R.I.P Tea Tree Oil

I’m thinking the tea tree oil experiment is going to have to come to a crashing halt. I swung by my local vitamin and holistic healing shop the other night after work to pick a bottle to try it out of my latest breakout. According to the 12 year old at the counter (I’m assuming here, based on her vacant stare and the way she snapped her gum while dispensing advice) I should put about a fourth of the undiluted oil in a small bottle, top it off with water, and apply directly to my skin with a cotton ball. I wasn’t too sure Bambi knew what she was talking about, but hey—she works at the health food store, right?

 After I got home and washed off the day’s makeup and grime, I followed her instructions and applied the oil to the worst of my break out. OUCH! Was this supposed to burn? No one warned me! Hmmm…

 Never one to be called a quitter, I went ahead and applied the tea tree oil to the rest of my face before crawling into bed to watch Law and Order: SVU. And that’s when the trouble began. My face got hot. Not just kind of warm, mind you. We’re talking about “omygosh am I on fire?!” hot. Not even detective Elliot Stabler could distract me from the burning sensation on my face. A trip to the bathroom mirror revealed that not only were my flaming cheeks as red as they felt, I also had quite the rash developing. Itchy, stinging red bumps were popping up everywhere that I’d applied the oil, and it was only getting worse.

 After splashing some cool water on to try and wash away the oil itself, I fired up the lap top. Looks like I was having an allergic reaction to the tea tree oil (ya think?). After popping a Benadryl, I went back to reading up on my little condition. Apparently, there are several things that can make you react this way to tea tree oil. If the oil has been sitting on the store shelf for a while, it breaks down and can cause a rash. Also, it has to be diluted enough, or else it can burn the skin.

 Looks like I would have been better off buying a regular drug store treatment that contains tea tree oil. But for now, I’m laying off the stuff all together

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