Q: What’s this tea tree oil ingredient I’m seeing in so many of my beauty products?
A: Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of the Australian tree Melaleuca alternifolia and has a multitude of practical uses. Tea tree oil has become extremely popular for its natural anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. Most people purchase tea tree in its pure oil form, but you can find it among the top-listed ingredients in everything from shampoo to toothpaste to lip balm.
Q: How do I use it?
A: Because of the nearly endless creative applications of tea tree oil, this could get personal…as in personal hygiene. Tea tree oil is easy to use in do-it-yourself skincare treatments. Plus, becoming an essential oil alchemist and creating your own solutions is fun and rewarding! Here are a few simple and effective DIY ways you can utilize this essential oil to improve how you look and feel on a daily basis:
Aromatherapy: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a pot of boiling water (after removing it from the stove) and lean in a bit to inhale the vapors. This can help to relieve minor nasal discomfort. Alternatively, you can add a few drops to a humidifier or diffuser to help keep the nasal passages open during the night.
Beauty treatment: Tea tree oil may be beneficial in combating acne. Dilute a few drops of tea tree with your favorite topical oil (jojoba oil and sweet almond oil are a few good options), and apply a small amount to irritated areas with a cotton swab. It can also be used in a facial mask. Mix equal parts healing clay and apple cider vinegar (or water) with 3-4 drops of tea tree oil.
Oral care: When it comes to your oral health, using all-natural products gives you something to smile about. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to warm water to make your own refreshing mouthwash. For a natural — and very simple — toothpaste, mix equal amounts of coconut oil and baking soda with a few drops of tea tree oil.
Household cleaning: Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. This homemade combination can be effective at cleaning various surfaces without lingering streaks, smudges or harmful chemicals.
Body care: Tea tree oil can simply be used in its pure form on fingernails and toenails to support a clean and healthy environment. Ladies, take note: tea tree oil can be especially helpful in cleaning the area between real and artificial nails. Two thumbs up for your health and beauty!