By Nicole Teh
While the indigenous people of Australia have, for thousands of years, coveted tea tree oil as a cure-all, it is just now beginning to gain clout throughout the rest of the world. And although tea tree oil has a plethora of uses (it’s been traditionally used to alleviate congestion, treat respiratory tract infections and also as an antiseptic agent, insect repellent and anti-fungal agent), it’s this miracle oil’s skincare uses that have us taking note.
With its soothing and disinfecting effects, tea tree oil works wonders on the skin. It can penetrate into the lower skin layers with its anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic (pain killing) and wound-healing qualities. It promotes repair of the skin by encouraging the formation of new tissue and is an acne healing wonder drug.
In particular, tea tree oil is great for treating pimples! We know, we know, oil for breakouts seems to go against everything we were ever told about skincare and the causes of those pesky pimples – but trust us on this one: tea tree oil is not the type of pore-clogging oil you should avoid. Rather, tea tree oil’s natural antibacterial agents penetrate deep into the skin, actually unblocking sebaceous ducts, disinfecting the pore and drying out whiteheads, blackheads and other problematic pimples (as counterintuitive as that may seem).
Because of tea tree oil’s general disinfecting properties, tea tree oil can be used to heal skin cuts, shaving nicks, shaving rash, ingrown hairs, minor cuts, burns, abrasions, bites and stings as well as any and all other minor skin irritations. One of our top tea tree oil tips is to apply a few drops of tea tree oil on dry skin both before and after waxing, especially the DIY kind of waxing.
Some other uses for tea tree oil:
To treat sunburns. Mix few drops of tea tree oil with vitamin E, almond or avocado oil and apply on area to bring immediate pain relief and prevent reddening and blistering. In cases of severe sunburn, however, apply directly to the affected area.
To ward off dandruff. Tea tree oil is also an effective treatment of dandruff – due to its ability to treat Malassezia furfur, the most common cause of the condition. A few drops added to a small sized bottle of baby shampoo also works well to naturally cure head lice.
To heal fungal infections. As an antifungal agent, tea tree oil helps relieve the symptoms of and irritation associated with fungal skin infections such as Athlete’s Foot, jock itch, ringworm, Candida skin infections and other GSDs (otherwise known as “Gross Skin Conditions”).
To remove nail polish stains. Tea tree oil can also be used on stained finger nails by applying a few drops directly to the finger nail, then buffing the nail until stain is removed.