Thursday, May 1, 2014

Not all 100% Tea Tree Oil is equal, apparently

Disclosure: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.
I've posted about my love for pure tea tree oil as a spot treatment for zits before. I won't repeat everything I said there, but basically benzoyl peroxide never does anything for me (plus I can't manage to ever use it without bleaching the fuck out of all my towels and sheets). Tea tree oil, on the other hand, works. YMMV etc. That's just what works for me.

Anyway, in the winter I ran out of my Mason Naturals tea tree oil, and so I ordered a different brand from Amazon, since it was about a dollar cheaper at the time: Now Foods. Both of them say that they are 100% tea tree oil, so what's the difference? Honestly, I have no idea, but the Now Foods stuff didn't do shit. It says on the bottle that it's meant for "aromatherapy," whereas the Mason one says "pharmaceutical grade," but that doesn't seem very meaningful to me. I mean, 100% tea tree oil with nothing else in it should be the same thing either way, right?

Remember when I was complaining earlier this year about giant cystic pimples that would not fucking die? I couldn't figure out why tea tree oil had stopped working for me. But you know, the Now Foods version didn't have the same very slight tingle when I applied it, and it didn't do something that I actually found annoying about the Mason stuff - when I dab it near my mouth, but not too near, say a centimeter away or so, it would always migrate to my lips so I could taste it. Bleh. The Now Foods stuff didn't do that. These two things alone suggest that something different was going on. I thought maybe I was misremembering or imagining how well the previous bottle had worked on my acne, but eventually I got so fed up that I just ordered another bottle of Mason tea tree oil.

And what do you know? It fucking works. Used daily only directly on top of a zit, dabbed on with a q-tip, it will stop a pimple in its tracks and force it into retreat. So what I'm saying is that if you are considering trying tea tree oil for acne, you should try the Mason Naturals one. It's about $8 on Amazon right now, though the price fluctuates, and you might be able to find it cheaper if you shop around. I don't know what is in that Now Foods bottle, but it doesn't work the same. I've been using the remainder a few drops at a time in my garbage cans to freshen them up. Aromatherapy, I guess.


  1. I'm not an expert, but I think maybe they are just processed differently- they can both be 100% tea tree oil, with nothing else added, but of course the oil is extracted & processed somehow, so I guess that's where the difference is. That's unfortunate that you spent money on something that doesn't work, though!

  2. It's so weird how that happens. I had a similar discovery with acetone. I figured 100% acetone is 100% acetone, so I always got the cheapest kind. One day, I was out and the place I was shopping didn't have my usual brand, so I opted for a slightly more fancy (and expensive) bottle of 100% acetone and behold, it worked better. Strange.


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