The Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water is naturally-derived and said to give a refreshing and calming effect on tired skin while mildly cleansing. The product revitalizes irritated, stressed-out skin with redness and helps to ease acne.
Tee Tree Oil is an essential oil with a fresh camphor scent derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, native to Australia. Aborigines have been using its healing qualities for thousands of years. Tea Tree Oil is made up of around 100 substances, including terpenes which are responsible for the ingredient’s reputation as a remedy. Tea Tree Water is basically Tea Tree Oil dispersed in water, whereas Tea Tree Oil is the product distilled from the leaves. This product incorporates these two ingredients at a combined concentration of 70%.
Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties, Tea Tree Oil has been typically used in low concentrations to treat conditions such as acne and skin infections. A study from the University of Minnesota found Tea Tree Oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide at treating acne but without the negative side effects of redness and peeling. Its ability to remove excess oils from skin by pushing out stale sebum deep within pores prevents blackheads and acne forming. Furthermore, natural astringent properties are also said to diminish the appearance of large pores.
As Tea Tree Oil contains volatile linalool, limonene and eucalyptol which can be sensitizing, it should only ever be applied in a diluted form to skin, as presented in this instance by Benton.
Butylene Glycol improves the effectiveness of other skincare products. It increases the penetration of ingredients with higher molecular weights to ensure their maximum benefit is achieved. It also displays humectant properties, drawing moisture to the skin from the atmosphere to boost hydration. The same properties make Glycerine a popular inclusion in cosmetic products. It deeply hydrates the outer layer of the skin by drawing moisture in while simultaneously reducing its evaporation rate on the surface.
Rounding off the ingredient list are Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate and Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate which are cleansing agents; Sodium Chloride also known as regular table salt, added for its preservative function and Dipropylene Glycol a solvent.
Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerine, 1,2-Hexanedoil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Sodium Chloride
The Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water is packaged in a plastic bottle with controlled flip top cap dispenser.
The analysis proves extremely clean, both the CosDNA and EWG reports, awarding this product a green flag, confirming a gentle formulation. This is to be expected with such a short ingredient list free from PEGs, sulfates, artificial colorants and fragrance.
The Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water can be used as a makeup remover or morning cleanser. Wet a cotton pad with the product and gently wipe over the entire face. Place the wet cotton pad for a while on parts that need thorough cleansing and then gently wipe. (Using an eye makeup remover is recommended to erase eye makeup).
As the name suggests, the Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water has a distinct camphorous tea tree oil scent.
The price of the 200ml bottle is around USD$18.00.
The product has a two year shelf life and must be used within 6 months of opening.
I was surprised to read that the company name Benton is inspired by the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in which the protagonist reverses the ageing cycle and grows younger with time. This reflects Benton’s desire to restore skin back to its original, healthy condition without resorting to using harmful ingredients. The Benton Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Water is a classic example of such skincare.
It comes in a clear plastic bottle with minimalist labeling, giving it a clean and sleek appearance. It is a good weight and easy to handle. The flip top cap makes controlled dispensing simple, even with one hand operation. Upon opening, the natural smell of tea tree is obvious but not overpowering. The liquid looks like regular water although shaking the bottle activates the surfactants and it foams.
In trialing this product, I used it as I would a micellar water, to remove makeup and sunscreen as well as general impurities built up throughout the day. The instructions clearly advise against applying it around the eyes as even in the diluted form essential oils are known irritants. Although the concentration of tea tree oil in this formulation is suitably low and hence the potential of reaction similarly unlikely, should tea tree oil come into contact with eyes, it may result in redness, surface irritation and discomfort. Given that, I think Benton is taking a responsible stance and erring on the side of caution with this warning.
I applied this by wetting a cotton pad and swiping it across my face, of course avoiding the eye area. Light makeup and sunscreen can be erased using 1-2 lightly soaked cotton rounds, heavier makeup with 3-4. Skin contact made no impact in terms of sensitivities or stinging. It feels very gentle and the medicinal scent is reassuring in this way.
I was instantly impressed with how well this water removed my surface makeup. There was no need to rub or apply firm pressure. It simply lifted. Even long stay lipsticks just disappeared with a minimum of effort. Having said that, eye makeup is always the hardest to remove efficiently and this had to be achieved with an alternative product which adds a step to the routine. The above image shows swatches of lipsticks including long stay varieties, brow pencils and eyeliners including water proof, liquid and pencil types. The centre image shows the results after a single swipe, the last indicating a full cleanse was achieved after less than 10 seconds of light massage. Although not recommended for eye makeup, the image shows that it is effective at its removal regardless.
The cleanse leaves my skin feeling refreshed. I think the scent contributes to this sensation as it is an integral part of the experience. Camphorous fragrance always triggers refreshing and medicinal reflections, at least for me personally.
As a morning cleanser, it performs equally well. Oils and general impurities that may build up on the skin overnight are easily, gently and effectively removed without the skin feeling stripped or dry, an observation supported by an ideal, slightly acidic pH. Benton claims a measure of 6, my test confirming around 5.5. The absence of lab conditions would account for the variation.
However, what I didn’t like, was the residue left behind. It feels much like the aftermath of using a micellar water which in practice, I always follow with a water-based cleanser. Even though adding layers over the top covered up that sensation, applying them felt uncomfortable. It isn’t tacky but skin smoothness is altered and there’s less slip and more resistance when simply running your fingers over your face. If you wait long enough (20-30 minutes), it lessens but there are enough lapses in my routine without adding a cleansing delay as well. It’s not really time practical. As such, when I used it as an a.m. cleanser to freshen and neutralise oils, I allowed a few minutes for the product to work and then followed up with a light rinse of water to eliminate that after feel. Given that, it’s not surprising to hear that I prefer using this as a first step in the evening when the residue can be totally removed by the second cleanse.
One of the main reasons tea tree oil is introduced for cleansing is its ability to control acne. I have never partaken in such a ritual as I fortunately don’t suffer from this condition in terms of pimples, however I am prone to blackheads caused by my combination skin. I am interested to see how far this product can go towards controlling such breakouts and hopefully even preventing them. Ten days is probably too short to gauge differences in blackheads since they build up over a period of several days and take forever to pop out naturally even with physical exfoliation and treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. However, observations certainly indicated an improvement in oil control which in theory should improve my situation over the longer term. For the record, no new blackheads appeared while using this product. I anticipate that this cleanser would be an effective acne fighter and the science backs this up.
Finally, the water is said to have calming properties that reduce redness. I don’t generally suffer pigmentation issues although my chin is probably the most sensitive part of my face and will sometimes flare up in response to environmental factors, stress or topical reactions. None were observed during the trial so I cannot attest to how well the cleanser responded to redness on the face. However, my neck can also react with redness immediately after applying some perfumes. Such redness usually calms without treatment after a few hours. As this occurred during the trial, I applied the tea tree cleansing water to gauge whether it made any impact to that recovery time. It responded by calming this reaction as instantly as it appeared. Furthermore, I have found this to be a great soother after waxing or shaving body hair. These observations certainly support the claim of skin calming benefits.
The Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water is a gentle face wash that effectively removes makeup, making it an ideal first step in a night time skincare routine. In doing so, the only disadvantage is that it doesn’t safely remove eye makeup since tea tree is an essential oil which can cause redness, surface irritation, inflammation or discomfort if it comes into contact with the eye. Therefore, an additional step is required to achieve a full face cleanse. If it’s more important to control acne than to have an all-in-one cleanser, then this overhead is definitely worth it. If you don’t suffer breakouts, then you may find an oil cleanser that removes all makeup suits you better since it reduces the number of steps in the evening routine. It’s a balancing act dependent on how you prioritise skin benefits and how you best enjoy removing makeup.
Furthermore, it also goes a long way towards successfully balancing facial oils, making it an ideal inclusion for those with oily, combination and acne prone skin. It is gentle, refreshing and effective. Normal to dry skin types may not appreciate the oil balancing effects but might find this handy for its cleansing strengths.
|Safe, fragrance free formulation||Only available online for Australian customers|
|Gentle enough to use twice daily||Not suitable for eye makeup removal|
|Cleans without drying||Leaves a slight residue|
|Balances facial oils|
|Excellent alternative to micellar water|
|Soothes skin after hair removal|
|Ideal for oily, combination and acne prone skin|
Benton’s website and provided product information
Tea Tree Oil webMD
Tea Tree Oil Wikipedia
The Tea Tree Skin “Miracle” – The 7 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Body Ecology
16 Beauty Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil for Skin, Hair & More Beauty Munsta
Tea Tree Oil Paula’s Choice Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary
Butylene Glycol The Dermatology Review
Dipropylene Glycol Truth In Aging
Can Tea Tree Oil Cause Blindness? Kate Beck
What is Glycerine and how effective is it in skincare Samantha Miller
Please read in context with my disclaimer.
This product was provided to me free of charge by Benton for review. This post only includes my honest opinion and experience of this product and is in no way influenced by Benton or any of its representatives.