About Me

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
I don't endorse any brands for money. I am just genuinely passionate about products that work well and are worth investing on. I was inspired to blog because I have found so many advice and tips that have helped me greatly through reading blogs. Now it is my time to give back by sharing my secrets and great finds :D. I hope it helps you too :)

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Acne treatment: tea tree oil vs benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide
Flashback a couple of  years ago in my teens.... I had extremely bad acne. My friend had the exact same problem but went to a dermatologist. I noticed that her acne had noticeably disappeared. So I desperately asked her for the secret. It was a product called Benzac AC.
Using Benzac acne treatment requires you to follow a certain program:
Start with Benzac AC 2.5% (Mild strength)
Then if necessary, progress to Benzac AC 5%, then to Benzac AC 10%.
They also recommend using Cetaphil's cleanser and moisturiser (probably because your skin becomes extremely sensitive after prolonged use).
If you plan to use benzoyl peroxide, I recommend using Benzac AC. I have tried cheaper brands but they took too long to absorb into my skin unlike Benzac AC. it's worth spending the extra dollars.
For the first two months of using this product, I was extremely happy with the result.


Pros:
-After applying the product on the affected areas overnight, acne visibly reduced in size and some even disappeared.
-It also prevents acne and visible results occurred within 2 weeks of use.
Cons:
-The product was very harsh it managed to:
  • Bleach my pillows, bed sheets and pajamas.
  • Cause my skin to become dry and flaky (gradually)
  • Cause minor skin irritation
Despite all the cons, I was willing to endure with it because I HATED my acne and have never used a product so effective before.
The treatment was going ok until one day, my skin became hypersensitive. It reacted with ANY product I put on my face, even Cetaphil's moisturiser could not save me. It was inflamed, itchy and insufferable. I had to put ice on my face to calm it down. My skin broke out and became extremely dry and flaky so I had to stop using it. 
I would then go back and forth, using Benzoyl peroxide until my skin reacted and take a break from it.
I had also tried high end brands such as Shiseido to help with my acne but nothing was working.

Tea Tree Oil

Back in 2010 I became aware of the tea tree oil phase. Working as a pharmacy assistant, I noticed that we were beginning to stock all sorts of products with tea tree oil, some of which were tea tree acne gel  and tea tree blemish stick from the Thursday Plantation brand. I was skeptical at the time because there was such a diverse range of uses for tea tree oil, I didn't think it would be effective at treating acne.

It took me 2 years of ignoring the product until I was convinced to purchase the tea tree acne gel.

I felt there was a small effect after applying it overnight, but nothing dramatic for the first two weeks of application. 1 month later of using it... I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!!! There was no side effects like using benzoyl peroxide (besides the tiniest bit of dryness where the acne was) and my acne has visibly reduced!

I also wanted to try using tea tree oil as a facial toner to replace using the gel (it is more economical). I used the 100% concentration at first but it was way too strong, drys out the skin and skin may become inflamed. I recommend purchasing the 20% solution which is more economical, does the job and  is less drying to the skin. For stubborn cases of acne, use the 100% tea tree oil solution by dipping a cotton tip in the solution and rolling it over the affected areas.

You'll find that sometimes when you first apply tea tree oil on your face that it tingles and feels a little irritated (the same feeling you get if you apply a vitamin serum or a glycolic acid peel), but it should disappear within a minute. I usually use a moisturizer with colloidal oatmeal (has amazing calming properties) on top which works a treat :D. In Australia we have a brand called Dermaveen which has colloidal oatmeal in all of it's products (highly recommend and will make a post soon). Aveeno also has colloidal oatmeal in all of it's products as well. Using a moisturizer on top also prevents the skin from drying (tea tree oil tends to dry the face slightly).

Those who have never smelt tea tree oil before beware: It has a very strong smell. My mum compared the smell to mould but most descriptions will say it smells like camphor. You'll grow to like it.

Verdict
People who are prone to acne (like myself) tend to have sensitive skin, which is oily by day and dry by night (it sucks! I know!). Therefore tea tree oil is the far more superior treatment to use.
Recommendation
Use the 20% tea tree oil solution  as a toner combined with a good moisturizer (preferably with collodial oatmeal for its calming properties).
For stubborn pimples, dip a cotton tip into the 100% tea tree oil solution and roll it over the affected areas.







1 comment:

  1. Acne is a BIG Problem that crosses the borders of age, gender, race and social status. Benzac AC is a topical water-based gel wiyh its active ingredient benzoyl peroxide perfect for the treatment of acne. Benzac AC aparts from its acne-treatment counterparts is that it does not contain alcohol and it is fragrance free. Read more at:
    http://kidbuxblog.com/hard-on-acne-soft-on-skin/

    ReplyDelete