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Tea tree oil is a plant extract and essential oil. Products such as creams, washes, and ointments may contain tea tree oil as an added ingredient.

This article outlines the benefits of tea tree oil and reviews a range of tea tree oil products.

A quick look at the best tea tree oils

Tea tree oil is an extract from the tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Australia.

The purest form of tea tree oil is an undiluted essential oil at 100% concentration. A person should never apply 100% concentrated tea tree oil to their skin as it will cause irritation.

They will need to dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil before using it on their skin. People should also never consume tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has various uses and benefits, including:

  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties: According to a 2018 study, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Researchers believe people may use it to treat bacterial infections rather than prescribe antibiotics.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Research suggests tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties due to the amount of terpinen-4-ol within the oil.
  • Acne: Many over-the-counter acne products contain tea tree oil. A 2019 review stated that tea tree oil can be an effective acne treatment, and the authors note that it has antifungal, antibacterial, and antioxidative properties.
  • Skin-soothing: Some older 2011 research suggests that tea tree oil may help treat instances of contact dermatitis. However, some may find that tea tree oil aggravates their skin instead of soothing it.
  • Anti-dandruff: According to one older study, shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil could be an effective treatment for dandruff.

Learn more about the benefits of tea tree oil here.

People must take care when using tea tree oil topically. High concentrations of this product can irritate the skin. Tea tree oil must always be diluted when applying it to the skin. Some tea tree products may be available pre-diluted. Always read the label.

A person should never swallow tea tree oil, as this can trigger severe symptoms, such as breathing problems and a loss of muscle movement. In extreme cases, they may even fall into a coma.

While research suggests there are health benefits linked with essential oils, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor or regulate their purity or quality. It’s important a person talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils and research the quality of a brand’s products. A person should always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Ingredients: MNT selects products that list all ingredients clearly, with manufacturing processes outlined.
  • Safety: MNT chooses products containing ingredients deemed safe for topical or oral use, ingestion, or inhalation.
  • Reputable: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

When buying organic tea tree oil, people should look for “USDA Organic” listed on the label.

Three organic tea tree essential oils a person may want to try include:

Best GMO-free: Plant Therapy Organic Tea Tree Oil

  • Price: from $9.99–44.99
  • Volume: 10 milliliters (mL), 30 mL, or 100 mL

Plant Therapy offers this organic tea tree oil to help relieve skin irritation and redness and improve smoothness. It may suit people who have exposed their skin to the sun and are looking for a skin-soothing product.

Plant Therapy’s tea tree oil is USDA certified organic and GMO-free. The company claims it uses third-party labs to test this product. Plant Therapy also claims to employ certified aromatherapists.

According to the website, people can use the tea tree oil with another essential oil to refresh their room. They can also mix it with organic lavender and apply it to their skin.

The oil is safe for children and has a green wood and medicinal scent.

People unsatisfied with their purchase can opt for returns within 90 days.

The oil also has many positive reviews on the Plant Therapy website. Most praise its quality and state that it is effective on the skin. However, according to negative reviews, the smell may be too strong for some.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this product include:

  • returns within 90 days
  • third-party tests
  • may relieve skin irritation
  • safe for children

The disadvantages include:

  • may be toxic to pets
  • the scent may not suit everyone

Best cruelty-free: Cliganic Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Price: around $9.99
  • Volume: 10 mL and 30 mL

This product is for people looking for a cruelty-free and vegan option. It is natural, GMO-free, and certified organic. It also has a strong aroma.

The company claims its essential oils are free of sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens and are cruelty-free.

Cliganic offers a 90-day guarantee.

According to reviews, this tea tree oil helps with healing and knee inflammation. Individuals who received a leaky package were able to opt for a replacement. Some also wrote that the smell may be too strong.

Pros and cons

Some advantages of this tea tree oil are:

  • not tested on animals
  • suitable for vegans
  • sulfate-free

Some disadvantages may be:

  • reports of leaking products during delivery
  • may have a strong scent

Best vegan option: Nexon Botanics Organic Tea Tree Oil

  • Price: around $13.95
  • Volume: 30 mL

Nexon Botanics offers this pure and natural tea tree oil for people who have skin irritation or want to treat nail fungus. The company writes it may also be suitable for people with a dry scalp.

It is a vegan, cruelty-free, and non-GMO product.

According to Nexon Botanics, this tea tree oil is steam-distilled and contains pure USDA certified tea tree oil. It is suitable for diffusing or adding to a humidifier. People must dilute it with a carrier oil, such as medium-chain triglyceride oil, before applying it to the skin.

A 30-day return policy applies if a person is unsatisfied with their purchase.

The tea tree oil has a high positive rating on Amazon. Most reviews state that it is effective in relieving knee pain and inflammation.

However, the oil may not work for everyone.

Pros and cons

This tea tree oil has the following advantages:

  • returns within 30 days
  • suitable for vegans
  • free of GMOs
  • may relieve inflammation

A person can also consider these disadvantages:

  • reports of unhelpful customer service
  • possible leakages during delivery

People interested in using tea tree oil on their skin should choose low concentration products. Applying pure or highly concentrated tea tree oil products to the skin will cause irritation.

Two tea tree oil skin care products a person may want to try include:

Best for acne breakouts: TruSkin Tea Tree Oil Super Serum

  • Price: around $25
  • Volume: 30 mL

This serum formulation combines vitamin C, salicylic acid, and retinol with tea tree oil. These can help reduce visible signs of aging, unclog pores, and address breakouts.

The company recommends applying this oil two or three times per week.

TruSkin says it does not test on animals, and the product is vegan-friendly.

Customers can benefit from a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Most reviews praise the effectiveness of TruSkin tea tree oil in reducing cystic acne. Customers have noticed that the oil relieved skin inflammation and redness within 24 hours of application. It also works on individuals aged 50 and older.

Negative comments claim that the product contains fragrance, so it may not be the right treatment for sensitive skin.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this tea tree oil are:

  • may unclog pores and reduce breakouts
  • some users write it offered immediate effect
  • not tested on animals

The disadvantages are:

  • contains fragrance
  • may not suit persons with a sensitive skin

Best fragrance-free: Oleavine Theratree Therapeutic Balm with Tea Tree & Neem Oil

  • Price: around $34
  • Volume: 57 mL

Oleavine tea tree balm includes a variety of additional ingredients, including vitamin E. These help fight skin irritation, dryness, and itching.

The oil does not contain chemical preservatives, petroleum, or synthetic fragrance.

The company claims it sustainably harvests its ingredients and the oil is long-term steam-distilled to ensure it contains a broad spectrum of active ingredients.

At the time of publication, Walmart’s refund policy is available until January 31, 2023.

According to review sites, the oil may work best on wet skin after showering and is effective on cracked feet. However, it may have an unpleasant smell and may take a long time to heal itching that develops from athlete’s foot.

Pros and cons

A person can consider the advantages of this tea tree balm:

  • may relieve dryness and itching
  • extended returns
  • fragrance-free
  • no harmful chemicals

There are also some disadvantages:

  • some report an unpleasant smell
  • may not work immediately on athlete’s foot

Best for bug bites: Brooklyn Botany Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Price: around $18.95
  • Volume: 118 mL

This product contains pure tea tree essential oil that a person can blend with a carrier oil and eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, or nutmeg. It does not contain any additives.

It comes in a glass bottle that offers UV protection to preserve the product.

According to reviews, Brooklyn Botany’s tea tree oil produces a natural smell and may ease bug bites. Some customers wrote that the product has a weak tea tree oil smell.

Further to that, the oil comes with an extendable return guarantee. This means those who wish to return their product can do so by January 31, 2023.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this tea tree oil include:

  • does not produce a chemical smell
  • works on bug bites
  • comes in a glass bottle that offers UV protection

Some disadvantages include:

  • may have a weak smell
  • may not work for everyone

Best for fungal infections: Eden’s Garden Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Price: from around $11–109
  • Volume: 0.17, 0.33, and 1 fluid ounce (fl oz)

Eden’s Garden offers this tea tree oil to soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of fungal infections.

Eden’s Garden claims to batch-test all its products. People can review its tea tree oil test report to check the chemical profile of this product.

A 30-day return policy applies to customers who are unsatisfied with their tea tree oil.

Amazon reviewers note that Eden’s Garden’s product works on adult acne and can be effective for those with a fungal nail infection. However, some did not see any difference in their dry skin.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this tea tree oil may include:

  • may address adult acne
  • may reduce appearance of fungal infections
  • option to choose between different volumes
  • company batch tests its products

The disadvantages may include:

  • may not relieve dry skin
  • larger quantities are expensive

Skin products use tea tree oil at lower concentrations, which may be less likely to cause skin irritation. However, people should always perform a patch test before using any tea tree products on their skin.

Two skin-related tea tree oil products a person may want to try include:

Best for psoriasis and eczema: Balm of Gilead Manuka Defense Healing Balm

  • Price: around $14.99
  • Volume: 50 mL

This balm contains different ingredients, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and rosemary leaf extract. Manuka Defense recommends this product for individuals with cracked hands and feet.

The balm provides a moisturizing effect so it may suit those managing eczema or psoriasis.

At the time of publication, people can benefit from a return guarantee that is available until January 31, 2023.

On Amazon, the Manuka Defense balm has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. Reviewers claim that it helps reduce wrinkles and relieves psoriasis and eczema symptoms, such as itching. However, the balm may leave a greasy residue.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this tea tree balm are:

  • may relieve itching
  • extendable return guarantee
  • may reduce the appearance of wrinkles

The disadvantages may include:

  • some buyers write it leaves a greasy residue on the skin

Best for minor cuts: Brave Soldier Antiseptic Healing Ointment

  • Price: around $16
  • Volume: 1 oz

This antiseptic ointment contains tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax. These ingredients have antifungal, antibacterial, and moisturizing properties.

Brave Soldier claims that the product prevents scarring and suggests a person uses it to treat minor cuts and scrapes.

According to review sites, this antiseptic healing ointment helps treat bed sores and minor burns. Some customers, however, did not experience pain relief after using the product.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this tea tree healing ointment include:

  • may help heal minor cuts
  • moisturizes the skin
  • may prevent scarring

The disadvantages include:

  • may not be effective in relieving pain

The following table compares the different tea tree oils in this article.

ProductWhat it is best forIngredientsVolumeCertified asReturns or refund periodPrice
Plant Therapy• skin irritation
• redness
• sinus problems
tea tree oil10, 30, and 100 mLUSDA organic90 daysfrom $9.99–44.99
Cliganicknee inflammationtea tree oil10 and 30 mLUSDA organic, non-GMO, and cruelty-free90 daysaround $9.99
Nexon Botanics• nail fungus
• dry scalp
tea tree oil30 mLUSDA organic30 daysaround $13.95
TruSkin• visible signs of aging
• clogged pores
• tea tree oil
• vitamin C
• salicylic acid
• retinol
30 mLcertified cruelty-free90 daysaround $25
Oleavine• irritation
• dryness
• itching
• tea tree oil
• vitamin E
• neem oil
57 mLno information availableuntil January 31, 2023around $34
Brooklyn Botanybug bitestea tree oil118 mLno information availableuntil January 31, 2023around $18.95
Eden’s Gardenfungal infectionstea tree oil0.17, 0.33, and 1 fl ozno information available30 daysaround $11–109
Balm of Gileadcracked skin• tea tree oil
• eucalyptus
• rosemary leaf extract
50 mLpaleountil January 31, 2023around $14.99
Brave Soldierminor cuts• tea tree oil
• jojoba oil
• beeswax
1 ozno information available7 daysaround $16

Below, we answer some common questions about tea tree oil.

Which brand of tea tree oil is best?

Different brands will suit different people. However, high quality brands will have their products third-party tested to ensure quality, and the product labeling should be clear. Buyers should prioritize affordable products with appropriate ingredients.

A person should consider their needs, preferences, skin concerns, and budget when buying tea tree oil.

How can you tell if tea tree oil is pure?

If tea tree oil is pure, the company usually states that it is 100% pure or natural. People should check product labeling for the full list of ingredients and choose brands that send their products to third-party labs for testing, as this will confirm what ingredients are in the formula.

Which is the best tea tree oil for pimples?

A 2018 study found that combining tea tree oil with another plant-based ingredient, such as aloe vera, can effectively reduce acne breakouts. People may wish to find a tea tree oil that combines these ingredients.

A person should always speak with a doctor before managing a skin condition with essential oils, dilute any essential oil before applying it to their skin, and perform a patch test.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that may have some antibacterial properties and other benefits.

However, people should never apply pure tea tree oil to the skin, as this will cause irritation. People should also avoid consuming tea tree oil, as ingesting this liquid could be lethal.

As there are so many tea tree oil products available, buyers should carefully read the label and follow the instructions before using them.