Research Publications on Tea Tree Oils for Acne

Tea tree oil (TTO), derived from Melaleuca alternifolia, is recognized for its potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, primarily due to its terpinen-4-ol content. It has shown broad-spectrum efficacy against various skin and mucosal infections, including bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal pathogens.

Research supports TTO's utility in treating conditions like acne vulgaris, seborrheic dermatitis, chronic gingivitis, aiding wound healing, and offering potential anti-skin cancer benefits.

A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology; International Journal of Dermatology, 2013; Link

Tea tree oil (TTO) is an essential oil, steam-distilled from the Australian native plant, Melaleuca alternifolia. It has a minimum content of terpinen-4-ol and a maximum content of 1, 8-cineole. Terpinen-4-ol is a major TTO component which exhibits strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil exerts antioxidant activity and has been reported to have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections affecting skin and mucosa. Several studies have suggested the uses of TTO for the treatment of acne vulgaris, seborrheic dermatitis, and chronic gingivitis. It also accelerates the wound healing process and exhibits anti-skin cancer activity.

Tea tree oil gel for mild to moderate acne; a 12 week uncontrolled, open-label phase II pilot study; Australas J Dermatol, 2017; Link

This open-label phase II pilot study evaluated the effectiveness and tolerability of tea tree oil gel and face wash for treating mild to moderate facial acne over 12 weeks. With 18 participants enrolled and 14 completing the study, results showed a significant reduction in lesion counts and improved Investigator Global Assessment (IGA) scores over time. The products were well-tolerated, with minor side effects like peeling and dryness that resolved without intervention. The study concludes that tea tree oil products are an effective and tolerable treatment option for acne.