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Tea Tree Oil for Acne DIY Recipe

Tea tree oil for acne - Dr. Axe

Acne is caused by four key things: oil production, dead skin cells, clogged pores and bacteria; however, hormones, medications, diet and stress can can all make acne worse. Home remedies for acne can be a great option to avoid putting chemicals on your skin.

While daily cleansing and using the right ingredients on your skin can help, such as tea tree oil for acne, it’s also important to consume whole fruits and vegetables, reduce your sugar intake, and eliminate stress as much as possible. All can contribute to getting beautiful, acne-free skin. (1)

What Is Acne, Again?

Acne can be quite confusing, whether you are getting it as an adolescent or adult. Many things can contribute to its cause, but first, let’s understand that acne is actually a disease. It affects the oil glands of the skin, which make a substance called sebum.

The pores of our skin connects to these glands by way of a canal known as the follicle. Through these tiny follicles, the oil pushes the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. Also, a very thin hair grows through the follicle to the surface and out of the skin. For numerous reasons, the follicle often gets clogged up and when this happens, the annoying and embarrassing pimple emerges. (2)

Why Does Tea Tree Oil Work for Acne?

Tea tree oil is becoming more and more popular in the household from cleaning products and wound healing to skin care, such as tea tree oil for acne. It comes from the leaves of the tea tree through a distillation process.

So just what makes tea tree oil for acne the right choice? Here is what we know. Tea tree oil contains some pretty impressive antibacterial properties, specifically terpenes. Some dermatologists claim that terpenes, a type volatile oil, destroys bacteria while offering soothing qualities. (3) (4)

In a study conducted by the The Australasian College of Dermatologists, they evaluated the combination of tea tree oil gel versus a face wash without the tea tree oil. Subjects applied tea tree oil twice a day for three months and assessed at different points along the way. The study concluded that tea tree oil can significantly improve mild to moderate acne. (5

Tea tree oil for acne is meant for topical use only, however. Ingesting can cause some serious problems such as dizziness and confusion. And, of course, testing on a small area of your skin is always advised just to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction of any sort.

Essential Oils Work for Acne

Tea tree essential oil is one of the best essential oils for acne as well as for healing the skin. It’s important to make sure you purchase 100 percent pure tea tree essential oil. I suggest purchasing essential oils that are certified organic, 100 percent therapeutic grade, sourced from the best places using certified organic land and that don’t add bases, fillers or any additives. This will ensure that you are getting the best quality product for your skin. Also, make sure the bottle has the latin name listed. This will ensure that you are getting the right product by eliminating confusion.

Since some may experience irritation, make sure to do a little skin test first when using tea tree oil for acne. If you do not experience any irritation, tea tree oil will probably work fine for you. Just monitor it as you use it. (6)

To begin using tea tree oil for acne, try my DIY recipe. This is a three-ingredient recipe that can produce some amazing results, helping to heal acne in no time.

DIY Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment

In a small bowl, place the tea tree oil and aloe vera gel. As noted above, tea tree oil is antibacterial, which helps knock out bacteria that may cause acne. Aloe vera gel has long been known as a great skin-healer. Aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, E and B12. These vitamins are age-defying, helping to prevent wrinkling of the skin, and fight inflammation that helps slow the growth of aging cells. Additionally, it contains antioxidant properties that can rid your skin of damaging free radicals.

Now, add the coconut oil. Coconut oil is loaded with antibacterial properties and when blended with tea tree oil and aloe vera, it makes for an amazing skin healer!

Once you have blended these ingredients together, place them in a small container with a lid. It is best to keep essential oils in a cool, dark place. Your bathroom cabinet is fine. Make sure to label it.

To apply, simply rub a small amount onto clean skin at night before bed. Make sure your hands are clean before dipping into the container. Rinse with warm water in the morning. You can spot treat acne with this recipe as well. Just dab a small amount directly onto the blemish.

Tea Tree Oil for Acne DIY Recipe

Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: About 2-3 ounces


  • 12 drops of 100% pure tea tree essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of 100% pure aloe vera gel
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil


  1. Place all ingredients into a small bowl.
  2. Mix until well blended.
  3. Apply to skin at bedtime.
  4. Rinse with warm water in the morning.

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    • Julia on

      Tea Tree Oil for Acne DIY Recipe

      12 drops of 100% pure tea tree essential oil
      2 tablespoons of 100% pure aloe vera gel
      ½ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil

      Place all ingredients into a small bowl.
      Mix until well blended.
      Apply to skin at bedtime.
      Rinse with warm water in the morning.

    • DD on

      Coconut oil is comedogenic. I would not use it for acne. There are better choices for oils that are non comedogenic. Google it. So many of these sites just repeat the same info.

  1. Tiffany on

    I love natural recipes – but I’ve tried coconut oil before and it is VERY pore clogging. I used it along with essential oils for over a month – convincing myself that the extra break outs were just detoxing but it just sent me into a massive breakout that lasted for months. Coconut oil is very high on the pore clogging index. I might try the face cleansing recipe with jojoba instead. I’d love to hear if you have other suggestions.

    • Amber on

      There is another recipe for tea tree and acne on this site that works really well. It’s under the tea tree uses post.

      You can make a homemade gentle tea tree oil acne face wash by mixing five drops of pure tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey. Simply rub on your face, leave on for one minute, then rinse off.

    • Augusta on

      I am also considering using jojoba instead of coconut oil, since the latter is fairly comedogenic and might result in clogged pores and breakouts. For jojoba on the other hand, it is said that it can trick the skin into “thinking” it is producing sufficient oil, which helps balance oil production.

    • Roz on

      FYI, hemp oil is perfect for skin and cleared my son’s acne in about a week – by itself. I have since started mixing melaleuca with hemp oil and it is working about the same as hemp alone. Now he just uses it as a preventative and spot treats when he gets a pimple

    • Shirley on

      I used the Josie Maran 100% pure Argan Oil Light instead of the coconut oil. It was a great replacement for the coconut oil. On the Argan oil box it says, “Argan oil is clincally proven to significantly improve skin hydration and smoothiness and to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles in just 4 weeks.

    • Heather Sledge on

      Yes, this! Jojoba is almost identical to our skins naturally produced sebum. Please do not use coconut oil on your face as a part of an acne treatment, it is quite counterproductive

  2. Astrid on

    Hi Dr. Axe. I’m in my early 30s and still dealing with acne since high school. I’ve tried all the dermatologist recommendations and next recommended step is acutane, which I don’t want to do. I am a 6 month vegan, and a group fitness instructor twice a week at night, after my regular day job. Since becoming vegan I’m moving into a more natural way of living including my cosmetics. I just made your face wash and My face has a lot of coconut oil in it after I wash it, I’ve been drying it with paper towels. I’ve read on your posts that you remcommend adding more baking soda if that happens, so I will try that. My question is the following: can I use a diluted DIY apple cider vinegar toner (1:1) afterwards? I’ve been using it for 2 days and your wash for one. I was wondering if the ingrediens might counteract each other. I have tough skin, so irritation is not an issue for me. On a side note, I also chanced my makeup about a month ago to 100%pure brand.

    • Roz on

      FYI, hemp oil has worked very very well for my son’s acne. I stumbled on hemp oil in a higher end grocery store near the pharmacy, but I’m sure you can find it online. Organic, cold pressed, etc

    • DD on

      Hello, For the last year I started using grapeseed oil, hemp oil, rosemary oil, bergamot oil an frankinscense oil as a morning oil serum and I love it! I have also battled with acne my whole life and everything I tried gave mediocre results at best. I am now 50 and my skin has never been better. I maybe get 1 or 2 blemishes a month and they clear up fast with this facial oil. I also use a retinoid at night and a salicylic acid/ witch hazel toner in the morning.
      I hope this helps. Acne is horrible and the so called experts have failed to give us any lasting help.

  3. Dale,Kathy mcgahan on

    My neighbor is 80 looks 45 to 50. She says all she and her husband use is cheap sun screen . My husband and I did the for a year. Nothing. She says there is nothing else. They have no wrinkles of any kind, no age spots absolutly nothing. I touched her arm once it was baby skin soft . I have age apots, white spots, wrinkled skin face, neck, arms , hands legs, please , I need help, I’m 600. Mo ss is there something thats not expensive that will help me. My husband and i don’t go in the sun, he looks as bad as me. DALE Thank you

  4. Drake on

    Interesting article. Home remedies can not be effective for everyone. Since the main thing is to understand the cause of an appearance of acne. It is best to contact an appropriate doctor to conduct an effective course of treatment. At first, I used special ointments and gels. Since I did not have time to prepare tinctures. Pay attention to the composition. You need to understand possible side effects (your contraindications). Also, there are preparations that dry the skin too much, contain a spirit, which can adversely affect the skin condition. A properly selected cosmetic can give positive effect after the first use. In addition to this, you can use a vacuum skin cleaner – https://porevacuumcleaners.com/. You can also use everything in the complex. Then the probability of solving the problem with pimples will be higher.

  5. maria murphy on

    Why doesn’t anyone reply to the questions on acne treatment of acne? These folks are already feeling insecure and to have no response is terrible!

    • dd on

      Yes you can. Studies have shown that it is similar to benzoyl peroxide but may take a bit longer. I hate the smell of tea tree. I use rosemary oil and caster oil with it as a spot treatment. It also helps with the dark spots acne leaves behind.

  6. Ammie Mundello on

    I made this for my teenage daughter. I cannot tell you how amazing it works! Her skin is so clear. She used to have so much acne I was afraid it would leave scars. Thank you for the recipe!


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