How to use tea tree oil after shaving


Tea Tree Oil for Ingrown Hair: Healing and Prevention

Overview

If a hair curls inward and starts growing in rather than out of the skin, it’s referred to as an ingrown hair.

An ingrown hair can look like a small bump or dot on your skin. Sometimes they’re painful or itchy. Sometimes they become inflamed or infected and may contain pus.

Ingrown hairs are commonly found in areas of the body that are shaved or waxes, including:

  • the face
  • the armpits
  • the legs
  • the pubic area

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil is a steam distillation of tea tree leaves. The plant is native to Australia and has been used by aboriginal Australians for centuries for coughs, colds, and healing.

A 2006 study showed that tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also reduce wound healing time.

Tea tree oil can address ingrown hairs in three primary ways. It can help:

  1. prevent ingrown hairs
  2. heal ingrown hairs
  3. prevent infection of ingrown hairs

Prevention

Keeping your skin moisturized and germ free are important steps to take to prevent ingrown hairs. Practitioners of natural healing suggest treating areas prone to ingrown hairs with a mixture of 8 drops of tea tree oil and 1 ounce of shea butter.

Healing

Natural healers suggest using a combination of 20 drops of tea tree oil in 8 ounces of warm distilled water. This mixture may reduce inflammation and should also open pores, which can then loosen ingrown hairs.

Dip a clean washcloth into the water–tea tree oil mixture, wring out the cloth, and then apply it to the affected area, allowing the mixture to soak in. Repeat this process two times each day — in the morning and before bed.

Protection

The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil may be used to deal with infection associated with ingrown hairs.

Advocates of natural healing suggest adding 10 drops or so of tea tree oil to 1/4 cup of your regular body moisturizer to make it the moisturizer more effective and to reduce bacteria in areas likely to develop ingrown hairs.

Although tea tree oil is popular and widely used, there are some precautions you should know about:

  • Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested orally.
  • Tea tree oil can overdry the skin if used in excess.

In addition to tea tree oil, there are other oils that might be useful for dealing with ingrown hairs:

  • German chamomile essential oil. Natural healers consider German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) to be an effective skin moisturizer that can lubricate the skin to help prevent ingrown hairs. Advocates of natural healing suggest making a massage oil to use on areas of your body that are susceptible to ingrown hairs. Blend 10 drops of German chamomile essential oil with 1/2 cup of sweet almond oil and then massage the mixture into your skin just prior to soaking in a warm bath.
  • Lemongrass essential oil. Practitioners of natural healing feel that lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus, stapf) essential oil can be used for its antibacterial, astringent, and skin rejuvenating properties for dealing with ingrown hair. Blend 9 drops of lemongrass essential oil with 1/4 cup of jojoba oil, and then put one drop of the mixture directly on each ingrown hair.
  • Lavender essential oil. Lavender (Lavandula latifolia) essential oil is considered by natural healing practitioners to have skin-soothing properties. Natural healers suggest that this shaving cream might discourage ingrown hair. Using an electric mixer, combine 10 drops of lavender essential oil with 1/2 cup of coconut oil. In about 5 minutes, you’ll have a creamy white mixture to use as shaving cream.

Ingrown hairs can be unsightly and uncomfortable. Essential oils — like tea tree oil — can be useful in preventing and treating ingrown hair.

Discuss the use of essential oils for any condition with your doctor.

If your ingrown hairs persist, talk to your doctor about different treatment options.

Does Tea Tree Oil Help Razor Bumps? Home Remedy Uses

PHotographed by Caroline Tompkins.

"Did I shave wrong?" I recall asking my mom when I discovered tiny bumps on my legs after I shaved for the first time. "Those are razor bumps," she told me. Little did I know at the time that this form of inflammation, which occurs when the outer layer of skin is disrupted, happens to most people who opt to shave — and it can happen anywhere you grow hair on the body.

Considering how many people are plagued by razor bumps, we've all heard the tips and tricks for avoiding them, from how many blades to use and how moisturizing is the best way to ensure razor bumps don't turn into razor burns. One such suggestion is using tea tree oil as an at-home treatment, betting on its anti-inflammatory properties, not unlike how it's used for blemishes. As an acne-fighting ingredient, the essential oil has a major caveat, which is that it can seriously irritate skin when used as full strength.

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So I wondered: Does tea tree oil have the same risks when it comes to treating post-shave bumps below the neck? I turned to the pros to better understand why the oil is so popular, and if it really is the best at-home option.

Why Is Tea Tree Oil So Popular For Skin?

Pure tea tree oil is known to be a natural antiseptic, and it's used as a topical agent to soothe burns, cuts, and insect bites. When diluted correctly, it can also be used to treat itchy scalps and acne, with some skin-care brands adding it to blemish-fighting formulations. It's because of those anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that the oil became a go-to trick for razor bumps, too. "Razor bumps are essentially areas of skin that are inflamed because of ingrown hairs, and tea tree oil is known to calm the inflammation and disinfect," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D.

Is Tea Tree Oil Safe For Razor Bumps?

As much as its benefits make sense for razor-bump treatment, tea tree oil is potent. So, while it may work for some people, the experts still urge caution. "Tea tree oil can cause both irritant and allergic reactions," warns dermatologist Hadley King, M.D.

Applying too much or too high of a concentration could end in disaster, which is why it's suggested to dilute the oil or use it as just one ingredient within a formulation to lessen the probability of a skin reaction. "If you choose to it, use it sparingly and only on the inflamed area. I commonly combine tea tree oil with other hydrating oils, like Ghost Democracy Soft Glow Facial Oil, to help protect and moisturize the skin," says Dr. Zeichner.

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It's also critical to remember that the oil should not be used if your razor bumps are painful or pus-filled — that's when you should visit a board-certified dermatologist.

How To Properly Apply Tea Tree Oil

If you do try out tea tree oil for your razor bumps, your application method is also key. Regardless of whether you have sensitive skin, all the dermatologists I spoke to recommend using a cotton swab or clean fingertips for precision, just as you would a spot treatment —don't spread or layer it on as you would a body lotion or serum. "If any itching, tenderness, or redness develops, wash off immediately and discontinue use," says dermatologist Ted Lain, M.D.

Dr. Lain also cautions that if you do use the oil in its pure form, certain steps should be taken when it comes to storage. "It should be used within a few months of purchase, closed in an airtight container," he says. "When tea tree oil is exposed to air, oxidation occurs, which leads to a higher probability of irritation to the skin than the original oil."

Other Razor Bump Treatments

If tea tree oil does cause irritation for you, or if you're just looking for a more clinically-proven treatment than a DIY remedy, there are plenty of other choices. "There are many better options to treat this condition that do not carry the same risk of contact dermatitis (irritation) that tea tree oil does," says Dr. Lain, who recommends over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream (1%). Dr. King recommends more hydrating oils and Aquaphor Healing Ointment, adding, "Any products with emollient and anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful for treating razor bumps or rash."

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If you ultimately decide to go with tea tree oil, just remember to do so carefully — and use it with a chaser, a. k.a dilute it. While razor bumps might be pesky, a rash is even worse.

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Tea Tree Oil

Recipes for all occasions

* HEAD *

HAIR AND HAIR FOLLICLE CLEANSING: Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to a single serving of your shampoo and conditioner and use as needed until recovery.

DANDRUFF: proceed as above. Leave the shampoo on for a few minutes, then rinse.

DRY HAIR: Moisten combs, brushes and linen with tea tree solution (3 drops in a glass of hot water).

EAR PAIN: heat olive oil with tea tree oil in a ratio of 2:1, put 1-2 drops in the ear. Repeat as needed.

COUGH, COLD, COUGH: add 10 drops of oil to an inhaler, inhale before going to bed, rub a few drops into the skin of the bridge of the nose and forehead for a runny nose.

THROAT, LARYNGITIS: add 5 drops of oil to warm water and gargle 2-3 times a day.

NOSE ULCERS: soak a cotton swab in a 1:5 mixture of tea tree oil and olive oil, gently apply to the affected area.

* FACE *

BARLEY: Put 2-3 drops of oil into a cup of hot water. Hold your face for 5 minutes over the steam.

ACNE (ACNE): Apply 2-3 drops of oil to the infected area twice a day. Add oil to your facial cleanser.

AFTERSHAVING: used as a powerful antiseptic, mixed with any of the oils in a ratio of 1:4.

COLDS, HERPES, CRACKED LIPS: Boil 3 drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water. Treat colds and herpes gently with a cotton swab twice a day.

* TEETH *

GINGIVITIS, BLEEDING OF THE GUM: dissolve 3-5 drops of oil in a small glass of boiling water, rinse twice a day.

CARIES: put 2 drops of oil on your toothbrush when brushing your teeth. Rinse your mouth 3 times a day with water and 5 drops of oil.

DENTAL PAIN: Rinse your teeth with water and tea tree oil, apply a cotton swab with oil on the sore spot.

* BODY *

BURNS: treat the burnt area with ice water for 1-2 minutes, apply a few drops of oil on the burnt surface, massage gently. Repeat twice a day. This treatment helps to avoid infection of the skin, to maintain its integrity.

CUTS AND ARASSES: Apply tea tree oil.

BRONCHITIS: rub the chest with 5 drops of oil, put a warm towel on the chest (you can wrap a heating pad in it) for 1-2 hours.

INSECT BITES: Rub tea tree oil on the affected area. If the bite area is significant, mix 1 part tea tree oil with 5 parts of another vegetable oil.

DERMATITIS: rub in a few drops of oil using 1 part tea tree oil to 10 parts other cosmetic oil.

ECZEMA: make sure the skin is dry and apply tea tree oil on the affected area

SHINGER: mix 1 part tea tree oil with 10 parts of any oil. Warm the mixture and apply to the painful area two or three times a day until the pain subsides. Add 10 drops of oil to a hot bath for heat therapy.

RHEUMATISM: mix any warm oil in equal parts with tea tree oil and rub into the painful area until completely absorbed.

TROPHIC ULCERS: apply directly on ulcers 2-3 times a day.

WART: gradually apply 3-5 drops of tea tree oil to the steamed wart so that it is completely absorbed. Use until warts fall off. This may take several weeks.

* LEGS AND FEET *

SPORTS INJURIES AND STRAINS: Rub pure tea tree oil on the feet. Use a daily anti-stress moisturizer for legs and feet with the addition of tea tree oil.

corns and blisters: rub tea tree oil on damaged areas. It is also useful to add 5 drops of oil to the foot bath.

* PERSONAL HYGIENE *

VAGINAL CLEANSE: dissolve 8-10 drops of tea tree oil with 0.5 liters of boiling water and use the chilled douche mixture.

SHAVING THE BIKINI AREA: after shaving, apply tea tree oil mixed with any of the oils in a ratio of 1 to 4. Repeat 2 times a day. The redness and swelling will disappear.

CLEANSING SKIN: Tea tree oil is known to be able to penetrate very deep layers of the skin. Add 1-2 drops of this oil to a single serving of your cream or lotion to help moisturize and soften skin.

* HOUSEHOLD USE *

Rooms tend to accumulate a large number of different viruses and germs, synthetics, carpets, cleaning solutions and paints can cause allergic reactions. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic. Thus, cleansing, washing, and washing with the addition of this oil is a safe natural means of cleansing the home environment.

HUMIDIFICATION: Add 10 drops of oil to the humidifier to purify the air and eliminate bad odours.

BATH: add 10 drops of oil to a warm water bath. Take no more than 20 minutes. You will feel a pleasant softening of the skin.

DECUSCORES: Applications of a small amount of oil can help treat pressure sores. Use a mixture of tea tree oil with olive or other oil in a ratio of 1 to 5.

* BABY CARE *

Use a very small amount of tea tree oil mixed with other oils in a ratio of 1 to 10 on children's skin, as Baby skin is very delicate and sensitive.

WASHING DIAPERS: Add 20 drops of pure oil to 4 liters of hot water. Stir and soak diapers overnight to disinfect.

SCRUPS ON THE HEAD: rub a mixture of oil with another oil in a ratio of 1 to 10 into the scalp, leave for 5 minutes, rinse. Use baby shampoo.

EAR INFECTION: add 1-2 drops of a warm mixture of other oils with tea tree oil in a ratio of 1 to 10.

COUGH: add 10 drops of pure tea tree oil to an inhaler. Put a drop of oil on your pillow.

* AROMATHERAPY *

MASSAGE: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with lotion. Such a massage can relieve muscle pain, make the skin soft and fresh.

HUMIDIFYER: add a few drops of oil to the spray and humidifier and place it in the room where the sick person is. This will help freshen and deodorize the air. Such air is pleasant and good for breathing.

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