With more and more facial cleansers, body washes, and bath gels flooding the market these days, the good old soaps are clearly taking a backseat. But Mother Nature has blessed us with some amazing herbs, which, when used in regular soaps, can take them to all-new levels. Tea tree is one such herb that is widely used for essential oil. The oil is extremely beneficial for our skin and hair and hence, the soap infused with it is also considered equally useful. Today, let us discuss the benefits of tea tree oil soap that we all can enjoy upon regular use:
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is a pale yellow-colored, clear essential oil obtained from a small tree called Melaleuca alternifolia, which is originated from Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. The oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor is steam-distilled from the crushed leaves of the plant. It is available in the market in 100% undiluted (neat oil) and 5-10% diluted forms. Since ancient times, inexpensive tea tree essential oil has been used as a traditional medicine for colds, coughs, and skin healing. It has strong antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, which make it an important part of many skincare products like soaps, shampoos, acne creams, etc. Though tea tree oil is known to have a few drawbacks, the scientifically-backed benefits of the ingredient outweigh those when used properly and safely.
Sometimes the tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia is confused with the plant from which green, black, and oolong tea are made. However, they are completely different from each other.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Following are the potential benefits packed by tea tree oil:
- It is a powerful natural antimicrobial agent, which contains terpinen-4-ol for killing certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi (1), (2). The compound also helps our body combat germs and foreign bodies by enhancing the activity of white blood cells (3), thereby preventing skin infections and promoting healing.
- According to a study published in the August 2017 version of the Australasian Journal of Dermatology, the topical application of tea tree gel significantly improves mild to moderate acne. Though it comes with only minor, well-tolerated side effects, they get resolved soon automatically (4).
- When used in shampoo, the oil may leave the scalp healthy and squeaky clean by removing excess oil and dandruff from it (5). Though it is ideal for normal to oily hair, people with dry hair will also not find their hair drier and brittle after using this.
- The cleansing properties of tea tree oil are helpful in keeping the skin clean and germ-free. It also possesses antiseptic qualities, which accelerates the healing of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.
- Tea tree oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing effects on the skin. Hence, using it can give you relief from a number of skin conditions and infections while treating them effectively.
- If your airways are congested, the slightly astringent aroma of the oil can clear it up.
- Several studies have demonstrated that tea tree oil might have anti-tumor and anti-cancer qualities as well (6) (7).
Tea tree oil is widely used for a number of other purposes too. These include repelling bugs and insects, getting rid of nail fungus, preventing tooth decay, fighting bad breath, making all-purpose cleaners, banishing mold on fruits and vegetables, and so on.
What is Tea Tree Oil Soap?
Tea tree oil soap is a natural castile soap, which is basically made from tea tree essential oil. The Swiss Journal Molecules published an October 2018 study, which revealed that tea tree oil is effective in taking out multi-drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) whether used alone or combined with other products (8). The proven antimicrobial properties of the oil make it a perfect fit for natural soaps.
8 Excellent Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Soap
So, here is a list of benefits that you can enjoy by using a tea tree oil soap in a regular manner:
1. Works as a Medicated Cleanser
Tea tree oil soap is a highly efficient natural cleanser. At the same time, it also comes with strong antiseptic properties of the tea tree essential oil. Hence, we can consider it a medicated cleanser, which can replace any other commercial cleaning products easily.
2. Gives Blemish-Free Smooth Skin
Regular use of tea tree oil soap can help you get rid of all sorts of blemishes. The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of the essential oil help in limiting the growth of microbes on your skin, preventing them from coming back, and relieving inflammation. As a result, your blemishes start to vanish and you get smooth, even-toned, and radiant skin.
3. Drives Acne Away Successfully
Using tea tree oil soap on your acne-prone skin can be a great solution for reducing the number and severity of acne successfully (9). From curing acne and other related issues to controlling further outbreaks, this soap will do each and everything for you without causing dryness, itchiness, or burning sensation. In fact, the oil has been found to be as effective in treating acne as benzoyl peroxide.
4. Heals Multiple Skin Conditions
As said previously, the huge tea tree essential oil content of this soap makes it a wonderful antifungal solution. It can avert the growth and development of fungi on your skin and cure the symptoms of a number of skin conditions or infections, such as eczema, contact dermatitis (10), psoriasis (11), athlete’s foot (12), ringworm attack, etc. in a truly effective way.
5. Treats Cuts and Bruises Fast
Tea tree essential oil is widely known for its antiseptic quality, which helps in disinfecting as well as healing all sorts of cuts, wounds, and bruises fast by killing S. aureus and other bacteria that can cause infection. It is an all-natural product that is absolutely mild on our skin and works delicately on damaged tissue. Therefore, you can use this soap to soothe skin conditions like burns and abrasions too.
6. Keeps Body Odor at Bay
Being an essential oil, tea tree oil has a refreshing and revitalizing aroma that makes the soap a good choice for treating embarrassing body odor. On the other hand, the bacteria developed on our skin or outfit are often considered as the root cause of our body odor, which can also be diminished significantly by using this anti-bacterial soap regularly in the shower.
7. Cures Dandruff and Itchy Scalp
Not only our skin, but tea tree oil soap can also be quite beneficial for our hair. Unlike its other counterparts, this chemical-free soap is very gentle on our scalp as well as on locks. So, it can be used for washing hair without any worry and it is known to keep the scalp dandruff and itch-free for long.
8. Serves More Than One Purpose
Last but not the least, a tea tree oil soap is more than just a soap. It is an extremely versatile natural product that serves multiple purposes. Hence, apart from washing your face, body, and hair, you can also make use of it as a hand cleanser or hand soap, shaving cream, laundry soap, etc.
DIY – Make Tea Tree Oil Soap at Home
While readymade tea tree oil soaps are easily available in the market, preparing them at home is quite interesting and fun. Following is the recipe for you:
- Liquid castile soap – (1/2) cup
- Distilled water – 1/2) cup
- Sweet almond oil – 1 tablespoon
- Vitamin E oil – 1 tablespoon
- Tea tree essential oil – 15 drops
- Lavender essential oil – 5 to 10 drops
- Take a mixing bowl and mix the liquid castile soap into the distilled water. Keep it aside.
- Take another mixing bowl and combine sweet almond oil and vitamin E oil together.
- Now, pour the liquid soap mixture into the oil mixture and mix them gently until it thickens.
- Add tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil to the blend. Combine well.
- Then, pour the entire thing into soap molds, cover them, and set them aside for 24 hours.
- When they can be unmolded easily, take them out of the molds and cut them into bars.
- Let them cure for a month so that they dry out and harden properly.
Adverse Effects of Tea Tree Oil
When it comes to applying tea tree oil topically, you should always dilute it with distilled water first. Some common side effects of the oil include allergic reactions, skin irritation, itchiness, stinging, burning sensation, scaling, redness, dryness, etc. Tea tree essential oil is also toxic when swallowed.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil, which is steam-distilled from the leaves of the tea tree plant. The oil with potent antimircobial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflamatory properties can benefit our skin in various ways – from cleansing it to keeping acne at bay. Soaps prepared with tea tree oil are also quite good for us as they can make the skin free from breakouts and blemishes, heal a number of skin conditions effectively, work as natural deodorants and so on. You can even prepare tea tree oil soaps at home by following simple DIY methods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can You Put Tea Tree Oil on Your Face?
Of course, diluted tea tree oil can be used on the face for treating acne, pimples, blemishes, spots, and infections.
Can I Leave Tea Tree Oil on My Face Overnight?
Yes, tea tree oil can be left on the face overnight. Just rinse your face with warm water nicely the next morning.
Can I Mix Tea Tree Oil with Water?
Tea tree oil should always be mixed with water before applying topically. You can add 15-20 drops of the oil to (3/4) cup of water for diluting it properly.
How Do I Get Rid of Tea Tree Oil Smell on My Face?
Adding white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the diluted tea tree oil can help you get rid of its smell on your face.
Does Tea Tree Oil Clog Pores?
Yes, tea tree oil can clog your pores and aggravate your acne. However, when diluted and applied the right way, it should not cause any worry.
- “Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: A Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “The Dynamics and Mechanism of the Antimicrobial Activity of Tea Tree Oil Against Bacteria and Fungi“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Biological Activity of Melaleuca alternifola (Tea Tree) Oil Component, Terpinen-4-ol, in Human Myelocytic Cell Line HL-60“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Tea Tree Oil Gel for Mild to Moderate Acne; A 12 Week Uncontrolled, Open-Label Phase II Pilot Study“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Treatment of Dandruff with 5% Tea Tree Oil Shampoo“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Tea Tree Oil Presents In Vitro Antitumor Activity on Breast Cancer Cells without Cytotoxic Effects on Fibroblasts and on Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Expression of P53, BAX, and BCL-2 in Human Malignant Melanoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells after Tea Tree Oil Treatment In Vitro“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “High Potency of Melaleuca alternifolia Essential Oil against Multi-Drug Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “New Perspectives on Antiacne Plant Drugs: Contribution to Modern Therapeutics“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Tea Tree Oil Attenuates Experimental Contact Dermatitis“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Tea Tree Oil As a Novel Antipsoriasis Weapon“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Treatment of Interdigital Tinea Pedis with 25% and 50% Tea Tree Oil Solution: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blinded Study“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov