31 Jan 2017

skincare heroes for blemishes (+ reviews!)

For many years, I've struggled with my skin. I wouldn't say it was bad enough to be described as acne but my skin was never without at least a blemish or two. Let's not even talk about those horrific big, red lumps that would crop up from time to time - always when I had something important the next day!

Now, my skin is much improved and this is due, in part, to a better diet and skincare routine. It also helped that I eventually realised my skin wasn't actually as naturally oily as I had thought it was - it was just very dehydrated! Now it is normal/combination and my complexion is so much better as a result.

Anyway, today, I want to just talk through a few of products targeted at blemishes as exam season is fast approaching and we all know that exam stress and comfort eating is the perfect recipe for a break out.

From L to R: Freederm Fast Track, Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion, La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I., Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, Murad Blemish Spot Treatment, Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel.
Freederm Fast Track
This was one of the first products I tried for spot treatment - mainly because of how easy it is to get hold of it and also how often it was on offer in Boots or Superdrug. Although it promises it the world, I found that it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. It has a translucent gel-like texture and the idea is to put a tiny amount on the head of the spot in order to reduce its size and redness. I found that a cool wet cloth would decrease redness better than this gel.
Rating: 1/5

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
The Buffering Lotion is aimed at those under the skin, red, cystic bumps and having tried it on both cystic spots and whiteheads, I have found that this product is one of the better ones. It is one of the pricer products I've tried but it actually does work! It works better on spots with a head in my experience. Within a few hours of application, the spot has decreased in size and redness.

Remember to shake before use and then apply a small drop to the spot in question. It dries clear (though if you apply too much, it can leave behind a slight white powdery cast) so it can be used under make up. It can sting a little (probably due to the alcohol in it!) so just be aware of that. My skin isn't that sensitive so I can get away with it. I got mine from Beauty Bay as I'm not aware of any other UK stockists! They often have discount codes floating about so it's worth waiting for one before ordering this if you want to give it a try.

This one is permanently in my handbag as I can apply it a few times during the day in an effort to bring the blemish down as quickly as possible.

Rating: 4/5

La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. 
I've had huge success with La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo [+] so I was eager for Effaclar A.I. to do the same for any blemishes that crop up. It is a white cream which dries clear so again, would be okay to use under make up, but it takes a bit longer to work than Mario Badescu's Buffering Lotion. However, it is a lot gentler and doesn't cause any stinging on application. I probably won't repurchase this once this tube is done because I've found a more effective product to go under my make-up.

Rating: 3/5

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Another Mario Badescu offering! I was skeptical about this when I first heard about it in 2012 but I'm glad I gave it a go back then. This is my 'holy grail' spot treatment and one that I would recommend for those difficult to deal with cystic spots. In contrast with the Buffering Lotion, this is one bottle you do not shake before use. Instead, dip a cotton bud in all the way to the pink stuff at the bottom and then apply to each blemish as needed. It dries with a pink cast and is best left overnight. I usually put it on a spot before I go to bed and when I wake up, I wash off the pink cast to see that the blemish has either gone down significantly or has pretty much almost disappeared without a trace.

Again, this could sting a little so make sure to only apply on the blemish and not on healthy skin. As before, I bought this from Beauty Bay.

Rating: 5/5

Murad Blemish Spot Treatment
Another dud product I've tried. It didn't do anything and I only resort to it when absolutely desperate (and even then, it does nothing!). Doesn't dry completely clear but could potentially still be used under make up. It is a yellow gel which is easy to apply and doesn't have a strong fragrance. The one (and probably only) benefit is that it doesn't sting.

Rating: 1/5

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
This product is basically just an alcohol gel in a plastic bottle! It stings like mad when you apply it onto a blemish (and can even make your eyes water if you apply it to a spot that is close to your eyes). I guess the main goal of it is to dry out the blemish but there are better products out there that do this and more.

Rating: 1/5

Other products I've tried but not mentioned:
Cosrx Acne Pimple Patches - actual life savers for those spots you've popped. Apply over a popped spot and the hydrocolloid plaster sucks out all the gunk whilst helping the skin to heal quicker.
Benzoyl peroxide - can be good as a spot treatment as it dries out the blemish whilst killing bacteria. Can be drying on the skin and increases skin sensitivity to UV light so a sunscreen is a must when using this!

1 comment

  1. I hate Murad's spot treatment too, but I do like their oil free mattifying moisturizer. I've used it for years and it keeps my skin hydrated without adding a ton of extra oil that my skin desperately does not need.