The health benefits of tea tree oil range from insect repellent to all-purpose cleaner. Perhaps, however, its most well-known benefit is for its use in the treatment of acne-prone skin. With its anti-inflammatory properties and vast availability, tea tree oil has proven to be useful in the fight against breakouts and has also been shown in some scientific studies to be as effective as some harsher treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide.
What is tea tree oil?
Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree is an essential oil that comes from the tea tree. It bears incredible anti-microbial properties when applied topically, and has been used for generations in the fight against fungus and bacteria on the skin. For acne-prone skin specifically, it’s a wonderful treatment to target the bacterial overgrowth that causes certain types of breakouts.
Tea tree oil at home
Because it’s so readily available, many will purchase 100% undiluted tea tree oil to use at home. At this potency, it can be known to cause skin irritation and perhaps worsen existing acne and breakouts. On the other hand, tea tree oil that has been diluted too much, will not have its full effects in treating the skin. The key is finding just the right ratio that has been backed by studies and data.
What’s the right mix?
Following scientific literature of studies that have been done over time using tea tree oil to improve acne-prone skin, 5% is the precise level that’s effective in minimizing breakouts, without a high risk of side effects. The KitavaMD Tea Tree Spot Treatment uses 5% tea tree oil in its proprietary formula to target breakouts and visibly reduce the appearance of acne.