Tea Tree Oil Review - The Acne Experiment

Tea Tree Oil Review :: The Acne Experiment

I didn't abandon you, my pimpled brethren. I'm finally posting a review on a home remedy acne tradition: Tea Tree Oil. I'm truly sorry it took me so long to do a new Acne Experiment review, but I've been a bit of a mess. I tested out the Tea Tree Oil, then went to New York, tested out Meow Cosmetics (mineral makeup) + the Jane Iredale Makeup Mitt, drank a lot of alcohol, ate a ton of bagels, then came home.

My face must be sensitive to alcohol, mineral makeup, Brooklyn, chipichipi weather, stale subway air, and/or stinky airplanes*, because I broke out halfway through the trip. I really don't want it to be the makeup, because I like the idea of something so simple, so I'm going to test it out later on without the other variables.** A "Meow Cosmetics Swatch Post" is coming soon though (is done! go here to see it.)

After my initial Tea Tree Oil test, I planned to continue with it, then post a picture after 4 or so weeks of use. After some initial improvements post-Dr. Bronners, I added some makeup/travel/illness to the mix (I'm shrugging off a cold right now) and made my skin a bit of a mess. Posting new photos of that mess would not be fair to the Tea Tree Oil, so I've decided to only to post the first 2 weeks' before/after.

For this test, I developed a clever delivery method that is not nearly as clever as I like to think it is: I do the Aztec Healing Clay Mask and add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil. I then ignore the warning on the back of the bottle and use undiluted Tea Tree Oil on problem areas.*** It gives me a nice, crisp, pine-scented mint-face.

  • Tea Tree Oil (TJoes)
  • Aztec Healing Clay
  • Raw, Unfiltered, Organic Apple Cider (TJoes)
  • Water
Tea Tree Oil Dropper :: Crappy Candle
  1. Dilute Tea Tree Oil in a dropper bottle at about a 1:10 (oil:water) ratio. (I use the pretty blue glass bottle pictured here.)
  2. Mix 1 Tbsp clay + 3/4 Tbsp ACV + a half dropper-full of diluted Tea Tree Oil + enough water to get the texture/thickness right.
  3. Apply to face, concentrating on problem areas.
  4. Leave on for 5-25 minutes. (If my skin is really dry on any given day, I wear it for less time or skip the mask that day.)
  5. Use a wash cloth to gently remove mask. Dry face.
  6. Apply straight-up Tea Tree Oil to zits with a q-tip, as a spot treatment.
Tea Tree Oil and Acne :: Crappy Candle
Ever the skeptic.

I had a lot of redness and irritation (re: zits) following the 3 days I used Dr. Bronner's so most of the two weeks was spent repairing that damage.

The good news is - yay - Tea Tree Oil does not break me out. It is a good alternative to traditional salicylic or benzoyl peroxide spot treatments because it's dries the area out, plus acts as a natural antiseptic. Unlike salicylic acid, however, Tea Tree Oil is not a BHA; it doesn't get down into pores in the same way salicylic acid does. Tea Tree Oil is more of a surface level antibacterial situation.

I've been using the mask + Tea Tree Oil 5-6 night per week for the last month and a half. It's not an ideal solution because it is so labor intensive, so I'm going to continue testing out different stuff. Ideally, I'd like to get the mask down to 1-2 nights per week as a supplement to a more regular daily routine. I anticipate using the Tea Tree spot treatment heavily.

Tea Tree Oil for Acne Before and After :: The Acne Experiment
Week 6 = After Dr. Bronner's Test; Week 7 = After 1 week of Tea Tree + Clay Mask; Week 8 = After 2 weeks of Tea Tree + Clay Mask

Tea Tree Oil Before and After :: The Acne Experiment
Tea Tree Oil Before and After

Next Up:
Jojoba Oil


*The flight from Long Beach, CA to New York was the most butt stinky experience of my life. I inhaled a consistent stream of butt, which emanated from an unidentified passenger, for 5 solid hours. They probably couldn't help it, but hot-butt-damn it was awful.

**I'm going to test Meow Cosmetics by putting it on and not leaving the house. Perhaps I'll paint myself like one of your French girls.

***You're not supposed to used undiluted Tea Tree Oil on facial skin, but I tolerated it just fine as a spot treatment. I recommend trying it out diluted first, then amp up the concentration once you're sure you can handle it. I wouldn't put it undiluted all over the face though, you nut.

ALL Acne Experiment Posts are listed at The Acne Experiment MOTHER HUB.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne :: The Acne Experiment
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne :: The Acne Experiment

All Images © Crappy Candle / The Acne Experiment

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