Shoppers Love This $8 Tea Tree Ointment for Treating Acne, Ingrown Hairs, and More—and I'm a Convert, Too

The star ingredient is tea tree oil, which has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties to treat an assortment of skin ailments.

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A year and a half of quarantine led to a surprising revelation for me—things I had an affinity for prior to the pandemic became safety blankets when I left the house. What, you ask? Well, hand cream to counteract dryness from hand sanitizer, lip balm for extra moisture beneath my face mask, and a tub of Desert Essence Tea Tree Soothing Skin Ointment to remedy everything else.

My skin has always been sensitive and volatile because of the combination of my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and oiliness, but during the deep throes of quarantine, it was especially irritated. At the time, I was dealing with the uncertainty and fear many experienced during the onset of Covid (enter stress). But in addition to that, I was struggling with deep grief for my recently passed mother, my usual depression, and increased anxiety attacks.

All of this triggered a kind of unprecedented ferociousness within my skin. I broke out in stress rashes all the time. I discovered welts along my neck and jawbones. I picked at zits, which only further inflamed my skin. My face was a constant mess with the disaster intermittently spreading to my chest and appendages.


To buy: Desert Essence Tea Tree Skin Ointment, $8;

I picked up Desert Essence's Tea Tree Ointment during a trip to the neighborhood health food store. It first caught my attention because of its star ingredient, tea tree oil, which has long been known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to its acne-fighting prowess. But what sets this ointment apart from other products lining the shelves is that its ingredients are organic and things you can pronounce and recognize.

On top of tea tree oil, the ointment is also packed with vitamin E (a super hydrator that protects from free radical damage), plant-derived beeswax (a protective humectant), and sweet almond (a scar and acne reducer), jojoba (a wrinkle fader and moisturizer), and lavender oils (dark spot and inflammation reducer). It's an all-in-one hydrating and complexion-boosting product.

Another selling point is that the 1-ounce tub is $8 and a little bit goes a long way. I warm the top layer of the balm with my finger before scooping out a dime-sized amount and applying it to whatever part of my body needs it.

Over the next month, I always had the Desert Essence Tea Tree Skin Ointment in eyesight. When a stress rash broke out, I scooped out the waxy balm, warmed it with my fingers, and spread it across my chest. Occasionally, I'd go to scratch and I'd be met with the thick cream which reminded me to stay away. The redness, hives, and itchiness were subdued after an hour. The next morning there were still a few small bumps on my chest but my skin was not red, irritated, or covered in my scratching-induced claw marks.

Slowly I started using it for other skin ailments—a cut, hormonal boil, my always-dry elbows, a zit I had picked too abrasively, to name a few. But, I'm not the only person who's found the tea tree oil ointment to be a cure-all. The holy grail product has racked up nearly 1,000 five-star ratings from Amazon customers, too.

One Amazon shopper said, "I use it instead of Neosporin for cuts and for rashes or anything itchy, instead of Benadryl," adding that the ointment was even helping with their eczema—a point many other reviewers echoed. Other reviewers shared that they value it for its versatility, reporting that they use it on everything from healing scars to soothing mosquito bites. Some even lauded it for preventing annoying ingrown hairs after shaving.

It's truly the best $8 I've spent in recent memory. Now, I feel weird when I leave the house without it. And although I've used it multiple times a day for almost a year now, I still probably have another month of use left in the tub before my next $8 replacement. Grab the universal Desert Essence Tea Tree Skin Ointment now and be well on your way to happier skin, overall.

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