I love what Brits call pimples: Spots. It makes it sound so benign, almost cute.
“Oh, you’ve got a spot.”
“Really? Let me brush it off.”
If only it were that easy.
We Americans have slightly more aggressive terms for those little suckers: Zit, Acne, Eruption, Blemish, Bacteria-clogged Pustules. Ew.
From 21 to 41, we all suffer from those miserable little “spots.” And now that it’s back-to-school, back-to-work, or just plain back-to-life, you’ll want to put your best face forward. Thankfully, the editors, staff and interns at Audrey have tried our share of acne treatments. So here are some that actually work.
For sensitive skin:
Camelia says she’s allergic to everything. “I’m lucky enough to have both sensitive skin and a million allergies to basically everything under the sun,” she says, “so when I find beauty products that won’t irritate my skin or give me hives, I can’t help but jump for joy.” Camelia tried out Boscia’s Willow Bark Breakout Treatment and has declared it her “new best friend.”
“It comes out of the bottle as a light, clear gel so I don’t have to worry about my pores being clogged; definitely a plus when I’m out and about in the warm weather,” says Camelia, who is based in the high humidity city of Chicago.
The Willow Bark Treatment is preservative-free and contains Vitamins E and C that fight free radicals and prevent future breakouts. The willow herb also helps to calm inflammation and the soapberry peel (rich in saponin) purifies and heals the skin.
For stubborn spots:
Han has generally clear skin. But occasionally she’ll get that one stubborn spot. Here’s what she had to say about Murad Acne Spot Treatment.
“I had just gotten back from Chicago and New York for some vacay time, and thanks to all the yummy but heart-clogging food my friends had treated me, I was breaking out. Not like gross junior-high-I-just-hit-puberty breaking out, but my skin wasn’t as nice as it usually was.
“There was one particular blemish, though tiny, that was bugging me. It was the only blemish as my skin had only turned a little irregular in color, so I focused all my attention on getting rid of it. Soap, astringents, and easing off the junk food did nothing.
“I put a tiny dot of Murad Acne Spot Treatment Step 2: Treat/Repair on my finger and gingerly applied it after washing up. Crawling into bed, I hoped that something would happen.
“The next morning, it was gone! What had been a bump had disappeared. Pleased, I treated myself to a sundae.
“Sometimes, there are such things as miracles.”
Get it here.
For hormonal pimples:
It’s simply not fair to have to deal with wrinkles, discoloration and pimples. Not fair at all. (Fifty percent of adult women deal with acne.) And while I’m still shaking my fist at the complexion gods, at least they sent a salve called La Roche-Posay Effaclar AI Intensive Acne Spot Treatment. With 5 percent benzoyl peroxide (twice as much as most over-the-counter treatments) to zap zits, Effaclar AI also contains lipo-hydroxy acid, a pro-exfoliating molecule designed to micro-exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell renewal. What does that mean? Less residual dark spots and more even skin tone. What it means to me is my spot diminishes twice as fast and with less pain and torture.
It’s now available online at their official website.
For heavy duty zit whacking:
One of the benefits (or downsides — you decide) of being married to an editor is you get to be the guinea pig for all manner of beauty products. The husband of a certain editor (who shall remain nameless, but really, it’s not hard to figure out) still gets that occasional angry pimple. (He sleeps on his face, uses all sorts of waxes and sprays on his long-ish hair — no big surprise.) So we pulled out the big guns for him: Glytone Acne Treatment Gel with 10% benzoyl peroxide. Ten percent! Needless to say, it does the job, but to prevent overdrying, use it for your occasional, super-angry spot.
The whole shebang:
If you need or want more than just an occasional spot treatment, go with what one editor swears by. The packaging may not be oh-so pretty, but Clearogen does the job. A three-step acne treatment and prevention system addresses both the causes and symptoms of hormonal and stress-induced acne. Created by board certified dermatologist Dr. Alex Khadavi, Clearogen attacks DHT (dihydro-testosterone) which causes oil glands to become overactive. Clinical studies show a 95 percent success rates, with results seen in as little as 30 days. Our editor swears it’s the first system that’s ever prevented a PMS pimple. Now that’s progress.
Get the three-piece set (foaming cleanswer, clarifying toner and acne lotion) for $69 at Clearogen.com.