Why people with dry or sensitive skin must be careful of this ingredient

Tea tree oil is a popular ingredient when it comes to skincare and beauty products, especially in those that promise acne treatments and clarifying properties. Native to the northeast coast of Australia, the tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia, owing to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties is also used in traditional medicine and for topical medication in a few conditions. But, turns out this wonder ingredient is not suitable for all skin types; so, think twice before you grab that bottle of tea tree oil. But who should avoid it? Let’s find out below.

Dr Mitra Amiri, dermatologist, Derma Arts Clinic, said that “Products like face wash and serums with tea tree oils may cause dryness, itching, and redness sometimes. So, a patch test is always recommended before applying these products on the entire face, especially by those with dry and or sensitive skin.”

Dr Rinky Kapoor, MD dermatology and director of The Esthetic Clinic Pan India agreed and said, “Tea tree oil has top-notch antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it the favourite home remedy for spot treatments, cleaning skin pores, bacterial and fungal infections, preventing infections and even promoting wound healing. However, tea tree oil is also very strong and potent; if you overuse or misuse it, it can damage your skin.”

acne, skincare, tea tree oil Those with acne must maintain hygiene of face and scalp on priority. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

If you do want to use it, here are some tips:

How to use it safely:

*Always use tea tree oil diluted with a carrier oil.
*Don’t rub it on the skin, just gently dab on the pimple or the problem area.
*Don’t over apply and never apply any other treatment over tea tree oil. It should be the last step in your skin care routine.
*Don’t use tea tree oil just after exercising, wait for the body to cool down.
*Don’t use tea tree oil with other acne treatments like retinol, lactic acid, or glycolic acid.


There are also some alternatives to using tea tree oil. Dr Rinku suggested some oils that offer the same benefits with lesser risk:

*Manuka oil is very similar to tea tree oil and can be used in the same way.
*Neem oil is a popular Ayurvedic alternative to tea tree oil.
*Turmeric oil is anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, antiviral as well as anti worm and can be used as a gentle acne treatment.
*Cinnamon oil is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
*Rosemary essential oils are a good option, too.

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