One benefit of the rampant DIY trend is the low price tag. And the benefit of this little recipe is its simplicity.
Traditionally, tea tree oil was used by the indigenous people of Australia to treat coughs, and the leaves from the plant were sewn into a poultice for wounds. More recently, it has been found that tea tree oil is antimicrobial, and when applied topically it has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic qualities. Studies have even shown that it is a more effective treatment against head lice than permethrin, a modern synthetic pharmaceutical remedy. It has also been demonstrated as an effective treatment for dandruff. On top of it all, in dermatological studies it has been shown to have a similar effect on acne as benzoyl peroxide. The only difference between the two was that tea tree oil was less drying and slower acting.
For this reason, anything with tea tree oil is great for oily or blemish prone skin. You'll find many acne treatments containing it in their formulations. For example, Burt's Bees has a Targeted Spot Treatment that contains tea tree among its ingredients. However, a tinsy 0.26oz bottle is $10. Kiss My Face also has a Botanical Acne Treatment which uses tea tree oil, among other ingredients, to treat blemishes. The Kiss My Face 1oz tube is $19. I'm going to let you in on an easier, more cost effective method.
Tea tree oil should not be used topically on the skin over a 5% concentration. So I went to my local corner store, and picked up a bottle of Desert Essence 100% Tea Tree Oil for only $7.99. I measured out 5% tea tree oil with 95% water (1:19 ratio) into a small glass vial.
Then I patiently waited for a blemish. Once one finally appeared, I applied my tincture as a spot treatment. It applied clear, absorbed quickly, left no shine or residue whatsoever and tingled in a satisfying way. My blemish just faded and receded. It was beautiful. There was no dryness. No irritation. It was nothing like any other spot treatment I've tried. So I decided to put it up to a bigger challenge. The next time a spot began to emerge, I let it turn into a fully developed pimple before I broke out my tincture (look what I'll do for you guys). It just dried up and peeled off. I don't think I've ever used another spot treatment with such effective results.
Considering the dilution, the price is a mere 84 cents an ounce! That price is 96% less than the Kiss My Face spot treatment! Talk about Budget Edition. One fantastic benefit of this DIY tincture is that it only contains two ingredients. If you have very sensitive skin, allergies or reactions to different products, this is the perfect simplistic solution.
Everyone's skin is different, so try it yourself and let me know how it works for you in the comments. Just make sure you don't go over a 5% concentration as this can be harsh and damaging to your skin.
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I have nothing to disclose. I sought out this product and was not compensated monetarily or otherwise for this post.