TEA TREE OIL BENEFITS
Tea tree oil or melaleuca oil is known to have antiseptic properties and is widely used to treat wounds. This oil is known to eliminate many strains of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. There are several uses of tea tree oil – from cleaning products, healing skin issues to killing toxic mold which grows at home. Tea tree oil has been added to many household and cosmetic products over the years. Its natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory uses have made it a popular ingredient in products such as shampoos, conditioners, massage oils, skin and nail creams, face washes, laundry detergents, and disinfectant sprays. 
How does tea tree work?
The main components of tea tree are terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes compounds, which provide the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral functions. There are more than hundred different chemical components of which terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol are the most active compounds. The hydrocarbons are aromatic and can pass through air, skin pores, and mucus membranes. Hence, tea tree oil is mainly used for topical application and aromatically to eliminate germs, and fight and keep infections away. 
Main benefits of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is used to reduce acne and other skin inflammations such as eczema and psoriasis. The oil is also used to alleviate a common skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis that causes dandruff and scaling of scalp. This oil helps to heal wounds, infections, soothe sunburns, insect bites, sores too. However, one needs to run a small patch test before use.
Several scientific studies have found that tea tree oil could inhibit the growth of bacteria such as pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, haemophilus influenzae, streptococcus pyogenes and streptococcus pneumoniae. These harmful bacteria are known to cause serious infections such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, sinus, impetigo, sore throat, and bloodstream infections. The oil’s antifungal properties can help fight fungal infections such as candida, jock itch, toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
With its antibacterial benefits, this oil is also being used in place of conventional antibiotics as it plays an important role in reducing risk of antibiotic resistance.
What precautions are necessary to avoid side effects of tea tree oil?
For those with sensitive skin, tea tree oil may cause adverse reaction. Keeping the oil away from eyes, contact lenses, inner nose and other sensitive parts of the skin is important. It has a sharp camphor-like odor and produces menthol-like cooling effect. It may cause burning sensation on skin if applied excessively. Tea tree oil should not be orally consumed and must be immediately spitted out, if taken. A concentration of 5-10% is normal in topical products and may not cause any allergies and skin rashes. However, any concentration beyond that can cause dermatitis reactions. 
Tea tree oil must not be used directly on skin. It must be diluted with other carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. Exposure to eyes must be avoided as it may cause redness and irritation.  This oil must not be taken orally by pregnant and breastfeeding women due to allergic reactions it can cause. 
How to buy the right tea tree oil?
Always ensure that you are buying 100% pure essential oil by checking the correct species name which is usually given on the label. Also look for oil that offers organic and therapeutic benefits. Tea tree oil should be stored in dark, cool and dry places and preferably in a glass container because light, heat and air affect oil stability in essential oils. 
How to best use tea tree oil for skin
1. Oily skin
A few drops of the oil can be mixed with your toner, moisturizer and sunscreen. It can also be added to clay mask.
2. Itchy skin
Tea tree oil can soothe skin irritation and infections. A few drops of the oil can be added to moisturizer or carrier oil and applied over skin a few times.
3. Dry skin and eczema
Take a small amount of tea tree oil and mix it with carrier oil or with a moisturizer. Applying this mix onto the affected area immediately after bath twice a day can help sooth irritated, dry skin, thereby reducing itching and irritation.3
Many topical acne treatment creams offer tea tree as an ingredient due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to reduce redness, swelling and inflammation and also helps avoid occurrence of acne scars. Diluting tea tree oil with witch hazel and using it in the form of face wash, moisturizer, or spot treatment can help one get rid of acne issues.
To soothe painful, irritated skin, tea tree oil is known to be an effective agent. By diluting tea tree oil with carrier oil or moisturizer can provide the desired results with regular use over a period of time.
6. Tea Tree Oil for Hair
Dandruff is a recurring issue commonly faced by many people. Using tea tree oil in place of harmful chemicals, can give better and long-lasting results and helps to preserve hair health and its nourishment. Tea tree oil helps remove chemicals and dead skin cells from the scalp, thereby promoting healthy hair that is moisturized. Along with carrier oil, tea tree oil can be applied to hair and scalp. Post-oil application, hair needs to be rested for around 20 minutes. Thereupon, tea tree oil shampoo containing 5% of tea tree oil can be used to wash the hair. Use tea tree oil conditioner after rinsing. 
What is the right dosage to be taken?
To get rid of acne, 5% of tea tree oil gel can be safely applied on a daily basis.
2. Mite infection of eyelashes
To relieve ocular demodicosis, a type of mite that affects eyelashes, scrubbing of eyelashes on a weekly basis by mixing 50% tea tree oil with daily scrubs of eyelids along with use of tea tree shampoo or application of 10% tea tree oil once or twice a day for five minutes for six weeks duration might provide the desired results.
2. Nail fungus
For six months, tea tree oil solution can be applied twice every day to get relief from the condition.
3. Athlete’s foot
Tinea pedis or Athlete’s Foot could be alleviated with the application of 25% or 50% of tea tree oil solution on the affected area for one-month duration.