Tea tree oil remains a key player in the beauty sphere – find out why here 

In the realm of skincare, there are certain buzzy ingredients that always steal the spotlight (enter vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and retinol). Others, such as tea tree oil, are more under-the-radar ingredients, but no less popular.  

In fact, tea tree oil has been used in skincare for centuries and is one of the top-searched skincare ingredients in the UK

To find out everything you need to know about this ingredient, scroll on down. 

What is tea tree oil? 

‘Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), that grows in the swampy southeast Australian coast,’ says Dr Osman Bashir Tahir (aka Dr OBT), aesthetic doctor and founder of Halcyon Aesthetics.  

Now, this ingredient plays a starring role in several skincare products, from cleansers and toners to masks and overnight treatments. 

How to use tea tree oil 

Like most plant oils, tea tree oil is very potent in its 100% purest form and can actually trigger a sensitised reaction (think redness, dryness and peeling). ‘This is why you should never apply pure tea tree oil directly onto your skin,’ says Dr Tahir. 

Rather, it’s important to dilute tea tree oil first. ‘You can do this by adding it to a carrier oil like coconut, olive or almond,’ says Dr Tahir, which will reduce the product’s potency and make it suitable for skin. That said, ‘if you have very sensitive or eczema-prone skin, you should avoid tea tree oil entirely as it can cause irritation,’ adds Dr Tahir. 

For those looking to reap the benefits of tea tree oil, seek out products containing low concentrations that have been specifically formulated for skin. 

What are the benefits of tea tree oil?

There are several reported beauty benefits of tea tree oil. When applied topically, it’s thought to help reduce bacteria on the skin’s surface and with excess sebum. 

It could also help tackle scalp concerns. ‘Using a small amount of diluted tea tree oil on the scalp can help prevent product build-up and dead skin,’ says Dr Tahir. This is why tea tree oil shampoos often target dandruff. 

The best tea tree oil products to try in your skincare routine 

From cleansers to face masks, we round up the best tea tree oil skincare products that contain a low concentration and are safe to use on skin.

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Overnight Sleep Mask

• Size: 50ml

Ideal for oily and combination skin types, this overnight sleep mask pairs tea tree oil with witch hazel to help restore balance and rehydrate skin while you snooze. Come morning, your complexion will look and feel nourished.

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Charcoal Cleansing Bar

•  Size: 100g 

Want a deep cleanse? Turn your face to this powerful cleansing bar starring tea tree oil, witch hazel and charcoal. To use, simply lather with warm water before applying to the skin.

Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash

• Size: 150ml 

If you prefer a foaming face wash over a cream or balm, give this formula (blended with tea tree oil and witch hazel) a whirl. It’s super refreshing and cleanses skin, without leaving it feeling stripped of essential moisture. 

Dr. Jart+ Ctrl-A Teatreement Anti-Blemish Trial Kit

• Size: Teatreement toner (20ml), moisturiser (10ml) and cleansing foam (20ml)

• Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment (5ml) 

Say hello to your new skincare regime care of Dr. Jart+. The four essentials (cleanser, toner, moisturiser and a colour-correcting treatment) are laced with tea tree leaf and niacinamide to help control excess oil and unclog pores.

Dr. Jart+ Ctrl-A Teatreement Cleansing Foam

• Size: 120ml 

Blended with plant-derived tea tree, this gentle, foaming cleanser removes daily dirt and excess oil to help balance pH levels and prep skin for the next step. Massage two to three pumps onto damp skin before rinsing.

Carbon Theory Tea Tree Oil & Citric Acid Breakout Control Facial Purifying Tonic

• Size: 250ml 

Follow on from your favourite cleanser with this hard-working tonic, brimming with tea tree oil and pink grapefruit extract to help minimise pores, take down shine and remove dead skin cells.

All prices correct on date of publication