Tea tree leaf oil is well-known in the natural products world as a powerful cleaning product, and with good reason: it’s been proven time and again in peer-reviewed, scientific studies to be a powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial agent.
As a skincare product, this oil has some amazing applications, too – but must be used carefully due to its strength.
The antimicrobial nature of tea tree leaf oil means it kills the bacteria that causes much of the funkiness in our underarm scent. It’s also anti-inflammatory, which makes is soothing for rashes, razor burn, and more extreme skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Perhaps most impressive, however, is tea tree oil’s performance as a home remedy for acne. Studies have shown it to be more effective as benzoyl peroxide, without the harsh side effects like drying and skin irritation. However, if you plan to use tea tree leaf oil for acne treatment, be sure to dilute a few drops of the essential oil into a substance like honey or coconut oil.
de Souza, Márcia Ebling, et al. “Antimicrobial activity of Melaleuca alternifolia nanoparticles in polymicrobial biofilm in situ.” Microbial Pathogenesis (2017).
Hart, P. H., et al. “Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil), suppresses inflammatory mediator production by activated human monocytes.” Inflammation Research 49.11 (2000): 619-626.
Bassett, I. B., D. L. Pannowitz, and R. S. Barnetson. “A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoylperoxide in the treatment of acne.” The Medical Journal of Australia 153.8 (1990): 455-458.