Why Tea Tree Oil is the Best Thing EVER
Like most pimple-faced teenagers, my mom always told me that once I became a full-fledged adult, my acne would subside. Well, here I am, 24-years-old, still dealing with breakouts.
I would describe my skin as the ultimate combo of awfulness. It's oily in some spots, dry in others, and I never fail to get at least one big, stubborn, under-the-skin pimple on the reg. At the same time, my skin is super sensitive. I have to be careful with what kind of perfume I buy, the type of laundry detergent I use, and of course, what acne/facial care products I apply. I've broken out in hives, had my eyes swollen shut, and legit burnt my skin in all failed attempts to clear up a breakout. Needless to say, I was at my wits-end.
Then, something magical happened. Somewhere deep in a Google search of natural remedies to help clear up acne, I came across an article about tea tree oil. I hadn't heard of the oil before outside of using it in my essential oil diffuser, but I was curious. I read hundreds of comments from people swearing tea tree oil helped clear up their skin. So, I went to nearest CVS and bought a bottle.
The small glass container was about $12, which was pennies compared to what I had been spending on other products. I watched YouTube tutorials on how much to apply, how to apply, etc... and thought I was educated enough to give it a shot. Once I got out of the shower and my pores were all nice and open, I applied a small layer of tea tree oil over my skin with a Q-tip. I LITERALLY watched in the mirror as my pores shrank.
Now, there are some things I should probably warn you guys about before you give this a shot:
1. IT'S STRONG. I don't recommend getting the oil anywhere near your eyes. If you're having an issue with a pimple on your nose or nearby, dab a small amount on that area specifically...that's usually what I do anyway.
2. IT'S NOT FOR EVERYONE. Some people reported that tea tree oil literally burned their skin. Like I said, it's strong. I didn't have this problem because I wet the end of the Q-tip first to dilute the oil a bit. I would recommend everyone doing this their first jab at it just to be safe.
3. IT MIGHT NOT WORK. I'm not saying this stuff is God-sent, but it works pretty well for me. I haven't purchased any other acne creams or washes since, and my acne is pretty manageable now for the most part (fingers crossed).
4. DON'T GIVE UP. I saw results as far as pore shrinkage almost instantly, but it's going to take a couple days to clear up your skin. I'd say the overall healing of the breakout took a couple days. If I had a stubborn pimple or a really red area, I dabbed the area with some oil a couple times a day. Overall, the breakouts heal a lot faster than letting them go away on their own.
5. LASTLY - WASHING YOUR FACE IS STILL IMPORTANT. Like I mentioned before, I have super sensitive skin. I didn't want to use a harsh acne cleanser right before putting the tea tree oil on in fear of them not mixing well. I didn't want to risk my skin freaking out. So, I found Cetaphil face wash works best for me. It's super gentle and I'm not applying harsh products on top of one another. Obviously, tea tree oil dries your skin out, so be sure to MOISTURIZE! I also found that Cetaphils face cream works great for dry skin as well.
There are dozens of other uses for tea tree oil that I eventually plan on trying out - such as hair growth, headache relief, and so on. But, for now, I'm just happy it helps clear up my breakouts. I'm no beauty expert, but if you're in a situation like I was, you'll try just about anything!