When you have the money and time, getting a laser treatment at the dermatologist's office can do amazing things for your acne. For the rest of us, there's TRIA Skin Perfecting Blue Light ($245, Triabeauty.com). The hand-held device emits the same powerful blue light used by doctors' lasers, and it's incredibly easy to use. Once you turn it on, the beeping timer reminds you to move the light around to different areas, and it alerts you when you've reach your time limit for the day (TRIA should only be used 5 minutes a day). The light kills acne-causing bacteria, so your blemishes disappear and they are less likely to come back.
Dr. Nicholas Perricone has been helping stars like Gwyneth Paltrow keep their skin radiant with his line, Perricone MD. Now, he has a new line, SUPER, that uses the ingredients found in "superfoods" to target various skin concerns. For those with acne-prone skin, The Apple Family is for you! Quercetin, which is found in green apples, is comibined with malic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid to exfoliate the skin and control breakouts. During a particularly rough week for our skin, this foursome of products left us zit-free.
Remember the Stridex pads sold at drugstores? Think of Cane + Austin Retexturizing Body Pads ($70, Beauty.com) as the more grownup version for your body. Each pad is soaked in glycolic acid, so not only does it keep breakouts on your back and arms at bay, but it also firms skin and reduces the appearance of fine wrinkles.
When your skin is red and broken out, you want to hide under a mask, so how about putting on one that actually clears up your skin? Bliss's No 'Zit' Sherlock mask uses seaweed, tea tree, willow and menthol extracts to calm your skin and clean out pores. Once a week, follow directions to mix up the ingredients inside and apply the mixture to your face. Wait 20 minutes until the mask rubberizes and peel off. Pretty easy, right?
Not long after Clarisonic came out with their hand-held cleaning brush, the beauty world was singing their praises. Now the company is putting smiles on even more faces by introducing an Acne Clarifying Collection ($169, Clarisonic.com). Because flared-up skin is so sensitive, Clarisonic has developed a special brush that is soft and gentle on acne. And don't worry about getting a whole new Mia. The new brush head fits on all existing Clarisonic cleaning systems!
For those who suffer from acne, "smooth" is not exactly a word that describes skin, until now. Peter Thomas Roth has a new collection devoted to retexturizing skin without the use of lasers or expensive treatments. The Laser-Free Resurfacing Kit ($75, Sephora.com) features a scrub, a serum and a moisturizing gel that all repair skin with dragon's blood, a tree resin found in the Amazon.
Fresh's latest serum ($35, Fresh.com) uses Umbrian Clay to shrink pores and reduce shine. It also combats acidity, which can cause breakouts when too much is present. In short, this lightweight formula does wonders for skin's tone and texture.
The thought of getting a professional facial peel seems a little scary, especially when you hear the horror stories of people's bad reactions. MD Skincare offers an Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel ($28, Sephora.com) that is safe enough to use once a day at home, but still powerful enough to slough off dead skin that clogs pores. It's the best of both worlds in an easy-to-use pad.
Glytone creates skin products for in-office doctor use, but they also offer skin clearing items that can be used at home. Their Essential Mini Peel Gel ($54, Glytone-usa.com) is insanely easy to use. It involves putting a thin layer of the gel on your face, waiting 10 minutes, and washing it off. There was no burning or irritation, which made the whole process even better.
And since bad breakouts can leave scarring, we wouldn't feel right leaving you without a good solution. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Spot Treatment ($40.50, Kiehls.com) may say "Dark Spot," but it also goes after acne scars. It also leaves skin looking a little brighter after a couple of uses, so you can really start loving your reflection in the mirror.