Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tea Tree Oil Review

I can't remember if I've talked about this before on the blog, but I've been increasingly interested in essential oils and their alleged benefits.  Stress relievers, mood revitalizers, digestion aids, immunity boosters, all these things sound very good to me.  The thing about the properties of essential oils (EOs) is that they haven't been properly studied by medical folks.  Know why?  Because EOs can't be patented, which means they can't be sold as medicines, which means medical companies can't make money off of them.  All the information we have on EOs is actually anecdotal evidence.  Still, there's a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, and I've been wanting to give all this a shot for a while.

Into my life came Apothecary Extracts with a free 4 ounces of Tea Tree Oil for me to try!  They're also willing to give a lucky reader a sample, too!  For free!  (Scroll down below for a chance to win!)

Tea tree oil review and giveaway!

Tea tree oil (TTO) is antiseptic and anti-fungal and has been used for generations to prevent and help cure infections.  And, a little goes a long way, so one bottle can last you a very long time.  TTO should not be used on your skin undiluted, however, and it should never be ingested.  Also, it's toxic to cats, so be careful with keeping it around your pets.

Here's how I used my tea tree oil.

Mixed with coconut oil
As a cuticle oil
I have the bad habit of picking at and cutting my cuticles.  The coconut oil helps soften the cuticles, and the tea tree oil helps heal the cuts and hangnails I've developed.  I apply with a Q-tip each night before bed.

For cuts
I've applied the mixture with a Q-tip to all the cuts and scratches I've gotten from my new puppy, too.  I usually don't put anything on my cuts, so using anything is bound to help.  It's pretty cool how TTO helps fight away the infections.  I used it on a scratch I got on my lip about 3 times a day and it was completely healed in two days!  Score!

As an acne spot treatment
This one hasn't worked the way I thought it would, but at least the zit hasn't gotten any bigger!

As a hair shine agent
I know some people apply coconut oil to their hair for shine, so I thought maybe it would work with the TTO, too.  I was in a rush the day I tried it, though, and I wasn't able to tell a difference, mostly because I didn't take the time to really look in the mirror.  I'll test this one out a bit more in the future.

Mixed with mineral oil
For oil cleansing
Okay, be careful with this one.  The TTO will help kill the bacteria that might be harbored in your skin, but you want to make sure the TTO is really diluted with the mineral oil.  I tried this oil cleansing blend twice, and the second time, I put in much more TTO than I should have.
 TTO has a very powerful scent.  It's hard to describe, but it's clean, sharp, and a bit herb-y.  When I added too much, the smell overwhelmed my nose, and I couldn't stop smelling it for a while.  Also, do NOT use this around your eyes.  I use oil cleansing to remove my makeup every night (and for other benefits I'll explain another time), but don't use the TTO to remove mascara.  It stung my eyes a little, and I learned my lesson.

Mixed with water and Epsom salts
As a relaxing bath
I put a few drops of TTO and a couple good shakes of Epsom salts into a warm bath for a relaxing evening.  Supposedly, Epsom salts help relieve sore muscles, and the TTO, when used as aromatherapy, can help fend off cold symptoms.  The warm water did a lot to diffuse the TTO, and while I don't find it to be the most relaxing scent, I was able to get used to it after a while.  I wasn't able to determine any immediate benefits, but it did give me time to paint my nails and to have a little break from puppy training.

A few drops into the washing machine
I added some TTO to my laundry soap to help clean away the bacteria in a load of wash that Mako had made a wet mess on.  The laundry came out nice and clean, and the same thing happened when I put some drops in the dryer during a separate load.

Other ways to use TTO I want to try later 

Mixed with coconut oil
For ingrown hairs
I'd like to try the coconut oil+TTO mixture on ingrown hairs to see if it helps keep bacteria from developing.  Maybe it will help ease the hair out, too.

Mixed with honey
 As an anti-acne mask
Both honey and TTO are anti-bacterial, so this could be helpful for those with serious bacteria or acne problems.  Honestly, I'm scared of the feeling of all the stickiness on my skin, so I haven't tried it yet.

Mixed with water
 As a bacteria-killing mouth wash
Apparently, 1 1/3 cup distilled water with 6 drops TTO is the perfect ratio for a bacteria-killing mouth wash.  I haven't gotten around to this one yet, but I sure believe it works.

Mixed with water and baking soda
As a cleaning agent
I'd much rather have the smell of TTO hanging around my house than the smell of Clorox.  To help with scrub effectiveness, I've heard that I can use a coffee filter to aid in elbow grease.  I'll try this one soon!

Here's how to NOT use TTO
53 uses for tea tree oil ebook
Let's talk about the accompanying 53 Uses for Tea Tree Oil ebook I got with my purchase for a minute.  Most of the recipes suggested in the book for your skin should not be used on your skin!  The scrubs that include abrasive materials like salt and sugar are way too harsh for your face and can actually make small cuts in your skin.  Not good!  Also, using mint leaves in lip balm can actually cause irritation.  Don't put mint on your lips!  Finally, apple cider vinegar in hair rinse is okay-ish, just be aware that the acidity of the apple cider vinegar is very different from that of your skin, and you don't want it to be left on your scalp or your back for a long period of time.

Bottom line: Make sure you do your research before putting new products on your skin and always conduct a patch test to make sure you're not allergic to anything.

This post has been sponsored by Apothecary Extracts and made possible by BBrandBacker.  While I did get the tea tree oil for free, these are my own thoughts and my honest thoughts, as always. 

P.s. Some other easy ways to be healthier and a DIY dry shampoo 

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