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7 Beauty benefits of tea tree oil

 Photo: Courtesy

I enjoy trying out new things and experimenting with various natural products. A few months ago while scouring through my favourite health shop, I decided to buy a bottle of tea tree oil. I reasoned that this oil has so many uses therefore, it would be the best value for money.

Tea tree or melaleuca oil is an essential oil extracted from a plant native to Australia. It is well known for its antiseptic properties, which help in treating acne. However, this oil can treat most major skin issues ranging from dandruff to athletes foot.

Here are some ways you can use this oil.

1. Razor burns and ingrown hairs

After shaving, mix a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut or olive oil or even water and apply on the affected area. When diluted, tea tree is safe to use on the underarms and groin region. This mixture will soothe and heal your skin.

2. Acne

Add some tea tree oil to your facial wash and use as normal. Some people apply neat tea tree oil to their skin using a cotton ball. However, tea tree oil acts like an astringent therefore it can dry out your skin. I prefer to make a toner of rose water mixed with tea tree to maintain the natural moisture of my skin. When using tea tree for your face, stay out of the sun as it can increase your sensitivity to UV Rays.

3. Athletes foot

Mix a carrier oil of your choice with a few drops of tea tree oil and apply this to your feet twice a day. In the evening, soak your feet in warm water with 10 drops of tea tree oil added. Soak for 10 minutes and then dry your feet properly. The oil relieves burning, itching, inflammation, and scaling.

4. Skin tags & wart remover

Use a cotton bud to apply undiluted oil to warts and skin tags. If you have sensitive skin, dilute tea tree with another oil. The warts and skin tags should fall off on their own.

5. Dandruff and itchy scalp

Add a few drops of tea tree oil to both your shampoo and conditioner. Use when needed and be careful not to get the mixture in your eyes.

6. Sunburn and eczema

Tea tree mixed with coconut oil produces a creamy salve that heals sunburnt skin and soothes eczema.

7. Nail fungus

Tea tree is a fungus fighter and works as well as any over the counter medication. Once a day, apply a drop of oil directly on the affected nail. Be careful not to apply it on your skin as it can be irritating. Within a month you should notice a difference in the appearance of the nail.

Consult a medical professional if you’re pregnant or lactating. The oil should not be used on babies under 6 months old, and should never be taken orally. As with all new products, test the oil on a small area of your skin for sensitivity. You could use the oil undiluted, however, it is recommended that you dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil as it is quite strong.

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