Eucalyptus and tea tree are two of the most popular sources of essential oils today. They are both native to Australia, which makes their essential oils more accessible than those obtained from rarer plant species. Eucalyptus alone has over 700 species, each of which can produce a slightly different kind of essential oil. In comparison, tea tree is just one of the nearly 6,000 species that belong to the myrtle family.
Some claim that tea tree is a distant relative of eucalyptus. The glaring resemblance between their leaves confirms it. Regardless, their essential oils differ in terms of their cosmetic benefits. You might want to explore this aspect of both essential oils before you decide which one to use on your skin. Experts in natural cosmetic products from N-Essentials can help clear up any confusion. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the differences between eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted by drying, crushing, and distilling its leaves. The extract is pure and potent, so it must be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied on the skin to avoid possible irritation or other allergic reactions. Also remember that undiluted eucalyptus oil can be fatal when ingested. To prevent any accident, just use it topically and diluted.
Like other types of essential oils, eucalyptus oil has a number of prized properties. It is known to have the ability to increase skin’s ceramide, a type of fatty acid responsible for retaining moisture. This makes eucalyptus oil excellent for relieving skin dryness. Most commercial products for treating dry skin, particularly the scalp contain eucalyptus leaf extract, so it’s safe to say that eucalyptus essential oil, which is in fact purer, provides a similar benefit.
Eucalyptus oil apparently contains eucalyptol, a chemical that has been proven effective for warding off mosquitoes. It isn’t just a good moisturiser, but it’s a good insect repellent as well. Throughout history, eucalyptus has been used for treating inflammation and wounds, thanks to its antiseptic property. The same property makes eucalyptus oil good for keeping the facial skin free from acne-causing bacteria.
Tea Tree Oil
When it comes to antiseptic properties, none of the commercially available essential oils can match tea tree oil. Even eucalyptus oil pales in comparison. Famous historical accounts, such as James Cook’s voyage to Australia in the 1700s and their use of tea tree leaves to prevent scurvy, have demonstrated this fact quite well.
True enough, tea tree oil has been proven effective in preventing the growth of pimple-causing bacteria and reducing oiliness. Those whose skin is sensitive to certain types of metals, such as nickel, can find relief from this essential oil too. Like eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil can also help soothe dry and itchy skin by moisturising it. Scientists continue to study tea tree oil to reveal more of its secrets.
Essential oils are among the most interesting and useful discoveries of the last century. It’s only a matter of time before they become present in all natural and commercial cosmetic products. Complex formulations for making those products will also become available, and by then you can choose to buy commercial products or make your own. Whether you want to use a toner, moisturiser, or sunscreen of your own making, that’s not going to be a big deal anymore. Until then, it is a good idea to educate yourself more not just about eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil, but also about other essential oils.