I bought Earthsap Tea Tree Face Wash on Faithful to Nature. I like this online shop because they are very open about ingredient lists and they have great filters like “zero plastic” or “proudly South African”, which is amazing. I don’t like this shop because they also have a whole section of pseudosciencey homeopathic remedies. I just don’t click that tab. You can’t fight all the battles all the time. I’m also aware this may be an unpopular opinion but if you’ve been following for a while, you may be aware of my stance on “all natural” or “zero toxic chemicals” marketing strategies. If not, go have a read here.
I have to give a disclaimer that I bought this a while back before I started this blog and I didn’t pay too much attention to the ingredient list, except that it was short and had tea tree oil in it. I wanted to give the ingredient a test after I’d done some research on it (click link above to go read about tea tree oil). Its also not badly priced at around R70 for 250mL.
Ingredient list on website and bottle: Purified water, saponified coconut extract, decyl/ lauryl glucoside, calendula oil, salt, tea tree oil.
What worries me about this, now that I’m looking back, is that it has no preservatives in it and its a water based product that is not a single use product. This means it will be exposed to my own contamination on a regular basis during use. There are studies on the anti-microbial properties of tea tree oil, as I have talked about in my previous post, but there are only a few testing the preservative effect of the essential oil. I did find this study that talks about how tea tree seems to work in synergy with tradition synthetic preservatives. It does stress that each preservative system should be tested for the specific product.
Perhaps the salt is the “preservative”. Not really convinced. I’ll have to do some more research on different preservative systems.
If you’ve been following along, you have read about the importance of pH of skincare products and how this keeps the skins’ acid mantle balanced. If not, go have a read.
I bought a cheap pH testing strip set and tested the pH of the wash. Just know that this type of pH testing is not the most accurate and a pH difference of 6 and 7 can be huge but it does give an idea.
This cleanser has a pH of 7… not great. The ideal range should be between 4.6 and 5.2. Luckily its not above 7 so not the worst pH I’ve seen or head about in “soap” type products.
What I experienced while using it
I used it for about 2 weeks and then stopped.
I found the smell characteristic of tea tree oil which I find pleasant. The texture was thin, so no heavy public-restroom-dispense-soap feeling. It foams a little (because of the decyl/ lauryl glucoside combo) and leaves the skin feeling pretty cleansed.
After about 1 week, I noticed I was getting small bumps on my cheekbones but I persisted. After the two week mark I got bumps on my forehead. Now, if you follow any kind of skincare expert, you’ll know that the skin life cycle is about 4-6 weeks (the older you get the longer this takes). Sometimes when you start a new product, it takes that long to see results.
Your skin “purges” which means it may look like your skin gets worse for a while but that’s because the active ingredient speeds up the process of your cell renewal. This should all happen in areas on your skin where you already see breakouts or roughness. For instance, I get pimples on my chin and nose, less often but sometimes on my forehead. I don’t get problems that often on my cheeks. If you start a new product and develop bumps in places that are not usual for you, you should probably stop.
This product is most likely not compatible for my skin. In this case I think it may be a combination of the tea tree oil and the pH.
I’m going to give Earthsap Tea Tree Face Wash a pass. Not enjoying how it reacted with my skin. It may work for some but not for me. I am also not comfortable with a product that doesn’t have enough preservatives in it when it is water based. The water was also the first ingredient on the list so that is the ingredient with the highest concentration.
So that’s a “bye Felicia” from me.