How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne 

by Amanda DiBiase last updated -

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If you’re familiar with the tea tree oil, then you’re probably familiar with the fact that it is one of the top essential oils for the treatment of acne. Acne can affect anyone of any age and is one of the most common skin problems. Because of the harsh chemicals in many products available on the market, holistic products and essential oils have become popular as effective options for supporting the skin while also targeting the root cause of the issue.

Although tea tree oil contains 92 different compounds, it is best known for its purifying and antimicrobial qualities. The leaves of the tea tree have actually been used by the aboriginal people of Australia for centuries. They would crush the leaves and apply them to the skin for a cooling and soothing effect.

Tea tree oil has been studied to support many skin conditions, and more specifically may be used as an effective treatment for those with acne-prone skin. A comparative study of tea tree oil vs. benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne showed that tea tree is not only effective, but the patients who used it also experienced fewer side effects than those who used benzoyl peroxide 

Tea tree oil bottles kept atop a wooden tray

Tea tree oil is a healthy natural oil for skincare. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne?

Let us take a look at how we can use this oil to treat acne in detail below.

What You Will Need

  • Tea Tree oil
  • Cotton ball or pad  
  • Grapeseed, jojoba, argon oil or other vegetable-based oil  

Note: Some carrier oils can be irritating for acne and different skin types so try another oil if your skin does not respond well to the first one you try.  


  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser before applying tea tree. 
  • Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to a cotton ball with 1-2 drops of grapeseed or other vegetable-based oil and apply to areas of concern or to the entire face for brighter, clearer skin.  
  • Alternatively, you can also add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to your facial cleanser for a soothing application.  
  • The third method of application is to add 1-2 drops to your moisturizer and then apply it to the face. 
  • For a skin calming toner, add witch hazel to a cotton ball with 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and then apply to the face for a healthy complexion. 

Word of Caution

While the tea tree is well tolerated by most skin types, be sure the essential oil you’re using is pure and high quality. The bottle should indicate that it is safe for topical use. Many essential oils are already pre-diluted for topical use, so it is best to find pure tea tree oil for use on the skin so you can dilute it yourself. Consistency is key and tea tree oil should be applied daily for best results. Use caution around the eyes as essential oils can be irritating if applied too close to them. Should you notice any skin irritation, discontinue the use of this oil. Protection Status
About the Author

Amanda DiBiase, a Diamond with doTERRA Essential Oils, is an Essential Oils Educator and teaches people how to use essential oils for everyday health challenges and how to reduce toxins through healthy living. Traveling to Guatemala on a doTERRA co-impact sourcing trip to see how Cardamom essential oil is sourced has been a highlight in her career. In her free time, she loves being outdoors and spending time with her husband, Adam, and their three children. You can follow her on Instagram for essential oil education.

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