If I was deserted on a desert island, and could only keep one or two things with me, I’d be saying bye-bye to a burger and be keeping a little bottle of tea-tree oil close by. Tea tree oil changed my life – literally. I began suffering with acne when I was 20 years old, and it came in waves of destruction. I’d get rid of one spot, and have five more. I was in search for something that would get rid of my acne once and for all.
I tried everything – from spot treatments such as Freederm and Clearasil to toothpaste and Sudocrem. I felt as though I needed to just peel my skin of and start fresh. It was so frustrating to wake up with worse skin than you went to bed with, especially when you’re surrounded by others with smooth and glowing skin.
I was at a friends house one night, and as we were wiping away our makeup, she put some oil on the spot she had on the side of her mouth. It smelt of peppermint, so I assumed it was some witch hazel product from Boots or something. When she told me it was tea tree oil and offered me some, I thought, why not? I had tried everything else, and really wasn’t optimistic about this one at all. This tea tree oil was from The Body Shop, and apparently it had worked well for her. Long story short, the spot on my forehead had become so tiny that it was barely noticeable, and my raw red scarring was reduced to a pale pink little patch.
You know when a cartoon characters eyes pop out of their head and their tongues touch the floor in amazement – well that was me starring back at myself in the bathroom mirror. I ran over to the bottle of tea tree oil from the body shop and realised that it contained only like, 5% pure tea tree oil. My mind started to wander, and I thought, I wonder what would happen if I used 100% pure tea tree oil… I went straight on to amazon and ordered the 100% pure tea tree oil. My, oh my. It’s a waste of money and energy using products that contain tea tree oil, just go for the real stuff!
Tea tree oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, with anti-bacterial properties. This means that the oil is able to penetrate deep into your pores, and the potent oil is able to destroy the bad bacteria harvesting within the skin that cause blackheads and acne, getting to the root of the sebum. Yep, this stuff has industrial strength, but you can still use it up to two times a day. You can either remove your makeup with the oil, leave it on the skin for an hour or two and rinse it away – or, you can dab some oil on to a cotton ball and dab it onto the affected areas, leaving it over night, or all day. I prefer the latter.
If you have sensitive skin, don’t fear, you can still benefit from all the goodness possessed by tea tree oil. Mix half a teaspoon of tea tree oil with equal parts of coconut oil. This will help to dilute the potency of the tea tree oil.
Every superman has his kryptonite, though. Although tea tree oil is my favourite skincare product to use, it’s important to note that use of tea tree oil makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays, so wear an SPF underneath your foundation, and if you can, a foundation that contains SPF too. And remember that it’s still an oil. Oil can dry out the natural oil within our skin, making our skin over produce oil, which can actually cause more spots – which is why I prefer to only use it on affected areas. As long as you use tea tree oil in moderation, this shouldn’t be a problem. I like to take one week on, one week off. And after your first week of using it you’ll be amazed at how clear and scar free your skin is.