Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a fresh-smelling liquid that comes in colours ranging from clear to yellow to green.
It is derived from the tea tree plant, which is native to Australia.
The essential oil is a popular ingredient in hair and skincare products – but it has even more uses outside of beauty.
Read on to find the useful ways you can incorporate tea tree oil into your life – from deodorant to hand sanitizer.
10 uses of tea tree oil
For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil – such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil.
It’s suggested that people interested in using tea tree oil first get an allergy skin patch test and then dilute tea tree oil carefully to prevent further irritation.
Tea tree oil is a popular choice for treating acne because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
To use, dilute three drops of tea tree oil into two ounces of witch hazel. Use it as a toner throughout the day.
You can use a face wash, moisturizer, and spot treatment containing tea tree oil as well.
For stubborn spots, try dabbing a tiny drop of tea tree oil onto specific spots using a cotton bud. Wash it off if the skin becomes irritated.
In what has been nicknamed ‘maskne’, spots develop on the skin under your face mask because the friction produces bacteria and oil which clog up pores.
However, TikTok user @heyitsamess shared a game-changing hack in helping your skin cope with wearing a face-covering.
In the video which has over 115k views, Amy shows viewers how simply spraying a few squirts of Boots’s tea Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Back Spray on the inside your mask can really help your poor distressed skin.
Really helps with breakouts! #asosdaytofright #fyp #foryou #xyzbca
She says: ‘I know quite a lot of people have been having some problems wearing face masks and getting spots round their chin.
‘If you just spray a little bit in your mask before you put it on, it literally helps your skin so much and it smells so nice.’
Hair and scalp treatment
You can also use tea tree oil to treat dandruff. The oil removes the build-up of chemicals and dead skin cells from the scalp.
Apply a mixture of tea tree oil and a carrier oil to your hair and scalp. Allow it to stay in your hair for 20 minutes.
You could then use a tea tree oil shampoo, and follow with a tea tree oil conditioner.
Tea tree oil’s antibacterial effects may help control underarm odor related to perspiration.
You can buy tea tree oil in stores, or make some using the following simple recipe.
- 16 drops of tea tree oil
- 1/3 cups baking soda
- 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 5 tbsp coconut oil
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic is finally getting under control, using hand sanitizer every day is still good practice.
Tea tree oil has wonderful antibacterial properties, making it an ideal ingredient in fighting germs.
You can buy tea tree hand sanitizer in the store, or make your own at home by mixing the following ingredients:
Although humans find the smell of tea tree to be inviting, insects feel quite the opposite.
To create a blend that has strong repellent properties, mix 1/4 cup almond oil with three drops of tea tree oil and two drops of citronella oil in a bottle.
Vinegar can be used in place of almond oil for a more sprayable version; the vinegar smell dissipates quickly.
Apply a few drops or a squirt of the mixture on the skin to keep pesky pests at bay.
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil make it an effective wound healer.
According to a 2013 study by Karen B. Chin and Barbara Cordell, tea tree oil helps to heal wounds caused by bacteria.
Nine of the 10 people who used tea tree oil in addition to conventional treatment showed a decrease in healing time compared to conventional treatment alone.
To use, simply add one drop of tea tree oil with a wound ointment cream and apply as directed throughout the day.
According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of fungus in nail infections.
Improvements were seen after 14 days.
After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream cured their toenail fungus with no relapses.
Supercharge your fungus cream by adding a drop of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties can be used for more than just skincare – it makes a great natural household cleaner.
Simply add 20 drops of tea tree oil with a cup of water and a half cup of white vinegar.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use as an all-purpose cleaner.
Tea tree oil has been shown to be effective at treating lice eggs.
A study reported in the International Journal of Dermatology compared botanical and synthetic substances for preventing lice in primary school-age kids.
On its own, tea tree oil was the most effective treatment tested.
Parents can either mix three to five drops of tea tree oil to every ounce of shampoo, or combine three tablespoons of carrier oil with a teaspoon of tea tree oil and apply to infested hair for 30 to 40 minutes before washing out.
You can also buy tea tree head lice treatment in stores.
Things to look out for when buying tea tree oil
Since tea tree oil varies in quality, it’s important to buy an oil that is 100% natural, with no additives.
Buy organic tea tree oil if possible, and always buy from a reputable brand.
The Latin name, Melaleuca alternifolia, and the country of origin should be printed on the bottle.
Look for an oil that has a 10 to 40% concentration of terpinen, which is the main antiseptic component of tea tree oil.
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