How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Authored by : Shreya Dalela
  • 25 October 2019
  • 10 mins read
Reviewed by : Dr. Kanchan Kachroo

Is acne is your biggest skin concern? Does your acne leave behind scars that don’t fade away with time? If yes, then you are not alone. As many as 90 percent of the world population is affected by acne at some point in their life.

What’s worse is that research has shown that acne can affect a person’s self-esteem and confidence. The most common age when acne starts showing up is around 18 to 25, which is also a time when the body’s going through a lot of changes like puberty. Around this time hormones trigger oil production which causes acne. Other common reasons for acne are related to diet, genetics and hygiene.

Irrespective of the reason, acne can cause a lot of anxiety and the medications used to treat acne often result in side-effects of their own.

tea tree oil for acne

So, the question becomes - Is there a way to treat acne naturally? 

And, the answer is Tea Tree Oil.

You might have noticed Tea Tree Oil becoming a popular ingredient in skin care products and it’s not without reason. Tea tree oil is a natural way of curing skin ailments. It is capable of treating a wide range of problems be it blisters on your skin, or cold sores or hair fall or even acne. 

Native to Australia, the pure essential oil of Tea Tree is prepared by distilling the leaves of a tree named as Melaleuca Alternifolia. This oil is a well-known topical antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment with superb acne fighting properties. 

tea tree oil for skin

Let’s now understand how tea tree oil actually works on the skin to prevent and treat acne.

How does Tea Tree Oil Remove Acne?

Acne develops when dirt, oil or bacteria gets accumulated in our pores. Those of us who have larger pores are at a greater risk of developing acne. If you are suffering from acne, some of the following things may be happening to your skin.

  1. Your sebaceous glands might be generating excessive amount of oil, making your skin oily and a host to a variety of bacteria.
  2. The exfoliation process of your skin might be slow causing dead skin cells to get trapped in your skin pores. 
  3. Your skin might be suffering from a bacterial infection by a specific bacteria known as propionibacterium which leads to inflammation, redness and itching. It’s hard to get rid of this bacteria.
 acne caused by bacteria

Here’s how tea tree oil works on acne. 

  1. Tea Tree Oil directly attacks acne causing bacteria

Tea tree oil contains terpene, a typical oil that kills the microbial action on the skin. Terpene attacks propionibacterium thus, protecting the skin from the bacteria causing acne and reducing the level of acne breakout.

Not only this, when used properly, tea tree oil also cleanses the pores of your skin and restricts and any further growth of bacteria in them.

Research suggests that this component, terpinen-4-ol present in tea tree oil is more effective in treating acne than the compounds found in chemical products like benzoyl peroxide, which is commonly used as a topical treatment for acne.

tea tree oil for acne

Besides all this, tea tree oil accelerates the healing process of your skin. This oil has properties that inhibit the growth of harmful parasites on your skin. Therefore, the oil proves to be a savior for those who often get trapped in a never-ending cycle of acne.

  • Tea Tree Oil regulates sebum production

Now, that’s not the only way tea tree oil prevents acne. For those of you, who suffer from acne because of oily skin, you can count on tea tree oil to regulate your overall sebum production and reduce the size of your pores so that less oil get accumulated in them.

Sometimes even the best of cleansers are unable to clean your pores well and this is because oil and dead skin cells stuck in these pores repel water. But, tea tree oil is able to mix with natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands. Because of this, it penetrates these pores easily and cleanses them effectively. This helps in reducing the chances of developing acne due to clogged pores.

tea tree oil for acne

It has nourishing properties that provide the skin with the necessary moisture content while protecting it against acne. Interestingly, tea tree oil is free from carcinogens making it a safe choice for you. You can use it more often as compared to other chemical products available in the market.

Tea tree oil is proven solution for treating active acne. But when acne has penetrated deep into the skin, it results in scars and treatment of acne scars with tea tree oil is not yet supported by any studies. So, you can only give it a try.  

If you’re convinced that the tea tree oil is a natural healer and one of the safest way of curing acne, let’s explore how to actually use it to get rid of acne.

How to use tea tree oil for acne?

Now when you’ve realized how efficiently tea tree oil counters your acne, it’s more important to learn how to use it effectively for your skin. Generally, it is recommended that tea tree oil shouldn't be used directly, rather it must be mixed with a carrier oil and then applied to the affected area.

Tea tree oil does not cause side-effects when used in low concentrations on the skin. But if used directly in high concentration, it might cause irritation.

Before using it as a remedy for your acne firstly dab a drop of it onto your skin, if it doesn't cause any irritation or redness then, you can carry on with your remedy preparation. Otherwise, dilute it to the extent that your skin does not react to it. 

Now, let's dig deep into it to explore the best and doable ways of getting rid of acne on the skin by using tea tree oil.  

  • Directly apply tea tree oil after diluting

Now, this part is probably an easy one since you’ve to only mix 3-4 drops of tea tree oil with organic honey, aloe vera gel or a carrier oil. 

  • a) Diluting Tea Tree Oil with Honey

The combination of honey and tea tree oil would work well as a face mask. Honey is naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, which makes it useful for treating acne. It also soothes acne spots and improves overall complexion.

Make a smooth and well-mixed solution of honey and tea tree oil. Store it in a container may be glassware, protect it from extreme weather conditions. Apply the mixture with the help of cotton or earbud, just dab the solution on the acne. Leave it for several hours, wash it with warm water and pat dry your face. You can try this remedy during day time or night time based on what suits you best.

  • b) Diluting Tea Tree Oil with Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a well-known healer of the skin. If your skin care products tend to dry out your skin, you should use aloe vera and tea tree oil together to treat your acne. Simply scoop out fresh aloe vera gel from the leaf of the aloe vera plant and add a few drops of tea tree oil to it. To apply, simply rub a small amount onto clean skin at night before bed. Make sure your hands are clean before dipping into the container. Rinse with warm water in the morning.

  • c) Diluting Tea Tree Oil with a carrier oil

You can use Tea Tree Oil after diluting with a carrier oil such as Coconut Oil, Almond Oil or Sesame oil. Add one or two drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of your chosen career oil and blend well. When combined, coconut oil and tea tree oil produce a magic combination, effective in reducing redness, rashes and acne.

tea tree oil for acne
  • 2. By making a tea tree oil scrub

For those of us who suffer from clogging of pores, a scrub will be more effective than face masks. For preparing a tea tree oil scrub, you need not visit the market, so look into your kitchen closet for the ingredients that would help you in preparing a perfect scrub. We’ll help you out. All you need is ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of organic honey and 10 drops of tea tree oil. Pour all the ingredients in a container and mix them well. Now, apply the mixture gently rubbing onto your skin in circular motions for 2-5 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and pat dry your face. 

Don’t forget to apply a moisturizer on your face after pat drying. You must be wondering why moisturizer? So, scrubbing cleans your skin from within and pores get widely opened and open pores are like an invitation for bacteria, fungus.

Now, if making your own tea tree oil scrub at home is too much trouble, we have the perfect scrub for you that combines tea tree oil with natural exfoliators Walnut Shell Powder and Sugar. It also has powerful anti-acne ingredients such as Coconut Oil, Neem, Holy Basil and Calendula.

tea tree oil scrub for acne
  • 3. Add tea tree oil to your cleanser

What about mixing tea tree oil with your moisturizer or cleanser? This could work out really well because tea tree oil would come in contact with your skin every time you'll apply your cleanser and would cut down the slightest possibility of acne-causing bacteria residing inside your skin pores.

All you’ve to do is mix 2-6 drops of tea tree oil with your cleanser. The dilution of tea tree oil depends on the extent to which your skin can bear it. Apply the cleanser on your skin in circular motions so that the tea tree oil can get easily absorbed into your skin. Take care of your eyes while applying this altered moisturizer, as the contact of eyes with tea tree oil could trigger burning in eyes.

You can try this method every single day if your skin is acne-prone. If you are worried if tea tree oil will work well with your cleanser, then you should definitely try out our Anti-Acne Cleansing Foam that contains tea tree oil as one of the key anti-acne ingredients.

tea tree oil cleanser for acne

4. Add tea tree oil to your bath

If you’ve acne on your chest, back and other parts of the body, then you should try this method.

You need to add a few drops of tea tree oil in a bucket of water or Jacuzzi/bath-tub. This will alleviate congestion and add fragrance to your bathing experience. You can try this method once a week as too much use of tea tree oil can cause some side effects. 

In the next segment, we will answer your most common doubts related to using tea tree oil for acne. Let’s get started.

How to use tea tree oil for acne scars?

Acne scars are caused when acne penetrates deep into your skin, whereas, active acne is limited to skin pores. Studies on tea tree oil have suggested its effectiveness on mild to moderate acne only. But, you can try reducing your acne scars by using tea tree oil and aloe vera mixture.

How to dilute tea tree oil for acne?

For diluting tea tree oil for acne you need to mix it with any carrier oil (coconut oil, sesame oil or almond oil), aloe vera gel, warm water or honey. The mixing of tea tree oil with any of the above things would work in your favour, therefore, you will see a reduction in acne.

Which is the best tea tree oil for acne in India?

It’s recommended to use 100% pure and natural tea tree oil for best results. In India, Kama Ayurveda offers Pure Tea Tree Essential Oil that is 100% percent natural and clears out acne and pimples.

Alternatively, you can also explore. Kama Ayurvedas’s Anti-Acne range. It has a tea tree oil based cleanser, toner and a face pack to help you get rid of acne. 

Can tea tree oil cause any side effects?

Well, tea tree oil is a safe option for most people but can result in symptoms like redness, swelling or irritation in some cases. Always perform a patch test before using the product extensively.

Can I put tea tree oil directly on my skin?

If you've performed the patch test and your skin didn’t show any sign of irritation, then you can directly apply it on your skin in small quantity. Otherwise, it is recommended to dilute the tea tree oil and then use it for topical application.


Many problems, one solution; this one-liner aptly goes with tea tree oil as it treats every problem very well related to skin, nails, hair. Ayurveda considers it as a must-have essential oil in your medicine cabinet. Don’t miss out on such a valuable essential oil as you have got a chance of curing your acne without any chemicals.

Once your acne cycle is on the onset, you are advised to keep a clean cloth/handkerchief always with you as a failure in maintenance of cleanliness on your part would result in worsening the situation. Reduce the intake of oily food items to further increase the speed of recovery.

So, counter your acne not only from within but also with the usage of tea tree oil. Look for beauty products that contain tea tree oil. Give tea tree oil or tea tree oil products for acne a try, chances are they’ll really work for you.


About the Author
Shreya Dalela
Shreya Dalela

Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.

About the Reviewer
Dr. Kanchan Kachroo
Dr. Kanchan Kachroo

Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.

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