Every few months a new skincare ingredient becomes the rave, with beauty gurus and influencers talking about it to death. Skincare brands also pick up on these trending ingredients and use them as a way to market their products that contain the said component.
But one ingredient that doesn’t need any limelight to prove its worth as it’s already revered and trusted by any one who knows even a little bit about skincare is none other than tea tree oil. This ingredient has been around for ages and is best known for its antiseptic and anti-microbial properties.
However, some people are wary of the ingredient owing to its extremely potent properties. When used without proper guidelines, it comes with the possibility of things going wrong. But today, we’ll be discussing how it can be a game changer when used appropriately in your skincare regime, along with everything else you need to know about tea tree oil, so stick around until the end.
What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia which is native to Australia and is extracted through steam distillation. It has been used as a traditional medicine by the aboriginal people of the country to treat coughs and colds and applied topically to kickstart healing of wounds, cuts and infection.
Tea tree oil contains compounds such as terpinen-4-ol that helps to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. It also boosts the functioning of white blood cells helping to fight off germs and keep them at bay.
What are the benefits of tea tree oil?
In its pure and undistilled form, tea tree oil can cause irritation and burning. It is this property of the oil that makes people wary of using it. However, diluting it using water or other carrier oils such as coconut, grape seed and jojoba makes it perfectly suitable for topical use, and is extremely beneficial for a plethora of ailments. Some of its benefits include:
Tea tree oil’s acne fighting properties is what gives it such acclaim. The antimicrobial and antiseptic properties help to fight off acne causing germs and bacteria, thereby promoting clearer skin. Studies have also shown that use of tea tree oil assists in the management of sebum production, keeping bacteria at bay, as well as shrinking pores, all of which could potentially improve acne.
Tea tree oil works as a solvent, and can help break up the buildup of oil, dirt and debris clogging your pores. This in turn promotes clearer, smoother and brighter skin.
Promotes wound healing
With potent antibacterial properties, tea tree oil makes an effective treatment for cuts, abrasions and wounds. Used alongside conventional treatment, tea tree oil accelerates the healing of wounds.
Helps fade blemishes
With acne comes the dreaded scars and blemishes, and tea tree oil has been found to be helpful in remedying those too. By applying it directly on trouble areas using a cotton bud can help to minimize their appearance, giving your complexion an uplift as well as a radiant glow.
Soothes skin inflammation
Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can cause extreme skin dryness and flakiness, resulting in irritation and inflammation. Tea tree oil, with its anti-inflammatory properties, helps to soothe the skin by alleviating itching and irritation. Studies have shown that tea tree oil is more effective than ointments containing zinc oxide usually used to treat eczema.
Treats ingrown hair
A much less known benefit of tea tree oil is its ability to combat ingrown hair post-shave. This property of the oil could potentially transform your skin if made a part of your post shave skincare regime. It does so by three ways including preventing ingrown hair, healing ingrown hair and preventing infection of ingrown hair.
Leovard’s Elixir, containing tea tree oil extract, hence makes an extremely effective treatment for ingrown hair. It also contains several other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as green tea, ginger, and aloe vera which help to soothe any inflammation and pain associated with the condition. It comes in a convenient, roll on bottle, making targeted application simple and easy.
Word of caution
Tea tree oil, although extremely effective, can over dry the skin if used in excess. It should also be ensured that it is not mixed with other actives such as benzoyl peroxide, retinol, retinoids, tretinoin as it can lead to extreme drying and irritation of the skin. Always perform a patch test to ensure that any product containing the ingredient does not cause a reaction and is safe for use.
The benefits of tea tree oil are many and can easily help transform your skin in ways you never imagined possible if used appropriately and with caution. Hence, just like with any other ingredient, it’s important to equip yourself with the required information and knowledge about tea tree oil to be able to reap its benefits.