The Impressive Benefits of Tea Tree Soap: Why it Works

a stack of soaps beside a green jug on a white table

So, we can’t talk about all these fabulous natural remedies without mentioning the benefits of tea tree soap. All-natural and fresh-from-the-Australian-outback, tea tree soap and I go back a long way (not to the outback though, just to be clear).

Somewhere in the late 90s, I discovered the secret to amazing skin and it wasn’t Neutrogena. Of course, it was one of those things you discover that everyone else already knows.

Tea tree or melaleuca alternifolia has been putting in the work on skin complaints for centuries, long before I found it in a little village in the Cotswolds (yes I am middle-class, how did you know?), bought it and put it on my face.

There’s a reason.

Tea tree oil soap benefits include antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it great at treating all sorts of conditions from acne to dryness without the harsh chemicals. Let’s take a look at why you should seriously consider swapping your regular old bar of soap for this brilliant melaleuca oil alternative.

So What is Tea Tree Soap?

Naturally, the benefits of tea tree soap come from its main ingredient, tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree and has a refreshing menthol-like scent. Indigenous Australians have long used tea tree in traditional medicine for its antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

But in 1922 a Chemist named Arthur Penfold wondered what all the fuss was about, began studying its antibacterial properties, and though late to the party, confirmed it was non-caustic. When you combine tea tree oil with natural ingredients like organic coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil and a pinch of sodium hydroxide for saponification, you get an effective yet gentle soap.

Healing Properties of Tea Tree Soap

Close up of hands holding a brown handmade soap

The benefits of tea tree soap go beyond just cleaning your skin. Its natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties mean it earns its place in your medicine cabinet. 

Antifungal Properties

​Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that can help treat fungal skin conditions. For anyone who’s tried every foot powder and cream under the sun to battle persistent nail fungus, it may be worth giving natural tea tree oil soap a go.

Tea tree oil has shown itself to be an effective treatment for tinea pedis (Athlete’s Foot). Research has also shown that tea tree oil can enhance the activity of common antifungal drugs like fluconazole.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

We all know inflammation is essentially the root of skincare problems like acne flare-ups, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. But fortunately, the benefits of tea tree oil include natural anti-inflammatory power.

Studies suggest tea tree oil may help treat mouth infections, increase the activity of white blood cells involved in the healing process, and aid in wound healing by reducing inflammation. So if your skin is throwing a fit, it’ll help calm redness and irritation. 

Antibacterial Properties

Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial agent, which helps in reducing the bacteria on the skin. This makes it an excellent choice for cleansing cuts, abrasions, and skin infections.

And surprisingly enough, it also works on body odour. Yes, I went there. Odour-causing bacteria are no match for the antibacterial effects of tea tree oil. Of course, if you smell like tea tree oil, everyone will know why… 

Benefits of Tea Tree Soap for Different Skin Types

Hand holding soap bubbles

Oily Skin

Tea tree soap is a godsend for oily skin. Its natural ingredients help regulate sebum production without stripping moisture, reducing the chances of breakouts. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties make it a popular choice for acne-prone skin.

Dry Skin

For the dry-skinned among us, tea tree soap’s anti-inflammatory properties soothe dry, irritated skin. Pure tea tree oil coupled with moisturising oils like coconut and castor oil help lock in hydration, leaving your skin soft and supple.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin types will rejoice at the calming benefits of tea tree soap. Its gentle formula keeps your skin healthy without the harsh aftermath that some chemical-based products can leave behind. It can help with all sorts of skin irritation, contact dermatitis, rosacea flare-ups and other issues without causing an allergic reaction.

Enhancing the Effects with the Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree essential oil lying on a stone beside some leaves

If you want to double down on those antimicrobial properties, you can always mix a few drops of tea tree oil with your soap. This makes it a little more concentrated.

I’ve found it can be particularly effective for dealing with stubborn skin issues. I often add essential oils to my existing products just for that extra boost of nourishment. If you find it too strong, add a carrier oil. The great thing about essential oils is that you can tailor them to your own skincare needs.

Choosing the Right Tea Tree Soap Product

The quality and purity of tea tree oil can vary. So to get the full benefits of tea tree soap, go for the highest quality option you can find. These are usually made with natural ingredients like organic coconut oil, cocoa butter, or castor oil.

If you’re using tea tree oil as well, proper dilution is important, as is topical application. Ingesting tea tree oil can be toxic. Dr Bronner’s soap is always a good bet for ethical fair trade ingredients. This All-One Hemp Tea Tree soap bar is made with organic olive oil, tea tree extract and organic hemp oil too: great for dry skin.


Now I’m certainly no skincare expert over here. More like a perpetually knackered writer trying to convince her complexion not to inflame itself on a monthly basis. But even an amateur like myself can see that the benefits of tea tree soap are worth talking about. With its natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree soap helps to combat acne and soothe irritated skin.

It may not be a cure-all, but when comes to keeping your skin in check, it’s a good start. And if you’re like me, with a skincare routine that’s more ‘rinse and hope’ than ‘cleanse and tone’, tea tree soap might just be the low-effort, high-reward solution you’ve been looking for.

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