Is tea tree oil the best natural acne cure, or will it just irritate and dry out your skin? What’s the safest way to use tea tree in your DIY beauty remedies? Where can you find tea tree oil in Singapore? We answer all your questions here!
- What is tea tree oil?
- How can I use tea tree oil?
- Can tea tree oil really treat acne?
- What’s the safest way to use tea tree oil for acne?
- Can I apply tea tree oil directly on the skin?
- Safe and Effective Tea Tree Oil Skincare Products
- Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Facial Oil
- The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil
- Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Tea Tree
- CosRX Low PH Good Morning Cleanser
- Nightingale Toning Peeling Pads
- Human Nature Acne Defense Gel
- Lush Tea Tree Toner
- Naruko Tea Tree Blemish Clear Jelly
- The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask
What is tea tree oil?
This popular plant extract actually has nothing in common with the tea we drink. It’s actually taken from an Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia, and it’s poisonous if ingested (side effects range from drowsiness to confusion and coma!)
How can I use tea tree oil?
However, tea tree oil can be used on the skin — and actually has been used in home beauty and health remedies for centuries. It can kill bacteria and fungi, and can disinfect wounds and soothe allergies. Here are some ways people use tea tree oil:
Hair and skin ointment
- athlete’s foot
- dandruff and scalp infections
Sometimes, tea tree oil and mint are added to bath water to relieve vaginal infections, coughs and bronchial infections
Aromatherapy and Relaxation
Today, tea tree oil is one of the most common aromatherapy scents — have you ever been in a spa that did not use tea tree? There are tea tree candles, diffusers, massage oils, foot soaks, bath oils and more. Seems like this plant extract can relieve both skin irritation and stress!
Can tea tree oil really treat acne?
Uhm… it depends. According to Paula’s Choice, a 5% concentration of tea tree oil can lessen papules and pustules (or, in layman’s terms, red and swollen pimples). However, she says that most oils contain only 3%. Many blends you buy online are also diluted with carrier oils, and may contain other ingredients that can irritate your skin. “Among the 100 compounds in tea tree oil are fragrance ingredients like limonene, linalool, and eucalyptol, all believed to be responsible for skin reactions to tea tree oil.”
Dermatologists say that DIY tea tree acne remedies may not be effective, and can worsen cystic acne.
Brooklyn dermatologist Robert Finney adds that acne can be caused by many factors, including hormones and excess oil production.“Although tea tree oil may help, it’s not a standalone treatment.”
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, also discourages using highly concentrated botanical extracts directly on the skin. It can cause irritation or skin conditions like contact dermatitis. “Just because it’s ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s safe.”
What’s the safest way to use tea tree oil for acne?
If you have cystic acne, get skincare with tea tree oil instead of making your own DIY remedies. You’re sure to get the right concentration and benefit from other acne-fighting ingredients.
If you have normal skin but just want to prevent acne (or dry the occasional pimple) you can add a few drops of tea tree oil into your cream, clay mask or the water you use to rinse your face.
Can I apply tea tree oil directly on the skin?
You can apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly on a pimple with a cotton bud, but make sure it’s from a trustworthy skincare brand. If you buy from an unknown brand, check if it’s certified safe for the skin or is “cosmeceutical-grade.”
Also check if your skin is sensitive to tea tree essential oil. Apply on the neck or the side of your face first. Or, try a mild tea tree facial wash or sheet mask before going “all out” with a pure extract.
Safe and Effective Tea Tree Oil Skincare Products
Find some of the best tea tree oil Singapore products, treatments and brands!
Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Facial Oil
Shop it now: $59, Sephora
This medicated oil combines tea tree oil and salicylic acid to purge pores of acne and blackheads, and fades acne marks with licorice extract.
We like how it also contains ingredients that can counteract the side effects of tea tree oil. Chamomile and neroli help soothe redness, while milk thistle and cucumber seed oil prevent dry patches and flaking.
“This product has honestly changed my skin. Was an acne (hormonal and cystic) sufferer. It really cleared up my skin and leaves it almost glass like in the morning — pores minimised and redness subsided!” says Denise in her Sephora review.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil
Shop it now: $35, The Body Shop
This one of the bestselling tea tree oil in Singapore and around the world. It has nearly 2,500 Influenster reviews with fans saying that it’s cleared their acne. If your skin is really sensitive, you can try their tea tree facial wash, or the other products in this popular range. It has milder concentrations but can control breakouts.
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Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Tea Tree
Shop it now: $2, Innisfree
This is one of our favorite tea tree sheet masks! It has tea tree to fight pimples, soothing green tea and betaine, and hydrating hyaluronic acid. Store it in the refrigerator for a refreshing cooling effect that also helps tighten your pores. We recommend this if your skin feels dry and sensitive from acne treatments, or to prevent pimples during that time of the month.
CosRX Low PH Good Morning Cleanser
Shop it now: $14.90, Watsons
One of the gentlest tea tree Singapore facial washes! It exfoliates and shrinks large pores and acne, but it won’t sting or make your skin dry or red. Its formulated to match your skin’s PH balance, and can be used on sensitive skin.
Nightingale Toning Peeling Pads
Shop it now: $3.60 for 10 pads, Althea
These tea tree exfoliating pads gently buffs away dead skin cells without irritating your skin. It’s perfect for oily and combination skin, and can help you target acne-prone areas like your forehead, nose and chin. The convenient packaging is perfect for traveling, too!
Human Nature Acne Defense Gel
Shop it now: $16.90, Human Nature
This all natural, clinically tested tea tree gel helps reduce oiliness and breakouts. (Consumer tests found that you could see results in just 7 days!)
The light formula doesn’t feel sticky in hot or humid weather. It also doesn’t sting or cause your skin to peel. We also like the brand’s philosophy of using responsible community trade — in fact, some of the proceeds go back to the farmers who made the ingredients. It’s Asia’s affordable version of The Body Shop!
Lush Tea Tree Toner
Shop it now: $33, Lush
Use this refreshing toner after cleanser to remove residue and prepare your skin for your serum or makeup. It’s made of tea tree, juniper berry and grapefruit to prevent dull or spotty complexions. You can also spritz your face in the middle of the day, whenever your skin feels dry or irritated.
Naruko Tea Tree Blemish Clear Jelly
Shop it now: $18.37, Hermo
This Taiwanese brand has been getting a lot of social media love lately, and the tea tree jelly is one of the most popular! It’s a sleeping pack that has tea tree and mint extracts to fight pimples and refresh your skin. One beauty blogger, GracefulFace, says: “Aromatherapy + skincare in one = heaven.”
It also has other plant extracts — snow fungus extract, licorice root, gingko biloba and more — that fight hyperpigmentation and help repair the skin, so if you’re looking for tea tree skincare with anti-ageing benefits, try this!
The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask
Once a week, purge your pores and banish breakouts with this tingly and effective clay mask. This beauty vlogger says that this is her secret to clear skin. “When I have a breakout, I apply this on the pimple and go to sleep with it. And I kid you not, the next day, my skin is amazing.” Watch her full review.