Acne sucks. Yes, it’s a harsh reality of life when you’re in middle school, but when those zits follow you into adulthood? That’s just freaking unfair, especially when virtually everything in the skin-care aisle seems to burn the hell out of your skin without actually killing the acne, which is exactly what was happening to me. So, as a wellness-junkie who hates resorting to prescription treatments, I made it my mission to discover a natural solution that I wouldn’t hate putting on my face. And, after some deep internet searching and experimenting, I found my current go-to product for not just acne, but all skin issues: tea tree oil.
Okay, yes, you’ve most definitely heard of tea tree oil before, but I’m not talking about it in a granola-eating, eco-friendly way. I’m telling you this stuff really works—it totally cleared up my worst breakouts, when no other product could—and it has the research to prove it: Studies show that tea tree oil is just as effective to treating acne as benzoyl peroxide (one of the most common acne-fighting ingredients), but with way fewer side effects, like burning, itching, peeling, and irritation. Plus, it’s all natural, squeezed right from the leaves of a tree, so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin.
“Tea tree oil may help kill some of the bacteria on the skin that cause inflammation and acne breakouts,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “It can be used as a spot treatment or as a full face treatment to both eliminate the pimples that you have and also help prevent new ones from popping up.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean you want to douse your face in pure, 100% tea tree oil—this stuff is potent, so use the pure, concentrated stuff as a nightly spot-treatment only. And if your skin is super sensitive, or you have too many zits to spot-treat every night, try using a product with tea tree oil as its main ingredient, like a lotion or face mask. Yes, these magical products exist, and yes, I’ve rounded them up for you. Regardless of the product you decide on, though, be prepared to fall in love with tea tree oil. It’s pretty dreamy.
Originally published by Marisa Petrarca on StyleCaster.
Published on May 1, 2017