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Tips

15 Beautiful Uses for Tea Tree Oil

by Jami Summers on July 28, 2014 · 4 comments

It’s no secret that Tea Tree Oil is fantastic for clearing breakouts but most people don’t realize the versatility of this essential oil. One little bottle of this oil will assist with home cleaning chores, refreshen the air, and provide health benefits such as clearing chest congestion, zapping allergies, and boosting your immune system.

15 Beautiful Uses for Tea Tree Oil - by the Bionic Beauty blog

Background Intel
Tea Tree Oil (TTO), also known as Melaleuca Oil, is an essential oil derived from the Melaleuca tree which is native to parts of Australia and New Zealand. Tea Tree Oil is *not* the same as, or related to, green tea, white tea, or any other teas that you drink. TTO can be toxic if taken by mouth (i.e. swallowed) in large quantities. TTO has excellent antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. It also has some mild analgesic (pain reducing) properties.

I’d describe the scent as fresh, woody, herbaceous, and vaguely reminiscent of camphor and eucalyptus. If you have sensitive skin, like me, start with smaller amounts of TTO in the uses I’ve outlined. Tea Tree Oil is mild and I’ve never had a reaction, but everyone’s skin is unique. Start with less until you see how your skin behaves.

Tea Tree Oil Recipes & Tips
For easier reading, this list is roughly grouped by area of the body. Numbers 1 – 6: Face. Number 7: Hair. Numbers 8 – 12: Whole body. Numbers 13 – 15: Miscellaneous goodies.

  1. Clear a Current Breakout: Dab tea tree oil onto the pimple daily to dry it, pull to breakout to the surface, and speed healing.
    • Helpful Hint #1: Use a cotton swab to apply.
    • Helpful Hint #2: Never dip an already used cotton swab into your bottle of oil. You don’t want to contaminate the fresh tea tree oil in the bottle!
  2. Face Wash: Add 10-20 drops of the oil to your bottle of face wash. This functions as a great daily preventative for acne and breakouts.
  3. Facial Toner: Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil into a bottle of witch hazel for toner. Soak a cotton ball and swipe across face after washing. This gentle, yet super effective, toner helps clear and prevent breakouts, acne and pimples, tighten pores, balance skin’s pH … without drying your skin!
  4. Face Mask: Add two drops of tea tree oil to my DIY Green Clay Face Mask recipe. Helpful Hint: Spend a few extra minutes and read the comments section on that article because there are a ton of extra tips, tricks & recipes submitted by Bionic readers!
  5. Cold Sores: Use a cotton swab to dab TTO onto cold or canker sores twice a day. The tea tree oil will ease the discomfort and speed healing!
  6. Ingrown Hairs: Add a dab of TTO onto the ingrown hair and the surrounding area. Apply 1-2 times per day until the hair comes free.  The tea tree oil will help prevent infection; in addition to drawing the hair to the surface and loosening the follicle.
  7. Correcting Shampoo: Add a drop or two to the dollop of shampoo in your hand & wash like normal. Or mix 10-20 drops into your bottle of shampoo. Smells wonderful and helps clear up dandruff, itchies, or other scalp issues. This mix also puts the kibosh on product buildup without over-drying your hair or scalp!
  8. Body Wash for Acne or Clogged Pores: Pimples, blackheads, and other breakout varieties aren’t limited to your face. Resolve body breakouts by adding 10-15 drops of TTO to a bottle of dandruff shampoo. Shake well to combine. Apply to a shower pouf and gently scrub down your entire body.
    • Helpful Hint #1: For maximum benefit, let the mixture sit on your skin for a few minutes while you shave your legs, deep condition your hair, etc.
    • Helpful Hint #2: Look for a dandruff shampoo that has sulfur or a sulfur derivative listed as one of the main ingredients. Why? Because sulfur is absolutely awesome for clearing acne FAST.
  9. Body and Foot Scrub: Make your own simple, all-natural sugar scrub for your body and feet with this Bionic Beauty created, 3 ingredient recipe!
  10. Refreshing Foot + Leg Scrub: Refresh, soothe, smooth, and moisturize your footsies with this easy-to-make scrub recipe. The ingredients are easy to find- salt or sugar, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, jojoba oil. Swap the jojoba for coconut oil to save some a few dollars.
    • Helpful Hint: I love finding new ways to use my homemade skincare recipes. After a particularly grueling few days, I had shin splints, sore feet, and calf muscles that were beyond locked down.  A few minutes of massaging my feet and legs with this scrub made my legs feel like they’d had a professional massage!
  11. Body Moisturizer and Massage Oil: Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply to skin for moisture extraordinaire; or recruit a friend/family member to massage it into your aching muscles.
  12. Bugs Be Gone Repellent: Fill a spritzer bottle with a 50/50 mix of water and witch hazel. Add a couple drops of citronella oil and a couple drops of tea tree oil for an all-natural bug repellent spray.
  13. Mouth Wash + Breath Freshener: Combine 1/4 cup of purified water and 1 drop of tea tree oil. Swish around in your mouth like normal mouthwash. Spit it out. Just like toothpaste: Do. Not. Swallow.
  14. Nail Fungus Treatment: I’ve had great success clearing nail fungus on myself and others using tea tree oil.
    • Method 1: Use a cotton swab to apply the oil directly to all edges of the nail/nail bed. Try to get some up under the free edge of the nail. Treat once per day.
    • Method 2: Add 10-15 drops of TTO to a pan of warm water (just enough water to cover your toes or hands). Soak your hands or feet for about 15 minutes, twice a week. Pat dry with a soft towel. Then air dry the area completely before covering (for example – don’t put on socks or sneakers for at least 30 minutes!).
    • Method 3: Add 15-20 drops of tea tree oil to a bottle of carrier oil. My recommended carrier oils: Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, or Almond oil. Mix well. Apply a bit of the mixture daily to nails, nail bed, and work some under the free edge of the affected nail(s). Treat once a day or a few times per week. Helpful Hint: Get 2 benefits for the price of 1 by slathering on before bed, slip your feet into some cotton socks (or hands in cotton gloves). Treatment is done while you sleep and you’ll have wonderfully moisturized feet/hands!
  15. Aromatherapy: 1 drop lavender oil + 1 drop tea tree oil. Apply to pulse points for relaxation, tension release, and to treat migraine/sinus headaches. Breathe deeply.
    • Feeling under-the-weather? This aromatherapy mix boosts the responses of your immune system which will help you battle off any pesky sick bugs.

Do you have any tips or secrets ways of working Tea Tree Oil into your beauty regimen? And remember, in the wise words of G.I. Joe “Knowing is half the battle” – so don’t be shy. Ask questions and share your knowledge.

Stay bionic and beautiful,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

P.S. If you enjoyed this list of goodies, you’ll love “15 Beautiful Uses for Jojoba Oil“!

Transformers Nails with DIY Nail Decals

by Jami Summers on June 27, 2014 · 2 comments

As many of you know, the newest Transformers movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, opens today in theaters across America.  I’ve been a Transformers fan since the 1984 cartoon series. I can (mostly) recite the first three movies line-by-line. I even walked down the aisle to a song from Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. So I had to do something to my nails to celebrate the latest movie’s release!

I pondered, brainstormed, and pontificated. I knew I wanted the Autobots insignia on my two big toe nails. Hand-painting the design seemed like my only option until I glanced at our printer cabinet and saw a pack of clear mailing labels waving at me. Ding ding ding! Lightbulb moment!

First, I’ll show the results of my Autobots nail art; then I’ve got a tutorial to make your own nail decals!

++ The Results ++

Transformers Autobots Nail art design with DIY nail decals

++ The Materials ++

  • Seche Clear base coat
  • China Glaze nail polish in For Audrey
  • Seche Vite polish top coat (or other thick, glossy, quick-drying top coat)
  • Printable sheet of clear mailing labels (decal or tattoo “paper” would also work – maybe even better!)
  • An inkjet or laser printer – either variety will work just fine.
  • Digital image of the Transformers Autobots (or any design you wish) logo.
    • Big Hint: Make sure your chosen image is in png format with a transparent background! This will allow your nail color to show through.
  • Tweezers

++ The Creation ++

  1. Use Microsoft Word, Open Office, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign or a similar program to place your Autobots insignia on the appropriate template for your chosen clear labels.
    • Hint: You can find templates for your specific label size by Googling the brand name plus the label number plus the world ‘template’.  For example you could Google “Avery 8329 template”.
  2. I found it easiest to use a full sheet clear label.  Basically my label sheet is an 8.5″ by 11″ sheet of paper that just happens to be one huge peel n’ stick label.
  3. Resize your image/logo/insignia to approximately 1cm by 1cm (approximately 0.4 inches x 0.4 inches) size for use on the big toe nail.
    • For use on your fingernails, a size of 0.75cm by 0.75cm (approximately 0.3 inches by 0.3 inches) should work for most nails except the teeny pinky nail.
    • Hint: I suggest placing multiple copies of the logo/insignia in your document similar to the ones I created – shown below. That way you can make a few different size; a variety of colors; even a ton of different logos!
  4. Print the document onto your clear labels.
  5. Leave the backing on for now and use scissors to carefully cut out your design.
  6. Paint your nails with the polish base coat.
  7. Paint your nails with 2-3 coats of a colored polish such as For Audrey by China Glaze.  Let dry completely.
  8. Use tweezers to help peel away the label backing from your Autobots logo.
  9. Use the tweezers to hold the logo “sticker” and place it onto your nail. Press down thoroughly.
    • Smooth out all air bubbles using your finger or the wrong end of your tweezers.
  10. Apply at least 2 coats of Seche Vite top coat to seal and protect your design.
  11. Ta-da! You’ve just DIY’d personalized nail decals!

DIY nail decals featuring the Transformer Autobots

Honestly, this step-by-sep list makes the process look difficult but it is actually darn easy. The most difficult and time consuming part is finding the right image (Google Images is your BFF here!).

Please do not hesitate to post questions, requests for help, or a photo of your own design in the comments section down below!

Pedicures are cooler with Autobots on your toes,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

TotalBeauty.com
Why You Do Actually Need Green, Pink, and Yellow Face Powders

Brightly-colored face powders may look shocking but they’ll make your skin look amazing

 

Why You Do Actually Need Green, Pink, and Yellow Face Powders

This is a TotalBeauty.com Makeup article

There is a new generation of face powders on the market and they certainly look . . . unique. They’re not the usual oil-absorbing powders that never matched your skin tone. These are white, green, yellow, and pink face powders so bright they can give some eye shadow palettes a run for their money. But before you automatically pass them up in the beauty aisle, listen up: Professional makeup artists swear by these new powders — and the swear that they’re fool proof. Click ahead to see which new face powders will highlight your best features and give your skin an enviable glow.

See face powders

Holiday 2012: A Makeup Collection Roundup

by Jami Summers on December 13, 2012 · 0 comments

TotalBeauty.com




Behind-The-Scenes: Holiday Makeup Collections

We got an exclusive look at the inspiration boards responsible for the holiday collections created by your favorite brands



Behind-The-Scenes: Holiday Makeup Collections

This is a TotalBeauty.com makeup
article

While we love the trusty products of our favorite beauty brands year-round, we always get giddy over the launch of exclusive holiday collections. Believe it or not, it takes more than red and green color combos to get the creative juices flowing when creating a special collection. The masterminds behind beauty brands compile inspirational mood boards and wegot an exclusive look. After seeing these collages, you’ll want to seriously step up your Pinterest game. Prepare to be wowed! 

See mood boards

Fall 2012: Wine-y Lips

by Jami Summers on November 14, 2012 · 1 comment

I’ve spent many an hour staring at the lovely (to me anyway) dark lip colors this fall.  I swear, the burgundies, maroons, and plums are following me – online, offline – I’m being stalked (without all the scariness).  Anyhow, if you love the idea and/or look of this autumn’s darker red-ish lip colors, you’ll probably enjoy this article from TB…

TotalBeauty.com




Trend Alert: Wine-Stained Lips

Afraid to venture into vampy, dark lipsticks? No Worries. This guide’s got all you need to master the mulberry hues



Trend Alert: Wine-Stained Lips

This is a TotalBeauty.com makeup tips
article

It’s official: Wine-stained lips are this season’s must-have look. But if diving into the world of gothic glamour seems completely foreign, take this crash course. It’s got everything a dark lipstick newbie needs to feel comfortable flaunting a wine-colored pout. 

Take crash course

Helpful? Do you already have a fave dark lipcolor??