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Trader Joe's Skin Care

Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil

8.50 fl. oz. for $ 12.75
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Trader Joe’s Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil makes much of the fact that its formula isn’t astringent... but with the amount of problematic ingredients it contains, we disagree!

This liquid cleanser comes in a plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. The tea tree oil presence is apparent, as this has its strong telltale scent. While there are some skin-soothing ingredients in the mix, including two kinds of chamomile, the rest of the formula is problematic.

The first formulary misstep is the castile soap that makes up the cleansing base of this face wash, which includes potassium hydroxide (better known as lye). The soap component leaves skin feeling dried out and “squeaky clean.” While that might seem appealing, that effect means skin’s had its moisture stripped away, which good cleansers shouldn’t do.

Adding to the problems is the inclusion of fragrant palmarosa, orange, lavender, and blue cypress oils. All these oils put skin at risk of irritation (see More Info for details), to say nothing of the eye irritation you’re likely to experience when you wash your face.

Instead of subjecting your skin to this laundry list of issues, you’ll find much gentler options on our list of best cleansers.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Face wash is drying and leaves skin feeling “squeaky clean” (which isn’t a good thing!).
  • Contains fragrant plant oils that put skin at risk for irritation.
  • Can be irritating to eyes.

More Info:

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Tea tree oil, awapuhi, orange peel and lavender make this face wash strong yet gentle, refreshing without being astringent, as rejuvenating for your skin as a day at the spa. It soothingly cleans all skin types and leaves your skin feeling smooth and silky.

Castille soap (Water, Coconut Oil, Tall Oil, Potassium Hydroxide), Glycerin, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Root Extract, Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract (Awapuhi), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (Bladderwrack), Cymbopogon Martinii Oil (Palmarosa), Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Callitris Introtropica Wood Oil (Blue Cypress).

Trader Joe’s is a California-based grocery chain best known for its eclectic mix of gourmet, organic, vegetarian, and staple food products, most sold under the Trader Joe’s name. Its stores are generally no-frills and utilitarian, with a focus on lower-priced products that are still of high quality.

That same low price, high quality philosophy informs the store’s house brand of personal hygiene products, including its skin care line. There isn’t a lot that’s flashy or innovative; rather the focus is on staples, with some skin-boosting products in the mix as well.

For the most part, Trader Joe’s gets it right, with basic but reliable ingredients. There are a few items that include fragrance ingredients (including a face wash and rose face mist that absolutely should be avoided), but overall, if you’re looking to pick up a does-what-it-says, stripped-down moisturizer while you’re out shopping for groceries, the options here are better than you might expect given their prices.

You can find out more about Trader Joe’s as a store at https://www.traderjoes.com/. Its skin care products are sold in-store only.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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