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The 5 Best Substitutes for Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular essential oil derived from the leaves of the tea tree.

It has several beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal effects.

It is also thought to help treat acne and other skin conditions.

However, tea tree oil can be expensive, and some people may not like the scent of the oil.

While tea tree oil is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in most people, it may worsen some skin conditions.

In addition, tea tree oil should not be taken orally without consulting a doctor first.

Instead of tea tree oil, several other essential oils are available for purchase that can be used as a substitute with the same benefits and are much less expensive.

Keep on reading for the other five best substitutes for tea tree oil.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

what is tea tree oil

As mentioned in the opening, Australian aborigines have used tea tree oil as traditional medicine for centuries.

It is an essential oil, meaning it’s the concentrated extract of the leaves and twigs of certain types of tea trees (Melaleuca alternifolia).

There are many different types of tea tree oil on the market, and like other essential oils, they can vary in quality.

This also means many different uses for tea tree oil, both traditional and modern.

This oil has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it useful for treating minor cuts and burns.

It can also be used to treat athlete’s foot or other fungal infections of the skin; however, if you are planning on using tea tree oil in this way, make sure that you get advice from your doctor first.

Be careful not to drink tea tree oil.

While it is used in small doses for medicinal purposes, drinking too much can damage the liver.

Tea tree oil has a distinctive smell similar to the plant from which it is extracted.

This makes it very useful in natural perfumes or aromatherapy products.

It’s also often used to reduce the tension that causes headaches during stress or contributes to the clearing of sinuses.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tea Tree Oil

Suppose you want to experiment with tea tree oil but aren’t interested in the original version’s potent smell and potentially dangerous side effects.

In that case, there are many safe and natural substitutes available.

1 – Cinnamon Essential Oil

cinnamon essential oil

In many cultures, cinnamon is revered for its health benefits.

In addition to supporting your metabolism and helping you avoid diabetes, cinnamon can also help treat many skin issues.

It’s important to note that the essential oil, in this case, comes from the bark of a tree native to Sri Lanka.

It can be obtained by boiling off water in the heat.

The best substitute for tea tree oil is cinnamon essential oil.

It’s an effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent that can help fight bacteria, fungus, parasites, etc.

For this reason, it helps with psoriasis – an inflammatory skin condition.

Furthermore, it functions as a topical analgesic (pain releaser).

One of the most notable features of cinnamon essential oil is its aroma.

It’s spicy, sweet, and warm – similar to tea tree oil in some ways.

As a result, it can replace the latter when creating perfumes or aromatherapy products.

2 – Rosemary Essential Oil

rosemary essential oil

Rosemary is another herb with several benefits.

It has been used as both an ornamental plant and for its medicinal purposes since the Iron Age by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

It’s important to note that rosemary oil can vary in color, but it’s usually pale yellow or colorless.

Also, it’s got a sharp, herbaceous aroma.

In addition, this oil is popular in massage therapy.

In fact, it’s sometimes used as an analgesic rub for sore muscles and arthritis pain.

In aromatherapy products, rosemary oil is often mixed with lavender to make the latter last longer.

It also helps in fighting depression when inhaled.

Unlike tea tree oil, rosemary essential oil may not be as effective against serious skin conditions.

However, it is an excellent antiseptic and astringent that can help with oily skin types and acne problems.

3 – Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is yet another fragrant essential oil.

Derived from the peppermint plant, this fragrant oil has a sharp and menthol-like aroma.

In addition to its pleasant smell, it can also help with digestion, nausea, and respiratory problems such as asthma.

It may even help with inflammation and pain associated with injuries.

This essential oil is much more tolerable than tea tree oil.

While it does have a strong scent, the menthol-like aroma is often considered refreshing and uplifting.

As such, it’s ideal in aromatherapy products and beauty regimens for oily and acne-prone skin types.

However, peppermint oil does have its limitations.

It may cause skin irritation and redness when used topically.

If taken internally, it can lead to heartburn and liver damage (like tea tree oil).

4 – Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is an antiseptic and decongestant that can be used topically or aromatherapeutically.

However, you might not want to use it in too high of a concentration – the oil is known for its potent smell.

It’s best used as an expectorant (helps with respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis) and topical analgesic (pain releaser).

The oil is often added to topical anesthetics.

Eucalyptus oil may also help with hair care and dandruff problems.

However, because of its potency, it’s not a good idea to use eucalyptus essential oil in aromatherapy products.

It should only be used by those experienced in using essential oils.

5 – Lavender Oil

lavender oil

Last but not least, the lavender essential oil is yet another popular choice for treating skin problems.

It’s critical to note that lavender oil comes from the flower of the lavender plant.

This fragrant essential oil has a floral and herbaceous aroma that many people find relaxing.

Furthermore, it’s an effective antiseptic and deodorant that can help you fight infections and body odor.

Lavender oil is often included in aromatherapy products and beauty care routines for its skin-soothing effects.

It’s also helpful with insomnia, respiratory problems, depression, and other psychological issues.

However, it’s important to take note of this essential oil’s safety precautions – it must never be ingested or applied directly to the skin without being diluted first.

Otherwise, it can lead to nausea and vomiting.

It can also cause skin irritation when used topically at high concentrations.


Tea tree oil is known for its wonderful antiseptic, astringent, and antimicrobial properties.

However, it should only be used by those experienced in using essential oils.

Also, it can prove to be irritating and toxic when undiluted or taken internally.

If you’re looking for an effective substitute for tea tree oil, then consider rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, or lavender (in that order).

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tea Tree Oil

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tea Tree Oil
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Cinnamon Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Lavender Oil


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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