Beauty // The Magic of Tea Tree Oil

Photo Jun 16, 3 23 51 PM

So: let’s talk about the magical wonder of tea tree oil. To quote Frank’s Red Hot, I put that shit on everything. (Not food. Not food.) But anyway, tea tree oil is a substance made from fairy dust and unicorn tears, and it will magically heal everything it touches. Dandruff? You got it. Acne? Please. Other things? Definitely. Let’s explore.

Tea tree oil is related to Myrtle, whom you can find at the bingo parlor*. It’s the distilled oil of the tea tree that has antiseptic properties, and can be used on so many skin infections that are gross, like scabies, lice, fungal infections, even toothaches. It can even be added to bath water to treat bronchitis, or as a remedy for an ear infection. JK Rowling can’t make this stuff up. (In my head I imagine tea trees with faces like the ones that warn Sarah in Labyrinth.)

Seriously, I use this stuff like it’s water. I love tea tree oil because it works just as well as a topical acne treatment as benzoyl peroxide, but it’s stronger and yet natural. Even though chemicals can work well as an exfoliant for your face and to dry up breakouts, I always strive to use products that are more natural, even if it’s for nothing other than my own peace of mind. Tea tree oil is my secret weapon, the product I use for everything, from a flaky scalp to huge pimples.

A lot of organic beauty products feature tea tree oil as a main ingredient, and for good reason. Just a drop of this stuff can go a long way, especially if you have a flaky, itchy scalp like me. I use tea tree oil mainly for my dandruff and my acne. If I have a breakout, I spot-treat it with a dab of oil placed on a cotton swab. An overabundance of tea tree oil can dry out and irritate the skin, so I only use a drop or two. It’s all I need. I also place a drop or two in my nightly astringent of apple cider vinegar, to dilute the oil and give my astringent some extra oomph. Even though the shampoo I use has tea tree oil as an ingredient, I add a drop there too.

Some things you should know: If you’re shopping for a bottle of the magic, make sure to look for the phrase “pharmaceutical grade.” This is the stronger stuff used as a remedy, not the aromatherapy crap that does nothing. Keep it away from your mouth as it has kind of a foul taste. And even though I love the smell of the oil (it’s sort of like eucalyptus), some people absolutely hate it. Don’t over apply the oil; too much of a good thing can act as an irritant. It’s also pretty cheap: I spent $9 on a bottle at my local Harmon store and I’ve had it for a good three months now, and it’s very slowly depleting. Make sure the oil you purchase is 100% tea tree oil, with no additives like alcohol or water. You don’t want that aggravation.

In summation, tea tree oil was given to us by Aphrodite and that wood nymph who slaps Philoctetes in Hercules. I don’t know why. Maybe she wants us to be happy.

*combination bad joke and Gilmore Girls reference