Tea Tree Wintertime Tips
It's the first day of Winter, and here in the Northern Rivers of Australia, a cold snap has set in. Nothing about the seasons has been 'normal' this year. With a cycle of La Nina setting in, bringing us the wettest year on record, our usually mild winters may very well be a thing of the past.
Luckily, we've had a short break from the rain this week, and some drying wind has chased the clouds away and brought in some sunshine with crisp low temperatures. Winter here usually only lasts around 6 weeks, starting from around July, but it's snowing unseasonably early up on the range, so we may be in for a colder one.
Luckily, I love Winter, especially a dry and sunny one (touch wood), but it can bring on new challenges for your skin and health.
Here are a few tips on how Tea tree can help you navigate the wintertime.
1. Sooth dry & cracked skin
With cooler temperatures and warming fires, skin can often become dry, sore and cracked.
Add 2-3 drops to your carrier oil of choice (Jojoba, Coconut, or Almond Oil are great) and massage into cracked heels, elbows or anywhere needing some attention. Tea tree has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is especially good for soothing and healing irritated skin.
2. Hydrate & wake up
A few sprays of tea tree hydrosol on the face gives your skin an instant burst of hydration.
The sweet bushland scent revitalises the senses and is a great pick me up when low on energy or concentration. You can also inhale directly from the essential oil bottle or add a few drops to a handkerchief to breathe in when needed. Also great for clearing the sinuses!
3. Kill Germs
Winter commonly brings with it extra bugs, so it's a great time to be extra vigilant about hygiene. Tea tree kills 99% of your average household germs, so it's great for wiping over counters, disinfecting shared equipment, and washing hands.
Add 6-8 drops to any handwash to turn into an antibacterial, anti-microbial hand wash.
• Please note this isn't proven to kill COVID-19, but as tea tree has anti-viral properties, research is currently being done to explore its effectiveness.
4. Freshen the air
Winter can bring with it unpleasant odours from lack of fresh air circulation, dampness and more.
Freshen up and deodorise a room by adding 4-6 drops into a room diffuser. Diffusing tea tree helps neutralise odours, adds moisture to the air and cleanses the air of most germs. In addition, tea tree is an immune-boosting stimulant, so keep it going overnight to help fight off colds and flu.
Cooler weather is often a time when people experience dry scalp issues and struggle with dandruff. Tea tree has proven to be effective for treating dandruff, especially if it's due to the common build-up of the fungus Malassezia, which has yeast-like properties. It soothes dry and itchy scalps and adds more shine to your hair.
Add 5-10 drops to any shampoo bottle, shake around to blend it together and gently massage into the scalp daily. A hair treatment mask weekly can also be helpful. Mix a hair oil (any will do or simply use olive oil or coconut oil) and add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil. Massage into the scalp and leave for around ½ hour and gently wash out.