Tea Tree Oil: The Amazing Oil That Can Transform Your Skin and Hair

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Tea tree oil is distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, the trees that are indigenous to the coasts of Australia. Although no proven research confirms the benefits of tea tree oil, it is one of the widely used products both directly and as an ingredient in other self-care products.

In recent times, people’s health and beauty consciousness have grown vastly. When you roam around a mall or shopping centre, you will notice a dedicated section for skin and hair care that most likely contains tea tree oil. 

Nowadays, tea tree oil has become one of the most consistent products that is being used by people worldwide for various purposes. Some of the purposes include skincare, hair care and personal hygiene. 

So, what exactly is tea tree oil? Does it come from the tea plants from which we extract one of our favourite beverages, tea? Is there any scientific backing for its applications? 

In this blog, let us delve into the details about its origin, benefits, side effects and much more. 

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil is endemic to the swampy coasts of Australia. It is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, commonly known as the tea tree. 

Is there any relation between tea tree oil and common tea? Well, it has a story behind it. 

Back then, the sailors who reached the coasts of Australia made tea out of leaves extracted from the tree Melaleuca alternifolia. Later, this tree has generally been known as the tea tree. Apart from this, there is no correlation between tea tree and normal tea. 

Over time, the natives have started extracting oil from tea trees that are found to be effective in killing bacteria, fungus, mites and other microbes. Since then, its benefits started spreading all over the world, and now it has become one of the essential items that secure its place on most of our home shelves. 

Tea tree oil comes in the form of pure and undiluted oil, and an ingredient in some health and beauty care products. 

What are the benefits of tea tree oil?

There is no solid scientific backing that supports all the benefits of tea tree oil that have been shared by those who use it and projected in the media. Nevertheless, for many, the results are profound. 

However, there is no severe harm in using tea tree oil if appropriately used. Some of the common tea tree oil benefits are

7 Benefits of tea tree oil for skincare


Acne is one of the common problems that we face. We would have tried many skincare routines to fight acne, yet some of us might not have emerged successful. But some studies show that tea tree oil for acne can be an effective tool to fight against acne. 

Some acne, especially those caused by bacteria, can become resistant to traditional antibiotics. But tea tree oil shows promising results in fighting them. 

For this purpose, you can apply undiluted tea tree oil or use tea tree oil products as one of the ingredients.  

Oily skin

Tea tree oil with its antiseptic properties becomes very effective when it comes to oily skin. You may think how oil can help oily skin but proves to be effective in the case of tea tree oil. 

The antiseptic properties in the tea tree oil help remove the surface oils without letting your skin too dry. 

You can mix teat tree oil with your moisturiser or carrier oil and apply it to your itchy skin a few times a day.  

Natural deodorant

You cannot resist sweat. It is also unwise to do that. But you can control the skin odour that arises from sweat.  

The sweat does not create odour by itself. When the sweat reacts with bacteria are present on your skin, it creates a bad odour. 

This is where tea tree oil comes to your rescue. The antibacterial property in it fights and kills bacteria, the prime reason for the body odour.

You can either directly apply 2 drops of tea tree oil to your underarms or opt for a deodorant that contains tea tree oil in it. 

Nail fungal infections

It is highly common to have fungal nail infections. They do not cause any serious harm to you, yet they tend to give an unpleasant look. You can rectify the infection even without taking any medications or medical treatment. 

Applying an ample amount of tea tree oil on the infected nails helps reduce the effects of infection and the results will be visible in some days. 

Make sure not to touch other areas of your skin after applying the oil to your infected nails to avoid spreading the infection. 

Itchy skin

According to various studies, tea tree oil can be a better cure for skin itches. But one of the studies suggests that it can also become very effective in fighting itchy eyelids. It has similar effects on itchy skin as well. 

You can either mix tea tree oil with your moisturiser or with carrier oil and apply it on your itchy skin a few times a day. 


Our skin is susceptible to various types of inflammation. With tea tree oil, you can control and soothe inflammation, redness and skin irritation because of the presence of anti-inflammatory properties in it. 

There is also a scientific backing for reducing skin irritation due to sensitivity to nickel.  

You can use tea tree oil for inflammation in the same way you use it for itchy skin. 

Infections, cuts and wound-healing

There is a high possibility of entering germs through the cuts or other open wounds in your skin. The anti-bacterial properties in tea tree oil fight the possible infections in the wounded area by killing Staphylococcus aureus and other such bacteria. 

In addition, it also helps amplify the healing process. The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties in tea tree oil boost the healing of open wounds by reducing inflammation and controlling infections.

6 Benefits of tea tree oil for hair care


Dandruff is a normal condition that forms flakes out of dead skin on the scalp. It makes your scalp itchy. It is not a serious health condition but it can make you highly uncomfortable. 

There are many products out there said to control the dandruff problem. Among all those products, tea tree oil stands out as a natural solution for it. 

Adding 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil with your shampoo and washing your hair with it helps reduce dandruff to a great extent. This is thought to be because of its anti-fungal properties, as fungus plays a predominant role in the development of dandruff. 

Scalp dryness

Tea tree oil effectively combats scalp dryness by nourishing the hair with essential nutrients. This helps remove hair follicle blockages, thus keeping your hair from becoming dry and brittle. 

To treat scalp dryness effectively with tea tree oil, apply it on your scalp after mixing it with a carrier oil, massage your scalp for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash it gently. You can repeat this process daily or 3 to 4 times a week.  

Treating lice

Although there is no conclusive and proven evidence to support that tea tree oil can help cure the lice problem for 100%, experiences from those who used it for similar purposes show that tea tree oil can be effective in treating lice problems to a great extent. 

Some studies show that tea tree oil can eliminate lice in its lymph as well as in the adult stage. It also comes effective in reducing the number of hatched lice eggs. 

For this purpose, take a small portion of tea tree oil and blend it with your shampoo in the ratio of 1:10. Gently apply and massage your scalp with that mixture. Repeat this exercise regularly to see promising results. 

Daily cleansing

You can use tea tree oil daily to cleanse your hair and skin in plenty of ways. You can add a drop or two of tea tree oil in warm water and take a bath using that. 

You can also dab diluted tea tree oil using cotton pads on your skin daily. This will remove excess oil from your face and keep your face from becoming too dry. 

For hair cleansing, apply diluted tea tree oil with shampoo, gently massage it and wash it off. 

Hair growth

Tea tree oil is found to be effective in hair growth treatments. It removes toxins on your scalp, thus making it conducive for your hair growth. 

Over time, your hair follicles become dormant and obstruct the healthy growth of your hair. But tea tree oil stimulates and brings them back to life. 

Applying tea tree oil after adding it with some carrier oil such as coconut, almond or sesame oil, helps your scalp absorb more nutrients, thus in turn, stimulating your hair growth. 


Tea tree oil can be effective in alleviating the effects of psoriasis. To reduce scalp psoriasis symptoms, you can apply a mixture of tea tree oil and shampoo and gently massage it.  

You can also apply diluted tea tree oil using a cotton ball on the affected areas, leave it during the night and wash it off in the morning. However, it is advisable to consult your doctor if you develop any side effects. 

5 Common uses of tea tree oil

Hand sanitiser

Tea tree oil kills several harmful microorganisms such as E. coli, S. pneumoniae, etc. This makes it ideal to become a natural sanitiser. 

According to some studies, adding a tiny amount of tea tree oil during regular handwashing exercise provides effective protection against possible infections from germs. 

Insect repellents

Tea tree oil is a natural insect repellent. It is evident from several scientific studies. One such study shows that cows treated with tea tree oil attracted fewer flies than those that weren’t. 

You can harness this property of tea tree oil to repel insects and pests, especially mosquitoes. You can use tea tree oil inside a vapouriser, diffuser or in other ways to repel mosquitoes and ants. 

Aromatherapy & massage

Because of its natural aroma, tea tree oil is preferable in aromatherapy. You can use tea tree oil in a diffuser that, in addition, spreads the aroma, kills infections, reduces anxiety and calms your mind. 

It can also be mixed with some other essential oil and be used for massage. This helps in detoxifying your body and relieving your stress. Since this oil has positive effects against inflammation, it even relieves your burns and skin sores. 

Improves bad breath

Because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, tea tree oil is effective in fighting the germs that cause tooth decay and bad breath. You can rinse your mouth with tea tree oil by adding a few drops to warm water.  

A study shows that doing mouthwash with tea tree oil is very helpful in reducing the inflammation caused by gingivitis. But you need to be careful not to swallow tea tree oil, as it can be toxic. 

The scent of tea tree oil

Natural tea tree oil smells like eucalyptus or peppermint. It can otherwise be described as a camphor-like smell. Because of its natural aroma, it is used as an ingredient in many aromatic products and deodorants. 

Besides, some smell enhancers are also blended with tea tree oil when it is used as an ingredient in some other products. 

How can I use tea tree oil for skin and hair?

For skin care purposes, you can either directly apply tea tree oil (not advisable for sensitive skin types) or blend it with some carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. In the case of cut wounds or inflammation, apply tea tree oil on the affected area using cotton balls. 

For acne and other facial skin-related applications, you can blend an ample amount of tea tree oil with your daily moisturiser and apply it to your face. 

For cleaning your hair, mix some drops of tea tree oil with your regular shampoo and massage your scalp gently. Do not directly apply tea tree oil to your scalp. 

Even for hair treatments or head spa, mix tea tree oil with some carrier oil and then apply it on your scalp. 

How much tea tree oil should you use?

In most cases, direct usage of undiluted tea tree oil is not advisable. You need to blend it with some carrier oil or other products before using it. Normally for the face, one or two drops are enough. 

For other uses, 5% – 50% of tea tree oil can be blended with other products such as moisturiser, shampoo, deodorant, etc. 

The dosage of tea tree oil also differs based on your skin type. If you happen to develop any allergies upon its usage, put a pause on it and consult your doctor. 

Cautions and side effects 

In a normal sense, tea tree oil is not a dangerous product, which means you will not develop any serious trouble by using it. However, there may be some undesirable effects that some people may experience for various reasons. 

Directly consuming tea tree oil creates adverse effects including confusion, trouble walking, skin rashes, inflammation and even coma. 

Applying to the skin can cause redness, swelling, itch, burning sensation, etc.

So, if you are going to use tea tree oil for the first time, first apply it to a small area of your skin, wait for a day and observe if you develop any adverse effects. If not, then continue with that. 

On the other hand, if you have any skin allergy or skin condition, consult your doctor before using it. 

Do not swallow tea tree oil at any cost as it can be toxic. Also, keep the oil out of your children’s reach. There is a case where an 18-month-old child suffered from serious effects after having consumed tea tree oil. 

Most importantly, do not use tea tree oil on pets. There are clear shreds of evidence that it can cause serious troubles, including nervous problems in dogs and cats. 

To sum up

Having been endemic to Australia, the benefits of tea tree oil have sailed and spread all over the world. Ranging from cosmetics to health care products, tea tree oil has proven effective with its exceptional properties. 

Having said that, there is also the possibility of developing side effects due to overdosage, allergy or previous skin conditions. Make sure to consult your doctor if you experience any adverse effects upon the usage of tea tree oil. 

Nevertheless, tea tree oil is generally considered safe for most people and shows promising results. 


1. Can you put tea tree oil directly on your skin?

It is not always advisable to apply tea tree oil directly to your skin. Dilute the oil in some other carrier oil or moisturiser before applying it to your skin. 

2. Can tea tree oil make skin worse? 

Tea tree oil is found to have attractive effects on one’s skin. It helps fight acne, inflammation, rashes and even suppresses the symptoms of psoriasis. It helps your skin in many ways. However, if you have any skin condition or allergy, applying tea tree oil can cause adverse effects. Consult your doctor in that condition. 

3. Does tea tree oil remove dark spots? 

Yes, it helps reduce dark spots. It rather works better as a preventive measure. The anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties in tea tree oil reduce the chances of formation of dark spots more than its ability to remove them. 
However, by regularly applying the oil over the spots, you can see the results in a week or two. 

4. Does tea tree oil thicken hair?

Yes, it does. It helps your hair to grow faster and thicker. Add 2 – 4 drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo, and gently massage your scalp. You can also apply it along with almond, olive or coconut oil. 

5. How long can I leave the tea tree oil in my hair? 

You can apply tea tree oil on your scalp and wash it off the next day, unless and until you don’t develop any side effects. However, make sure to dilute it before you use it. 

6. Can I mix tea tree oil with coconut oil for hair? 

Yes, you can. It works well with coconut oil. You can also mix tea tree oil with olive oil and almond oil for hair treatment. 

7. Is it OK to leave tea tree oil overnight? 

Yes, you can leave it overnight, provided you don’t develop any side effects. Make sure to wash it off the next day. If you do not have any previous conditions or allergies to tea tree oil, you can leave it for up to 24 hours on your scalp. 


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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