Acne is a skin condition that can affect men and women at many different stages in life, ranging from those troublesome teenage years when excess sebum can wreak havoc on the skin, to the 30s and 40s where those that have never suffered from it before can suddenly develop the ailment.
Although there are many artificial products that are designed to help clear up acne, one long-established and very effective natural choice is tea tree oil. Although toxic when consumed, used in low concentrations as a topical product it can successfully treat a variety of medical and skin complaints.
This product is often used to treat acne due to the terpinen-4-ol that it contains, a constituent known for its anti-microbial properties. When applied to acne, it can effectively kill off the bacteria that cause it, leading to a great reduction in the swelling and redness that come along with the condition.
With that in mind, it is important to note that tea tree oil used neat can be very strong, causing skin irritation, blisters and itching. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to dilute the product before treating acne, so as to see results without further damaging the skin.
The product can be diluted by simply mixing it with warm water; try mixing tea tree oil will an equal part of warm water before applying to a freshly-cleaned face. Care should be taken to only apply the mixture to the areas of skin that are suffering from acne, so as to avoid causing irritation on other parts of the face.
To apply, use a cotton swab soaked in the mixture and administer directly to your acne. If you prefer, you can create an astringent for you face by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, which then can be applied to the whole of the face before moisturising. Due to the potentially irritant qualities of the oil, avoid using any treatment more than once a day.
Tea tree oil can also be blended with other oils and products to create a face lotion or moisturiser. For an entirely natural approach, use recipes provided by reputable natural skin and beauty product retailers to make your own face cream, and then add a couple of drops of tea tree oil for its antimicrobial properties.
You could also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular shop-bought lotion of choice in order to create a product that is tailored to treating your acne. In all cases, do a patch test on a sensitive area of skin - such as the inside of your arm - before applying to your face; dab a little tea tree lotion on your skin and then leave for a few hours to see if any redness or irritation develops.
If it turns out that you are sensitive to this oil and it causes skin irritation during your patch test, there are other natural alternatives available to help ameliorate the appearance of acne. One of these is argan oil, which has been shown in studies to effectively improve the condition.
Argan oil is a very gentle alternative, which is highly unlikely to cause any irritation to the skin; to use it, apply it as a night-time moisturiser by massaging a few drops into a clean and damp face before sleeping. The product promotes skin healing and can greatly reduce the redness and irritation of acne over time.
Tea tree oil is a highly-effective natural ingredient for treating acne if used with caution. To ensure best results, dilute the product with water or as mix it with a lotion and use once daily to kill off acne-causing bacteria. If you find you are sensitive to the product, do not despair - gentle argan oil makes a safe and powerful alternative.