops of lemon oil + 1 ounce of grape seed/jojoba oil) before shampooing.
Wrinkles are unnecessary and unavoidable change that takes place because of aging. They start to appear when necessary skin functions like hydration, protection, oxygenation, nutrition and regeneration are slow down and cannot perform their process. Tea tree oil controls the free radicals in the body as well as increases the collagen production which is important for young looking skin. It also keeps the skin moisturized and increases the blood circulation to the surface of the skin.
Use a mask prepared from 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 or 2 Tbsp and water (as required). of natural green clay. Apply the mask on your face and neck and wash with cool water after 30 minutes. This mask can be used for 2 to 3 times a week.
4. Clogged Pores
This oil is very helpful for the people with oily skin. Oily skin means clogged pores which cause enlarged pores, whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. Tea tree oil opens clogged pores as well as removes dirt, bacteria & and dead skin cells from the skin surface. It also decreases the sebum production in the sebaceous glands and thus decreases the production of bacteria that causes blemishes on the skin.
Just add some tea tree oil drops in your cleanser or apply a mixture of 5-6 drops of oil and 30 ml of jojoba/almond oil on your face and massage lightly. Another way is to make a cleanser by mixing 2 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of tea tree oil. Apply this paste on the face in a circular motion leave for 10-15 minutes. Then, rinse off with lukewarm water. You can also make a mask of French green clay (1 Tbsp) and tea tree oil (2 drops) and apply on the skin. Wash it after 5 minutes with lukewarm water.
5. Eczema and Psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis are bothersome and painful skin conditions. In eczema, the skin starts to crust and gets itchy while in psoriasis skin becomes red and inflamed. Tea tree oil offers antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral benefits. It reduces the itchy feeling and dryness caused by the eczema as well keeps the psoriasis under control. The oil calms and disinfects both these skin problems.
For eczema, mix 10 drops of oil and 2 Tbsp olive oil/almond and apply to the affected area on daily basis. For psoriasis, make a paste (15 drops of tea tree oil + 25 ml of avocado oil + a little wheat germ + 25 ml of seed oil + 5 drops of essence of myrrh) and apply on the affected area twice a day. In both conditions, you can take a warm bath by adding few drops of tea tree oil in water.
6. Chapped Lips
Dry and chapped lips are painful and look unattractive. In this embarrassing condition, the skin peels off continuously and lips may bleed, if not treated. Generally, people have chapped lips in winter but some people suffer from this problem all through the year. Tea tree oil treats this condition very effectively as has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The oil makes your lips soft, smooth and kissable by providing long-lasting hydration.
You can use tea tree oil along with vitamin E for getting rid of chapped lips naturally. You can also make a mixture of 2 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tsp of jojoba oil/ a little cold cream. Apply this mixture to the chapped lips regularly. Tea tree oil can be toxic when ingested so don’t lick your lips repeatedly. An antiseptic cream can be made for your face. To make this cream, mix 8 drops of tea tree oil in any unscented cream/lotion. Use this cream daily on your face.
Tea Tree Oil Safety
- Pregnant and lactating women should not use of this oil.
- Undiluted oil can skin burning, dryness, stinging, itching and redness on sensitive skin.
- The oil should not be taken internally even in small quantities as it can leads to poor coordination vomiting, unsteadiness, sleepiness, impaired immune function, diarrhea, paralysis and even coma.
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