Tea tree oil is one of the most popular and widely used homeopathic remedies of all - you'll find it employed across the globe for a range of different purposes.
But why do we love it so much - and what makes us rate it so highly here at Heyland & Whittle? Here, we'll discuss some of the benefits of tea tree oil and why you might want to make it part of your skincare regime.
History of tea tree oil use
The oil in its natural form comes from the Australian paperbark tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), so it should come as no surprise to hear that the Aboriginal people have been using it for thousands of years.
It got its popular name after Captain Cook travelled to Australia from Britain and saw native people using the leaves of the tree to make a tea-like brew, then no doubt noticed the array of ways in which they employed the oil itself.
It enjoyed another surge in popularity in the 1920s when servicemen put it to good use soothing their ailments, and a Royal Society of New South Wales study highlighted it as an effective antiseptic.
Further research published in the Medical Journal of Australia back in 1990 suggested that tea tree oil could be as useful for the treatment of acne as the more frequently applied five per cent benzoyl peroxide creams.
Today, doctors are again interested in its properties because of the resistance of bacteria to man-made antibiotics, and you can find tea tree oil in everything from deodorant and shampoo to cleansing fluids.
Why is tea tree oil good for the skin?
To answer this question, it might be more useful to talk about what tea tree oil can't do - because there's not much when it comes to skincare.
The natural substance is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial, as well as being believed to boost the immune system. It has therefore been used to soothe the symptoms of ulcers, cuts, burns, abscesses, psoriasis, athlete's foot and acne.
For everyday uses, many people also like to apply the oil in solution to prevent dandruff and ease inflammation in those annoying spot breakouts that can pop up from time to time.
It's usually great for all skin types in small concentrations - which we're careful to apply here at H&W - and shouldn't cause itching or irritation, but feel free to do a patch test when you first start using it to ensure you're not allergic.
The only thing to point out here is that tea tree oil should never be ingested orally under any circumstances, as it can cause severe reactions when it reaches the stomach.
What is it like to use on the skin?
If we were to compare tea tree oil to anything, it would be mint because it has the same crisp, invigorating feel. Its scent is fresh and clean so is appealing to both sexes.
You might want to try it for its soothing properties after hair removal and if your skin is feeling dull and dry after a day in a centrally heated or air conditioned office.
We find it's a great asset to any skincare regime. As usual, don't take our word for it though - we'd love for you to try some of our tea tree products and let us and our other readers know what you think.
We offer it in a soap bar, or a bigger block which is the equivalent of nearly 15 bars for the price of ten. In a customer review on our website, Penny from Northampton told us her husband loves to use this product to cleanse his face and invigorate the skin there, plus she singled out the clean scent as being especially appealing.
Perhaps it might become your go-to soap - why not give it a whirl?