Late last week, and over the course of last weekend, I noticed I had a few bumps emerging on both of my cheeks and along my chin. I’m no stranger to the occasional breakout, especially when it gets closer to that time of the month, so I didn’t worry too much about it and proceeded with my usual daily skin care regime, anticipating it to clear up within a day or two.
By Tuesday morning, my left cheek had cleared up, as had most of my chin, but the bumps on my right cheek had multiplied, forming a cluster of red, painful-to-the-touch sores, of sorts. I could tell by examining it closely that it wasn’t the typical pre/post-PMS pimples, but a rash. I was having an allergic reaction to something, and immediately backtracked to when I had first noticed the bumps to try and figure out what could had caused it. The only thing I’m allergic to are certain kinds of pretzels (usually the small, crunchy ones found in trail mix,) but when I’ve ingested those in the past, it resulted in minor swelling of the skin, and some hives around my body that had lasted about an hour or so- and then I was fine.
The sores/rash were only on my face, which made me think it was the result of some of my skin care or makeup. Immediately crossing off the products I had purchased at Sephora recently, knowing that I would have experienced a reaction way sooner had it been because of any of those cosmetics- that left the contents of my recent ipsy bag. Although I don’t want to blame any particular product or brand, I believe I have the culprit narrowed down to either the NYX mosaic blusher, or the Michael Todd charcoal scrub- and have ceased using both samples until my face is fully healed and I can conduct more research to see exactly what went wrong.
By Tuesday night, after furiously washing and disinfecting my makeup brushes and applying calamine lotion to the affected area in a last ditch attempt to get it under control, I was feeling pretty down. The self-confidence aspect aside, it was the uncertainty that was driving me nuts. I didn’t know if it was going to get worse before it got better, or just keep getting worse until I had to have a Doctor or a dermatologist intervene.
The calamine lotion helped as far as drying out some of the rash and keeping it from hurting as much as it did, but the sores were still visible and didn’t look like they were going to be fading away anytime soon. After struggling to get my makeup to cover the patch of skin on my cheek the best I could, I headed to the office- only to find the above-pictured bottle of tea tree oil on my desk that my co-worker, hearing of and seeing (because seriously- it was impossible to miss) my plight, left for me to try.
I’ve heard a few things about tea tree oil, but had never considered trying it before. Something about applying oil to break-outs/allergic reactions had left me a bit perplexed, but my co-worker swore by it. Having recently experienced a reaction to a new foundation she’d tried, she applied some of the oil to her face at night, and by the morning, her bumps and breakouts were gone. After doing a little bit of research, it turns out tea tree oil isn’t just for skin. It apparently works wonders for hairs and nails, too.
Having nothing to lose, I applied some of the oil into my cheek with a cotton ball before bed last night. It should be noted that this stuff smells REALLY strong (“Brian, I’m gonna be honest with you, that smells like pure gasoline,”) so if you want to try it, just make sure you have a fan on or a window open to give you some ventilation. The oil tingles, but it’s bearable and only lasts a few minutes- and it absorbs quickly. There wasn’t any kind of residue on my pillowcase when I woke up this morning.
As far as the condition on my cheek- the rash was SIGNIFICANTLY smaller, dryer, and less red this morning- which was a huge relief. I was able to apply my makeup without issue, and there was no further irritation on my skin as the day wore on. When I came home, I did the same thing- washed my face and applied more oil. I’m hoping that within a couple of days, the remaining couple of bumps will be gone completely.
I’m amazed (and thrilled) with the results from the tea tree oil- and even more so at the speed in which I saw those results. I really think having a bottle of this- and make sure it’s 100%- would be a beneficial addition to any medicine cabinet or first aid kit. It may not be suitable for every day use for skin or hair, but it definitely comes in handy when you need quick relief- as was the case with the reaction on my cheek.
I’m not being paid by any tea tree oil companies to write about their product or anything. I just wanted to share my experience because this whole week-long ordeal has been hell on my skin and just stressful overall, and should anyone reading this find themselves in a similar dilemma- natural oils, especially this kind- are a pretty easy, inexpensive solution that may work as well for you as it has been doing for me so far.