Benzoyl peroxide is a common ingredient in acne creams or gels. William J. Cunliffe writes in his book, "Acne," that studies have shown benzoyl peroxide reduces sebum, or oil produced inside hair follicles that can cause acne. Tea tree oil is an essential oil made of concentrated plant material. The tea tree is native to Australia and the oil is known for its antiseptic qualities. Tea tree oil is a natural acne treatment and found in many skin products.
Squeeze 4 ounces of benzoyl peroxide gel into a measuring cup. Transfer it to a small bowl.
Add five to 10 drops of tea tree oil to the gel. Mix with a small stirring stick or straw. Cynthia B. Olsen recommends this in her book, "Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook: 101 Plus Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil."
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Pat it dry and apply the gel directly to each blemish. Let it fully absorb into your skin; then apply your moisturizer.
You can also add tea tree oil to your favorite toner, cleanser or even your moisturizer. The same ratio will apply: five to 10 drops per 4 ounces of gel or fluid. Tea tree oil can be applied directly to blemishes with a cotton swap, but skin test this first to make sure it doesn't irritate your skin. Another option is to purchase a tea tree acne gel medication and mix that with benzoyl peroxide in equal parts. Try not to touch or pick at your acne, which causes bacteria to spread.
Olsen warns to not use a cleanser that will dry up your skin or clog pores. A gentle cleanser works best, even one that is soap free. Be careful not to get the tea tree oil into your eyes, mouth or nose. The essential oil is highly concentrated and can cause irritation. If you are suffering from severe acne, see your dermatologist. She can examine your skin and prescribe the best medication for you.
- Acne; William J. Cunliffe
- Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook: 101 Plus Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil; Cynthia B. Olsen
Alena Bowers began writing professionally in 2001 and is author of the book, "Alter This!" by Lark Books. She is an educator, yoga instructor and healing arts professional living in Portland, Ore. Bowers holds a Master of Education in visual art from Portland State University.