How To Use The Essential Oil

Sadly, natural doesn’t always mean side-effect-free. As mentioned, pure tea tree oil is heavily concentrated, which means it can cause some serious skin irritation if used undiluted. This is especially true if you’re eczema-prone or the owner of temperamental skin. 

Also, Green notes that as with most essential oils, tea tree oil “contains chemicals that can increase skin photosensitivity, which makes it more susceptible to damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.” Bottom line: Avoid exposing your skin to the sun when pure tea tree oil is on the skin care menu, or just use it as part of your p.m. skin care routine to avoid the risk altogether.

You should also be mindful of using tea tree oil in conjunction with other potent active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol, warns Turegano, as the combination can be extremely drying and irritating, especially for sensitive skin types.

Using products that are pre-formulated with tea tree oil is your best bet if you’re concerned with exacerbating your acne flare-ups. This decreases your risk of a dermal disaster, and your skin will benefit from the other complementary ingredients in the product’s formulation.

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