Face/ Natural Skin Care

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne – 5 Proven Remedies

Updated: November 23, 2019

(This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here)

tea tree oil for acne

(This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.)

This is a guest post by Anjali who blogs at https://www.yourbeautychronicles.com. She shares her many years of struggle with acne on her blog, she shares what really works to get rid of acne and ways you can heal your skin with natural remedies. 

I first came across tea tree oil when a friend recommended it to me to heal a cut I had. The cut was on my hand and due to the fact that we use our hands for almost everything, it was taking its own time to heal. I had had the cut for about a week. I clearly remember that the cut healed in 2 days after I applied a bit of tea tree oil on it. Let’s see how we can use these same healing benefits of tea tree oil for acne.

Tea Tree oil also known as melaleuca oil is an essential oil. It is derived from the leaves of the tea tree shrub. This shrub is found in and is native to regions of Australia. It is not to be confused with the common tea plant whose leaves are used to make the tea we drink.

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. These properties make it an excellent topical remedy for a lot of skin problems like acne, cuts, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and other skin infections. Let’s see how can we use tea tree oil for acne.

Applying a 5% tea tree oil gel appears to be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5, Benzac AC, and others) for treating acne. Tea tree oil might work more slowly than benzoyl peroxide but seems to be less irritating to the facial skin. When applied twice daily for 45 days, tea tree oil reduces several acne symptoms, including acne severity.

A smaller study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2007 involved 60 people with mild to moderate acne who were treated with either a gel containing 5 percent tea tree oil or a placebo for 45 days. Researchers found that the tea tree oil was more effective than the placebo in reducing the severity of acne and the total number of acne lesions. (Source) 

How To Do a Patch Test For Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Now, most people suggest the inside of your elbow to do a patch test. However, the skin on the body and skin on the face react very differently. So while you do need to do a patch test on the inside of your elbow, which will rule out whether you are sensitive to tea tree oil or not, you should also do a patch test to the skin on your chin just beneath your ear. Wait for 24 hours to see if there is any adverse reaction.

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How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

1. Tea Tree Oil For Acne Spot Treatment

Some people suggest that you can apply tea tree oil without diluting it directly onto acne. So you take a cotton bud, put a drop of tea tree oil on it and gently dab the spot. However, I think the facial skin is much too delicate for tea tree oil on its own. You can mix a drop of tea tree oil in 5 drops of jojoba oil and use this as a spot treatment.

A scientific review of the efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action in regard to the treatment of acne with tea tree oil states that tea tree products reduce lesion numbers in patients with acne, have tolerability levels that are similar to other topical treatments, and have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities that are associated with the treatment of acne. (Source)

2. Tea Tree Oil  For Acne Face Cleanser

You can add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your face wash. Shake it well. You can also make your own completely natural cleanser with honey and tea tree oil. Honey is great for acne because of its antibacterial properties. Add in tea tree oil and you have a soothing cleanser that will gently clean your face without drying it out.

To make it, take a clean pump dispenser bottle. You can use any old face wash bottle or even a hand wash bottle. Just make sure to clean it out well first.

What you need

How To Make

Mix all the above well together in a clean pouring jug. Pour it carefully into the dispenser bottle. It might be a little hard as the honey is a bit thick.

To use pump a coin size amount into the palm of your hand. Mix a little water if needed so that it is spreadable. Apply it all over your face as you would do with face wash avoiding the eye area. Wash off normally.

tea tree oil for acne

3. Tea Tree Oil For Acne Face Mask

When I had acne, homemade face masks came to my rescue big time. When medications did not work for me, a few ingredients from my kitchen cleared my skin big time. Here is one tea tree based face mask that worked to not only heal my acne but faded my acne scars and closed my pores.

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What you need

Note: Grind 1/2 cup flax seeds in a food processor or blender till it forms a rough powder. Store this in an airtight jar as use as needed.

How To Make

Place the flax seed powder in a bowl and pour about a teaspoon of water so that it covers the powder. We do this to activate the gel-like nature of flax seeds. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. You will notice that the paste is now a thick gel-like or egg white consistency. Put the honey and tea tree oil into this gel-like paste. Mix well.

How To Apply

Wash your face with plain water and pat dry. Tie your hair and use a headband if needed to keep your hair away from your face. Apply the face mask gently to your still damp face. Avoid the area around your eyes. Take care not to pull your skin while applying the mask.

Leave the mask on for 30 minutes. Wash off with plain water. Follow with a few drops of rosehip oil or your favorite moisturizer.

4. Tea Tree Oil for Acne Prevention

Tea Tree oil is excellent at preventing acne since it has antibacterial properties.

What you need

You can mix a drop of tea tree oil in about a tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel. Aloe vera helps soothe your skin and provides hydration to it as well. Apply this to your cleaned face before bedtime. Let it sit on your face for about a minute before you apply moisturizer.

tea tree oil for acne

5. Tea Tree Oil for Body Acne

Normally body acne is harder to treat as it forms generally on the back which is hard to reach. Treating large areas such as the back or chest if a bit harder. Applying spot treatments here might be a little hard. Here is where tea tree oil comes to your rescue.

What you need

Pour all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake well. Spray this mixture to the affected area twice a day and let it air dry. Use it as a body toner.

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Also, you can add tea tree oil to your bath water to help treat body acne. Adding a few crushed mint leaves would help as well. If you have access to a lemon tree, the leaves of the lemon tree can be added instead of the mint leaves. Just make sure you do not let this water come in contact with your eyes.

If you do not wish to use tea tree oil, you can buy a tea tree oil based soap. These soaps are available very easily in any organic store or any place that makes their own soaps.

So there you have it, 5 ways in which you can use tea tree oil for your acne.

Remember as with all natural remedies, tea tree oil will take some time to show results. You should see a clearing up of your acne within a week of using these remedies.

However, in your hurry to use it, do not forget to do a patch test first.

How to Buy Good Tea Tree Oil For Acne

It is very important to buy good quality tea tree oil. Make sure you buy it from a reputed brand and if possible buy organic tea tree oil. The oil should not have any additives. When it comes to your skin it is very important to splurge a bit on good quality products.

If you are buying a premixed tea tree oil, remember to see the proportion in which it has been mixed and also the type of carrier oil it has been mixed with. Jojoba or sunflower oils are the best. However, mineral oils are not good for acne prone skin.


It is important to remember that tea tree oil is an essential oil. That means you should never apply it to healthy skin directly. Like all essential oils, it should be diluted in a carrier oil before use. Even after diluting it in a carrier oil, it is always recommended to do a patch test before using it.

However, since it is an essential oil and quite strong on its own here are some things you should take care of while using tea tree oil

  • Never use it on broken cystic acne whether in a diluted form or not.
  • Do not let tea tree oil near your eyes or the area around your eyes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling tea tree oil as you may rub your eyes with the same hands
  • Do not ingest tea tree oil
  • Do not use it undiluted on the healthy normal skin

When diluting tea tree oil to make skin care products to use on your face, always use a thick medium like oil, honey or aloe vera gel. Or else use it in a large quantity of water, like your bathtub.

tea tree oil for acne

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