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3 Reasons Why Eyes L.O.V.E. Tea Tree Oil

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Tea tree oil is a powerful essential oil that has a multitude of personal hygiene and household uses. From wiping down counter tops to fighting bad breath, tea tree oil is one of the most extensively studied essential oils on earth. It is produced from a woody shrub like tree native to Australia called Melaleuca Alternifolia. It is in the same family of the eucalyptus which is known for its antiseptic properties and distinct medicinal odor.

In the past 5 years, tea tree oil has received much attention from the optometry community for it’s natural ability to help kill bacteria and demodex mites. Yikes!

Bacteria and demodex mites are often the source of eyelid inflammation, infection and dry eye symptoms. Know someone that gets styes often? Know someone that has acne rosacea? The likely culprit is bacteria or demodex mites. Time to get some tea tree oil!

Here are 3 reasons why I love tea tree oil for myself and my patients. And before I get into this, I am not condoning that you put tea tree oil directly on your eyes. Tea tree oil must be formulated so that it’s safe for use on the eye, or you’ll end up with raccoon eyes. Not good.

1. Tea tree oil is naturally anti-bacterial which is good news for anyone that has suffered or continues to struggle with styes. I formulated the Cleansing Oil PRO for eyelid scrubs to be used 1-4 times a day depending on the severity of the symptoms.


2. Many of my patients use natural oils (coconut, castor, jojoba, etc. . .) to remove their eye makeup but they continue to have dry eye symptoms especially when they wear contact lenses. I formulated the Eye Makeup Remover Oil with tea tree oil to add that extra, natural cleansing power to keep the specialized oil glands of the eye clean and clear from bacteria and demodex.


3. If you have acne rosacea, you’re likely to have an overpopulation of demodex mites. In these cases, having the demodex affect the eyelids is quite high. I find that washing the eyelash area, eyebrow area, hairline and entire face with the Eyelid Foaming Cleanser 1-2 times a day really helps keep symptoms at bay. 


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  • Written by Tanya Gill

    Dr. Gill is also a member of the Ocular Surface Society of Optometry. In addition to her Doctor of Optometry, Dr. Gill also has a BA in Integrative Biology and a BS in Vision Science, both from UC Berkeley. Go Bears!
    In 2015, Dr. Gill developed and founded We Love Eyes, which is a green cosmetics company that produces eyelid and eyelash cleansing products that are natural, non-toxic, and vegan.

    More Articles by Tanya Gill

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