How to use tea tree oil on face for acne scars

How It Works and Other Remedies

Tea Tree Oil for Acne Scars: How It Works and Other Remedies
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Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — By Reina Sultan on August 20, 2020

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils and be sure to research the quality of a brand’s products. Always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Acne scars can happen to anyone and you may not be excited to run to a dermatologist or aesthetician when their help (as awesome as it is) can be expensive AF.

Thankfully, there’s an inexpensive and natural remedy you can try. Tea tree essential oil might give your acne-scarred skin the comeback it deserves.

Tea tree oil for acne scars

Tea tree essential oil is a natural astringent and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It’s been used for years to treat a variety of skin conditions.

It can even help remedy mild to moderate acne, according to a randomized double-blind (aka legit science) study.

There isn’t enough evidence to 💯 confirm that tea tree oil is an effective scar treatment. But don’t write it off just yet! Tree tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties and acne-fighting super powers suggest it can be used on scars as well.

Pure essential oils are too concentrated to apply to your skin directly so make sure you always dilute them first. Here’s the deal:

  • Mix pure tea tree oil with a carrier oil (e.g. coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba, etc).
  • The ideal mixture is 12 drops of tea tree oil to one ounce of carrier oil.
  • You can put this mixture all over your face once or twice a day.
  • Don’t mix tea tree oil with products that have active ingredients like acids, retinol, or vitamin C. These can trigger irritation.

Tea tree essential oil is the bomb but it’s not magic. It can take several months (or even years) for acne scars to fade. Upping the amount of tea tree oil you use won’t help your scars fade faster. In fact, too much of this good thing can be damaging.

Using tea tree oil in excess can lead to inflammation and irritation. It can even break down your skin’s moisture barrier which may make your skin too dry.

Allergy PSA

Tea tree oil doesn’t usually cause allergic reactions, but it’s a possibility. Do a patch test before you rub it all over your face.

To do a patch test apply a small amount of tea tree oil on the inside of your elbow. Give it a day. If your skin doesn’t get irritated, it’s safe to use.

The overall risks for using tea tree oil topically are pretty low. Just be sure to follow the rules. Remember:

  • Consult a dermatologist first if you have particularly sensitive skin.
  • Always, always, always wear sunscreen! It prevents scarring.
  • Dilute pure tea tree oil with a carrier oil.
  • Don’t overdo it. Stick to twice a day max.
  • Do a patch test before use.
  • Don’t drink tea tree oil. Seriously.
  • Don’t let it near your pets, it’s toxic to cats and dogs.

Stop using tea tree oil if you experience irritation or extreme dryness.

If tea tree oil isn’t your thing, you’re still in luck. There are lots of other ways to heal acne scars.

Keep in mind: Active ingredients shouldn’t be blended. Try them out one at a time.


Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are chemical exfoliants. Some popular versions used in skin care routines are lactic or glycolic acid.

AHAs help exfoliate the outer layers of the skin so over time they can reduce discoloration or scarring. They can also prevent and treat active acne! These are a great option if you’re still dealing with breakouts.


Retinol (or retinoids) are awesome for anti-aging because they can help your skin regenerate. This also makes them a top contender for acne scar treatment.

You can get some retinoids over the counter, but to take it to the next level you may need an Rx. Your dermatologist can prescribe a cream with higher concentration.

FYI: It’s extra important to wear sunscreen when using a retinol-based product because they make your skin more sun-sensitive.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight acne. It may also heal scars because it stimulates collagen production in the skin. Try adding a vitamin C serum to your skin routine. It just might do the trick.


Microdermabrasion can be effective against superficial acne scars. It’s a treatment that gently exfoliates the top layer of your skin. Dermabrasion is another, more invasive, form that often requires local anesthesia.

You may be tempted to try these cosmetic procedures at home, but you’re better off going to a professional. A dermatologist has the specialized training to safely do a deeper exfoliation which makes the treatment more effective.

Chemical peel

Chemical peels involve putting targeted ingredients on your face to remove the top layers of skin so that new, healthier skin growth can replace it. Studies have shown that glycolic acid peels have been effective in combating acne scars.

Your dermatologist can pinpoint the exact issues your face is facing and give you a recommendation for the ideal type of chemical peel for your specific scarring.


Microneedling has gotten trendy in recent years. It involves putting small punctures in your face which encourages the skin to produce collagen as it heals. Though it’s a newer treatment, it has some promising results for treating acne scars. It may also help with your overall skin appearance.

Tea tree essential oil is a great way to try treating acne scars without spending beaucoup bucks. But even if you’re not a fan, you still have lots of other options. It might take some trial and error but you’ll eventually find the remedy that works best for you!

Last medically reviewed on August 20, 2020

6 sourcescollapsed

  • Acne scars: Diagnosis and treatment. (n.d.).
  • Enshaieh S, et al. (2007). The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel in mild to moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. DOI:
    10.4103/0378-6323. 30646
  • Iriarte C, et al. (2017). Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology. DOI:
  • Jaishree S. (2013). Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review. DOI:
  • Tea tree oil. (n.d.).
  • Tea tree oil. (n.d.).


Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — By Reina Sultan on August 20, 2020

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Does It Work and How to Use It Safely

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Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of the Australian tree of the same name. Aboriginal Australians have used it as a traditional medicine for many centuries.

Today, people use tea tree oil in a variety of ways, including keeping the skin healthy. Does this include acne?

Let’s take a closer look at how tea tree oil may help with acne breakouts, the best way to use it, and safety precautions to keep in mind.

A 2015 review of 35 studies on the use of complementary treatments for acne concluded that there’s some evidence to support using tea tree oil for acne. But researchers note that this evidence isn’t of the best quality.

One 2006 study found that tea tree oil has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This may help with treating inflammatory acne lesions, such as pimples.

A 2016 study looked at using a combination of tea tree oil and resveratrol to protect the skin from sun damage. Although not the aim of the study, researchers found most participants had less oil and bacteria on their skin, as well as smaller pores. This could potentially improve acne.

In a 2017 study, participants applied tea tree oil to their face twice daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, researchers concluded tea tree oil has the ability to “significantly improve” mild to moderate acne with no serious side effects. But this study only had 14 participants and didn’t adhere to other research quality standards.

A 2018 study found combining aloe vera, propolis, and tea tree oil can also improve acne.

Overall, the research says tea tree oil might help improve acne, but it’s not a cure-all.

Follow these steps for safe dilution and application.

Steps for diluting, testing, and applying

  1. Combine 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil with 12 drops of a carrier oil. However, be careful using any additional oils on your face. Any type of oil product has the potential to worsen acne.
  2. Before applying diluted tea tree oil to your face, do a small patch test on the inside of your elbow. Signs of skin sensitivity or an allergic reaction include itchiness, redness, swelling, and burning.
  3. Before applying the oil, wash your face with a gentle cleanser for acne-prone skin, and pat it dry.
  4. Gently apply diluted tea tree oil by dabbing it on your blemishes with a cotton round or pad.
  5. Allow to dry. Follow up with your usual moisturizer.
  6. Repeat morning and night.

With most acne treatments, you’ll want to use the treatment every day for best results. This includes tea tree oil.

Once you’ve done a patch test and know it’s safe to use diluted tea tree oil on your skin, you can apply the oil to the affected area twice a day as part of your morning and evening skin care routine.

Tea tree oil is generally safe to use on the skin. It’s not safe to swallow it. Ingesting it can cause serious symptoms, including confusion and ataxia. Ataxia is a loss of muscle coordination.

Also be careful not to get tea tree oil in your eyes, as it can cause redness and irritation.

If tea tree oil is correctly diluted, most people can use it on their skin without any serious problems. However, some people may develop an allergic skin reaction or skin irritation on the area where the oil was used.

That’s why it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of your skin before using diluted tea tree oil on your face. Make sure you stop using the oil right away if you notice any:

  • itching
  • redness
  • swelling
  • irritation

Tea tree oil is widely available and easy to find. You can find it at most drugstores as well as online. You may even find it at your local grocery store in the personal care section.

If you’re looking to buy tea tree oil to use on your skin, buy the purest oil available. Make sure the label says it’s 100 percent tea tree oil.

Besides its acne benefits, tea tree oil may also help treat:

  • eczema
  • nail fungus
  • scabies
  • scalp conditions, such as dandruff

Research suggests tea tree oil may be helpful for mild to moderate acne breakouts. This is thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

While it may not be as effective as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for treating acne, tea tree oil may be an over-the-counter (OTC) option if you have a sensitivity to these ingredients.

If you don’t see an improvement in your acne with OTC products, you may need prescription medications. A dermatologist can help find the best treatment for you. Treatment options may include:

  • retinoids
  • oral or topical antibiotics
  • anti-androgen therapy
  • birth control pills

While tea tree oil shouldn’t replace your current acne regimen, it may be a good complementary treatment.

Tea tree oil for acne, acne on the face, spots after acne - properties, how to apply?

Thanks to their amazing properties, essential oils are widely used in the medical and cosmetic fields. One of the most popular is tea tree oil, extracted from the foliage of tropical trees of the Myrtle family. Tea tree oil for acne is often recommended as a very effective remedy.

Tea Tree Oil Properties

Tea Tree Essence is a flowing, clear, light yellowish to slightly greenish liquid with a fresh woody-spicy aroma (low quality oil has a strong camphor smell). Get it by steam distillation, which allows you to save all the valuable substances that give unique qualities.

Tea tree oil has a complex composition, including almost a hundred different ingredients, some of which are very rare in nature. Most of the chemical composition is represented by mono-, diterpenes and cineol. In addition, it is worth highlighting in it such substances as viridifloren, B-terpineol, L-ternineol, allihexanoate. Note the pronounced properties and effects of this essential oil:

  • antibacterial;
  • antiseptic;
  • antiviral;
  • fungicidal;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • improved blood circulation;
  • activation of regeneration processes in tissues;
  • mild analgesic;
  • warm-up;
  • soothing (by inhalation).

Does tea tree oil help with acne?

It has been established that tea tree oil helps with acne, which is why this remedy, recognized by official medicine, is introduced into the composition of medical and cosmetic products for the care of imperfect, prone to inflammation skin. Tea tree oil acts against acne, mainly due to its powerful antiseptic properties and the ability to activate regeneration processes in skin tissues. Thanks to this, the inflammatory elements that have already arisen pass faster, leaving no noticeable marks, and the appearance of new pimples is prevented.

How to use tea tree oil for acne?

Pure tea tree ester, like other herbal essential oils, is highly concentrated, potent. Without diluting, it is permissible to apply it to the skin only pointwise in case of acute inflammation. In other cases, it must be diluted to a safe concentration.

Using tea tree oil against acne, you can dilute it with boiled water - 5 drops of oil in 3 tablespoons of water. It is added to store creams, lotions, tonics, washing gels, etc., at the rate of 2 drops per 10 ml of base. In addition, there are many recipes for treating acne with tea tree oil using homemade masks, compresses, lotions.

Tea tree oil for subcutaneous acne

Subcutaneous acne is formed due to blockage of the sebaceous ducts, which provokes the development of an inflammatory process deep in the tissues. "Maturation" of such elements, outwardly looking like reddish tubercles, towering above the skin, can take a long period. In the future, when the subcutaneous pimple is opened on its own or by extrusion, noticeable traces often remain. In addition, with improper treatment, such rashes can provoke the appearance of extensive areas of inflammation.

Tea tree oil for acne on the back, face and other parts of the body perfectly copes with the problem of subcutaneous formations due to its good penetrating power and powerful antibacterial properties. However, treatment with this remedy should be started at the initial stage immediately after the first symptoms appear. In this case, there is a chance to stop the inflammation and prevent the purulent phase.

You can use tea tree oil for acne by simply applying it pointwise with a cotton swab to the inflammatory bumps three to five times a day. Otherwise, when time is lost, the essential oil must be combined with the use of drugs that can draw pus out from under the skin (Vishnevsky ointment, ichthyol ointment, etc.).

Tea tree oil for acne

Acne in the form of comedones (non-inflammatory "black dots"), papules, pustules, nodules, often affecting the skin of the face, requires the mandatory use of local antiseptic agents. The essential oil in question is excellent for this purpose. Alternatively, tea tree oil for facial acne can be used to make a homemade healing lotion for daily skin treatment. Here is the recipe for its preparation.

Acne lotion


  • marigold flowers - 1 table. a spoon;
  • sage leaf - 1 table. a spoon;
  • water - 1 glass;
  • tea tree ether - 10 drops;
  • lemon juice - 1 tsp. a spoon.

Preparation and use:

  1. Combine herbs and pour boiling water over.
  2. After insisting for half an hour, filter.
  3. After the infusion has cooled, add lemon juice and oil.
  4. Wipe problem areas twice a day with a cotton pad.

Tea tree oil for acne blemishes

In addition to the fact that at home it is possible to treat acne with tea tree oil, this product can eliminate or make less noticeable post-acne - stagnant spots and scars. Due to the ability to activate microcirculation, thereby causing an increase in reparation processes, tea tree oil effectively eliminates acne scars. We recommend preparing a product based on rosehip fatty oil by adding 5 drops of ether to 10 ml of this product. The resulting mixture should be treated daily with the affected areas.

Tea tree oil facial mask

Acne and pimples can be cleared quickly by using homemade masks based on natural products. A tea tree oil mask for acne can have a different composition, depending on the type of skin and its reactions to certain components. It is desirable to carry out the procedures in the evening after thorough cleansing of the skin every 3-4 days. In the future, masks are recommended to be done once a week for prevention purposes.

Clay and tea tree oil mask

Tea tree oil for problem skin can replace a whole arsenal of cosmetics needed to maintain a healthy appearance of the skin, prevent irritation and inflammation. Tea tree essential oil for acne is of particular importance for oily and combination skin prone to acne. Here is a recipe for a clay-based mask that cleanses the pores and makes the skin smooth.

Clay mask


  • clay (white or blue) - 1 tsp. a spoon;
  • rice flour - 1 tsp. a spoon;
  • water - 1 table. a spoon;
  • tea tree ether - 2 drops.

Preparation and use:

  1. Combine clay with rice flour, dilute with water to the consistency of sour cream.
  2. Add a little tea tree.
  3. Apply to face, wash off after 15 minutes.

Starch tea tree oil mask

Tea tree essential oil, which is recommended for use against acne for all skin types, perfectly combines with various components of homemade masks that everyone can find in the kitchen. For dry skin that has lost its elasticity with the presence of inflammatory elements, it is recommended to use a mask recipe with starch and egg white, which will help eliminate the rash and have a slight lifting effect.

Starch mask


  • egg white;
  • starch - 2 tsp. spoons;
  • tea tree oil - 2 drops.

Preparation and use:

  1. Beat egg white, add oil to it.
  2. Gradually add starch until a paste is obtained.
  3. Apply to the face, wash off after 15 minutes with warm water.

Tea tree oil - contraindications

This aromatic oil should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In some people, its use may cause unwanted reactions, so before using tea tree oil for acne, it is best to test it on the skin. To do this, apply a drop of oil to the back of the wrist and wait 30-40 minutes. If there is no intense irritation (severe hyperemia, rash, itching), tea tree oil for acne can be used. A short-term slight redness and a slight burning sensation at the site of application is considered a normal reaction.

What properties of tea tree oil give it its ability to treat acne?

There are many cosmetic preparations on the market for acne and other skin rashes. But often their use does not bring the desired effect, and sometimes it exacerbates the situation. The fact is that some products contain components of artificial origin, which have a detrimental effect on the skin.

One of the most gentle ways to get rid of rashes on the face is therapy with tea tree essential oil. After using this product, the skin of the face acquires a well-groomed appearance. Let's consider its properties.

The healing properties of tea tree oil

Oil eliminates diseases provoked by too active work of the sebaceous glands. Hormonal failure, stress, malnutrition, diseases of the liver and intestines, bad habits - all these are the causes of acne. Such prerequisites lead to the formation of black spots, acne, acne.

Sebum production is a natural process that occurs in the skin. But if an excess of fat is formed, clogging of the pores occurs. Microparticles of dirt, dust clog them and promote the growth of bacteria that cause acne.

You can fight rashes at home. Tea tree oil helps with this.

The oil is extracted from the foliage of a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia which grows in Australia. It is pale yellow or transparent in color.

Tea tree essential oil is part of the Siberian Wellness universal antiseptic agent from the Siberian Balsams collection - Elbeshen Floraseptic Balm. natural for 96% herbal product for external use combines the activity of a "pharmacy" antiseptic and natural floraseptics in the form of essential oils and Macleia extract.

Therapeutic effect

When tea tree oil is applied to the affected area, the pores open and the process of cleansing and disinfecting them takes place. The product is able to cope with various bacteria. It acts as an antiseptic and has a healing effect on the skin.

The effects of the drug:

  • antifungal;
  • antibacterial;
  • antiseptic;
  • antiviral.
Attention! The oil has really wonderful properties, but it is highly concentrated, which is why it is suitable only for external use. Before use, individual sensitivity to it should be tested: drop on the back of the elbow and wait 20 minutes. If there is no redness, burning and itching, then you can use the oil. .

It is preferable not to use the oil in its pure form, but to dilute it in water, neutral oils, cosmetics.

Methods of use

1 recipe:

  1. Dilute 4 drops in ½ cup of hot water.
  2. Use a clean cotton pad to apply the mixture to problem areas. The exposure period is 20 minutes.
  3. After drying, apply a moisturizing cosmetic to the skin. Washing off the mixture is not recommended.

Helpful Hints:

  • before applying the oil, cleanse the face;
  • slight burning - the usual effect of the drug;
  • The required amount of oil depends on the type of skin;
  • if you want to speed up the achievement of the result, you can carry out the procedure twice a day.

2 recipe (more popular):

  1. Take 1-2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel and add 3 drops of oil.
  2. Stir the mixture, spread over the entire face, avoiding the areas around the eyes, or apply to certain areas.
  3. Wait for the mask to dry and absorb. Then wash it off with warm water.
  4. Apply moisturizing lotion to the skin.

3 recipe:

  1. You will need oil, water and some green clay.
  2. Pour 1 or 2 tablespoons of clay into a small container, add 4 drops of the agent, pour in water until a paste-like mass is obtained.
  3. The mask is applied to the most problematic areas of the face.
  4. Allow the mask to dry, then rinse off with warm water.
  5. The skin is then treated with a moisturizer.

As a moisturizer, a moisturizing foam cleanser can work well. Light gentle foam with aloe hop and lactic acid gently cleanses, soothes and moisturizes the skin, helps to make it smooth and even, and also prevents the appearance of black spots.

Helpful Hints:

  • tingling sensation is normal for this formulation;
  • green clay has the ability to purify the skin.

Green and china clay, as well as tea tree oil contains Mattifying face mask from a series of cosmetics with the ENDEMIX ™ complex.

Learn more