Is Tea Tree Oil good for spots?

Last updated: 4/1/2023

Natural remedies for spots do not come more natural than tea tree oil. If you’re currently struggling with spots, tea tree oil has solutions. But how do you use it? Can it fight and prevent spots? How does it work?

By the end of this article, you’ll know the exact answer to all 3 questions.

Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Anne, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.

What does spots look like

Spots, pimples, microcomedones, blackheads, pustules and papules. Spots can be large “white heads” mounds or small, textured bumps under the skin. They can be open like blackheads or closed cyst like spots.

”White heads” are very common and are a mild form of spots. They are caused when your skin traps oil and dead cells inside of pores allowing spot causing bacteria to grow.

White headed spots are small and should not be painful, they are most common on oily areas such as the T-zone, chest and back.

”Black heads” are extremely common In the T-Zone, they are open topped spots. They appear black because the oil inside of the spot has reacted with air causing oxidation.

Microcomedones are very common in all skin types. While oily skin types are most prone to all types of spots, microcomedones may also affect normal to dry skin types.

Microcomedones are very small spots often seen as surface texture, they are very common on the forehead, but can also affect the cheeks, T-zone, chest and back.

Read More About5 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil for Skin

Is Tea Tree Oil good for spots?

Spots are a sign your skin is in need of help. Spots are caused by trapped dead skin, which is most common in oily skin types as skin oil behaves like glue.

There are 3 key factors; trapped dead skin, excess skin oil and spot causing bacteria – Propionibacterium acnes.

Tea tree oil can help treat and prevent most types of spots. When you have a case of pimples, you have a chronic inflammatory condition therefore ingredients which act as anti-inflammatories can help treat and prevent spots.

Pimples occur because of a growth of a bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, as an antiseptic, tea tree oil can help prevent this.

Bottom line: Tea tree oil is an effective natural remedy for spots.

Tea tree oil was first used hundreds of years ago by Australian aboriginals. Elder tribe members passed down medicinal knowledge by word of mouth and therefore tea tree oil remained a secret for centuries.

Aboriginal tribes would use pressed and torn tea tree leaves as healing bandages for cuts, scrapes, wounds and more. They helped skin to heal quickly and they helped keep wounds safe from infection.

It wasn’t until the 1920’s when the benefits of tea tree oil were revealed by a research chemist called Arthur Penfold – he noted it had significant antiseptic activity and that it should be investigated for further potential.

Scientists now know, tea tree oil has mild to moderate antiseptic properties, meaning it can prevent the growth of certain types of bacteria.

Naturally all skin types have a small amount of this bacteria, however as these bacteria feed on dead skin, their numbers boom and spots are born. Tea tree oil as an antiseptic can help stop this from happening.

It can also be just as effective as pharmacist prescribed spot products. For example, a 5% tea tree oil gel was with long-term use just as effective as a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in the treatment of mild to moderate spots, blemishes and pimples. The tea tree oil gel also had fewer side effects.

If you’ve ever trialled benzoyl peroxide as a spot remedy, you’ll know exactly how drying and irritating it can be.

Tea tree oil is also good for spots because it has anti-inflammatory activity. Many types of spots become raised, bumpy and lumpy because of inflammation. Wherever skin is red, sensitive or raised, your skin is inflamed.

As a natural mixture tea tree oil has many ingredients which can help calm and ease inflammatory symptoms. One ingredient specifically has strong effects – terpinen-4-ol.

This is why you’ll sometimes see tea tree oils called terpinen-4-ol high or with a high percent of terpinen-4-ol. If you see one, pick it up, it’ll be great for your spots.

Face care kit for skin blemishes

4 of the best products for blackheads, to get rid of spots on face and the daily care of acne

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4 steps to win the fight against spots

Spots are caused by changes in your skin, so skincare can be very effective in the fight against your spots. Cystic spots for example are very common during puberty because hormone levels cause changes in a person’s skin type, often causing skin to become more oily and prone to collecting dead skin.

It is therefore very important to have a skincare routine designed to counteract these changes. When you act against these changes, you help fight spots.

Skincare can only be effective against spots when used daily. Just like you need to eat food every day to stay healthy, your skin, when affected by spots, also needs the correct skincare every day.

You should also understand spot fighting ingredients like tea tree oil can take time to work, while you might see a few quick benefits in the first week of use, it can take up to 3 months to see their long-term benefits.

Once you see results from spot fighting treatments, you shouldn’t stop using the skincare products which are making your skin healthier. Continuing your spot fighting skincare routine will help keep your spots at bay.

Step 1. Keep your skin clean

The first step in any effective spot fighting skincare routine is to wash your face morning and evening with lukewarm water and a spot fighting face wash. Spots are caused by a build-up of dead skin, impurities (like pollution particles) and excess face oil. Washing your face helps prevent the build-up of all 3.

The best type of face wash for spots will contain antiseptic ingredients which help counteract bacteria. They should also be mild and gentle to skin. If your skin is prone to spots, it will also be sensitive.

Gentle cleansing washes are easy to pick out as most are free from sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and pH balanced. Try a product like the Australian Bodycare’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil.

Pro-tip: Be sure to wash your skin sensitively. When using face wash avoid tugging and pulling at your skin, it causes extra irritation and inflammation.

Tea tree Face Wash for pimples and blackheads

Daily face cleanser for oily skin, ideal for blemished skin and acne


Step 2. Use a spot fighting toner

After washing your skin, you can help rebalance it with a spot fighting toner. Toners contain active ingredients which rebalance your skin’s pH – this is great because certain types of bacteria thrive when your skin’s pH is not balanced.

However, to make the most of your toner, you should also choose one which has active spot fighting tea tree oil.

The right toner will help penetrate deep inside of your pores. This is important because spots form inside your pores. Spot fighting toners will help kill spot bacteria and exfoliate away dead skin.

Toners may come as a tonic or as pre-dosed pads. It’s also important to choose a toner which is sensitive skin friendly. Try a product like the Australian Bodycare Face Tonic.

Facial toner for daily deep cleansing

Face toner with Tea Tree Oil for pimples, blackheads and oily skin


Step 3. Use a non-pore clogging moisturiser

Spots can make you want to clean, clean, clean and you can be tempted to scrub your spots into submission, starve them from moisturiser, use drying skincare products. In reality all of these things make your spots worse.

Your skin might feel less oily for a few hours, but quickly oil reservoirs deeper inside your skin, compensate. It’s a short term benefit (literally hours) for long term skin damage.

Instead you should use a light-weight, spot fighting and non-pore clogging moisturiser. Some moisturisers can contain ingredients which block pores. As you suffer from spots, this can make your skin worse. Coconut oil is an example of an ingredient which blocks pores easily.

Moisturisers designed for problem skin types will often be called non-comedogenic i.e. they don’t clog your pores.

In the fight against your pimples, you should use a light-weight, hydrating moisturiser with anti-spot ingredients like tea tree oil. Apply a thin layer of cream morning and night with light circular motions.

Try a product like Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Active Face Cream.

Tea Tree Face cream for pimples and congested skin

Face moisturiser, perfect for spots, pimples, oily, and acne prone skin


Step 4. Use a spot treatment when you need it most

Spots pop up at the worst of times right before a date, important meetings, interviews, a big occasion or just simply through stress. When you are stressed your body becomes stressed which means your skin is less able to fight spots.

These are the times your normal skincare routine just won’t cut it and you need an effective spot treatment on hand.

Spot sticks are the perfect solution. They can be used specifically on the area your skin needs help and they can also be popped into your bag or pocket for an on-the-go remedy.

Spot sticks contain a concentrated mixture of spot fighting ingredients. They help calm away redness, reduce a spots bumpiness and fight spot causing bacteria. Whichever way your spot is trying to survive a spot stick can help prevent it.

Try a product like Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick.

Tea Tree Oil spot treatment for congested skin

for the daily care of acne and effective against blemished skin, pimples and blackheads.


Video: 4 Steps To Win The Fight Against Spots

Face care kit for skin blemishes

4 of the best products for blackheads, to get rid of spots on face and the daily care of acne

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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Is tea tree oil good for your skin?

Tea tree oil when used in the right dilution is good for skin. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory which means when applied to skin it can help guard against skin conditions caused by bacteria and yeasts e.g. spots and dandruff. Tea tree oil can also be effective in the treatment of superficial cuts, insect bites and grazes.

What are the benefits of tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil has many benefits but is known mostly for its activity as a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Tea tree oil is therefore effective in the treatment of spots, dandruff, minor cuts, grazes and insect bites.

Does Tea Tree Oil remove dark spots?

While tea tree oil cannot remove dark spots it can help prevent them. Tea tree oil is effective at helping to treat and prevent pimples. When spots form they can leave behind areas of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) i.e. dark spots. Asian skin types are prone to PIH. If you prevent spots from forming, you also help prevent dark marks.

Is tea tree oil good for age spots?

Tea tree oil has antioxidant benefits and all antioxidants can help to prevent age spots. Also called liver spots, age spots form when skin has been chronically stressed by sunlight or pollution. Tea tree oil as an antioxidant can help prevent skin stress. Once you stop new age spots from forming, old age spots may naturally fade.

Is tea tree oil good for scars?

Tea tree oil can be helpful in the mitigation and prevention of scars. As an antiseptic tea tree oil can help keep cuts, grazes, spots and pimples free from harmful bacteria, therefore, aiding a successful healing process. As an anti-inflammatory, tea tree oil can help prevent excessive inflammation and help reduce the size and appearance of scars.

Face care kit for skin blemishes

4 of the best products for blackheads, to get rid of spots on face and the daily care of acne

£39.99 £45.99