If you’re looking to get rid of pimples, a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil works just as well as the top drugstore acne remedy, benzoyl peroxide, according to Australian researchers studying their native resource. Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with 20 to 40 drops of witch hazel, and apply to skin once or twice a day with a cotton swab. Be careful to not overuse it: while gentler than benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil can dry out your skin, triggering your body to overproduce its own oils and make your acne worse. If you apply it to your face, stay out of the sun—tea tree oil can make you more sensitive to UV rays.
For normal to dry skin, try mixing 1/4 cup canola oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a 4-ounce sterilized glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. Store in a cool, dark place. To use, saturate a cotton ball with the oil and sweep over your face to remove makeup. Rinse well with warm water and follow with a toner.
Using a cotton swab, dab a single drop of tea tree oil, which is an antiseptic, directly on the sore. Avoid areas near your eyes and mouth.
Eliminate toenail fungus
In a study, participants applying 100 percent pure tea tree oil to nail fungus for a minimum of three months did as well at killing it as did those using prescription antifungal cream; 60 percent of both groups completely or partially eradicated their symptoms. Once or twice a day—every day—apply a drop or two of 100 percent pure tea tree oil to the discolored nail. Be careful not to apply tea tree to the skin, because undiluted tea tree oil may be irritating.
Treat the chicken pox
Blend a few drops of tea tree essential oil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and use a cotton swab to apply the oil to sores two or three times a day.
Reduce cold sores
Apply tea tree essential oil directly on the cold sore three or four times a day. However, tea tree oil is toxic, so avoid getting it in your mouth.
Banish jock itch
Rub a thin layer of the oil onto your skin twice a day—but dilute it first: Mix 10 drops into 2 tablespoons olive oil or witch hazel.
Rub a few drops of tea tree oil, diluted in a little olive oil, into your psoriasis patches several times a day. The Australian remedy is useful for relieving itch and softening plaques, especially if you have a mild case.
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