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Our Complete Guide to Tea Tree Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Tea tree essential oil, otherwise known as melaleuca oil, is native to Australia and believed to have been used in Aboriginal culture for its medicinal benefits. The oil has since been the most widely used oil in the world.

tea tree essential oil and diffuser

In this guide we will unpack the variety of uses of tea tree essential oil, its benefits as well as the side effects of the oil. We will also provide some safety guidelines for you to use the oil safely and effectively so that you are rewarded with the abundance of its medicinal benefits.

Content/Quick links

  • What is tea tree essential oil?
  • Tea tree essential oil - quick facts
  • How is tea tree essential oil made?
  • Benefits of tea tree essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil for acne
  • Tea tree essential oil for athlete's foot 
  • Tea tree essential oil for nail fungus
  • Tea tree essential oil for lice
  • Other common uses for tea tree oil
  • Tea tree essential oil as Make-up remover
  • Tea tree essential oil for hair growth and thickness
  • How to use tea tree essential oil
  • Inhalation of tea tree essential oil
  • Topical application of tea tree oil
  • Tea tree essential oil research
  • Tea tree oil for fungal infections - 2002, 2004, 2021
  • Tea tree oil for eczema - 2004, 2019
  • Tea tree oil for acne - 1990, 2022
  • Tea tree oil for head lice - 2007
  • Side effects of tea tree essential oil
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling
  • Skin dryness and redness
  • Respiratory irritation
  • Where to buy tea tree essential oil
  • volant
  • Amazon
  • Local Pharmacies
  • DoTERRA
  • Tea tree essential Oil FAQs
  • Can you put tea tree oil directly on your skin?
  • What does tea tree oil smell like?
  • What oil mixes well with tea tree oil?
  • Does tea tree oil remove dark spots?
  • In summary

What is tea tree essential oil?

volant tea tree essential oil with flowers around it

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has a fresh, camphoraceous scent. The oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. The tree is small and can grow up to approximately 7 meters with small needle-like leaves, paper-like bark and purple or white flowers.

Tea tree essential oil - quick facts 

🌿   Latin name: Melaleuca alternifolia

🌿   Also known as: Melaleuca

🌿   Country of Origin: 🇦🇺 Australia

🌿   Scent note: Medium, fresh, camphor-like

🌿   Annual Production: Over 700 tons

🌿   Popular uses: Skincare, antimicrobial

How is tea tree essential oil made?

woman looking at lemon essential oil in the bathroom to use for aromatherapy bath

The tea tree is native to the southeast coast of Australia. It was traditionally used as an antiseptic and as a form of herbal treatment for centuries before it was used by the rest of the world.

Originally, it was used by crushing the leaves to treat coughs and colds or applying the crushed leaves to minor skin wounds and insect bites. Since then, the process in which we make tea tree oil has changed slightly, and now the oil is extracted by steam distilling the leaves and branches of the Melaleuca tree.

Benefits of tea tree essential oil

It is believed that tea tree essential oil is antibacterial and used to treat a variety of skin ailments. You will often find the oil in skincare products found over the counter.

Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat the following:

  • 🌿   Acne
  • 🌿   Athlete’s foot
  • 🌿   Nail fungus
  • 🌿   Lice

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Tea tree essential oil for acne

woman applying tea tree oil to remove acne

As it stands, most acne treatments already contain tea tree oil, and there is a reason for it. The oil itself is as effective as benzoyl peroxide, yet natural and helps in reducing the sebum production in your skin, which of course is a common cause for outbreaks.

Tea tree essential oil for Athlete's Foot

doctor checking on a patient with athlete's foot

Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a contagious fungal infection that can also cause blisters, redness, cracking and peeling of the foot. Studies have shown that tea tree essential oil can help treatment. The best way to go about an at-home treatment is to mix ¼ cup of arrowroot powder and baking soda with approximately 20-25 drops of tea tree oil. Stir the mixture well and store it in a covered container. It is best applied to dry feet twice a day.

Because of tea tree oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties, it may be effective against any type of fungal or bacterial infection of the skin and mucosa, as well as of open wounds or sores, including antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections of wounds. .

Tea tree essential oil for Nail Fungus

man applying tea tree essential oil to treat nail fungus

If you are suffering from a nail infection, tea tree oil can help relieve the symptoms of nail fungus with its antifungal properties. Simply apply some of the oil to a cotton ball and dab it lightly on the nail. This is useful for both hands and feet. But it must be noted that if your infection does not go away, a medical consultation is advised.

Tea tree essential oil for Lice

mother checking on her daugthers hair for lice

Studies are still being conducted to determine how effective tea tree oil is for treating head lice. One study that has been published in Parasitology Research shows that the oil can kill the nymph and adult stages of lice and can also reduce the number of eggs that hatch.

There are so many benefits to tea tree essential oil that it’s difficult to pinpoint the top few uses for it. Other uses include eczema, ringworm, insect bites, preventing wound infections, chicken pox sores, and skincare in general.

Other common uses for tea tree oil in your beauty, skincare or hygiene routines include:

  • 🌿   Make-up remover
  • 🌿   Helps hair growth and thickness

Tea tree essential oil as Make-up Remover

wood dining table with volant diffuser

If you’re looking for an organic makeup remover that also soothes your skin and aids in removing dark spots, then tea tree essential oil is going to be your new beauty routine bestie.

It’s best to mix ¼ cup of carrier oil with 5-10 drops of tea tree oil; keep the mixture safe in a sterilized jar. When it comes to that time of the night when you take your make-up off, simply dab a cotton ball into the mixture and gently sweep it over your face. Thereafter you can continue with your skin routine as per your personal preference.

Tea tree essential oil for Hair Growth and Thickness  

wood dining table with volant diffuser

Scalp itchiness and other issues often lead to hair loss, and with the antibacterial and antifungal properties found in tea tree oil, you can combat any scalp itchiness that you may have.

The great thing is that if you’re looking to maintain hair health, tea tree oil is going to be your go-to.

There are two ways you can go about this:

  • Simply add some drops to your fingers and gently massage the oil into the scalp.
  • Add a few drops to your shampoo, wash, and rinse as per your usual routine.

How to use tea tree essential oil

  • 🌿   Inhalation
  • 🌿   Topical application

Inhalation of tea tree essential oil

woman inhaling diffused tea tree essential oil while drinking coffee

There are a variety of benefits that come from inhaling tea tree essential oil. Since the discovery of the oil was first used by the Aboriginal people for inhalation purposes, it was found that the oil could be used to treat coughs and colds.

Incorporate some drops of oil into an aromatherapy session to promote healing and relaxation throughout the body. You can also enhance your immune system, cleanse, and purify your skin, eliminate bacteria, and enjoy beautiful fresh, camphor-like scent at the same time.

volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
volant clay essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy
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volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

10 €

Topical application with tea tree essential oil

Throughout the years, tea tree oil has been widely used to treat skin inflammation, irritation, itchiness and other skin-related issues.

When applying tea tree essential oil to the skin, it is best to mix the oil with a carrier oil. A safe carrier oil to mix with tea tree oil would be jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. For every one to two drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of carrier oil. Mix the solution well and use a cotton swab or cotton ball to soak the solution before applying it to the skin.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

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volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

10 €

Tea tree essential oil research

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

While Tea Tree Essential Oil has been researched and studied over the years, there are still many studies being done on the oil. Researchers are finding more and more benefits to the oil and how you can best use it to get the best experience.

Tea tree oil for fungal infections - 2002, 2004, 2021

Tea tree oil is the most studied and promising herbal remedy for fungal infections, according to one study.

Tea tree oil has been found to kill dermatophytes, the type of fungus that causes ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin that results in a ring-like rash.

Onychomycosis is a nail fungal infection that often affects the toenails but can affect the fingernails too. It can be caused by yeasts such as Candida albicans or by dermatophytes such as Trichophyton rubrum.

Tea tree oil for eczema - 2004, 2019

In treating eczema, a study was conducted in 2004 where researchers observed the effects of tea tree oils on canines with eczema and the results were outstanding.

As a potent antifungal agent, tea tree oil has also been reported as a treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, or eczema, caused by a species of yeast known as Malassezia.

Tea tree oil for acne - 1990, 2022

As it stands, most acne treatments already contain tea tree oil, and there is a reason for it. One study compared tea tree oil to benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient found in over-the-counter acne products. Tea tree oil was found just as effective.

A recent study in 2022 also found that tea tree oil, among a few other essential oils, increases skin hydration and reduces sebum production in your skin, which of course is a common cause for outbreaks.

Tea tree oil for head lice - 2007

In keeping head lice at bay, a study was done where researchers tried three different products on children with head lice, one of which included tea tree oil and lavender oil. The product with the oil showed impressive results, but studies are still being done on this.

Side effects of tea tree essential oil

With any essential oil, as much as they do provide wonderful benefits to the user, it is essential to ensure that you don’t have any allergic reactions to the oil. So, a patch test is always recommended. If you’re unsure, consult your physician before applying essential oil to your skin.

Tea tree essential oil is generally safe to use on skin, but it is not safe to consume. Serious symptoms can result, including confusion and ataxia.

While the side effects are minimal, some have been identified:

  • 🌿   Skin irritation
  • 🌿   Swelling
  • 🌿   Skin dryness and redness
  • 🌿   Respiratory irritation

Skin irritation

Tea tree essential oil can cause skin irritation when applied topically to the skin without diluting it or mixing it with a carrier oil. It is important to dilute tea tree oil before using it in this way.

Swelling

For some, tea tree oil has caused some swelling and redness when used, especially for users who are suffering with an existing skin irritation. Be sure to speak to your physician before applying the oil to your skin if you are worried about getting a reaction to the oil.

Skin dryness and redness

If you have acne and are looking for a solution, speak to your physician or dermatologist before applying tea tree oil to your face or adding it to another product that you are currently using as this may cause dryness and redness of the area.

Respiratory irritation

Inhaling tea tree oil can irritate the respiratory system and should be avoided by people who have asthma. If you have asthma and are considering this method to fight off a cold, it would be best advised to consult your doctor before doing so.

Where to buy tea tree essential oil

Tea tree essential oil is widely available online and in stores. When purchasing tea tree oil, be sure to look for a 100% pure essential oil to get the best experience. This ensures that you're getting an authentic product with all the therapeutic benefits that tea tree oil provides.

Here are some of the places you can purchase tea tree essential oil.

volant

lemon essential oil with lemon slices

At volant, all our essential oils are produced using only the highest-quality plants, which are harvested and distilled with the utmost care. You can rest assured that when you purchase tea tree essential oil from volant, you'll receive 100% pure and organic essential oil with no additives or synthetic ingredients. This ensures that you receive the greatest possible benefit from your lavender essential oil.

volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
volant organic tea tree essential oil as antibacterial for skin
tea tree
volant organic tea tree essential oil bottle packaging for hair and skin
volant white diffuser using organic tea tree essential oil for aromatherapy

Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

10 €

Amazon

Amazon is a popular place to shop for essential oils. It's important to note that Amazon is a marketplace rather than a store, so there are many different businesses selling essential oils through Amazon. For this reason, we'd recommend checking the ingredients and reviews of any essential oil that you choose to purchase through Amazon, as not all essential oils sold on the platform are pure, organic, and trusted.

Local Pharmacies

If you prefer in-person shopping, holding the product in your hand to get a better idea of what you’re buying, then you will find that your local pharmacies and homeopathic stores will have just what you’re looking for. Always check that the oil you're buying is an essential oil rather than an extract and that it is 100% pure.

DoTERRA

DoTERRA is a company that manufactures organic essential oils, including tea tree essential oil. If you’re looking for a 100% pure tea tree oil for your beauty routine, to soothe irritated skin or treat a nail infection, then get your hands on a tea tree essential oil from DoTERRA.

Tea tree essential oil FAQs

Can you put tea tree oil directly on your skin?

lemon and lavender oil

Tea tree essential oil should not be directly applied to the skin. It is essential that you dilute the oil with a carrier oil; jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil, avocado oil and olive oil are safe carrier oils. Also be sure to avoid getting tea tree oil in the eye and avoid consuming the oil as this can cause severe reactions.

What does tea tree oil smell like?

Tea tree essential oil has a stunning aromatic description. It would best be described with a fresh, camphor-like scent and can also smell woody, earthy and herbaceous.

What oil mixes well with tea tree oil?

Other essential oils that blend well with tea tree oil include rosewood, nutmeg, lemon, lavender, geranium, thyme or rosemary essential oils.

Does tea tree oil remove dark spots?

It has been found that tea tree essential oil can help in reducing dark spots on the skin. You can add 2-3 drops of the oil to products that you already use, mix the solution well and use as per your usual routine. It is also effective in preventing and reducing pigmentation.

In summary

Tea tree essential oil is one of the most widely used oils in the world, and now we understand why. The variety of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and other medicinal benefits the oil carries has made it a popular go-to for many reasons.

Tea tree essential oil is so versatile, along with the many benefits unpacked in this article. We hope that you will find more ways of introducing the oil to your daily routines. If you’re considering using tea tree essential oil, it is best to use a pure, 100% organic oil to get the most benefits of the oil.

We’re here to help if you have any questions about tea tree essential oil. You can contact our support team at support@volantaroma.com and we will be more than happy to assist you with any queries you may have.

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