Tea tree oil is derived from the Tea Tree. Its scientific name is Melaleuca alternifolia.
It sometimes comes from Australia. Originally it was used in tea by some, but Australian natives used it in medicine for a long time.
The most relevant uses of tea tree oil to someone in the beauty industry are:
- after waxing,
- during extractions,
- for tinea unguium—also known as onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection of the nail,
- tinea pedis (athletes foot),
- scabies, and
- possibly pediculosis (lice).
It can also be used as a natural antiseptic on things like cuts and abrasions. Some believe it can help with bug bites. It has many other uses and can also be used in the bath as a bath oil. This can be good for the health of the skin by soaking or it can be good for inhaling through the steam of the bath. Some people use it in this way for things like sore throat or a common cold.
Tree oil works by containing chemicals that may kill bacteria and fungal infections. Some people believe it also works to reduce skin reactions from contact irritants or allergic reactions.
When using tea tree oil, it is important to use a carrier oil. It contains eucalyptol which can be a skin irritant if it is not used correctly. This means that if one were to use tea tree oil as a spot treatment then 100% cannot be applied directly to the area. Mixing it into a small amount of lotion or serum is a much better option.