I Dabbed Tea Tree Oil On My Acne. 7 Days Later, I Couldn’t Believe How Much My Skin Changed

Sundy He by Sundy He
Sundy is a proud Brooklyn native and lover of all things food and makeup.

Acne, for as long as I can remember, has always been a problem for me. There just always seems to be at least one blemish on my face at any given time.

Though it’s a lot better than it used to be, I’m still waiting for that moment when I can finally feel like I have clear skin.

Because my acne and scars have been an insecurity of mine for many years, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect remedy for them.

I have always loved sheet masks, and some of them claim that tea tree oil helps get rid of acne to gradually clear skin over time. I personally haven’t seen any dramatic differences after using these tea tree oil face masks.

However, as with many products containing tea tree oil, the concentration is probably very low.

Pure tea tree oil for acne, on the other hand, is supposed to work wonders — and that’s one just one of its benefits. Some friends even use it as a spot treatment to dry up pimples overnight. So, I needed to try it out for myself to see — does tea tree oil really help acne?

What Is Tea Tree Oil?

tea tree oil treatments for acne
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Tea tree oil is an essential oil that, despite its name, has nothing to do with tea leaves. It is actually extracted from an Australian plant known as melaleuca alternifolia. It has been used for decades in Australia for its healing properties.

You can buy tea tree oil online; alternatively, you can most likely find it in your local pharmacy with all other essential oils.

What Are The Uses And Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil?

Ingredients needed for acne treatments
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Tea tree oil is basically a universal cleanser; it’s been used in the likes of household cleaners, face wash, and deodorant. On this particular product, it says tea tree oil can be used for diffusers, massage oil, topical use, bath/shower, DIY projects, or as an air freshener.

The benefits of tea tree oil mainly involve killing bacteria and fungus. The packaging claims it is “purifying, rejuvenating, and refreshing.” Multiple sources claim that tea tree oil for acne is just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, a common acne medication.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Applying tea tree oil for acne treatment
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Like benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil always needs to be diluted to prevent skin irritation. Here’s how to properly use tea tree oil for acne treatment:

Step 1: Mix witch hazel, water, or honey with tea tree oil, at about a 20:1 ratio.

Step 2: Dip a cotton swab in the mixture and dot on acne spots.

Step 3: (Optional) Dab a cotton ball or cotton round dipped in the same solution on acne scars.

Step 4: Let it fully absorb into skin and follow with your regular moisturizer.

Important Note: Always use sun protection the day after using tea tree oil to prevent sun damage.

Before Using Tea Tree Oil On Acne

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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This was my face before using tea tree oil for my skin. As usual, I had a couple of breakouts coming through on my cheek, one under my eyebrow, and another on my upper lip. My face still has acne scars, even after using coconut oil on them for a week. Most of my acne nowadays is mostly caused by hormonal breakouts, so it isn’t as severe until that time of the month… which happens to be approaching.

I really hope this tea tree oil works, because struggling with acne regularly gets frustrating.

Day 1: Beware Of The Scent

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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So, I decided to use witch hazel with the tea tree oil. I don’t know why it surprised me so much, but the two don’t mix immediately, because of course they’re oils. I had to mix it with the cotton swab, which was no big deal.

The smell of the tea tree oil was very strong, but since it was diluted, the witch hazel scent took over. This was also the first time I ever used witch hazel and it was a very unpleasant scent for me. It went away after a while, but if you’re sensitive to scents, this might not go too well for you.

I applied the tea tree oil mixture to each acne spot with a cotton swab, using a new one every time I re-dipped into the solution to avoid spreading bacteria all over my face. I also took a cotton ball with the tea tree oil onto my acne scars to see if that would help anything.

Tea tree oil burns when you apply it to your skin alone. After diluting it, it should be more of a sting that goes away after a few seconds. Each person’s skin is different, so adjust accordingly to match your skin sensitivity. I recommend starting with a larger ratio of witch hazel to tea tree oil and gradually decreasing it over time to find the right mix for you.

It absorbed really quickly into my skin and it wasn’t sticky or drying. It didn’t feel heavy or irritating, and I was able to apply my moisturizer about a minute later.

The morning after, the tea tree oil had flattened the blemish under my brow. The one on my upper lip ripened, but the others are relatively the same.

Day 2: Already Seeing Results

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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On day two, the tea tree oil had ripened the spots on my cheek and flattened those on my upper lip completely. The scar on the side of my nose that had found a home there for quite some time is almost completely gone. I did a double take in the mirror because I was so shocked to see that happen.

This was the perfect time to test tea tree oil with all the hormonal breakouts coming to say hello. So, even though tea tree oil seems to be working very well with clearing existing acne, it doesn’t prevent it.

Day 3: Never Use Tea Tree Oil Alone

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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At this point, I started to experiment a bit more with the tea tree oil. I diluted it less today since my skin isn’t too sensitive and could definitely use a little more of a cleanse.

I may have underestimated the strength of tea tree oil on skin. It stung for a longer time than I was expecting, so in a panic, I just took a bit of witch hazel on a cotton round and dabbed it right over those same areas I had already applied the tea tree oil. It immediately calmed it down, but lesson learned: be careful when using tea tree oil. It can get intense.

Day 4: Acne Scars Are Fading

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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My acne has been noticeably changing throughout the past couple of days with the help of tea tree oil. The progress was starting to slow down at this point on the larger blemishes as they continued to drain.

Let’s talk about my acne scars for a bit. The intense redness of most of these spots is calmer and the uneven tone of my skin is much better now. The tea tree oil helped the large majority of scars across my cheeks fade and smoothed out the craters on my forehead. It has kept those pimples from leaving significant scars on my face, too.

I am really enjoying tea tree oil for acne so far.

Day 6: The Mountains Continue To Rise

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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This was my skin by day six in natural light. The right side of my face used to be visibly populated with scars that had accumulated over time, but most of them are barely there anymore.

I was still getting breakouts popping up around my chin, mostly under the skin, which are the worst. The tea tree oil didn’t seem to change those that much since it can’t really dry those out.

The larger acne spots on the left side of my face are still visible but are flattened out and healing at this point.

Day 7: Unripe Pimples Aren’t Ripening

using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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We have reached the final day of this test, and here is my skin on day seven. Not too much has changed since the day before, aside from the color fading from the spot on my left cheek. The newcomer on my chin is still deep rooted in my skin, so the tea tree oil hasn’t been able to drain that yet.

Before And After: Tea Tree Oil For Acne

Before and after using tea tree oil for acne treatment
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Would I recommend tea tree oil for acne? 100%! It has been the most effective natural home remedy for my skin that I’ve tried so far. I’m going to continue using this for my breakouts as they come through.

There is a dramatic difference in my skin after using the tea tree oil for seven days in a row. My acne hasn’t completely cleared up, but my acne scars are slowly fading and many of the pimples from earlier in this test have flattened.

As I mentioned, tea tree oil doesn’t prevent breakouts. It doesn’t have much of an effect on rising, unripe pimples that are deep in the skin. It works best on those that are already on the surface but haven’t been drained yet.

If you plan on trying out tea tree oil for your skin, don’t forget to SHARE this so everyone else can benefit, too!