Hello All! I hope you're having a good Monday. For some reason my weekend ended in craziness, but today (aside from having no voice) has gone fairly well. Also, I've decided I'm going to try to start blogging daily by the way, I hate that I've been so sporadic lately! We'll see how that goes ;)
So this weekend was my husband's birthday and after celebrating Saturday, we spent Sunday saying hello and good-bye to one of my sisters who is currently in college (all of my siblings but 1 are much younger) and going to Japan from now until December with a small break home in the middle. While we were at my mom's, one of my brothers asked me what he could do about his skin. We all were blessed with fairly good skin, with tiny breakouts here and there. He's ending his Sophmore year in high school and suddenly went from having perfect skin to having a horrible breakout on his forehead.
I thought that this would be a great subject to blog about! Even now I have the occasional blemish and it drives me nuts. I prefer to avoid salicylic acid, which can be a very effective way of handling breakouts. Instead, I turn to tree oil! You've probably seen tea tree oil in the past or at least noticed it on your ingredients labels. Tea tree oil is GREAT stuff. I'm not going to get into all of its uses, just focus on using it in fighting difficult breakouts.
Now, tea tree oil is an oil (and if you have oily skin you're probably thinking what is she thinking?), but it is an extremely amazing anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-bad stuff oil! Now, before you go running out to go grab some 100% pure tea tree oil, I have to warn you that if you've never smelt it, it can be a little shocking to some people simply because it's strong. I don't find the smell offensive, but it's not like I want to dab it all over myself in place of my favorite perfume ;) Also, in addition to a sharp smell, it is also very strong in a pure state and irritates many people's skin. It is often suggested that you dilute it for regular and all-over face use.
Diluting tea tree oil can be a bit tricky because it is an oil. Water obviously doesn't mix with oil, so unless you plan to get an emulsifier (polysorbate 20, lecithin, etc.) you're going to have to either mix it with oil or find a way to make mixing tea tree oil with water without allowing it to separate. I personally think mixing it with oil is a great way to dilute it, especially because some oils such as jojoba do not clog pores at all. Also, tea tree oil can very drying, which can make skin problems worse.
Here are some oils that can be used to dilute tea tree oil:
1. Jojoba oil (a great, non-greasy oil that I love to use on my face)
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (very moisturizing)
3. Avocado oil (also very moisturizing)
To find the right proportion you should start with 1 drop tea tree oil to 10 drops of the carrier oil. You can then add more tea tree oil if your skin can handle it or up the carrier oil if your skin is extra sensitive. I have used it both diluted and straight and while I have to be careful with 100% pure tea tree oil, on occasion it does the trick.
If you'd prefer to stay away from oils, you can attempt to dilute it with purified water (I suggest distilled water). Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of water and mix it quickly until you see a ton of tiny beads of tea tree oil in the water. Quickly get a cotton pad and soak up the mixture. Then you can gently apply it to your face. If you wait the tea tree oil will float to the top of the water. You can play around with the concentration of the tea tree oil and may find you can use more. Some people prefer to rinse their faces a few minutes after applying the tea tree oil. If it doesn't irritate your skin, you may not find a need to.
A third alternative, and the one I do not do personally but have heard some people prefer, is adding a drop or two of tea tree oil to the facial cleanser you'd use. Just put the facial cleanser in your palm and add a drop of tea tree oil, then you can mix it right in your palm and apply it to your skin as you normally would.
I don't use tea tree oil daily, though I will use it for a short stretch if I'm having a little breakout. For people who have regular trouble with their skin, using tea tree oily daily or every couple days may be very helpful.
Where can you buy tea tree oil? I know that Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both carry pure tea tree oil. Any natural food store or health food store should also carry it. Of course you can also purchase it online. Just make sure you get pure tea tree oil from a reliable source and company! Price-wise I've seen it vary greatly depending on the store, company and quality.
So there you have it! One of the fabulous uses of tee tree oil :) Have you used pure tea tree oil to clear your skin before? If so, what method did you use?