Herbs & Natural Remedies:
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
How it Works:
Tea tree oil’s antiseptic action helps eliminate bacteria from pores, reducing the likelihood of pore blockage. An Australian study showed it’s as effective as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide.
Use 100 percent pure oil. Apply with cotton balls after washing your face, once or twice daily.
May cause skin irritation. If irritation develops, stop using it. Do not ingest tea tree oil—it’s highly toxic if ingested. Keep out of children’s reach.
Wash your face twice daily with mild soap. Wear less makeup, which can contribute to pore blockage. If you must, pop pimples with clean fingers only.
San Francisco health writer Michael Castleman is the author of 11 consumer health books. Visit