Can You Put Tea Tree Oil On Your Face?

Can you put Tea tree oil on your face? Not only is it safe, but we would also heartily recommend it. Tea tree oil and its constituents are great for skin disorders and associated symptoms such as acne, dermatitis, cold sores, and scar tissue.

It’s also wonderful for deep cleaning, owing to its antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory constituents. It’s a diverse oil that can work with the skin during breakouts or if you have a more acute problem. Even better, it supports normal skin function going forward.

Can You Put Tea Tree Oil On Your Face?

In short, Yes. Tea tree oil is great for skin, especially facial skin. Just don’t get it in your eyes or use it neat!

What is Tea Tree Oil?

The oil is distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree, which is native to the low-lying wetlands of the Northern New South Wales region of Australia. 

Indigenous peoples of Australia used the tree in their traditional natural medicines and remedies. Specifically using the leaves and branches mostly brewed and steeped in hot water. For many health and skin care uses, importantly in this instance - poultices were made with the leaves of the bush to help with wounds and skin care.

Thankfully, the hard work has already been done for us, and we are left with a small bottle of mighty oil full of antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-bacterial terpenes.

Plants make Secondary Metabolites to give off smells and aromas to attract pollinators or change the taste of leaves to make them taste bitter or pungent to repel predators. They also use them to help the plant heal and repair; strangely, the same seems true for how they work in the human body.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Skin and Skin Conditions

Below you will find a list of ailments or conditions that Tea Tree oil can help support the body's natural immune function. At the very bottom of this article (please stick around), you will find some recipes using the oil and what it can be used for. 

Acne/Oily Skin

Acne is a very common skin condition where the pores and hair follicles on the skin get blocked by excess skin debris or cells (keratin) and an excess of oil (sebum), which is made by the sebaceous glands. Mostly acne affects the skin on the face, neck, chest, and back. It’s uncommon - but not unheard of, to get acne elsewhere. A flare-up can happen anywhere where sebaceous glands, i.e., apart from the palms of hands and the soles of feet, can be affected. Tea Tree oil is helpful for six types of acne: blackhead, whitehead, pustules, papules, nodules, and cysts.

Recipes to help with acne and their uses are at the bottom of the article; keep reading–

Mouth Ulcers/Canker Sores

Mouth ulcers, known as canker sores, are sore patches, lumps, or bumps that may appear on the mouth, lips, or tongue. They can appear for various reasons, such as an accidental bite or irritation from acidic foods - for instance, pineapples. Tea Tree oil components will help to disinfect the mouth and reduce inflammation or swelling when used as a mouth wash.

Herpes Simplex (Cold Sores, Chickenpox, Shingles)

The types of Herpes Simplex infections are all caused by the same virus. The infections can take different forms, and the symptoms associated with the virus can be helped by the constituents of a Tea Tree oil preparation massaged into the affected areas (given the right dilutions).


Scarring on the face from either acne or just wounds, in general, can be helped by tea tree oil to keep the area especially clean and encourage circulation to that area with regular massage.

Neat Tea Tree Oil

Using neat Tea tree oil is not recommended at all to help with acne. It can cause skin sensitivity.

Diluting Essential Oils

Dilution of any essential oils is essential (I know, I’m hilarious!) when making your recipes for use in cosmetics/skin treatments, etc.

ALWAYS dilute oils in alcohol or carrier oils - if you mix essential oils with water, you are creating an emulsion that will physically not mix. For example, if you draw a bath and put in drops of essential oils - the oils will sit on top of the water and absorb into your skin neat, without diluting. This can cause skin sensitivity; depending on your oils, it could also be toxic.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil and Safety

Tea tree oil is safe to use. However, please do not use ANY essential oils during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Tea Tree oil is generally regarded as a safe oil.

Tea Tree Oil is non-toxic when diluted and used correctly.

Should the oil be accidentally swallowed, drink milk to dilute. Seek medical advice if you feel unwell. 

In case of skin irritation or rash, wash the area well and seek medical advice if feeling unwell.

Avoid contact with mucous membranes and eyes. In case of contact, rinse the area well and seek medical attention if feeling unwell.

Related Articles:

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  2. Is Tea Tree Essential Oil Safe for Cats?
  3. Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Lice?
  4. Tea Tree Oil for Beard – An Oil to Grow Beard to its Fullest

Methods of Use - Recipes


A sterile wash made with 500ml of boiled, cooled water and 5 drops of tea tree oil make a wash that can be used for all areas of the body (including sensitive ones) as it has been diluted and will be used in small doses.

    • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
    • 10ml of Vodka (Alcohol)
    • 500ml of Cooled Boiled Water

How: Wipe it across the area to clean with a clean flannel or small towel.

When: Twice a day.

Use for: All areas. Face, chest, back - anywhere you want to clean. (even the more sensitive areas)

Facial Toner

Facial toner is part of a skincare routine that will help with acne.  

    • 120ml Cooled Boiled Water
    • 10ml Vodka (Alcohol)
    • 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

How: Apply in a sweeping motion across the face with a clean cotton pad to remove the last bits of dirt to ensure pores/follicles remain clean.

Use for: Face, Chest, and Back.

When: After using the facial wash. Twice a day.

Cream and Lotions

Creams and lotions are a great base for essential oils. Any unscented plain lotion will blend with Tea tree oil and, when used as part of a skincare routine, will keep the skin moisturized and help your skin be free from germs.   

    • 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
    • 30 ml of Un-fragranced Cream or Lotion. 

How: Apply small amounts of cream/lotion in circular upward motions (go with your circulation, not against it)

Use for: Moisturizer for oily skin or acne on any areas except mucosal membranes (inside nose, mouth, or genitals).

When: After cleaning with face wash and toner, twice daily.  

Face Mask

Face masks are wonderful at soothing and deep cleaning the skin.

    • 120ml Aloe Vera Gel (true Aloe)
    • 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

How: Apply using fingertips, lay a thin layer of the gel onto your skin, avoiding the delicate eye areas inside the nose and mouth. Leave for ten minutes and wipe away using the above facial wash recipe.  

Use for: Soothing irritated skin and deep cleaning pores/follicles.

When: Once a week.

Facial Scrub

Facial scrubs used regularly are great at keeping skin clear of excess debris to avoid blockages in pores/follicles, which, if they include Tea tree oil, will help prevent acne breakouts. The honey in this recipe is also a natural moisturizer to keep the top layer of skin nourished while buffing away the dead skin cells.

    • 40g or ⅓ of a cup of Sea Salt (Sodium chloride) 
    • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia
    • 3 Tablespoons of Raw Honey 

How: Mix until you are left with a lumpy paste. Apply in soft circular upward motions avoiding your eye area. Wash off with warm water and follow with toner and lotion (recipes above)

When: Once a week.

Massage Oils 

Carrier oils dilute the essential oils to be able to massage them into the skin. All essential oils must dilute with a carrier oil for a massage. Any un-fragranced oil can be used as a carrier, i.e., grapeseed.

Use this massage oil for: Oily Skin/acne or scarring as a circulatory stimulant and soothing facial massage oil.   

When: As needed.

Steam Vaporizer

Steam vaporizing of essential oils is by far the easiest use to help with acne. In a large bowl, which holds at least 200ml of water, put 2 drops of tea tree oil and 200ml of hot (not scalding) water on a level surface.

Lean over the bowl and cover your head and bowl, making a “tent.” Breathe in the vapors for as long as you can. Don’t wipe your skin until you have finished vaporization; wipe with a clean cotton pad to remove dirt and excess oil. This gives a fantastic deep clean facial. 

    • 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
    • 200ml of Water

Use this weekly to deep clean pores.   


A compress can either be hot or cold; in either case, you will need a large bowl and fill it with either hot (enough to hold your hand in) or cold water approx 500ml. Then add 5 drops of tea tree oil. Soak a small towel or flannel (if you are over 30, you’ll know what these are) in the mixture - thoroughly wring out the oily water and place it on the area you want to heat up or cool down.

You can use a hot and cold compress in the same treatment by alternating them. If you want to draw out the pus, place a hot compress on the area to open up the facial pores/follicles. After five minutes, change to a cold compress to rest the pores/follicles. Then use a hot one again. This suction action is very efficient at drawing toxins.

    • 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
    • 500ml Water

Use compresses for: Circulatory stimulant (hot, bring blood to the area you are compressing), colds (reduces inflammation in the area). 

When: As needed

So! Can You Put Tea Tree Oil On Your Face?

Yes, it is great and can help in lots of ways, such as reducing swelling, and inflammation, drawing out toxins, and least of all, making you nice and clean and smell gorgeous. Give the recipes a try, and if you like them or if they do wonders for you, please let us know; we’d love to hear from you!

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