How Long Does It Take for Tea Tree Oil to Work on Acne?

How Long to Clear Acne with Tea Trea Oil? When treating acne, it is completely normal to desire to find a path of least resistance and clear everything up as quickly as possible. In fact, almost everyone wants the blemishes gone immediately; that is the entire point of seeking out treatment.

Tea tree oil is a popular natural option that many people opt to try due to its high success rate and easily accessible nature. Some people report results literally within a day while others recommend users be patient with the treatment. One may ask, “how long do I actually have to wait for this stuff to work?’. Let’s take a look at how tea tree oil works and see if we can find an answer.

How Long Does It Take for Tea Tree Oil to Work on Acne?

What is tea tree oil?

Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree plant (melaleuca alternifolia) that is native to the Southeast Queensland area and the Northeast coast of New South Wales in Australia.

This camphoraceous, pungent liquid is used in a ton of different skin treatments, including those for lice, scabies, dandruff, herpes, and various fungal and bacterial infections, among other things. This list also includes acne.

How does it work?

Tea tree oil is used for acne primarily due to its antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. The powerful liquid kills off any invading germs, preventing bacterial and other things from invading clogged pores.

Additionally, due to its abrasive nature, tea tree oil also acts as an exfoliant, which can help unclog pores and remove excess oil. It is also rather drying which can help soak up oil, too.

How long does it take?

This is a highly debated topic. You see, tea tree oil is either beloved and sworn by or absolutely hated depending on who you ask.

Some people report seeing a difference within thirty minutes to an hour. This is not likely nor should it be expected for most people; many believe it is not even possible in the slightest. Regardless, it may mesh exceptionally well with your skin and provide amazing, instant results.

Alternatively, regulating bodies and researchers do often denounce tea tree oil since it is generally not recommended to put essential oils on your skin. Despite this, it has been used for centuries for literally every topical issue imaginable so there must be some weight to the claims.

Generally, six weeks or so is the rule of thumb to try out any new acne treatment so this should be the standard to shoot for. Some people opt to go for up to three months to test out a new product; play it by ear but give it ample time and keep your expectations reasonable.


With tea tree oil, there are quite a few different concerns that are frequently voiced. Namely, tea tree oil is incredibly harsh.

When using tea tree oil you should never use it directly on your skin. Instead, you must dilute the oil (more on that later in this article) with a carrier oil that is skin safe. Failing to dilute your tea tree oil can result in permanent scarring and even burns.

Tea tree oil is also rather drying and can cause your skin to panic and begin producing even more oil to compensate for the sudden desert quality the essential oil bestowed upon your face. Due to this, never use tea tree oil over your entire face. It is more effective as a spot treatment or over small areas unless mixed into a suitable mask.

Never take tea tree oil orally. There was a trend at one point where people used it as an oral antibiotic but this is a really, really bad idea. Tea tree oil is toxic when consumed and can cause diarrhea, internal bleeding, and a host of other digestive issues.

If you are particularly sensitive to the oil, discontinue use. Some people will react poorly to even diluted oil so be sure to patch test and watch for any adverse reactions. Not every treatment is suitable for your skin so play it safe and err on the side of caution.


To sum everything up, tea tree oil can prove to be quite the effective acne treatment. It is important, though, to go into any treatment with reasonable expectations. Take claims of miraculous acne recovery with a grain of salt and give yourself a good amount of time to try out the new treatment plan.

Patience is key in creating a good place of base health with your skin. Be gentle and create a healthy care routine; it will help you a lot more in the long run!

How do you properly dilute tea tree oil?

When diluting tea tree oil, the first thing you must do is find a tea tree oil that is suitable for topical usage. Look for pure oil that is not cut with any fillers or preservatives; these can be rather irritating. Especially avoid any perfuming or fragrancing; these chemicals are acne triggers and since tea tree oil is naturally very odorous and does not need any fragrance additive if pure in nature.

Second, you must choose a carrier oil. This oil can be anything from coconut oil or jojoba to hemp or argan. Choose an oil that your skin seems to react well with and use it as a mixer for the tea tree oil. Some people use water but this is not recommended since it is not dense enough to actually dilute the oil effectively; plus, carrier oils add extra benefits when used properly!

Since tea tree oil is super strong, for every one drop of tea tree oil, add twelve drops of carrier. See how this blend reacts with your skin and, if you feel you can handle a more intense treatment, try adding two drops of tea tree for every twelve carrier oil drops.

It is not recommended you create a blend more intense than this, nor is it ever a good idea to add tea tree oil directly to your skin. Your skin is already damaged from the acne; be gentle with it.

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

Like with acne breakouts, acne scarring can be treated with tea tree oil. When going into this type of treatment, it is good to maintain reasonable expectations and understand that everyone’s skin is different and will react uniquely to different treatments.

Your skin may love the tea tree oil and show significant improvements in as little as a few days. Alternatively, it may worsen with tea tree oil usage. Like with any other treatment, there are risks that must be weighed and accessed before moving forward with product usage.

If you opt for tea tree oil as your acne scarring treatment path, you should give it at least six to eight weeks. Patience is key since acne scarring is different than acne. It is deep damage that can take quite some time to repair, especially if it is not particularly new.

The longer a scar sits, the harder it is to remove. There are so many factors that play into scar removal so it is impossible to say exactly how long it will take for your blemishes to fully clear up or even begin to heal.