With more and more facial cleansers, body washes, and bath gels flooding the market these days, the good old soaps are taking a backseat. But Mother Nature has blessed us with some fantastic herbs that can take them to all-new levels when used in regular soaps. Tea tree is one such herb that is widely used for essential oil. The oil is highly beneficial for our skin and hair; hence, the soap infused with it is also considered equally helpful. 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, originating 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 a traditional medicine for colds, coughs, and skin healing. Its strong antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties make it vital to many skin care 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 correctly 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
The following are the potential benefits packed by tea tree oil:
- It is a powerful natural antimicrobial agent that 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 has only minor, well-tolerated side effects, it resolves automatically (4).
- When used in shampoo, the oil may leave the scalp healthy and squeaky clean by removing excess oil and dandruff (5). Though it is ideal for normal to oily hair, people with dry hair will also not find it drier and brittle after using it.
- The cleansing properties of tea tree oil help keep the skin clean and germ-free. It also possesses antiseptic qualities, accelerating 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 relieve several 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 also have antitumor and anti-cancer qualities (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 is a natural castile soap made from essential oil. The Swiss Journal Molecules published an October 2018 study revealing that tea tree oil effectively removes 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 regularly:
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 that can easily replace other commercial cleaning products.
2. Gives Blemish-Free Smooth Skin
Regular tea tree oil soap can help eliminate all sorts of blemishes. The essential oil’s antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties help limit the growth of microbes on your skin, prevent them from returning, and relieve 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 an excellent solution for successfully reducing the number and severity of acne (9). From curing acne and other related issues to controlling further outbreaks, this soap will do everything for you without causing dryness, itchiness, or a burning sensation. The oil is as effective in treating acne as benzoyl peroxide.
4. Heals Multiple Skin Conditions
This soap’s huge tea tree essential oil content makes it an excellent antifungal solution. It can avert the growth and development of fungi on your skin and cure the symptoms of several 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. It helps disinfect and heal cuts, wounds, and bruises quickly by killing S. aureus and other bacteria that can cause infection. It is an all-natural product that is mild on our skin and works delicately on damaged tissue. Therefore, this soap can soothe skin conditions like burns and abrasions.
6. Keeps Body Odor at Bay
Tea tree oil has a refreshing and revitalizing aroma as an essential oil, making the soap a good choice for treating embarrassing body odor. On the other hand, the bacteria that develop on our skin or outfit are often considered 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
Tea tree oil soap can benefit our skin and our hair. Unlike its other counterparts, this chemical-free soap is gentle on our scalp and locks. So, it can be used for washing hair without worry and keeps the scalp dandruff and itch-free for long.
8. Serves More Than One Purpose
Lastly, a tea tree oil soap is more than just a soap. It is a highly versatile natural product that serves multiple purposes. Hence, apart from washing your face, body, and hair, you can also use it as a hand cleanser, shaving cream, laundry soap, etc.
DIY – Make Tea Tree Oil Soap at Home
While readymade tea tree oil soaps are readily available, preparing them at home is exciting 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
- Mix the liquid castile soap into the distilled water in a mixing bowl. Keep it aside.
- Take another mixing bowl and combine sweet almond and vitamin E oils.
- 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 easily unmolded, remove them from the molds and cut them into bars.
- Let them cure for a month to dry out and harden properly.
Adverse Effects of Tea Tree Oil
When 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 following day.
Can I Mix Tea Tree Oil with Water?
Tea tree oil should always be mixed with water before applying topically. To dilute it properly, add 15-20 drops of the oil to (3/4) cups of water.
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 eliminate 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 correctly, 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