I incorporated tea tree oil into my skin care routine as a move of desperation because I was beginning to feel very discouraged regarding the condition of my not-so-pretty post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
By this point, I feel like I had tried product after product, medication after medication; but, to no avail.
I first heard about tea tree oil fading hyperpigmentation and being used for treatments for skin acne from a family member who swore that 100% pure tea tree oil was the reason why her more prominent dark spots were virtually gone.
Not only that, but she assured me that the tea tree oil worked quickly and got rid of her hyperpigmentation within weeks. Now, that's the kind of magic I like to hear about.
As I usually do before purchasing a product, I committed to doing some research to justify making an investment.
1. Tea tree has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. Because of these properties, tea tree oil can potentially aid in clearing the skin of acne and preventing the acne from spreading further. It may be particularly beneficial if you have oily skin. In a small study of sunscreens formulated with tea tree oil, the group with the tea tree oil had a small decrease in skin oilinessafter using for 30 days.
2. A 5% tea tree oil solution is as effective as benzoyl peroxide in treating acne. The tea tree oil acne treatment group also experienced fewer side effects compared to the benzoyl peroxide treatment.
3. Tea tree oil has healing properties which sped up wound healing time versus the conventional treatment. The faster wound healing means light hyperpigmentation could be faded faster, and it would prevent the likelihood of a dark spot forming from a wound like an acne lesion since it's healing faster.
Initially, the combating light hyperpigmentation point set me off, because what about all my darker spots that I'm most concerned about?
If tea tree oil is only going to be most effective against light hyperpigmentation, does that mean my darker spots have no chance of fading? Not really the news I wanted to hear. Even so, I trusted the family member I spoke to and if she thinks I should give it a chance, then maybe I should stop questioning everything.
There's not much evidence that tea tree oil would help hyperpigmentation, other than some people's experiences, and tea tree oil may work better on new hyperpigmentation or preventing hyperpigmentation due to it's speeding up of the healing process.
Mеthod 1: DIY method diluting tea tree oil for acne.
Tea tree oil should be diluted before applying on skin. This is because tea tree oil can cause irritation or an allergic reaction if it is applied directly, which can make acne worse.
Method 2 : Using products that are formulated with tea tree oil.
If you don't want to measure and mix products, you can buy products formulated with the correct ratio of ingredients including tea tree so you can get the benefits of this ingredient within your regular skincare. Banish's Vitamin C Beauty Elixir is an toner that contains tea tree oil and it also has hyperpigmentation fading ingredients like vitamin c.
After doing my research, within that week, I went out and bought myself a bottle of pure, undiluted tea tree essential oil. In order to incorporate it into my skincare routine, I decided to apply the tea tree oil with in small quantities twice a day every day as a spot treatment rather than coating my face in it. I also made the decision to keep the essential oil in its purest form and avoided diluting it unless my skin began to show signs of irritation. I think because I only used it as a spot treatment, the undiluted form was okay for me, but please test it first before applying all over!
Alas, tea tree oil did very little for my darker hyperpigmentation. My lighter spots, however, showed signs of fading fairly quickly! Within four weeks, I noticed that some of my light spots had completely disappeared while others were significantly lighter than they were. Undoubtedly, this outcome made me very happy. However, the darker spots were still as evident as ever, much to my disappointment.
My acne situation also didn't seem to change much. I still had some deep acne but with relatively fewer breakouts. Although, the tea tree oil can possibly be given credit for keeping my acne at bay and preventing it from turning into a huge cystic breakout.
Overall, I think tea tree oil was worth the investment since a small bottle can last a long time. It is highly recommended after all for acne prone skin. Even though the spots of hyperpigmentation that bothered me the most were essentially left untouched, the lighter spots did go away faster. For darker spots, you may want to look into treatments designed for it like a vitamin c serum.
While tea tree oil wasn't the best for my older and darker hyperpigmentation spots, one of my friend tried it for acne, and saw some amazing results! Here's their story:
"For me, I found Tea Tree to be one of the best weapons to fight my acne. When I was almost 17, my late brother used Tea Tree as his toner. He was also suffering from acne, but it was not as severe as mine. It worked really well for my brother. His skin had gotten better ever since he used it as a toner, then he gave it to me and I started using it:
I used it for about 3 weeks twice a day until I got to see the significant change on my face – my pimples seemed to be healed.
I was in disbelief, of course, as I never really paid any attention to skincare before. All I did was study, and I really had no time to take care my face. I was utterly thankful to my brother. The verdict is… I really, really love Tea Tree! I have used the toner for years and I don't think I'll change it."