Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

A fragrant and antioxidant essential tea tree oil praised for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Tea tree oil helps to treat acne, inflamed skin, and small wounds. It might, however, cause allergies and skin irritations.
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Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

Overview

Melaleuca alternifolia leaf oil, also known as tea tree oil, is one of the most well-known ingredients in skincare and is praised for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

It is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of the Tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, or several other related species of Melaleuca. It is native to Australia and has been used by Aboriginal Australians for centuries.

It is characterized by the high content of terpineol and terpinene, with cineol comprising max. 10-15%. These compounds are all pleasant-smelling, volatile components of the essential oil and they give it the fresh, camphor-like smell, as well as mild antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The activities of Tea tree essential oil and its components have been widely researched, although unfortunately mostly in vitro (in test tubes and cell cultures). The clinical studies on the efficacy are rare.

Nevertheless, it is widely used in skincare products for its antimicrobial properties and can help to treat acne, inflamed skin, and small wounds.

Like all essential oils, however, it should never be used undiluted directly on the skin. It might cause allergies and skin irritations. It is also not recommended for children under 12 years old.

Science

1
Assessment report on Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden and Betch) Cheel, M. linariifolia Smith, M. dissitiflora F. Mueller and/or other species of Melaleuca, aetheroleum. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products. 24 November 2014.
2
Lam, N. S. kei, Long, X. X., Li, X., Yang, L., Griffin, R. C., & Doery, J. C. (2020). Comparison of the efficacy of Teatree oil with other current pharmacological management in human demodicosis. Parasitology, 1–50.