Tea tree oil, one of the most common essential oils used in skincare products, has numerous benefits! Thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil can help with acne, dandruff, and other skin irritations. But when you’re expecting, you might think twice before adding tea tree oil to your pregnancy skincare routine.
That’s pretty normal. After all, being aware of certain things could protect you and your baby from potential complications or risks.
Benefits of Tea-Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant, which is native to Australia. Some of the potential uses for tea tree oil include:
- Skincare: Acne affects almost every pregnant woman. Tea tree oil works like a charm in skincare products for its ability to fight acne, reduce inflammation, and soothe irritation.
- Oral care: Research has shown that tea tree oil can help kill oral bacteria and reduce inflammation. However, be careful of using it as a natural alternative to toothpaste and mouthwash during pregnancy.
- Hair care: Tea tree oil nourishes the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. It’s often used in shampoos to fight against dandruff or other scalp inflammation.
- Aromatherapy: Like many other essential oils, tea tree oil is often used in aromatherapy due to its refreshing and invigorating scent.
Can you use tea tree oil while pregnant?
There is limited research on the safety of using tea tree oil during pregnancy. Hence experts are yet to uncover the potential risks or benefits of tea tree oil for the developing fetus. However, tea tree oil is usually considered safe when used topically (applied to the skin) in small amounts. Still, it is important to be cautious when using tea tree oil, as it can cause allergic reactions in some people. Experts usually recommend the following tips.
- You need to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, before being applied to the skin.
- Doing a patch test is important to ensure you’re not allergic or sensitive to it.
- Never ingest or take tea tree oil internally, as it can be toxic if ingested.
- Don’t use tea tree oil near the eyes, ears, or other sensitive areas of the skin.
In the first few weeks of your pregnancy, your skin may become more soft and sensitive. No matter how the skin changes, dermatologists recommend keeping the application of tea tree oil at a minimum level.
Dangers of tea tree oil during pregnancy
Some of the potential dangers of using tea tree oil during pregnancy include the following:
- Risk of allergic reactions: Tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions in some people, including skin irritation, redness, and swelling. This could be a concern during pregnancy, as the skin may be more sensitive and prone to irritation.
- Risk of toxicity: Tea tree oil should not be ingested or taken internally. Since ingesting tea tree oil during pregnancy could potentially harm the fetus.
- Lack of research: Due to limited research studies, the potential risks of using tea tree oil are not fully understood. It is not known if tea tree oil has the potential to cross the placenta and reach the fetus or how this may affect fetal development.
To Sum Up
The packaged tea tree oil in the market claims to be organic and 100% pure but might still contain some chemical preservatives.
So it is important to speak with a healthcare provider to discuss the potential risks and benefits of using tea tree oil during pregnancy. They are well-informed to advise you on any possible concerns.