Tea tree oil is no newcomer to the skin-care world. The natural ingredient, derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca tea tree, has long been employed for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Australian Aborigines used the plant to treat cuts, wounds and infections, and European explorers consumed it as an herbal tea.
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Tea tree oil’s healing properties have made it a key ingredient in facial skin-care products. According to “Milady’s Skin Care and Cosmetics Ingredients Dictionary,” the plant exhibits antimicrobial activity towards a wide variety of bacteria, making it ideal for acne-prone skin and skin disorders. The oil is known to combat and soothe psoriasis, eczema, redness and dermatitis. It is also beneficial to troubled complexions and congested skin, thanks to its low toxicity and its ability to treat without irritating the epidermis.