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Tea tree oil for Beauty

When it comes to essential oils, tea tree is known for its cleansing and purifying benefits.

Derived from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), a plant native to Australia, the oil is typically pale yellow or colourless and contains a spicy, woodsy aroma.

A number of beauty products now harness the power of tea tree, with the oil believed to be particular effective at helping to tackle blemishes and oiliness.

“Tea tree oil is a popular choice for treating acne because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties,” Dr. Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, told us. “It's thought to calm redness, swelling, and inflammation. It may even help to prevent and reduce acne scars, leaving you with smooth, clear skin.”

A few drops of tea tree oil can be placed on a damp cotton swab or cotton bud and directly applied to blemishes for a couple of seconds after cleansing. However, it is important to do a patch test before using, especially on sensitive skin types.

“Tea tree oil can be used as a topical treatment for spots. Yet, it can be aggressive, and when combined with any inherent oiliness it might cause an unpleasant reaction,” noted Dr. Perry, adding that it’s probably best not to just rely on tea tree oil when treating acne or skin issues. “It may be of assistance if it's the occasional zit, but in general, it is far better to choose a 'proper' product and regime for ongoing use.”

While tea tree oil is available to buy at most pharmacies, a number of brands also include the oil in certain formulas, with popular products for treating acne including The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Targeted Gel, which comes with a convenient wand applicator for easy application, and Thursday Plantation’s Tea Tree Face Wash Foam, a soap-free cleanser.

Or seek out Aesop’s Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant, which has been formulated to help gently buff away dirt and dead cells, as well as Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Pure-Castile Liquid Soap - a great multi-purpose cleanser for the face and body.

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