The words “oil” and “acne” have only recently been used together without people running out the door in horror – after all, most people assumed that putting oil on acne-prone skin would just make it worse. Now that this myth has been disproved, there are a ton of natural oils (like jojoba and saffron) that are used for all different sorts of beauty remedies.

One natural oil that has targets acne especially is tea tree oil. This essential oil is made from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a native plant of Australia. You can find pure tea tree oil in health food stores and on the web, but it’s also a common ingredient in products like face lotions, shampoos and toothpastes. So how exactly does it fight acne and why should you try it? Here’s the scoop:

+ It kills bacteria: Tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. When applied to the skin, it has the ability to destroy the bacteria involved in the development of acne.

+ It’s a natural alternative: Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient found in most acne products because it helps reduce inflammation and get rid of dead skin cells – but it can also have some pretty nasty side effects like peeling, burning and itching. In one study, acne patients were divided into two groups. One group applied 5% benzoyl peroxide solution daily while the other applied 5% tea tree oil. Afterwards, researchers found that both ingredients helped improve patients’ skin and reduced acne, though the tea tree oil worked a bit more slowly than benzoyl peroxide. However, those that used tea tree oil suffered much fewer side effects!

+ It’s wallet-friendly: Tea tree oils are usually sold for $5-$10, while many acne treatments can be much more expensive. Because you only need a drop or two each time, each bottle will last you a long time.

You can dab on tea tree oil with a q-tip as a spot treatment or add a few drops to your regular cleanser or moisturizer. Just make sure you are always diluting it so your skin doesn’t dry out! I would use only a few drops of tea tree oil for every tablespoon of water or other ingredients.

Here’s an easy and gentle mask using tea tree oil:

Tea Tree Oil Anti-Acne Mask

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Ingredients:
2-3 drops tea tree oil
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:
+ Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
+ Apply the mask on skin using fingers (should be an opaque layer)
+ Wait 10-15 minutes
+ Rinse off with warm water
+ Apply moisturizer

You should start noticing smoother, less acne-prone skin in a few weeks!

Have you ever tried tea tree oil? Share your acne-busting solutions with me below!

<3 Mish

Sources: NYTimes.com, WebMD


Beauty, Beauty School, skincare

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