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Whether you encounter the occasional monster zit, or you’re facing the daily struggle with acne, breakouts are a thing that pretty much all of us have to face at one point or another. Of course they come at the most inopportune times (the morning of your class pictures, the day of that wedding you’re a bridesmaid in, the day of YOUR wedding), often leaving us in a pimple-induced panic. While there are tons of ways to conceal those pesky blemishes when they come about, what we really want is for them to not even be there are all. Not only are breakouts an eyesore, but they can also be painful and downright annoying. So what can you do to help calm and heal those pesky pimples? Enter, this trio.
As someone who’s suffered from acne for the past 15 years, I’ve tried my hand at a number of different products to combat breakouts. Of everything, these three products are hands down my favorites. Instead of your traditional chemicals like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, they use natural ingredients and botanicals to help clear up blemishes and soothe irritated skin. So, if you’re as tired as I was of ruining my sheets and towels, or of having your face be a red, flaky mess, give these natural powerhouses a try.
LUSH Grease Lightning Tea Tree Cleanser ($15.95)
The magical concoction that lives in this tiny black bottle is one of the best products I’ve used for mattifying oily skin and drying up pimples. With known bacteria fighters like tea tree, thyme, rosemary and witch hazel, existing blemishes are zapped at the source. Calming lavender and soothing aloe counteract the potential drying properties of the other ingredients while also reducing redness and irritation.
I think the “cleanser” name is a bit misleading, as I consider this product to be more of a spot treatment to be used on a freshly cleansed face. It’s a very lightweight, cooling gel that does dry to a bit of a tight finish, so moisturizer to follow is a must! I like to dab a little on any active breakouts that I have, and also put a thin layer along my t-zone to help keep the oiliest part of my face a bit more matte throughout the day. The handy pump bottle is also very purse friendly, so you can get at those pimples as soon as you feel one coming.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil ($10)
Discovering Tea Tree Oil had to be the biggest breakthrough that I’ve made in combating my acne. In the past the only thing that seemed to clear up my breakouts even a little bit was a strong dose of Benzoyl Peroxide. The trade off, however, was that I ruined countless towels, pillowcases and shirts as they were bleached wherever they came into contact with my face. Not to mention that there’s something very unsettling about putting something on your face that has the same effect on all your stuff as a cap full of Clorox.
I had always hoped I could find something that was equally effective as prescription medication that wouldn’t be so nasty to my skin. And then I bought this tiny glass bottle and my prayers were answered. Tea Tree Oil does a fantastic job of drying up blemishes without being overly harsh to your skin (or to your laundry).
It does have a bit of a strong smell (it sort of reminds me of eucalyptus) and can burn a tiny bit on application, but I find it to be more than worth it when I see how quickly my pimples clear up. Dab a little on active breakouts using a clean finger or q-tip before bedtime and you’ll be pleased to find happier skin in the morning. And, if my word isn’t good enough, the fact that my super low-maintenance boyfriend has started using this on the regular should convince you that this stuff really does work.
Mario Badescu Drying Cream ($17.00)
Sometimes pimples can just be pure evil. They swell, they hurt, and they make us generally miserable. Whenever one of these types erupts on my face, I immediately reach for my Drying Cream. With aloe and sulfur, a small dab of this clay-like cream, cranky skin is immediately soothed. Since it does dry to a matte finish you could either wear this under your makeup to heal while you conceal, or use it as an overnight spot treatment at bedtime. I will warn you that it is stinky, thanks to the sulfur. However, I find that the smell fades once the product dries on my skin.