Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random Personal Discovery–A New Treatment for Acne?

In general, I am one of the last people to try to dish out advice on how to handle acne outbreaks. I’ve always been lucky in that I don’t ever get many spots so I just don’t have the experience to preach on the subject. However, I stumbled upon something a few months ago that I thought some of you may be interested in.

Back in the beginning of March I had an unfortunate experience with a sample of some Kinerase lotion. After only one day of use, I was left with painful spots (the kind that stay below the surface) all over the sides of my nose and my chin. It was terrible!

I threw everything I could think of at them – astringent, face masks, acne treatments, steam, I think I even tried putting straight alcohol on them in an attempt to dry them out. Through all that they didn’t seem to be improving or to be making their way to the surface (I just wanted to pop them all and be done with it!)

After exhausting all the options in my arsenal, I decided to try something completely different. I had nothing to lose.

For years I’ve had a small bottle of tea tree oil sitting in my bathroom cabinet. I get fever blisters almost every time I get a cold and this oil to help get rid of them. It’s known to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties so I thought Hey, maybe this will do something.




Not expecting much I washed my face for the evening, put drops of the oil on the bad areas, and went to bed. The next morning, the spots were almost gone. Encouraged, I did it again the following night and all the spots were healed by the second morning.

I was ecstatic, but didn’t think that isolated event was enough proof to warrant singing the praises for it on here. So, as an experiment, I’ve tried using this on all the little spots (mostly body, but a few face) that have come up over the past couple of months to see if I’d keep getting results. I always apply it in the evening to freshly cleaned skin, and I’d say that 4 out of 5 times the spots have healed by the next morning.

Description and Application

Despite being an oil,  nothing about its consistency or feel suggests it. It actually feels closer to water than an oil and soaks into my skin very quickly. I’ve also noticed that about 30 seconds after I apply this on a spot, I’ll get a slight tingling sensation, but it feels like it’s happening under the skin. It’s a bit weird at first, but it makes it seem like it’s working.

If you want to apply it straight (like I do), my particular bottle comes with a rod applicator that I just dab on any spots and then pat around the area with my finger so that the extra doesn’t run. The nature of the product means that it will sanitize itself, but you could easily use a q-tip if that makes you uncomfortable.




However… (pay attention)

As I said, I use this stuff straight and have not had any irritation from it; however some recent product experiences have showed that I may in fact have the skin of an armadillo. After I initially discovered this use for it, I googled it and found many people use it for acne (too bad I can’t take complete credit), but I also found that the straight oil can be extremely irritating to some people’s skin.

If you want to try this oil, PLEASE do a spot test first on say your wrist or under your jaw. This way if you find that you do have an adverse reaction to it, it will be in a small spot that will be hidden until the reaction calms. I’ve seen some sites suggest that you mix a solution with as low as 5% oil to 95% water, so you can do some experimenting with different concentrations if the straight stuff is too strong.

I’ve seen tea tree oil sold in some random grocery stores (it’s always been in the cosmetics isle when I’ve seen it), but any health food store should carry it, though I’d suggest calling ahead to check so you’re not left running around town searching for it.

If any of you try this out for acne, please let me know! I’d love to know if it works for others as well as it has been working for me.

*Kudos if you read this whole thing… long post. I need to work on being more concise!


  1. I've been getting a few spots lately, and any other treatments dry out my already dry skin. I'm going to give this a try! Did it dry out your skin at all?

  2. I have combination-dry skin, and this didn't dry mine out at all. But it does seem pretty common for people to experience dryness based on other pages I've read about it, so I'd strongly suggest doing a spot test first just to make sure. I hope it works for you! :)

  3. I've always wanted to try this! i don't break out either but a couple of spots every now and again. I actually purchased a Tea Tree face wash and moisturizer from The Body Shop. I found that it dried my skin out horribly. =S

    But I guess that's what the spots need right? Some drying out? =) It's good too because this will be more precise instead of washing your whole face with it.

    Thanks for the review, I'm gonna go look for this!

  4. It's weird, but as a perpetual acne-sufferer, I've never tried tea tree oil. I always feel like the harsh chemical stuff works better on my skin. Maybe that's just a giant psyche-out and I need to try this tea tree stuff!

  5. Wow thanks for this post! I've been sufferering from acne since forever and I can never find anything that works. I definitely want to try this though; thanks for the tip! :)

  6. Kee - If your skin is good overall, I'd definitely suggest spot treating rather than using products meant for all over. To be healthy your skin must be already managing to maintain a healthy balance and putting unnecessary harsh ingredients can only throw it off.
    I hope this works on those random spots for you! :)

  7. Liz - Don't sell it short. I threw alcohol and salicylic acid at that Kinerase induced spot, and they did nothing, but this took it out in 2 days. I'd wholeheartedly suggest giving it a shot. What have you got to lose, right?

  8. Ruthe - No problem! Just make sure to do a spot test first to make sure it won't give you an adverse reaction. Let me know if it works for you! :)

  9. I have had some great success with tea tree oil as well, love it...great review!

  10. Caitlin, what a great tip! I gave it a try on a few spots and it worked like a charm. I use it straight as a spot treatment and I mix it with water for an all over astringent.

  11. W-FB - Fantastic! I'm so glad to know that it worked out for someone. Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know! :)


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