how to use tea tree oil in your skin care routine

Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils for skincare, primarily because of its ability to clear acne. As with most natural ingredients, there are various ways for you to reap the benefits of this essential oil – as long as you use it safely. So, in this article we’re going to dive into how to use tea tree oil in your skin care routine.

To start off we’re going to look at how to dilute tea tree oil. Then we will cover:

  • the main benefits of adding tea tree to your skincare routine.
  • when to apply it in your regiment (i.e. before/after moisturizer, before/after toner and so on).
  • some simple tea tree oil recipes that you can add to your natural beauty regimen.

Note: this post contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


Undiluted tea tree oil should never be applied directly to the skin. Instead, it should be diluted in a carrier oil (not water) and then the diluted blend can be applied to the face. Essential oil experts generally recommend a 0.2 – 1.5% dilution for daily use of essential oils on the face (source).

That said, I personally find that for an acne spot treatment, a 5% dilution is actually much more effective. This dilution has also been studied and shown to be effective against acne (source) is best.

For really stubborn pimples, I sometimes do a 10% dilution. Do keep in mind that I only use these high strengths for a few days to get rid of the pimple. Also, if you’ve never used tea tree oil before, then please do a patch test before attempting to use it on your face.

Now, as for how to make the tea tree blend, you’ll need a light liquid oil, such as:

  • jojoba oil.
  • grapeseed oil.
  • almond oil.
  • fractionated coconut oil.
  • grapeseed oil.

Once you have chosen your carrier, use the chart below to determine how many drops of tea tree oil you need based on the dilution and the amount of carrier oil

Please note that it’s best to store your diluted tea tree oil in a glass bottle (like these ones). Avoid using a plastic container because essential oils can warp or damage them (even when they’ve been diluted!).

10ml carrier20ml carrier30ml carrier
0.5%1 drop3 drops4 drops
1%3 drops6 drops9 drops
1.5%4 drops9 drops13 drops
5%15 drops30 drops45 drops
10%30 drops60 drops90 drops


how to add tea tree oil to your skincare routine

Aside from mixing tea tree oil with a carrier oil, you can also use it with your moisturizer as follows:

1. Apply Tea Tree Before Moisturizer

Once you’ve diluted your tea tree oil, you can apply it on pimples after cleansing and toning your face. Allow the diluted tea tree to sit on your face for about 2 minutes, then follow-up with a moisturizer.

By the way, if you don’t have a preferred brand of tea tree yet, then check out this one from Plant Therapy. I get most of my oils from this brand and I absolutely love the quality. Plus, they always has helpful tips on their blog about how to use essential oils.

2. Mix Tea Tree With Moisturizer

Another easy way to include tea tree oil in your beauty routine is to combine the undiluted oil with your regular moisturizer. To do this simply add a few drops to your moisturizer and massage the blend onto your face as (making sure to avoid the eyes!).

NOTE: make sure your moisturizer contains oils since this is necessary for proper dispersion of the tea tree.


If you’re the DIY type, then you can make your own tea oil and honey cleanser in just a few minutes!

The reason why honey is used in this cleanser is because it’s a gentle antimicrobial. So, by removing microbes, it’s effectively removing gunk from the skin (without stripping the skin’s natural sebum – a huge plus if your skin is inflamed due to acne, for example).

In addition, honey is a natural anti-inflammatory. So, once again, if your struggling with any kind of inflammatory skin condition, honey can be quite soothing.

Overall, this cleanser is a non-abrasive, acne-friendly home remedy.


¼ cup raw honey

3 drops tea tree essential oil


1. Combine the honey and tea tree oil in a bowl. NOTE: If the honey is too thick, warm it up by placing the honey container in a hot water bath. Warming it will make it more fluid.

2. Splash your face with water then massage the mixture onto your skin for at least 1 minute. 

3. Rinse with warm water and pat your face dry.

4. Follow up with a moisturizer of your choice.


Can I leave tea tree oil on my face overnight?

As long as the tea tree oil has been properly diluted, it’s fine to leave it on overnight.

Can tea tree oil clog pores?

Tea tree oil is non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores. So, as long as you blend it with a non-comedogenic carrier oil (such as grapeseed or almond oil), it’s unlikely to clog your pores.

How long does it take for tea tree oil to work?

When you follow the proper dilution and application guidelines, tea tree oil can start improving acne within the first few applications. Pimples can start shrinking and appear less red within a few days. However, in order to completely clear up your skin, it can take several months (depending on the severity of your acne).

Is tea tree oil good for wrinkles?

Compared to some other essential oils, tea tree is not known for fighting wrinkles. Instead, reach for clary sage, rose or frankincense if you want essential oils that can help wrinkles.

Can we mix tea tree oil with aloe vera gel?

Since aloe vera gel consists mainly of water, it’s not appropriate for diluting tea tree oil. Instead, use an aloe vera jelly product. Jelly products contain thickening agents that help to better disperse the tea tree oil. Here’s an unscented jelly, fortified with herbs, that you can try.


Tea tree oil is a natural and scientifically proven remedy for acne. And not only does it kill acne-causing bacteria, but it’s just as effective as popular over-the-counter remedies.

I hope this post has given you some helpful ideas on how you can start incorporating tea tree oil into your daily routine!

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