Can I use Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid Together?

Salicylic Acid

The stress in today’s fast life and wrong lifestyle choices has given birth to many skin issues. People of all ages suffer from skin ailments like pimples, rashes, clogged pores, wrinkles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.

In such instances, it is very common to get frustrated while looking at yourself in the mirror. However, there are many effective skin care ingredients that can treat skin issues, giving you healthy and glowing skin all over again.

In this article, we will explain the beneficial effects of two such ingredients- Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil and if we can use Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil together.

Let’s look at the science behind both these wonder ingredients and find out how they offer a multitude of benefits to the skin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid, a derivative of willow bark, wintergreen, and sweet birch plants, is commonly referred to as beta-hydroxy acid (1). It regulates cell growth and differentiation and has been in skincare use for a long time.
In the cosmetic industry, salicylic acid is popular for its effectiveness in treating acne and skin disorders like psoriasis and keratosis pilaris (2). It is also beneficial to improve dry, scaly skin and treat warts and corn.

Salicylic Acid is widely present in cleansers, toners, and moisturisers. It reduces hyperpigmentation and enhances functioning of other skincare ingredients. Also beneficial for post-acne scars, it protects the skin in different ways.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil that is derived from a tall shrub, Melaleuca alternifolia that grows along streams and swampy flats (3). The leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia are steam distilled to produce Tea Tree Oil.

Tea Tree Oil has several advantages for the skin. some of its major benefits are listed below-

  • Treats skin infections
  • Reduces inflammations and immune disorders
  • Repairs the skin after sun damage
  • Diminishes fine wrinkles, pigmentation, and roughness (4).
  • Evens skin tone
  • Reduces acne and wrinkles.

Moreover, tea tree oil has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent the skin from infections. It is usually used along with carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil.

How to use Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil in Combination?

Incorporating Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil together in the skincare regime is usually considered safe as they are both gentle in nature and improve the skin in many ways.

Salicylic Acid has the inherent capacity to enhance the penetration of other ingredients; hence it is an ideal choice to make when a second ingredient is to be added to the skincare regime.

If you want to start using them for the first time, it is advisable to start with one first and slowly add the other to the daily routine. You may alternate the timings and days of their usage, and once the skin gets used to them, you can combine to extract maximum benefits.

Tea Tree oil is a natural exfoliant that softens the keratin holding the cells together (5). It helps to release the dead cells and promotes cell renewal.

You may use Tea Tree Oil first to get rid of dead cells. It also can remove the sebum and hence open the clogged pores. Later, you may apply salicylic acid to reduce hyperpigmentation.

However, it is important to understand that though both Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil are safe, some people might still react to them based on their skin sensitivity.

Safety While Using Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil

A small patch test will help to identify the reaction of skin to Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil. Also, it is essential to use them in the right concentration.

You may begin with a low dose first, then slowly increase the amount as the skin gets used to them. It will be advisable to consult a dermatologist before adding them to your daily routine.


Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil are available in the market as a combination in several beauty products like soap bars, moisturizers, face wash, toners, etc. They both have mild effects on the skin; contribute to stabilizing active ingredients, and treat skin infections. Their natural germ-fighting abilities make them a preferable choice for skincare ingredients.

However, there are a few precautions that must be taken such as Tea Tree should not be consumed orally as it may result in ataxia. Also, these ingredients should not be used near the eye area. Do not overdo the usage, as that may lead to skin abrasions.

You can consider using Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Oil if your skin isn’t allergic to any of them. In case of any doubt or issue, consulting a skincare expert will be a great option.

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