Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Informations sur l'huile essentielle d'arbre à thé.

All There Is To Know About Tea Tree Oil.

Present in certain cosmetic formulas under the INCI name “Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil”, the tea tree essential oil has been renowned and recognized for years for its purifying and antibacterial properties. In other words, it purifies the epidermis and is perfectly suited to oily skin with imperfections.

Some History.

The Tea tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia, is a shrub native to New Caledonia and Madagascar, but whose first producer today is Australia.

Already the indigenous populations of the New Zealand archipelago found uses for this plant, and more particularly the leaves, to make poultices and treat infections. Nevertheless, it was only in 1922 that the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of the tea tree were demonstrated by the chemist Arthur de Raman Penfold. A small anecdote: at the beginning of the second world war, the essential oil of tea tree was added to each first aid kit of the army and the Australian navy because of its anti-infectious benefits.

How Is Tea Tree Oil Obtained?

The tea tree essential oil is the result of a steam distillation (hydrodistillation). Here are the main steps.

  1. The plant material for extraction is prepared by cutting the leaves and young twigs into small pieces.

  2. It is then added to a flask and immersed in several liters of distilled water.

  3. Then, the installation is closed so that it is airtight and the process started at a temperature of 250 °C. The process then lasts 4 to 5 hours.

  4. The oil is collected in a separating funnel and stored in a cool, dry place.

100 kg of tea tree leaves are generally necessary to harvest 1 to 2 liters of essential oil of tea tree. Organoleptically, it is a clear colorless to pale yellow liquid with a woody smell. It contains mainly monoterpenols (about 45% of terpinene-4-ol) and monoterpenes (gamma-terpinene, alpha terpinene, limonene). These compounds are at the origin of its purifying and cleansing properties.

Tea Tree Oil: Benefits on Skin.

Due to the biochemical composition, tea tree oil benefits are mainly the following:

This essential oil regulates the production of sebum and mattifies oily skin that tends to shine. This sebum-regulating action also helps to prevent the clogging of pores and therefore the appearance of blackheads.

Moreover, when present at a level of 1% or more in a care product, tea tree oil has demonstrated excellent bactericidal properties (kills bacteria) as well as bacteriostatic (inhibits bacterial growth). Thus, its use limits the proliferation of microorganisms involved in acne like Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

  • Soothing of itching and certain skin conditions.

The tea tree essential oil is also known for its strong anti-inflammatory power. It will act on the plates, to attenuate the itching then the redness. It is thus recommended in the event of certain cutaneous affections like the eczema or the rosacea.

Beware of Confusion.

The essential oil of tea tree is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. According to the INCI classification, it is called “Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil”. It is often confused with the following ingredients:

  • Lemon tea tree oil (INCI name: Leptospermum Petersonii Oil)

Also called Lemon Leptospermum Oil, this ingredient does not have the same properties; it is not especially active in skin application and is used instead to scent formulas.

  • The essential oil of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)

This is the New Zealand tea tree while the “Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil” is the Australian tea tree.

  • The essential oil of Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquinervia or viridifolia) or cajeput (Melaleuca cajeputii)

Belonging to the same family as the Australian tea tree, these essential oils also have similar properties. For example, they are both purifying and cleansing, and are therefore recommended for acne-prone skin.

Note that the tea tree and the tea plant are often confused: the tea plant belongs to the Theaceae family and comes from Asia, while the tea tree is part of the Myrtaceae family and is native to Australia.

What Are the Contraindications of Tea Tree Essential Oil?

This essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and in children under 3 years. It is also not recommended in case of allergy to tea tree or oleoresins of pine, fir.

People with a skin condition such as eczema should not apply this essential oil pure on the skin as it could aggravate their condition. Nevertheless, diluted in a vegetable oil, it can be of great help against this affection.

Be careful with teat tree oil uses in aromatherapy. Inhaling too much of this oil, or inhaling it for too long, can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness. It should never be used for inhalation if you are asthmatic. Furthermore, tea tree oil should never be used internally (orally, by ingestion). It can be toxic and potentially fatal if ingested. If ingested, side effects and symptoms may include drowsiness, confusion, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), loss of consciousness.

Our Care Products Enriched With Tea Tree Oil.

We have integrated tea tree essential oil for its purifying benefits in the following four treatments.

We do not recommend the purifying botanical blend 

for pregnant women because it contains 

slightly more tea tree essential oil than our 

other three products mentioned above.

Sources :

  • RILEY T. V. & al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: A review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews (2006).

  • SHENEFELT P. D. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders. Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects, 2nd edition (2011).

  • WALLENGREN J. Tea tree oil attenuates experimental contact dermatitis. Archives of Dermatological Research (2011).

  • KAZEROUNI A. al. A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology (2013).

  • HAMMER K. A. Treatment of acne with tea tree oil (melaleuca) products: A review of efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action. Journal Of Antimicrobial Agents (2014).

  • BABY K. E. & al. Therapeutic potential of tea tree oil for scabies. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (2016).

  • Thèse de M. NIEL - "Traitement de l’acné par la phytothérapie et l’aromathérapie" (2016).

  • ÇALISKAN K. U. & al. Tea tree oil and its use in aromatherapy. Current Perspectives on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (2018).

  • EL-ESAWI M. A. & al. River tea tree oil: Composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, and potential applications in agriculture. Plants (2021).

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