Is tea tree oil dilution complicated? What about the tricky math needed to get the correct concentration?
Relax. It's easy. Really. Of course, you'll need some basic supplies. And here's the good news.
You can get them at most pharmacies for an excellent price, almost free if you have a working relationship with the pharmacy staff.
Why do you need to dilute tea tree oil? In most circumstances, using tea tree oil at full strength is not necessary or appropriate.
Many people have the misconception that more is better. And what is better than 100% pure tea tree oil? Not so.
The consequences of using it at full strength include excessive skin irritation, oily mess and high cost.
Read on to find out all the suggested techniques for diluting tea tree oil to the correct concentrations for various conditions such as acne, herpes (cold sores), vaginal yeast infections and impetigo.
It is best to use some basic supplies to ensure that you will make a solution with an accurate concentration.
Many if not all of the supplies will be available from your local pharmacy.
You will need 5 mL and 3 mL syringes (usually free if you ask and if you are pleasant with your approach), disposal medicine cup (nice to have on hand) and glass dropper bottles (couple of bucks each). Start with the liquid formulation first since it's the easiest. Then you can "upgrade" your technique to making creams.
Total supplies cost? About $10. And they can be reused many times.
We highly recommend using the metric system to ensure accuracy. Forget about using teaspoons as an unit of measure. Use mL (milliliter) instead.
And, as a gentle reminder, you get better the more often you do it. Practice makes perfect. That's the fact.
The table below shows the necessary amount to use to get the proper dilution.
See the article Tea Tree Oil Dosage to find out which concentration is best. It is a complete summary of the various concentrations suggested by experts for treating a wide variety of health conditions.
|Strength||Tea Tree Oil Dilution Ratio||Add Base to Make to the FINAL Volume of...|
|Tea Tree Oil||Water, Alcohol, Gel, or Cream Base|
|1%||1 mL||100 mL|
|1%||0.5 mL||50 mL|
|1%||0.3 mL||25 mL|
|2.5%||2.5 mL||100 mL|
|2.5 %||1.3 mL||50 mL|
|2.5%||0.6 mL||25 mL|
|5%||5 mL||100 mL|
|5%||2.5 mL||50 mL|
|5%||1.3 mL||25 mL|
|10%||10 mL||100 mL|
|10%||5 mL||50 mL|
|10%||2.5 mL||25 mL|
|15%||15 mL||100 mL|
|15%||7.5 mL||50 mL|
|15%||3.8 mL||25 mL|
|50%||50 mL||100 mL|
|50%||25 mL||50 mL|
|50%||13 mL||25 mL|
The base is either water, alcohol, cream, gel or oil.
Measure the tea tree oil accurately using a syringe. The diluted solution can be stored in an amber bottle. We will avoid using the outdated (and inaccurate) term teaspoon. One teaspoon is equal to 5 mL (5 milliliters).
See the article Converting Drops to mL to find out why it's better to use mL as the measurement unit.
Where do you get these supplies?
From your local pharmacy! They may be willing to sell (or give you) the syringe and one or more 50 to 100 mL amber plastic medicine bottle either at a very low cost or free.
If you know them well enough, they may be even able to give you some compounding tips to get you started in the right direction.
First off, avoiding using full-strength on the face as it can prove to be not only irritating but also very oily. That's the last thing you need.
Experts have recommended using 5% tea tree oil in either a cream or gel formulation.
Water-based formulation would work but may be more challenging to apply.
See the article Tea Tree for Acne for research data and additional details.
Here's what we know from clinical studies. It would appear that a 10% formulation made in a cream base was just as good for curing athlete's foot as Tinactin, a popular over-the-counter product.
And another study, using a 50% tea tree oil formulation was able to get rid of foot fungus in just under a month.
Indeed, these are impressive results for a natural remedy, and it is definitely worth your consideration.
See the article Tea Tree Oil for Foot Fungus for the complete details on how to treat athlete's foot using tea tree oil formulations.
See the article Tea Tree Oil for Genital Herpes to get additional information on treating this condition naturally using tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil may work for treating cold sores, according to one study. However, in the report Natural Remedies for Treating Cold Sores, you'll find that there are many other more effective ingredients worthy of your consideration.
Water-based formulations are the easiest to make and the most flexible. It can be applied with a cotton swab, sprayed on (with a spray bottle). You can even soak the area in a bowl of water to cover larger areas.
When possible, use distilled water instead of tap water.
It can be used with proper dilution as a mouth rinse (do not swallow tea tree oil) or as a vaginal douche.
See Tea Tree Oil Dosage for the specific concentration to make for these two particular uses.
A 70% alcohol solution is also easy to make. The advantage of using an alcohol formulation is that it is drying. This formulation is excellent when the area is moist. For example, if the areas infected with fungus are moist, use an alcohol-based solution rather than a water-based one.
You can use 50% to 99% rubbing alcohol, however, isopropyl or ethyl alcohol is also suitable.
If the skin is cracked, it could be very irritating to apply an alcohol solution directly on open skin. In this case, either use water or cream-based formulation.
A cream-based formulation is also very flexible. It can be used on practically any parts of the body.
A variety of creams may be used. Start with your favourite moisturizing cream. Glaxal Base is commonly used in pharmaceutical cream preparations and pharmacies will carry it.
The gel-based formula is best for treating acne-prone skin. It has a naturally balanced effect for both dry and oily skin types.
The most suitable and common gel base to use is aloe vera gel. It can be purchased at most pharmacies for a very low cost.
Oil-based formulations are best for very dry skin, especially on the lips. It can also be used on other areas that are commonly very dry such as the elbows and hands.
The most common oil to use is either olive oil or massage oil. Experts have also recommended almond oil as well. For applications to the lips, use olive oil.
When making tea tree oil for herpes, use olive oil if the area is dry.
However, use water or alcohol-based formulation if the area is moist and oozing. See the article Tea Tree Oil for Herpes for more detailed information.
However, an oil-based formula is probably not suitable for use on the face to treat acne. The oil is likely to worsen the acne condition.
It's easy to make the water and oil based formulation. Since both the tea tree oil and base are both liquid, measuring and mixing them is easy. However, since tea tree oil is an oil, it is expected to separate from a water-based formulation.
But it is only slightly more tricky when it comes to making cream and gel formulation as you will additional basic tools.
Pharmacies have access to basic compounding equipment that make making creams, ointment and gels very easy. If you know your pharmacist well, they are more than happy to special order you some basic compounding equipment.
It is not very expensive and for less than $40, you can get yourself several metal spatula, glass dropper bottles, compounding wax pads and some graduate cylinders.
You might be so excited that you may want to convert a part of your kitchen to a chemist's lab.
Thinking of diluting and making your own tea tree oil formulation?
It is absolutely worth trying out.
Once you get over the "math" and practice the easy technique of diluting tea tree oil, you'll be doing it regularly.
We have and we love it.
Tea tree oil is one of the more popular and versatile essential oil that has a strong antiseptic effect. It has been used by the Aboriginals for thousands of years.
It is used extensively around the world to kill bacteria, fungus and virus. And research studies confirm this tremendous benefit.
As well, it has been shown to be effective against many other infections that have become resistant to convention antibiotics.
Starting with the 100% pure essential tea tree oil, you can make any concentration that you need.
See our review on all the Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil and find out all the infections that tea tree oil can be used for.