When it comes to picking acne-targeting products, it's usually the heavy-hitting exfoliating acids that get all the attention. Everyone's always going on and on about salicylic acids and benzoyl peroxides... but did you know that those aren't the only options to effectively treat acne?
Related article: The Different Types of Acne and How to Treat Them
Natural ingredients like tea tree oil may not be as "cool" as its other acne-fighting counterparts, but it has been used in the medicinal world for centuries. This essential oil can pretty much zap away zits overnight, and has been scientifically proven to help treat all kinds of pimples. Keep reading to know why this essential oil is a staple in the skin care world, especially for anyone with acne-prone skin!
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from a plant native to our very own Australia, known as Melaleuca alternifolia. This oil is produced through a steaming of the melaleuca alternifolia tree's characteristically scented leaves. If you've ever used tea tree oil products, you'd likely have noticed its very distinct scent.
Like many other natural and plant-based ingredients, tea tree oil has a looong history of usage. This traditional medicine had been used by native Aborigines for centuries, who used tea tree oil to treat everything from coughs and colds to wounds and various skin conditions.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:
1. Kills bacteria: One of the major components in tea tree oil is a compound known as Terpinen-4-ol, an active ingredient that helps destabilises the cell of acne-causing bacteria, essentially killing it! This makes tea tree oil effective against p.acnes, which is the annoying root of all of your pimple related concerns.
2. Anti-inflammatory: Not only preventing acne, tea tree also helps quell any existing inflammation and redness, a major benefit for those with acne-prone skin. Scientific studies have even shown that tea tree oil works just as well as benzoyl peroxide when it comes to treating acne. Plus it comes with fewer side effects (e.g. dryness or irritation)!
3. It's anti-viral and anti-fungal: Tea tree oil also helps decrease funguses and viruses on the surface of the skin, making it a viable treatment for Athlete's Foot (fungal) and cold sores (viral)!
The Best Products with Tea Tree Oil
Now that we know this ingredient is going nowhere (and hasn't for hundreds of years!), here are some of the best tea tree oil products we recommend checking out:
1. Nacific Fresh Cica Plus Clear Serum: One of the best ways to incorporate this ingredient to your routine is through a soothing serum. This Nacific serum contains centella asiatica, ceramide, panthenol and tea tree oil to control excess sebum, calm irritation, while strengthening your skin barrier to prevent future skin troubles!
2. Banila Co Clean it Zero Pore Clarifying: You'll also find tea tree oil is many of your favourite acne-fighting cleansers, like this one from Banila Co! Formulated with Tri-Peel Acid™, which contains AHA, BHA and LHA, and jojoba and tea tree oil, this cleansing balm will help unclog your pores, while nourishing and soothing the skin.
3. Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser: This low-ph cleanser boasts a gentle, hydrating formula, but still packs a punch for acne-prone skin! Tea tree leaf oil helps soothe the skin and treat breakouts, while betaine salicylate exfoliates and keeps pores clear.
4. Some By Mi 30 Days Miracle Tea Tree Clear Spot Oil: If you're looking for something to specifically target acne spots on your face, this Tea Tree Clear Spot Oil from Some By Mi is formulated with 15% tea tree oil to instantly soothe skin troubles and control excessive oil production. This tea tree oil is effective but gentle on skin, and is mild enough for daily use both in the morning and evening.
5. Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask: This cica sleeping mask is a light, hydrating formula containing powerful cica ingredients and tea tree oil to help soothe and repair your skin while you sleep!
6. Tony Moly I'm Real Tea Tree Mask Sheet: Reach for this during your travels, or during that time of the month to help prevent and reduce acne. This refreshing sheet mask both hydrates and contains tea tree oil to calm down breakouts, and we'll give it bonus points for the wallet-friendly price tag!