Who wants blemishes? And especially, who wants them as an adult? Not me.
Due to my rosacea, I’m a bit more acne prone than other adults. Throw in the hormone blemishes that I get as well, and you’ll understand why I like to keep good acne treatments around to use when I need them!
When treating my blemishes, I’ve found that I need to be gentle and I need to attack the blemishes with a few different active ingredients for them to go away quickly.
First, I’m gentle because bombarding the blemish with large amounts of an irritating ingredient just makes the blemish red and irritated. Rather than going away faster, this irritation seems to make my blemishes last a day or two longer and they are much harder to hide with makeup. If the dryness and irritation is widespread, that alone will increase my skin’s oil production and often lead to even more blemishes! So, I try to be gentle and don’t overdo it.
Second, there are a lot of different ingredients out there that treat acne. You can learn more about how blemishes start and how to treat them in my Acne 101 post. For me I need a combination of Salicylic Acid (which is anti-inflammatory and clears out pores) and Benzoyl Peroxide (helps kill the bacteria, p. acnes). Luckily, this kit from Dermalogica has great products for both!
The first product is the Breakout Foaming Wash. This has 0.5% Salicylic Acid, which is a lower amount than many other acne washes on the market which are almost always at 2%. 2% tends to dry out my skin, but the 0.5% is just enough to work on my blemish but still be pretty gentle. It has a light foam and removes everything from my skin without over drying it. It rinses off easily with just a bit of water. While you can use it twice a day, I only use it once a day when needed. This month I added it in to my daily skincare routine when I knew trouble was about to start, and just the face wash alone was enough to prevent most blemishes! I was very impressed.
On the few blemishes that I did get this month, I used the second product in this set, the Daytime Treatment, as a spot treatment. This product has both 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide and Niacinamide. While Benzoyl Peroxide is a very popular active ingredient in most acne spot treatments, the 10% that you find in most products is very harsh and irritating. My skin just can not handle it! The 2.5% in this spot treatment is enough to get the job done without turning the blemish into a red, scaly mess. The Niacinamide in the formulation has also been found to help acne, but also with decreasing inflammation and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
This duo got me through my “troubled time” with minimal issues. It’s just the right combo of the bare minimum amount of potentially irritating active ingredients. Just enough to work, but not enough to irritate my skin and make the whole thing worse. That balance is hard to get!