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Tea Tree Oil: the Holy-Grail Product You've Been Looking For

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You have probably seen tea tree oil tucked in with the antiseptic treatments on your drugstore shelves. Did you know it's a long-used remedy for wounds, as well as a booster for your beauty routine? The variety of uses for tea tree oil make this item a must-have for your cabinet.

Makeup Remover

Tea tree oil is a natural way to remove your makeup. Mix 10 drops with 1/4 cup of canola oil -- that's right, the same stuff you probably already have in your kitchen. Apply it to a cotton ball and take off the day's makeup. Rinse it off with a bit of warm water.

Relieve Foot Odor

Tea tree oil on its own doesn't relieve foot odor, but it can help get rid of athlete's foot and fungus. To fight the fungus, mix a few drops of tea tree oil per tablespoon of witch hazel, then, use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected area. A foot bath that combines tea tree oil, rosemary, sage, epsom salts, ginger root and baking soda can also help by making your feet look, feel and smell fresh and clean.

Soften Cuticles

A mixture of lavender essential oil, tea tree, and a carrier oil such as jojoba or avocado is great for dried or cracked cuticles. For optimal nail health, use a few drops of the concoction on a daily basis.

Dry Skin

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal to treat dry skin or eczema. Remember to add it to another substance, like a moisturizer, before application. The same combination -- a few drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil or moisturizer -- can also make your skin less itchy with regular use.

Heal Cuts

Because tea tree oil is anti-bacterial, it can help heal wounds. One drop mixed in with another over-the-counter lotion is all you need. You can also try tea tree oil directly on a cold sore, at full strength, as long as you are careful not to consume the liquid and watch out for any signs of irritation.

Clear Acne

Since irritation is a possibility, you won't want to use tea tree oil undiluted over your entire face. But it may be an effective spot treatment for the occasional blemish. The anti-microbial properties reduce bacteria and make it harder for pimples to flourish. By diluting 3 drops of tea tree oil into 2 ounces of witch hazel, you can also create a great toner for your face.

Reduce Dandruff

To get a healthy, dandruff-free scalp, you can buy a shampoo that's already fortified with tea tree oil. Simply adding 5 to 10 drops of oil to your current shampoo may also do the trick, without the added inconvenience of trying a new shampoo brand.

Tea tree oil is a versatile substance, helping your skin to heal and to get rid of impurities. As it's relatively easy to find, there's little to lose by giving it a try.

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