From beauty products to natural cleansers, tea tree oil is definitely having a moment. But beyond its current trend status, this essential oil has been used for centuries by indigenous groups in Australia to promote targeted healing. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, a small tree native to southeastern Australia, but it’s since become popular all over the world. Whether you’re looking to resolve a specific wellness issue or simply boost your natural beauty arsenal, here are 10 of the best uses for tea tree oil.
There’s a good reason that tea tree oil has been showing up more and more in our favorite shampoos. A natural cleanser, tea tree oil supports hair health without the use of chemicals, making it an ideal ingredient for restoring hair to its natural beauty and shine.
Kiehl’s Tea Tree Oil Shampoo ($30)
In addition to promoting hair health, tea tree oil can also keep your scalp healthy. Tea tree oil helps to reduce itchiness and flakiness and fights the buildup of residue on the surface of the scalp.
Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire, and sometimes you have to fight oil with oil. Tea tree oil helps to keep naturally occurring skin oils in check, which, together with tea tree oil’s antiseptic qualities, can help to reduce acne breakouts.
Treat Cuts and Scrapes
Because of its capacity to fight fungus and bacteria, tea tree oil is an ideal choice for treating minor scrapes and wounds. Apply directly to clean skin two to three times daily to speed the healing process.
While there’s no substitute for allergy medication if you’re dealing with a serious aversion, tea tree oil can help to combat the redness and itchiness that often accompany an allergic reaction.
All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
Many hand sanitizers rely on alcohol and chemical ingredients, but tea tree oil’s power comes from its natural antibacterial properties. Keep an ounce or two on hand for germ-related incidents.
Since tea tree oil is outstanding at killing bacteria, one of the best uses for tea tree oil is as a natural mouthwash. Mix a tiny amount (a drop or two will do) with warm water and swish for about 30 seconds once or twice daily.
One of the lesser-known uses for tea tree oil is as an insect repellent. Tea tree oil can be rubbed directly on the skin or mixed with water and applied as a spray.
As cold and flu season persists, it’s the perfect time to put your essential oils to work. Enjoy the air-purifying benefits (and calming scent) of tea tree oil by combining it with lavender and adding it to a vaporizer or diffuser.
Serene House Ultrasonic Cool Mist Aromatherapy Diffuser ($40)
All-Purpose (and All-Natural) Cleaner
As with other natural remedies derived from tea tree oil, a successful all-purpose cleaner can be made with a very small amount of the substance and is one of the best uses for tea tree oil. Mix 15 to 20 drops of tea tree oil with a half cup each of warm water and vinegar, spray a surface and wipe clean.
Up next, read on for 15 little-known uses for Vaseline.