A lot of people swear by natural products instead of strong soaps and things that are harsh on the skin. I've recently started using a tea tree oil based product and found it to be phenomenal so I decided I'd put up some info about it.
The tea tree is a plant found in a specific region of Australia. The oil is pressed out of the leaves of the plant. The people indigenous to Australia used it for many years as for various medical purposes. The oil itself is a flaw clear to gold color and has a very unique smell. The special characteristics of the oil are what make it beneficial for skin products. The oil has natural anti-fungal, anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties. It is known to destroy certain bacteria that live on our skin. For our purposes this means less bacteria that can infect comedones and cause acne. The products that you can find on the market contain 5% to 10% tea tree oil in dilution because the stronger concentrations can aggravate the skin and cause irritation.
I have found that tea tree oil does not leave the skin feeling as dry as a normal soap or a benzoyl peroxide based product. My personal regimen in the past was a benzoyl peroxide bar and a light moisturizer, but with mixed results. I switched to a tea tree based wash in the shower and jojoba oil to moisturize afterwards and have seen a significant improvement in my complexion. Its a fairly amazing difference and after having acne as long as I have an having tried so many products that I am simply astounded at how effective this combination is.
If you are using tea tree oil for the first time there are some things you should know. Do not get it in your eyes. It is extremely unpleasant and you will definitely take care not to let it happen again if you do. Simply apply it to the face and lather for about one minute and then rinse off. It is a very watery product so make a cup with your hands when you dispense it. The actual product I use is Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean face wash w / Tea Tree oil. This stuff is an all natural product and is very gentle on the skin. This stuff cost me about $ 20 at the local organic grocery and has definitely been a worthwhile investment for me.
If you've tried all the usual acne products like benzoyl and acids and soaps and you are not satisfied with your current results I would strongly recommend giving tea tree oil a try.