Banishing Acne for a Bargain: Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick

DesertEssence1 It’s hard to top my favorite acne diminishing product, Osmia Organics’ Spot Treatment (see my full review HERE) and yet, I’ve found a worthy, bargain-priced contender: Desert Essence’s Blemish Touch Stick ($5.99). I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stumbled upon this natural, botanically-formulated skincare gem at Vitacost and was even more perplexed as to why other bloggers have not talked about it more. The Blemish Touch Stick swiftly treats acne spots and blemishes AND dries completely matte on skin after application. What?! Yep, you read that right. So you can treat your acne during the day, under makeup, moisturizer or serums without looking like a overly greasy, oily-spotted loony. DesertEssence2 Like most Desert Essence formulas, the Blemish Touch Stick combines a powerful proprietary blend of  sustainably-harvested, natural Tea Tree Oil with botanical essential oil extracts (Chamomile, Lavender, Palmarosa, Wintergreen and Calendula) to effectively diminish acne spots and skin imperfections while soothing and nourishing the skin. This product never leaves my face feeling dried out or flakey. I will note, this product feels and smells very potent on my sensitive skin. My skin did start to tingle and burn if I applied too much product to my face. Be especially careful if you apply to any areas near the eyes, it can easily cause irritation. Go easy with applying this product, there’s a ton to go around with the generous size of 0.31 fl oz.

“A combination of nine natural extracts and essential oils specially blended together in order to leave skin looking clear and radiant. The known antiseptic properties of Tea Tree Oil work to diminish skin imperfections while Chamomille, Lavender, Palmrose, Wintergreen and Calendula soothe and nourish the skin.”

The EWG Skin Deep Database rates this product at a low score of “2” for overall safety, see the details HERE. There’s no question I’ll always be true to the amazing Spot Treatment from Osmia Organics (the gentle formula and captivating scent alone has me shelling out dollars,) but when I need a quick, more affordable fix for my acne woes, Desert Essence’s Blemish Touch Stick will definitely be up there at the top of my repurchase list.

“Inspired by the healing spirit of the desert, our sustainable, natural products draw from nutrient rich desert botanicals like Jojoba, Aloe and Tee Tree, all revered in native culture for their deep healing properties. Naturally effective without harsh chemicals, our products work in harmony with your body to nurture, soothe and restore.”

Where to buy: Desert Essence always has great promotions on their site too, check this page for updated promos and deals. Until June 30th, get 25% off all orders using code: DESUN14 Visit Vitacost using my personal invite link and get $10 off a purchase of $30 or more HERE!

Have you tried the Blemish Touch Stick from Desert Essence? What are your favorite natural products for treating acne and blemishes?

Desert Essence products are produced and formulated: vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, from recyclable, biodegradable, renawable sources. Never formulated using animal derived ingredients or animal testing, no parabens, artificial fragrances/dyes, petroleum compounds (mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin), SLS, PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA or TEA, and no glycols or phtalates.  Ingredients: Natural grain alcohol denat., hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel), water, melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, aniba rosaneodora (rosewood) wood oil, calendula officinalis flower oil, cedrus deodara wood oil, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower oil, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) peel oil, cymbopogon martini oil (procumbens (wintergreen) leaf oil, lauvrus nobilis oil, lavandula spica (lavender) flower oil, lavandula augustifolia (lavender) oil, melaleuca viridiflora leaf oil (tea tree) myrtus communis oil (myrtle).

*Post contains affiliate links. All  opinions are my own, product purchased by me because I have acne too, guys!

Au Natural Factual: Willow Bark

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Willow bark is widely known as a natural pain reliever and has been historically used by herbalists to make medicine. Dating back to 400BC, Hippocrates left behind historical records documenting that patients suffering from pain and fever were advised to chew on willow bark or drink willow bark tea. Though still used today, willow bark was used for pain treatment throughout history by the Egyptians and by ancient Asian and European civilizations.

The herb is commonly used to cure pain (including back pain and osteoarthritis), headache, inflammatory conditions and also acne treatment. It can be found in supplement form, as an extract or as a tea. Willow bark is categorized as the bark from different tree and shrub species within the willow family. Native to Europe, Asia and some parts of North America. Commonly known species include white willow or European willow (Salix alba), black willow or pussy willow (Salix nigra), weeping willow (Salix babylonica), purple willow (Salix purpurea) and crack willow (Salix fragile).

White-Willow-Bark

Willow bark contains salicin, a chemical compound similar to aspirin and which when metabolized in the liver, becomes salicylic acid. Combined with the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds, flavonoids, willow bark’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects is thought to be attributed to salicin.

Salicylic acid is also why willow bark’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a natural acne treatment. Tannins, catechins, and flavonoids in willow bark provide antioxidant, fever reducing, antiseptic and astringent properties. The FDA has approved willow bark as a topical acne treatment.

In the 1800s, acetylsalicylic acid or, aspirin was developed combining salicylic acid with other chemicals after researching the effects of salicin in willow bark. According to studies, willow bark appears to bring pain relief more slowly than aspirin yet its observed effects may last longer. Historians believe that willow bark contributed to Ludwig von Beethoven’s death. His autopsy report recorded Beethoven had ingested large amounts of salicin before his death and  that he had a specific type of kidney damage that can be caused by salicin.

Taking willow bark as a pain reliever may increase the risk of bleeding yet less than when taking aspirin. There is little or no toxicity information on the use of willow bark, the EWG’s Skin Deep database rates the herb with low scores ranging from 0 to 2. It is advised that patients should monitor for blood in stool, nausea or vomiting and stomach or kidney irritation if using willow bark for pain relief.

Natural/Organic Products Containing Willow Bark:

White Willow Bark 100 capsules from Nature’s Herbs


Willow Bark Pure Pore Serum, 1.1 oz, Andalou Naturals


Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence

Facial Care Peach Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub 4 oz, Burt’s Bees

Sources (click for link): WebMD, University of Maryland Medical Center, Healthline, Drugs.com, Willow Bark and Acne, Aspirin History. Images: Wilderness Family NaturalsWikimedia Commons, Empower Network.