Beauty Ingredient: Tea Tree Oil

Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is an essential oil derived from a plant native to Australia, and has antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. This means that when applied topically, tea tree oil cleans your skin. Indigenous Australians have used tea tree oil as a traditional medicine for centuries. The tea tree oil used in cosmetics is diluted, and for good reason—concentrated tea tree oil will dry out skin and is toxic if swallowed. Tea tree oil is excellent in treating acne, getting rid of toenail fungus, and for general use in hygiene products; it’s commonly found in shampoo, conditioner, and salves.

PICKS: JASON Tea Tree Nail Saver, $8.45, .5 oz, jason-natural.com // Derma E Tea Tree and E Oil, $12.50, 1 oz, dermae.net // Heritage Soap Works Tea Tree bar soap, $5, 4 oz, heritagesoapworks.ca // Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil, $12, 1 oz, desertessence.com