Many people who suffer from acne say the same thing: "I've tried everything." If this sounds like you, consider one more acne solution -- a natural one -- tea tree oil.
Between 40 and 50 million Americans are dealing with acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). An acne blemish is the result of a clogged pore. Pores in the skin can be clogged by dead skin cells as well as bacteria (p. acnes) that lives on the skin. Normally, these dead skin cells are shed, but when they combine with the sebum (oil) the body naturally produces, they can remain in the pore. The dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria can lead to the development of a raised, red acne blemish or a whitehead.
Men and women of all ages can develop acne, which is why it's the most popular skin condition in America. It's also a common symptom of hormonal changes in the body, like puberty, which is why many boys and girls get acne in their teens, as well as middle aged adults. Acne is also associated with the monthly hormonal changes women experience as part of their menstrual cycle. Women are more prone to acne in general, according to the AAD.
Tea Tree Oil Basics
Tea tree oil is produced from the leaves of a plant native to Australia called Melaleuca alternifolia. The leaves of this plant are distilled to produce a clear and very fragrant oil. Tea tree oil is commonly used for aromatherapy, as an insect repellant and even as a household cleaner.
Tea Tree Oil for Acne
The reason tea tree oil is so effective for treating acne is because of terpenoids. Tea tree oil contains more than 100 of these compounds which have anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. The tea tree oil helps reduce the redness and inflammation, kill the bacteria within the acne blemishes and "dry them up."
Tea tree oil is a preferable option for acne when compared to traditional medicines for several reasons. First of all, it's natural. Many popular acne products are made with harsh chemicals that can be incredibly irritating on the skin causing redness, drying and peeling. Second, it's drug free and widely recognized as safe for continued use. Antibiotics are another common treatment for acne, but aren't recommended for long-term use. Third, tea tree oil is much more affordable than expensive department store products, prescriptions or products sold directly through a doctor. Lastly, you don't need to use a lot at a time, so you'll get several uses out of one bottle.
How to Use It
To treat acne, it's best to buy 100 percent pure tea tree oil. Before application, make sure your skin is clean and dry. Next, apply a few drops to a cotton ball or cotton swap and dab directly onto the acne blemish. Don't apply it to the entire face, as it can be somewhat irritating. Apply the tea tree oil twice a day to help shrink and heal the blemish. Make sure to moisturize and use sunscreen.
If using the oil directly on the skin is too drying, you can add the tea tree oil to other topical products. One easy way to do this is to add a few drops to your clay mask. Apply and let the mask work for at least 20 minutes, or until it dries, and then rinse with warm water. You can also mix tea tree oil into a topical moisturizer. Lastly, add some drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of very hot water. Put a towel over your head and the bowl and hover over the water to let the steam open the pores.
Tea tree oil can be found in products like soap and shampoo to provide these clarifying benefits as well.
Give tea tree oil a try and let us know how it works for you. Buy it today at eVitamins and be well!