Here at Rinse, we are obviously big fans of natural products, especially Essential Oils. It would be impossible to pick a favorite, but one that definitely ranks towards the top of our list is Tea Tree Oil! Sometimes it feels like Tea Tree Oil doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves. It may not be as flashy and well known as Peppermint Oil or Lavender Oil, but it sure has some knock-out benefits that we’re certain you will love!
Tea Tree Oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia (yeah, we can’t pronounce it either!), commonly known as the Tea Tree! This unique tree is native to Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland. The oil is obtained through a process of steam distilling the leaves to extract the oil. Tea Tree Oil has been used for centuries. The Aboriginal people of Australia discovered the benefits of the oil first. They would crush the leaves to extract the oil which they would use to treat a wide variety of ailments including cuts, burns, and skin infections. They would even bathe in lagoons that were under Tea Trees. The leaves would fall into the waters which would essentially create natural antiseptic baths. The benefits of the Tea Tree quickly became known throughout Australia and physicians began using the oil to sterilize wounds after surgery. Tea Tree Oil was even issued to Australian soldiers during WWII for the treatment of wounds, infections, and more. It wasn’t until more recent history that the “secret” of Tea Tree Oil made it’s way around the world. It has since been widely studied and has become extremely popular among those looking for natural remedies to common ailments and those looking for natural additions to their beauty routines!
So what makes Tea Tree Oil so unique? This powerful, purifying oil has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. In fact, it is the only oil that actually has an effect on bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It’s basically an oil straight out of mother natures medicine closet! It has become a popular ingredient in many beauty and skincare products. It can be found in skin creams, massage oils, hair products, and more. Because this oil is so potent, it is not recommended to apply it topically to skin without a carrier oil. Also, it should be noted that despite it’s name including the word “tea,” this oil should never be swallowed!
The uses for Tea Tree Oil are nearly endless. We’ve listed out some of the most common uses below!
- Acne & Pimples – No one appreciates those pesky pimples that can pop up at the most inconvenient times. For those who deal with frequent breakouts, Tea Tree Oil may be a natural solution! Several studies from the past couple of decades indicate that Tea Tree Oil is useful in fighting mild to moderate acne and helping to clear up pimples. Because this oil has naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it is able to help lower bacteria levels on the skin, thus helping to reduce outbreaks. For those concerned that using Tea Tree Oil might clog pores, no need to worry! This oil is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog up your skin! Give our Tea Tree Mint Soap a shot if you're looking for a gentle, yet powerful Tea Tree Oil cleanser!
- Dry Skin & Eczema – Tea Tree Oil is an excellent natura solution for treating dry skin and even can be effective at treating eczema. If you have ever dealt with eczema, you know how frustrating this chronic condition can be. The many antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties of Tea Tree Oil make it an effective treatment. In fact, a study conducted in 2011 found that topically applied Tea Tree Oil was even more effective at treating eczema than zinc oxide and clobetasone buyrate creams. As always, it is important to use a carrier oil when treating dry skin with Tea Tree Oil. Check out our ready-to-use Tea Tree Mint Body Spread for a quick solution for treating dry skin!
- Oily Skin – If you are someone who battles oily skin, Tea Tree Oil may just be your new best friend! It’s antiseptic properties have been shown to be effective at combating oily skin. Adding just a few drops to your daily moisturizer can help to break up and remove unwanted surface oils from your skin.
- Inflammation – Tea Tree Oil is fantastic for helping to sooth inflamed and irritated skin. It has even been shown to help reduce histamine-induced skin inflammation. Give our Tea Tree Body Bliss Oil a shot for helping to soothe irritated skin.
- Cuts/Wounds/Infections – As we mentioned before, this powerful oil was given to Australian soldiers back during WWII so that they could help to treat cuts & wounds. That’s a pretty ringing endorsement speaking to the effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil! It’s antibacterial properties make it a fantastic natural option for helping to heal wounds.
- Hair & Scalp Health – Tea Tree is excellent for helping with a dry scalp or dry hair. Improper cleaning of hair follicles on the scalp can lead to clogged pores which can lead to dandruff or even hair loss. Tea Tree Oil can help to cleanse the scalp, helping to reduce dandruff. It also can make hair follicles more receptive to nutrition which can help to generally support healthy hair. Adding a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil to your shampoo can be a real game changer!
- Psoriasis – Many people who suffer from this autoimmune skin condition have reported that they find relief from using Tea Tree Oil. Many find that it is soothing when applied to the bothersome, scaly patches caused by psoriasis.
- Athletes Foot – If you’ve ever dealt with Athlete’s Foot, you know that this common foot infection can wreak some serious havoc on your feet leaving them feeling scaly, itching, or even painful. Tea Tree Oil can be used as an effective home remedy. Using it with a carrier such as coconut oil may help to treat both the cause (fungus) and the symptoms of this condition. Check out our Tea Tree Mint Loofah Soap which can help to cleanse rough foot skin, as well as our Tea Tree Soaking Salts to give your feet a refreshing, cleansing soak!
- Burns – While no one ever plans to get burned, it’s unfortunately a reality of life that it happens from time to time! When you are dealing with a burn to your skin, Tea Tree Oil can be an effective home remedy to help provide some much needed relief. It’s antiseptic and antimicrobial properties can help to keep the burned skin clean, while also helping to accelerate the healing which may in turn help reduce the appearance of scars.
- Bug Bites – Yet another unavoidable reality of life, especially during the Summer! If you are sugary sweet and tend to get eaten up by biting bugs, this oil is for you! It can be very helpful for alleviating bug bite pain and reducing inflammation caused by it. Check out our Tea Tree Oil Roll-On for a pre-made, ready-to-apply, convenient option for spot treating those pesky bug bites!
- Aromatherapy – Tea Tree Oil can be added to a diffuser for a purifying, calming environment. This is great for times when you want to let your brain and body get a little rest and relaxation!
- Expectorant – Australian Aboriginal people have long used a method of crushing Tea Tree leaves and inhaling the oil to help alleviate coughs and colds. It is a little easier to access these days, but the effectiveness of Tea Tree Oils as an expectorant has not changed! Diffusing the oil in combination with using it in a massage oil can help to act as an expectorant, providing relief from coughs, colds, and congestion.
- Cleaning – As many of us are looking to move from traditional (potentially toxic) cleaning products to more natural and safe solutions, we should definitely consider using Tea Tree Oil in our natural cleaning product lineup! Making a home made cleaner is super simple and can be done by adding about 10 drops of the oil to 2 cups of hot water and ½ cup of vinegar! This DIY all purpose cleaner solution can safely and naturally help to disinfect surfaces in your home. Just be sure to steer clear of using it on any granite surfaces!
While our list of uses for Tea Tree Oil could go on for what feels like forever, we think you kind of get the point… this stuff is awesome! Hopefully this list has helped to educate you on how powerful and versatile this oil really is. If you’re ready to give it a try, we’ve got quite a few products that might be just what you’re looking for!