How to use tea tree oil for acne the right way

February 16, 2020

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Tea tree oil is one of those miracle oils that people praise for its ability to remove acne. That is because of the powerful chemicals it contains that treat skin conditions, reduces inflammation and heals wounds.

Tea tree oil can promote healthy, glowing skin but if you don‘t know how to use it correctly you might end up creating a mess that wasn‘t there in the first place.


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Trust me, that just happened to me. I forgot the first rule of using tea tree oil and now I‘m slathering baby cream with the hopes of stopping this awful breakout from spreading.

You should know that tea tree oil is extremely potent and it’s best to use only a dab. Never put tea tree oil on your whole face. I mean it.  The best thing that can happen is you end up with dry, flaky skin.

The worse thing is you wake up and your face is inflamed, red, bumpy and next to your one pimple there are five new ones and your skin is burned. Literally burned. You will regret ever putting it on your face and it can leave a horrible scar.

If you‘ve never used tea tree oil and you want to try it, by all means, give it a go. But first dilute it with a bit of water or with pure oil like castor oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or argan oil. Then gently dab the pimple with a Q tip. Leave it on and see how your skin reacts. If you feel like that‘s not enough try it without diluting it but again put a small amount of tea tree oil only on the pimple and be careful not to spread it around on the healthy areas of your skin.

That‘s why I am still in a love-hate relationship with tea tree oil. I don‘t use it for months. Then I get an idea, try it again and I am suddenly reminded of how well it works. Next thing I know I‘m dabbing tea tree and putting it on anything that slightly looks like a pimple. After a few hours, I realize my mistake. That‘s how it usually goes.

For those of you that ended up burning their skin with tea tree oil:
  • First, wash your face with cold water. If it‘s burned it needs to cool down. Don‘t scratch it even though it would probably be itchy.
  • To relieve the burning sensation and reduce possible scars put aloe vera or a grated potato.
  • After that put vitamin E, castor oil, Vaseline or any other oil you have. You can use Neosporin too. What we want is to keep the wound moist.

If your burn is severe, you can try scar patches. The patch keeps the skin moist so it can heal properly.

Treat your skin very carefully at this point. You want to minimize the damage you‘ve done so stay away from acne products and harsh exfoliators.

Again the main rules of using tea tree oil correctly are: 
  • Never use tea tree oil on the whole face (that means no adding to moisturizers. I‘ve seen that before and it‘s wrong.)
  • Apply it only on the pimple
  • Dilute with water or a carrier oil (olive oil, castor oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil, etc.)
If you accidentally burned your skin:
  • Wash your face with cold water
  • Gently rub with aloe vera or a grated potato
  • Keep the wound moist at all times with (vitamin E, castor oil, vaseline, Neosporin or scar patches.)


Bonus tea tree oil tip. Drop 2, 3 drops of tea tree in a bowl of water or use the sink stopper and rinse your face with it. It will help with your acne because of the anti-inflammatory properties the oil has and it wouldn’t be harsh for your skin because you’ve diluted the solution.


The most important thing is don‘t panic. It‘s only temporary and following the steps will prevent scaring. Give it a few days and you won’t even remember the whole ordeal.

Also, don‘t be scared to try tea tree oil in the future. If used correctly it works wonders but remember, never on your whole face and always dilute.

Share in the comment section below if you‘ve had an unfortunate experience with tea tree oil and how you dealt with it.

Have a wonderful day and don‘t forget we do everything out of love for our skin and not hate. You are beautiful.



I am not a licensed esthetician. The tips discussed above are just things that I‘ve gathered which work for me. Always do a patch test before trying any new product or oils and if you feel worried, consult a dermatologist.

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