Banish the Blemish & Control the Oil For Acne Awareness Month

banish the blemish and control the oil

Yes, a giant pimple makes me wanna walk around covering my face, too.


June may be Acne Awareness Month, but the battle for clear skin is a year-round undertaking. Take charge of your complexion and exile pimples once and for all with the right ingredients — salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, green tea — and for every step of your skin care regimen.


banish the blemish and control the oil


Cleanse: Don’t strip skin — coddle it with gentle yet effective cleansers 

In the battle against acne and oily skin, the first step is a cleanser with salicylic acid to penetrate sebum-clogged pores. This one also contains the astringent witch hazel and oleanolic acid, an olive leaf extract to soothe inflammation and reduce redness. Clinical studies show a 94% reduction in excess oiliness after use. Cosmedicine Healthy Cleanse-Oily, $52,

It’s a myth that acne is caused by dirt; in fact, stripping your skin of its natural oils can lead to an overproduction of oil and clogged pores. So make sure to use a cleanser that’s SLS-free (sodium lauryl sulfate), like this one, which also has lavender and tea tree extracts to balance sebum, as well as antioxidant green tea extract to calm irritated skin. Elemental Herbology Cool & Clear Facial Cleanser, $52,


Tone: Prep and hydrate skin to better absorb treatments

After cleansing, balance skin’s pH with a toning mist. Willow bark (a milder form of salicylic acid), bearberry and peach extracts, which is naturally rich in AHAs, also help to reduce sebum in this all-natural, botanical-rich toner. John Masters Bearberry Skin Balancing & Toning Mist, $30,


banish the blemish and control the oil


Treat: This is where you send in the big guns

The potency of this blemish treatment, which contains a combined 8% AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) for some serious exfoliation, is only exceeded by its all-natural and organic ingredient list, which makes it surprisingly gentle on skin. Ecco Bella Natural Leave-On Invisible Exfoliant and Blemish Remedy, $31,

This intensive acne fighter features tea tree oil that is microencapsulated for a sustained release of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory oil fighters all day long, while willow bark extract penetrates pores and buchu leaf extract mattifies skin. Éminence Clear Skin Targeted Treatment, $65,

I love anything in pad or wipe form (hey, I have a 17-step regimen, so I’m allowed to be a bit lazy). Pore penetrating salicylic acid (2%), soothing aloe vera and witch hazel, which has an astringent effect, help prep skin for subsequent acne treatments, all in a convenient one-time use pad. ClarityMD Skin Clarifying Acne Pads, $25,

Sometimes you need to bring out the big boys for serious breakout emergencies. Benzoyl peroxide in this spot treatment helps shrink existing blemishes and prevent future, persistent breakouts. Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion, $17.50,


banish the blemish and control the oil


Moisturize: Don’t skip this step, even if you have oily skin

Even oily and acne-prone skin needs hydration, especially if you’re using potent acne treatments, which can sometimes be drying. This organic moisturizer has lilac stem cells, which were shown in a clinical study to reduce excess sebum by 72%. Acure Oil Control Facial Moisturizer, $16.99,

Adult acne is on the rise, and more and more people are finding themselves battling both pimples and wrinkles. A well-formulated moisturizer can help with both, and this one not only fights wrinkles with kombucha, retinol and glycolic acid, it also helps clear breakouts all day with encapsulated salicylic acid. Murad Advanced Acne & Wrinkle Reducer, $44,

You don’t get just willow bark extract to help purge pores in this moisturizer — a host of active botanicals help sop up excess sebum, normalize oil production, and mattify. The soothing gel texture is a bonus for troubled, irritated skin. Ren Clarimatte T-Zone Balancing Gel Cream, $52,

Antibacterial tea tree oil, healing geranium oil and astringent rosemary oil work in concert with antioxidant ingredients to balance oily skin. Elemental Herbology Moisture Milk, $86,


banish the blemish and control the oil


Mask: Once a week, treat skin to an intensive treatment

A hydrogel mask not only cling to the contours of your face better that a cotton or paper sheet mask, it offers cooling relief, especially important when your face is battling a breakout. So sit back and relax while green tea helps to reduce inflammation and reduce sebum production, and marine collagen hydrates and softens skin. Boscia Green Tea Mattifying Hydrogel Mask, $8,

Activated charcoal is known for its detoxifying properties, acting as a magnet for micro-pollutants in the skin, while kaolin and bentonite clays are stellar at absorbing excess oil. You get all this and two kinds of seaweed to protect skin from environmental pollutants and hydrate in this multi-tasking mask. Derma-e Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask, $19.50,

Since you wear a sheet mask for 20 minutes, it helps skin absorb nutrients from the serum better. This one is made from biodegradable wood pulp, which retains 50% more moisture than synthetic materials, while salicylic acid and anti-inflammatory honey treat and calm blemishes. Karuna Clarifying+ Face Mask, $28 for 4,


Impact photo: Christine Phung

Adapted from a story published in Composure Magazine.




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