Tried and True: 8 Acne and Blemish Products That Work for Dax

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I thought my acne would stop once I stopped going through puberty… but to my surprise it hasn’t! While I may not have known how to treat my acne back then, living with hormonal, cystic acne and plain old white heads has gotten the slightest bit easier for me. I’ve tried my fair share of products that claim to zap pimples and what not, so here’s which ones have made the cut. Just in time for Acne Awareness Month.

I would like to note that diet and lifestyle definitely play a huge part in your skin’s condition! While it’s easy to slap on any product, a healthier change in diet or lifestyle may make a bigger difference.

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Boscia Clear Complexion Willow Bark Spot Treatment

This product is a great example of my favorite type of spot treatment. I love spot treatment pens, especially those with salicylic acid in them. Boscia’s spot treatment contains willow bark extract which is naturally derived salicylic acid. Not only will this pen diminish the size of your pimple in as little as one day, it’ll also work to reduce scarring or pigmentation. It has Vitamin C and Vitamin E to help do that. The last main ingredient in here is philodendron bark extract which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. That last ingredient is new to me, but overall this pen seems to work great. I can use it on cystic acne and it’ll clear up in a few days to a week (cystic are the less forgiving types of pimples). For whiteheads, they could be gone in as little as a day. This is something I usually use at night, just because I forget to apply it in the morning, but I’m sure that doing it morning and night will speed up the healing process.

The only downside to spot treatments in the form of a pen is that I go through them so quickly! I probably used this for three weeks before I ran out. Now, I do have acne prone skin and I usually get lots of pimples. If you’re someone with occasional breakouts, this would last you much longer. This is an issue I had with Glossier’s Zit Stick as well, which I ran out of in two weeks.

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Dermalogica AGE Bright Spot Fader

Dermalogica’s spot treatment seems to have more of a focus on fading the pigmentation that a pimple can leave behind. While it does work to clear breakouts with salicylic acid, it also contains niacinamide which is great for reducing inflammation and pigmentation. Something I particularly like about this product is its applicator. The applicator is similar to a spatula allowing you to apply the product evenly. It also twists open and closed so you won’t experience any leakage. I think there’s a good amount of product in here to last me more than two or three weeks. If you compare the Boscia spot treatment (0.14 fl oz) and the Dermalogica one (0.5 fl oz), you can see that Dermalogica’s spot treatment has more product. That being said, it’s also more expensive at $45.

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Malin + Goetz Nighttime Acne Treatment

I usually don’t have much luck with sulfur spot treatments. Two very popular ones are the Drying Lotion from Mario Badescu and Kate Somerville’s Eradikate. Neither of these really worked for me at all to my surprise. I’ve heard such great things about both, but no results for me. That just goes to show how products can work differently for everyone! The Malin + Goetz sulfur acne treatment is the only one I’ve tried that’s actually worked for me. While it won’t work on cystic acne, it does pretty well on whiteheads or pimples that have come to a head. The ingredients in this product include active sulfur, salicylic acid, organic camphor and zinc oxide. This isn’t my go-to product for blemishes simply because I don’t like waking up with crumbs of sulfur on parts of my face that I didn’t apply the product to lol. That’s probably something that’s gonna happen with any of sulfur spot treatment though.

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Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch

OK here we go. These pimple patches are my all time favorite type of spot treatment!! I love them so much that I bought the 72 count box of the original patches as well as having a box of the “invisible” patches. What’s great about these is that you can see the patch absorb all the gunk out of your pimple. It’s gross, but wow is it satisfying to see a product work before your own eyes. I use these at night after cleansing and before applying any other product, just because it sticks better on bare, cleansed skin. If you put it over a serum or moisturizer it might slide around and not give you the results you’d expect. These are hydrocolloid stickers that are also free from latex for those of you who may be allergic. For someone like me, who is always subconsciously picking at pimples, this is a fantastic solution. I cannot stress enough how much these have saved me, especially when I’m on vacation!

Curology

At one point around two years ago I was really struggling with cystic acne, probably mostly due to hormones to be honest. Anyways, I was desperate for it to go away because my jawline was constantly covered in painful bumps. After seeing ads for Curology everywhere, I decided to give it a go using their free trial. The best part about Curology is that they formulate a product specifically for your type of acne. You send in some photos of your skin and then they send you the formula. After using my formula for a few months I saw a visible difference in my skin. I was still breaking out along my jawline, but not nearly as much. The acne on the sides of my face started to go away as well. I probably would never have gotten to where I am now in my skincare journey without Curology. I still use it! Just not as much because my acne isn’t as bad as before. I had recently spoken with my Curology provider about upping the percentage of azelaic acid in my formula because I wanted to focus more on the pigmentation that acne leaves behind.

I highly recommend giving Curology a try if you feel like you’ve done everything you can for your skin. I’m definitely glad I did. Just a heads up, they recommend that you only use Curology, cleanser and moisturizer at least for the first few weeks so that your skin adjusts to it. This link will give you your own free trial!

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Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster

Paula’s Choice boosters have worked amazingly for my skin. I have the Vitamin C booster as well! Like I said before, niacinamide is anti-inflammatory, so pimples that are inflamed will reduce in size. It will also help even out pigmentation or scarring and get rid of any congestion in your skin. I often get really congested when I travel, so this comes with me everywhere. It’s super easy to use, just adding it to your serums or moisturizers. You can even use it alone. Its consistency is watery and light so I like to add it to a thicker serum. If I use it alone it usually falls through the cracks between my fingers and I feel like that wastes product. Especially since it’s not that big of a size and $44. I use this morning and night, in the morning I’ll also use the Vitamin C booster which has helped immensely with my pigmentation and acne scarring issues.

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Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Yet another Paula’s Choice product that I love! Using this regularly definitely helped reduce the amount of breakouts I was experiencing. This is something that I use at night after cleansing. Apply the liquid onto a cotton pad and swipe your face. Since it exfoliates, I don’t use any kind of physical exfoliant, like face scrubs, prior to applying this product. Sometimes I feel like the cotton pad can be a little too rough so I also choose to apply it with my hands and pat it on my skin. It’s really easy to over-exfoliate and that will only make your skin worse, so be mindful of how many acids you’re putting on! A mistake I definitely made when I was younger was applying every acne product I had. In the end, it did more damage than help.

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Omorovicza Silver Skin Saviour

This mask can also be used like a spot treatment, however I do find it a bit sticky. You’re gonna want to put your hair back before you apply this! It contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid and niacinamide as well as colloidal silver which has anti-bacterial properties. Because of the glycolic acid and niacinamide, this mask will help reduce pigmentation while healing break outs with salicylic acid and colloidal silver. This is something I would use maybe twice a week on the days that I’m not using any other exfoliating acids. For example, if I were to use this mask with the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid, I might end up with over exfoliated skin.

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