Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a species of tree native to Australia.
This essential oil has been traditionally used for a number of different cosmetic and medicinal purposes. But it wasn’t until fairly recently that a particular compound in tea tree oil was found to possess the ability to eradicate demodex mites that live on the skin and eyelashes.
Read on to learn more about what this compound is and how it is used in Cliradex products for your eyes.
What Is 4-Terpineol?
4-Terpineol, also sometimes written as Terpinen-4-ol, is the most important of the 15 major components of tea tree oil.
In studies designed to examine the killing effect of tea tree oil on demodex mites, 4-Terpineol was found to be the most important compound, especially when used on its own .
This is because other compounds also found in tea tree oil can have an antagonistic effect, which can reduce the efficacy of tea tree oil as a whole to kill demodex mites.
What Is Demodex?
So why the need to eradicate demodex? Many people are surprised to learn that everyone, no matter your age, sex, or skin condition, has a complex structure of microorganisms living on their skin, eyelids, and eyelashes.
Demodex is a species of microscopic mite that is abundant on human skin and eyelashes. However, studies have found that people who have certain skin or eye conditions, such as rosacea, blepharitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), tend to have larger numbers of demodex mites present on their skin, eyelids, and lashes [2, 3].
Thus, eliminating demodex, or significantly reducing the amount present on the skin and eyes, is believed to be the most effective way to calm and manage the symptoms associated with these conditions.
That is where 4-Terpineol comes in. Unlike tea tree oil, which can cause skin irritation when applied topically, 4-Terpineol does not cause irritation, is non-toxic and has been deemed safe and effective by scientific studies aimed at finding better ways to eliminate demodex [1, 4].
How Cliradex Products Work
Cliradex currently offers the only commercially available products that have been formulated with 4-Terpineol for more effective eye hygiene.
Additionally, Cliradex products are naturally-derived and free of preservatives and other common ingredients that could result in irritation.
Cliradex Towelettes and Cliradex Light Foam are both designed to gently, safely, and effectively cleanse the delicate eye area to remove demodex mites.
Because these products are so gentle on the eyes and skin, you can use them as part of your morning and nightly routine, or whenever you feel the need to cleanse your eyes throughout the day. With regular use, our customers have seen significant improvements in symptoms of dry, red, and itchy eyes.
In fact, many eye care professionals carry Cliradex products and recommend using some form of tea tree oil to help adequately cleanse your eyes if you struggle with certain common conditions.
Although tea tree oil has been around for centuries, there are a few notable flaws and limitations regarding its use as a method of killing demodex for clearer and more comfortable eyes and skin.
That’s why Cliradex focuses on one particular compound found in tea tree oil–4-Terpineol, which has been scientifically shown to be the most important tea tree oil compound to eliminate demodex species.
If you can’t seem to find a solution to your dry, red, itchy, and uncomfortable eyes, you might want to give Cliradex products a try.
We stand behind our products so much that we offer a risk-free guarantee on every purchase, so if you don’t love the way Cliradex is working after trying it for 30 days, you’ll get your money back.
Have questions, comments, or feedback? Drop us a line online, or give us a call at 1-844-425-4723. We’re always happy to hear from our customers!
 National Institutes of Health
 Ocular Surface Research & Education Foundation
 Mayo Clinic