Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash with Organic Tea Tree Oil and Awapuhi


292 reviews

66% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.3

Price: $$

Not tested on animals


Castile Soap (Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (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 Martini Oil (Palmarosa), Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Callitris Intratropica Wood Oil (Blue Cypress) *Eco-HarvestĀ®

on 7/16/2010 9:14:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

It was too drying for my face. My face felt so squeaky clean and taut that it became really v. uncomfortable.

So i used it to help with my back acne. Amazing! Cleared up my back acne so quickly!

on 7/12/2010 1:00:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Other, Cool

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I love this cleanser, I've been using it for about 6 months now. I use other cleansers in between too, but I think this one is the one i will use long term. It leaves my face squeaky clean and feels very organic, the consistency is a little watery though. I bought a giant 32 oz bottle online at vitacost, then i pour it out onto an old pump bottle. I think a big bottle should last me a year, what a deal ;).

on 7/8/2010 8:46:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have been using this for at least 2 years now and have recommended it to my friends. It took me awhile searching for a nonSLS that could still clean my face. I love the smell, I love tea tree oil :)

It can get drying, but I live in a humid country; so it works fine. I use it morning and night. I've bought the really big bottles and use my own dispenser.

on 6/30/2010 3:47:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Holy hell this smells NASTY! I can smell the hawaiian ginger in it, which I like, but otherwise ewwww. For being all natural it smells TOXIC! Once it's rinsed though it has a more plant/soapy smell on my skin that I don't mind. That being said, I really like this cleanser. I have combo skin, a tiny bit oily with a few dry patches, just a little acne around my chin and forehead. That being said, I have some stubbon tiny acne bumps on my forhead - those pesky little bumps that you can only see up close that won't go away. Salacylic acid never works, and Benzoyl Peroxide I respond to pretty well, but neither helped in this case. I used this cleanser and I can see them going away! Now I'm hoping it will get rid of the little patch on my chin. The blackheads on my nose seem to be going away too. It is not drying for me at all. If anything my skin feels softer after washing. I think if I was feeling under the weather or hungover I could just not bring myself to use it since I hate the smell, but I love what it does, so I'll keep using it until I find the next best thing!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/22/2010 6:30:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

This is my HG cleanser for my sensitive, dry, acne prone skin. My face feels clean after using this, and it takes off makeup so well that I even use it to wash off some of my makeup brushes (it takes off more makeup than my Sephora Brush Shampoo). This has also helped tone down my acne, since whenever I stop using this my acne tends to come back worse.

I don't really like the pump because it squirts out the product, but I don't mind it much because this cleanser works so well. While my skin does feel dry after using this, I moisturize well with Cetaphil afterwards. I've used this cleanser for about 4+ years now, and although I do switch cleansers every now and then I always end up coming back to this one.

EDIT: This cleanser seems more like liquid soap. As I started trying out better cleansers that are gentle but cleanses well, this cleanser pales in comparison because it leaves a tight feeling. I definitely won't buy this again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 6/7/2010 10:40:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This is my first review, although I have spent dozens of hours researching products on MA. And this product is my Holy Grail.

My skin WAS terribly congested, acne-prone, and tomato-red with uneven texture and acne-scars. I was living under layers of thick foundation (Lancome Teinte Idole Ultra -- about one $55 CDN bottle every two months).

For the past few weeks, I have devoted myself to a strict regimen of Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean twice per day to cleanse, followed by a toner of witch hazel in the mornings, and apple cider vinegar/green tea/aspirin toner in the evenings (50/50 and ten powder-crushed pills). After the morning toner application, I apply a simple moisturizer (Life Brand's generic "Cetaphil") mixed with a good dose of tea tree oil, and dab any remaining acne spots with Benzoyl Peroxide. After cleansing at night, I apply the ACV/GT/aspirin toner every half hour or so for a few hours. The reason for using two different toners is that the ACV smell is far too intense for daytime, and the undissolved bits of aspirin are rather grainy.

The results: my skin congestion is almost completely resolved, I am just clearing up some small residual pore-plugs, my skin is as smooth as the halcyon days of my youth, and the redness has improved by about 80% -- with a corresponding 80% reduction in my make-up coverage.

The DE cleanser, itself, REALLY cleans my face. Points deducted for the watery product, but I picked up a "foaming bottle" at the Dollarama, and it works beautifully. One pump of the foamed product is plenty.

Like many of you, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on products over the years (I just turned 40). I am so very grateful to the reviewers on MUA for helping me find a regimen that is highly effective, inexpensive, and natural.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 5/7/2010 3:19:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Wasn't what I expected at all. So this is the second product that marks my love for all organic facial cleansers ending. While it isn't completely harsh, it leaves my skin tighter than I feel comfortable, esp if I used this a lot. I'm beginning to understand that when it comes to organic facial cleansers, you get what you pay for. The best ones are the pricier ones starting from Suki's lemon grass cleanser ($32), then Mychelle's scrub ($28), then Korres Orange Emulsion ($24), then John Masters Rose face wash ($22). All of them superior to this in every way, meaning...they work and/or are very luxurious to use.

They're non-drying. Which is the biggest thing for me. Despite me being oily, I cannot stand dehydration in any form. Firm skin is nice (Suki's delivers that), but not when it is so tight that I'll become more oily because of it. I like my skin soft (hence, why you should always use organic, because no chemicals).

They're organic. Organic comes secondary to the drying issue, but it's a nice thing to know. Gives me peace of mind, and I feel like I'm taking good care of myself. No drawbacks, if a product works and is organic, it's a hands down winner.
Thirdly, the scent. If the scent is good, I always want to use it (L'occitane's hand cream, Suki's and John Masters cleansers, Fresh Rose Mask, etc).

This scent was horrible. Not something I wanted/expected to smell at all. I'm guessing I just don't like the tea tree scent. (as I tried their blemish stick too) It doesn't soothe me at all, and it would never make me look forward to cleaning my face. More like, dread...=(

This is not where it's at, ladies. There are better things out there. But my kudos to you for keeping it organic. Or at least, considering it.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/3/2010 3:14:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I bought this product over a year ago when I was trying to use more natural and cruelty-free products. After using for awhile, I started to notice breakouts which I blamed on the makeup I was using, then the moisturizer, my diet, and so on.

The only thing that hasn't changed is the use of this cleanser, and my face is breaking out constantly. I am under a lot of stress (grad student, can't be helped...), but I need a good cleanser to help prevent breakouts despite my stress. I'm thinking I'm either allergic to the ingredients, they changed the formula at some point (I'm on my second bottle), or it is just too drying.

Biggest Problems:
-My skin is very dry
-Irritates existing bumps/causes them to scab
-Bumps aren't healing well
-Cystic pimples constantly (when I used to have maybe 1 or two a year).

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have been wanting to try this face wash for months and was so excited when I finally bought it. I read lots of raves reviews of how it cleared acne and was great for sensitive skin. This wash seems perfect in theory: tea tree, cruelty free, no chemicals. But this was the worst thing I ever put on my face. I guess my skin couldn't handle all of the oils and castile soap. It burned very badly. And as I lathered my face it would sting terribly. This was quite painful and highly irritating to me. Words can't describe how irritated my face looked after washing. My face was red and blotchy. I stopped using this after 2 days. I was very dissapointed and just threw it away.

on 4/20/2010 1:50:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I would buy this again because of its ingredients and because my usual cleanser (Natural Body Sea Cleanse) is so expensive. However, I really feel like it strips my dehydrated/oily acne prone skin. And even though my skin feels stripped, it doesn't take off all of the makeup. However, my husband uses it with no problems.

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