How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Acne Treatment – Safely And Effectively
It’s confusing to choose between tea tree oil for acne treatment and a chemical-based treatment. But can you maybe combine them and get the best of both worlds? We answer this question and others by taking an in-depth look at the pros and cons of using tea tree oil for acne treatment.
What You’ll Be Learning
Using tea tree oil for acne treatment is a mostly safe and effective, natural alternative to the many products on the market that treat acne by reducing bacterial overgrowth with synthetic chemicals only. The main ingredient in those simple acne products is an FDA approved chemical called “benzoyl peroxide.” That chemical is effective at reducing bacterial overgrowth, but from there the results are mixed.
Tea tree oil for acne in isolation is extremely potent, and while it too can be effective, it works best when combined with a “carrier oil” or other product that increases its cleansing efficacy. We’ve looked at using tea tree as a stand-alone treatment for acne. We’ve looked at what goes wrong when tea tree oil for acne doesn’t help at all. We found out what people love and don’t love about it.
What we’ve discovered is that a complete acne treatment system like Exposed Skin Care almost guarantees you to enjoy significantly better and faster results, along with a much more pleasant treatment experience. In addition to including a cleanser and moisturizer in their system, Exposed have taken their approach to the best possible treatment formula a step further by combining the best of science and nature by combining tea tree oil and acne chemical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of both. Above all, we hope that by the time you finish this article you’ll have all the answers you need to make an educated decision about tea tree oil for acne treatment.
First Things First – Common Chemicals Used To Fight Acne
Treating acne from home is simple and effective when you understand basic, underlying principles of how to do it, and, the main ingredients that help you do it best. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are those two main chemicals, and we’re going to help you understand what they do individually, and why they work so well together.
1) Salicylic acid – removes dead skin cells, dirt, and grime from pores and opens them up. If you use too little salicylic acid in the formula, you won’t see sufficient cleaning and opening of the pores. Use too much, and the skin will get red and inflamed. Red and inflamed skin is truly counter productive when treating acne and must be avoided.
2) Benzoyl peroxide – provided it can penetrate the pores, will reduce the bacterial count of p.acnes. Use too little and it won’t reduce bacterial count enough and the population will just recover. Use too much and people experience the most common and problematic side effect of benzoyl peroxide; dry, inflamed skin. Dry, inflamed skin is very counter productive to clear skin.
However, if you use salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide together in exactly the right amounts, leave the chemicals on the skin for the right amount of time, and stay consistent with a gentle, daily skin care routine, the combination of these two chemicals is incredibly effective!
The Best In The Business
We’ve already established that using the combination of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide is incredibly effective. Can it be made even better, though? It definitely can, and here’s how:
1) Add a great moisturizer to the routine.
2) Add natural actives in the 3-step formula – cleansing, treating, and moisturizing – to take advantage of the best nature has to offer to enhance the effect of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in combination. That’s where tea tree oil helps, for example, by helping repair the skin.
We’re big fans of Exposed and rate it (easily) as the best acne treatment system on the market today for some very specific reasons:
- The concentrations of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in their product are exactly right
- They include several natural actives in their products to ensure you get the best of both worlds
- They use only quality ingredients in their products
- They offer a superb guarantee unlike anything you will see elsewhere
- It’s reasonably priced
- It includes instructions that are very simple to follow
Next- What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, essential oil pressed from the leaves of tea tree (scientifically-known as Melaleuca Alternifolia) that is indigenous to Australia. It’s easy think of olive oil as an oil that comes from olives because it’s so commonly used in every day cooking around the world. Essential Oils are not that different from olive oil in that they are they highly concentrated, pressed versions of a plant or leaf, and sold in a bottle. How do we get essential oils?
Leafs, barks, twigs, flowers and stems of the plant are all steamed. The steam contains all the healing properties, smells and benefits of the original plant – it’s just that its form changes from solid to liquid through a process called “distillation.” The distilled steam is then captured and bottled and is also highly concentrated. This means that a little tea tree oil can go a long way for treating your acne.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Help Acne
Tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic and/or astringent the same way chemical-based products do for treating acne. It definitely kills bacteria and can eliminate redness, itching and inflammation as well. It is used topically (externally) – not ingested (internally) – and is often combined with olive or coconut oils as well as lemon.
Sometimes, as with the Exposed Skin Care treatment system we mentioned earlier, tea tree oil is used for acne treatment in combination with chemical-based compounds to increase efficacy. The concept is that the main ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, kills bacteria and the tea tree oil helps to repair the skin.
Remember that pure tea tree oil is highly concentrated. Whether you apply it by itself or mixed with another ingredient, always use a “spot-treatment” process when using tea tree oil for acne, or other purposes, on your skin.
Pros And Cons: Chemical Solutions Vs. Tea Tree Oil For Acne Treatments
There is an obvious aspect of using tea tree oil for acne treatments that makes it popular in today’s green-friendly world: It’s pure-and-natural.
There is also an obvious reason using chemical-based solutions for fighting acne is concerning: They’re made of synthetic chemicals that can be – and sometimes are – harmful if used improperly.
In all honesty, both sides have the pros and cons. Even though applying tea tree oil for acne reduction is an all-natural remedy, its high concentration and other potential effects are cause for mention. Some chemical compounds work, and others don’t. Some even cause allergic reactions and can make the situation worse.
Different people and their infinitely different faces all respond in varied ways to both chemical products and tea tree oil. Let’s take a look at some more detailed information about both sides of these products along with their potential – and proven – pros and cons.
This is the main, chemical ingredient found in almost all acne-fighting products on the market that is not tea tree oil. It’s what is called an “industrial chemical” and has been shown to be the nuclear-level attack weapon against acne.
- Proven scientifically to be the best, synthetic ingredient to fight acne
- Readily available in many products worldwide
- FDA approved
- Works faster than tea tree oil for acne even if, in the end, not more effectively
- Can bleach hair or fabric
- Can cause irritation if ingested or it accidently touches your eyes
- Produces more side effects than tea tree oil for acne treatment
Tea Tree Oil:
- Produces fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide
- Generally safe when applied moderately
- 100% pure tea tree oil is natural and contains no synthetic chemicals
- It is relatively inexpensive
- It’s a highly powerful cleaning agent when concentrated that has multiple, beneficial uses for your body and home
- Works more slowly than benzoyl peroxide
- Can have severe side effects if swallowed
- Although tea tree oil is a natural substance, like plants, pollen or food it can still cause allergic reactions in people
- If not diluted or blended properly with other oils or lotions it can cause a burning sensation and redness when applied directly to your skin
- Doesn’t break blood vessels or rupture pores when applied gently
- Removes dead skin while opening pores
- Helps skin look less flaccid and more tight/healthy
- Helps remove spots from skin, eliminating discoloration
- It’s a highly powerful cleaning agent when concentrated that has multiple, beneficial uses for your body and home
- More effective when applied after acne disappears
- Less irritating than other products
- Especially helpful for oily skin
- Can be too strong to apply on darker skin tones
- Has the potential of drying the skin if not used with tea tree oil and/or other lotions
- People with black, dark brown or beige-to-brown skin should be cautious when using it
- High or concentrated levels alone or blended in a product can cause skin burns
The Science Behind Tea Tree Oil For Acne
Being that tea tree oil is indigenous to Australia, we started our scientific research by going down under to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney. What we learned from their research studies is that, before the American FDA allows any product to be registered as a “health-care antiseptic” they must be provided with a list of all the things said antiseptic combats and/or kills. They also study and declare what the minimum concentration an antiseptic needs have to meet their standards and become “FDA approved.” The science behind the effectiveness of tea tree oil for acne can be overwhelming. We’re going to break that science down for you into more digestible sections. For those of you who want more information on the science behind tea tree oil for acne, we’re providing applicable links for you to follow to your heart’s content.
Tea Tree Oil Kills These Micro-Organisms:
- Escherichia coli (E.coli)
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (Staph Infections)
- Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species
- Propionibacterium acnes
- Candida albicans
All of these things can do the following and more: infect wounds and respiratory tracts; cause skin infections, grow fungus and lead to the more serious (and potentially deadly) staph infections.
Effective Potency Ratios of Tea Tree Oil For Acne
The MAAS Study found that:
“…the growth of most of the organisms was inhibited at an oil concentration of 0.25%v/v (volume/volume, i.e. 0.25ml of tea tree oil added to 99.75ml of broth). Most of the organisms died at 0.50% while an oil concentration of 3.0% was needed to kill the penicillin-resistant bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa.”
What This Means In Layman’s Terms
While using tea tree oil for acne treatment is most effective when mixed with benzoyl peroxide, like in Exposed Skin Care products, science has shown it to be equally effective in treating the following conditions:
- Insect bites
- Ring Worm
- Chicken Pox
- Athletes Foot
- Lice Infestation
Studies also show tea tree oil can reduce inflammation on the skin induced by histamines. And while this isn’t exactly science, it’s still true: tea tree oil has a pleasant and pleasing fragrance.
Behind Tea Tree Oil Product Curtain Number One
Using tea tree oil for acne treatments is an overall positive and effective experience. Assuming you’ve gotten past the allergy potentials and ruled out any rare, adverse reactions, it’s hard to go wrong when using this essential oil properly against acne breakouts, whether chronic or acute.
Sometimes, however, tea tree oil is added into products that either limit the oil’s potency, or quite simply use too little (or too much) of it for effective, acne-fighting purposes. Poorly formulated acne treatment products are more common than most acne sufferers imagine and not even dermatologists get it right. As an example, the first version of Proactiv, which has literally sold in the billions of dollars, uses 6% benzoyl peroxide. That’s great if you want to gradually remove someone’s face.
A pore strip is an example that has potentially polarizing effects on acne treatment. A pore strip really does help pull bacteria and oil up from your skin. And, if the strip uses tea tree oil for acne removal as one of its ingredients, it is likely to be more effective; at least initially. Almost paradoxically, however, the strip has a sticky substance to it that could (and often does) leave residue on your skin that re-clogs the pores it just cleansed.
The Nose Doesn’t Always Know
Tea tree oil has a distinct fragrance. There is mint and eucalyptus mixed with a hint of “something medicinal” in the way it hits your nose. But just because you smell it in your acne-fighting product doesn’t mean that product actually contains the FDA approved amount of tea tree oil to be effective enough to kill bacteria or treat your acne. Make sure you read directions, labels and ingredients before buying and applying a product. This goes for pure tea tree oil as well as blended products, because some companies water down their oils and therefore diminish their acne-fighting properties.
As mentioned earlier, tea tree oil for acne is generally found to be most potent at 0.25%v/v (volume/volume), i.e. 0.25ml of tea tree oil added to 99.75ml of other liquid/substance.
Keeva Organics gives an interesting description of various tea tree oil-based solutions along with easy-to-follow-visuals.
A Mixed Bag – Or Bottle
Some companies blend similar-smelling products (such as evergreen essential oils) with tea tree to lower their production costs. This gives the olfactory illusion that what you’re using is as effective as other products that contain FDA approved amounts of tea tree oil for acne treatment – but it isn’t. Again, read labels pre-purchase and pre-application.
Cleaning wipes are convenient and generally effective for general cleaning purposes. But you can’t just wipe away acne – you have to use a focused and regimented treatment plan. While wipes infused with tea tree oil may have the best of intentions, they have some fundamental, acne-fighting flaws. First of all, acne is bacteria-based. Most wipes don’t contain enough tea tree oil in them to kill the bacteria and therefore just rub it in and/or spread it around. Also, opinions vary on whether or not you should spread tea tree oil around larger, skin/surface areas. The best bet when using tea tree oil for acne is always a spot-treatment method and you just can’t do that with a wipe-based product.
DDF Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula Benzoyl Peroxide Gel 5%, with Tea Tree
This DDF product contains enough tea tree oil to “get the red out” of pimples. The antibacterial action of the product is solely due to the benzoyl peroxide. Still, for US $28, it’s not a bad buy for a product that actually works.
Isomers Australian Harvest Products
This company’s products all work, they just don’t all work in the ways advertised. The Australian Harvest Daily Control Cream with Tea Tree Oil is one of a relative few over the counter products that contains the right amount of glycolic acid (3%) at the right pH (3.8) to loosen tight skin around pores and to give an even texture to the skin. The tea tree oil for acne in this product just keeps the glycolic acid from causing skin irritation. It is not concentrated enough to actually fight acne bacteria.
Isomers Australian Harvest Daily Control Serum with Tea Tree Oil
- actually does contain enough tea tree oil to keep acne bacteria in check. What is does not contain is the right amount of salicylic acid at the right pH to help keep pores open.
Isomers Australian Harvest Daily Cleanser with Tea Tree Extract
- does not contain either enough exfoliating acids or tea tree oil to do your skin any good, but its thickening agents will clog enough pores to ensure that you need the other two products!
There are similar problems with the rest of the Isomers Australian Harvest product line. They contain one ingredient in the right form and right amount, and another ingredient in an ineffective form and amount. However, if you use a lot of their products, altogether you will get slow but visible results. It’s a lot better to use a kit product containing a lot of products that all work.
Lush Tea Tree Water Toner
Here is a product that delivers a single dose of tea tree oil at an affordable price, usually about US $2. You’re better off just buying a bottle of the real thing, however, because this product mixes the tea tree oil with citric acid (not a kind of vitamin c and not a chemical the skin can absorb) that creates about as much inflammation as the tea tree oil heals.
Products Consensus – Best Overall
If so many products geared towards using tea tree oil for acne treatment are formulated insufficiently, how can any acne sufferer ever benefit from using the product?
Exposed Skin Care
If you have worked out your skin care routine so that all you really need to do is to make sure you keep acne bacteria under control, then tea tree oil may be the only additional product you need. If you are just starting out on your acne care, however, an acne treatment kit like Exposed Skin Care may be an easy and cost-effective way to treat your skin. Exposed get it right 360. Its active ingredients have a perfect combination of natural and chemical products designed to be most effective…
… and they provide before-and-after images along with customer testimonials to go along with the science and ingredients.
100% Pure Tea Tree Oil
We understand that some of you will want to use tea tree oil as a stand-alone product to treat your acne. That’s fine. It can and does work. Our opinion is that it works best when combined with carrier oils and/or products such as Exposed. But there are some great companies who make the best 100% tea tree oil products on the market.
Naturenics – distilled and extracted from the very best leaves from the tea tree plant; highly concentrated; USDA Certified Organic; Gluten free
ArtNaturals – the highest quality oil from Australia
Pure Body Naturals – Contains (1) 1 ounce bottle 100 percent pure Tea Tree Essential Oil; fosters sustainable partnerships with artisan distillers to provide tested, safe essential oil; never tested on animals
Fabulous Franne – 100% Pure, Undiluted Essential Oil Therapeutic Grade – 10 ml.
Finally, Tea Tree Wonders is, well…a wonderful source of researched and qualified information on using tea tree oil for acne, how to use it and where to buy it.
Tea tree oil for acne is an incredibly effective product that is also highly potent and potentially irritating when used on its own. Similar to bodybuilding and muscle training, eating protein alone doesn’t cut it. You also need to eat clean carbohydrates, which actually transport, or carry, the protein to where it’s needed.
Tea tree oil works best for treating acne when it’s combined with what is known as a “carrier oil.” Being a highly potent astringent, tea tree oil for acne is best applied when blended with a moisturizer to help prevent irritation and also restore a natural beauty and tone to your skin.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the two most common chemical agents blended with tea tree oil for acne treatment. What are some natural, alternative “carrier oils” and/or products that increase the efficacy of tea tree oil for acne?
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Almond Oil
- Apricot Oil
- Algae Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Rose Butter
- Shea Butter
- Raw Honey
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Witch Hazel
- Baking Soda
- Arrowroot Powder
As you can see, there are many carrier oils, lotions and other options to choose from. Tea tree is a great oil that can be used for countless health benefits. While we are focused on using tea tree oil for acne in this article, we would be remiss to not guide you towards its other, multiple benefits.
This video gives a great presentation on the many uses of tea tree oil:
Also, in this article Stylecraze talks about which carrier oils to mix with tea tree oil, and why.
10 Dos And Don’ts When Using Tea Tree Oil For Acne Treatments
There simply is not enough room to cover all the ways you should – or should not – use tea tree oil for acne treatment. So we’ll give you the basics and then send you to some sources we think are credible, informative and useful.
- Use tea tree oil for pimples with a spot-treatment method by applying with a cotton tip
- Use only 100% pure tea tree oil from Australia
- Patch-test your skin to check sensitivity before full application
- Only buy tea tree oil in a dark bottle
- Research which carrier oils or lotions are best for your skin
- Don’t apply tea tree oil for acne more than once a day
- Don’t use tea tree oil on your skin when sweaty or immediately after exercising
- Don’t ingest it. It might not harm you, but if it does, it could be serious
- Don’t cover spots where you applied tea tree oil for acne with bandages aids or plastic
- Don’t continue using tea tree oil for acne if it causes prolonged irritation or makes your condition worse
Answers To Commonly Asked Questions
Even after reading to this point there still might be some burning questions you want – and need – answers to before using tea tree oil for acne on your skin. Let’s try to give you some real-life answers to your priority-level questions and see what we can clear up; figuratively…and literally.
Q: How will I know if I’m allergic to tea tree oil?
A: There are several ways you can determine if you are allergic to tea tree oil.
You can go see an allergist and have them perform tests
You can go see a naturopathic practitioner and have them perform muscle testing. This is a non-invasive approach that I’ve seen be highly effective, especially if used in tandem with other testing
You can put a small drop on your arm or wrist and see if you get a reaction, such as redness or inflammation
Q: What do I do if I have sensitive skin, and have an allergic or negative reaction to tea tree oil when I test it?
A: Because it is an oil, tea tree can be rubbed into your skin if you try to wipe it off. This could make your reaction worse. Instead of wiping, flush/rinse the spot with cold water, using the spray extension from your kitchen sink, or running cold water from the tub faucet over your skin. Blot dry with a disposable cloth or paper towel. If the reaction appears to be serious, consult a physician or hospital immediately.
Q: How dangerous are allergic reactions to tea tree oil?
A: We’re not doctors and therefore cannot give you specific, medical advice. What we can tell you is that allergic reactions when using tea tree oil for acne will vary with most every person, most every time.
Personally, I have extensive experience using essential oils. I use them to clean, in distillers to freshen up the air in the house and also in small amounts mixed with cologne as a personal fragrance. Clove essential oil is my favorite, and I’ve applied it in small amounts, undiluted, directly on my skin. Here’s the thing: Some days, nothing happened outside of my liking the way it smelled. Other days, my skin would get a burning sensation, and even turn slightly red. The adverse reaction would last 20-30 minutes then disappear. What does this mean? It means that an essential oil can react to the other oils in your skin, or to the air, or to the laundry detergent or soap that you used that day. I am not allergic to cloves, but some days, I had mild-but-adverse reaction to applying clove oil directly on my skin.
Again, we are not doctors. Tea tree, as well as all other essential oils, is widely reported as unsafe for ingestion. Our simple recommendation is; don’t do it. According to the Poison Control – National Capital Poison Center, people who ingested it have had moderate-to-severe reactions, such as:
- Dizziness and vomiting
- Bloody diarrhea
The most confusing aspect to the “do-not-ingest” element of tea tree oil (or any essential oil, for that matter) is that there actually are products out there, specifically such as toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain tea tree oil. Desert Essence make a Natural tea tree oil toothpaste and Jason makes a healthy mouth cinnamon clove tartar control mouthwash with tea tree oil. Some people even put a few drops of tea tree oil in warm water and gargle with it as a homemade mouthwash. There is no way to avoid at least some ingestion when using those products, yet they are both popular and made by companies that care about natural health.
All patients listed above who had “moderate-to-severe” reactions to ingesting tea tree oil survived and fully recovered. Those are all rare, minority cases, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. Just like with shellfish, or a banana, you can’t truly gauge your reaction to them until you either try them, or test them with professional supervision.
Q: Do natural remedies actually work?
A: Yes. Results vary, but yes. I was in Jamaica on a bus tour that traveled up a mountain road. A woman on the trip became severely nauseous from the heat and winding, bumpy dirt path we were on. The tour guide stopped the driver, jumped out of the bus and climbed down a cliff/hill. He came back with leaves in his hand, crushed them up, placed them in the woman’s hands and told her to breathe in their fragrance. She did, and was almost instantly healed for the rest of the trip. Using tea tree oil for acne has proven to be as if-not-more effective than chemical solutions on their own, for mild-to-moderate acne. Still, products such as Exposed Skin Care ‘s 4-Step Acne Treatment Kit boast a combination of “science and nature” that we find to be highly effective when blending benzoyl peroxide with tea tree oil for acne treatments.
Q: How long should I leave tea tree oil on my skin?
A: Effectively using tea tree oil for acne requires a proper blend of tea tree and carrier oil(s). Remember, tea tree oil is a powerful astringent and antiseptic that should only be used in a spot-treatment manner. This is an oil that fights fungus, bacteria, infections and more. It’s powerful and leaving it on one spot for too long can cause irritation or a burning sensation. The severity of the acne condition also plays a part in this. As with allergic reactions, it is hard to say specifically how long to leave tea tree oil on your acne, because your face and situation are different from almost everyone else’s. Generally speaking, our research has uncovered a one-hour max consensus amongst users. And, use it every-other-day and never twice in the same day.
Q: Can using tea tree oil for acne make my acne worse?
A: Open wounds are more porous and at risk of absorbing liquids, oils, dirt and bacteria more readily than is healthy skin. Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, and undiluted and/or mixed too strongly with another oil/chemical it could cause a burning sensation, even though it is working effectively. If you are allergic or prone to adverse reactions from using tea tree oil, putting it on severe acne could indeed inflame or irritate the condition. This is a little-goes-a-long-way oil and you should use it sparingly as you assess your tolerance and reaction to the oil and its effects.
For further consumer opinions and experiences, you can go to Acne.org, which has informative and real-life message boards from users and people with varying degrees of acne.
Q: How much can I expect to spend on treatment products that use tea tree for acne?
A: For pure tea tree oil, there are products ranging from $3 – $13.95 (USD) and above for 2oz bottles. There is also a .5oz bottle out there for $15 (USD).
Exposed Skin Care has single products and kits that range from approximately $11 – $75 (USD).
Q: Can I use tea tree oil on my face if I suffer from dry skin?
A: Yes! Blend a few drops of (100% pure) tea tree oil with a moisturizing carrier oil such as almond oil or jojoba oil and gently massage it into your skin. Don’t be too forceful, and do this before you shower, so that the steam helps the moisturizing effects of the carrier lotion go deeper and last longer
Q: Is tea tree oil good for acne and for getting rid of acne scars?
A: Yes! Tea tree oil can be highly effective in removing scars from acne. Combine it with lavender, coconut or Helichrysum oils to add moisturizing effects and better treat the damaged areas.
- Tea tree oil for acne treatment kills bacteria as completely and effectively as benzoyl peroxide
- Tea tree oil for acne does a better job of getting rid of inflammation than almost any other acne treatment (except steroid injections, which have serious side effects)
- Not every product that contains tea tree oil is useful for treating acne, so read directions and ingredients thoroughly.
- An acne treatment needs to contain at least 10% tea tree oil to fight acne infection
- Just smelling like tea tree oil does not mean a product actually fights acne infection
- Small amounts of tea tree oil for acne treatment that aren’t enough to fight infection may still be enough to remove inflammation
Tea tree oil for acne is a highly effective solution for treating your skin condition. While results will vary based on skin tones and product qualities, tea tree oil works for this application, as proven by both science and customer testimonials. Using tea tree oil for acne on its own is a choice that some people make, but we find it is not the most effective approach. And, it can be dangerous or induce irritation if used improperly or isolation.
While many products containing chemicals with tea tree oil boast effectiveness, some of them simply use too little, or too much tea tree oil to actually work. We find that Exposed Skin Care is the best product out there that combines science with nature for treating acne. If you’re a purist who will only use tea tree oil in isolation, please do so with care. Remember, it’s potent.
Always test a small area before using a full application and follow directions as listed in this (and many other) articles. But unless your acne issue is so severe that it requires a dermatologist, tea tree oil is found to work best when combined with a carrier oil/lotion, and Exposed Skin Care sells the best, blended product out there.