THE IN-TRAY

Acne, pimples, breakouts, spots: the 6 products to make them disappear

By now we all know that acne isn’t mutually exclusive with teenagers—and whether by way of your monthly cycle, stress reaction, dietary sensitivity or journey through menopause, the odd spot, zit or pimple is no post-teen anomaly.

When we need them, acne fighters can feel like the most crucial products in our skincare collections—so just in time for the MECCA Beauty Election 2021, we’re guiding you through the best of the best.

MARIO BADESCU DRYING LOTION

Angry pus-filled cysts make no match for this cult spot treatment from Mario Badescu. Salicylic acid clears out bacteria and oil from the inside while sulphur does it from the outside. This is then balanced with calamine to sooth redness-causing irritation around the spot. Unless you want to rock the pink dotted look, we recommend saving this saviour for your PM routine—expect visible results by morning.

READ MORE: Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion took out ‘Best for Acne’ in the 2020 Beauty Election – here’s why

SUNDAY RILEY UFO ULTRA-CLARIFYING FACE OIL

When masks became mandatory and the stress of living through a pandemic kicked in mid last year, this mysteriously green elixir became our most in-demand product, and for good reason. Powered by salicylic acid and tea tree oil, this oil exfoliates beneath the skin’s surface to dissolve blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, moisturising the skin before it has a chance to dry out (a rarity in acne-targeting skincare). If you experience hormonal acne, press this into your skin in the days before your cycle—with a bit of luck, your monthly breakout will be a no-show.

READ MORE: MECCA A-Z of Beauty: H is for happy, hydrated skin with these bestselling face oils

KIEHL’S CANNABIS SATIVA SEED OIL HERBAL CONCENTRATE

A slightly gentler alternative to the above, Kiehl’s cannabis sativa seed and green oregano-spiked oil is calm in a bottle—for your skin, and your mood. Its herbaceous scent is super ground and relaxing to inhale as your press the ultra-light concentrate into your skin, which helps to target excess sebum production (so don’t be afraid to use this if you have oily skin!), blackheads, redness, and a compromised skin barrier.

READ MORE: Why cannabis sativa seed oil is the skincare ingredient you need right now

DR. DENNIS GROSS ALPHA BETA UNIVERSAL DAILY PEEL

While these MECCA-loved peel pads know how to target breakouts (in many cases, before they’ve even happened), that’s just one line off the long list of skills they behold. With almost all of our favourite skincare ingredients—AHAs, BHA (salicylic), squalane, ceramides, retinol… the list goes on—these high-powered, clinic-approved exfoliating pads help to accelerate cellular turnover for brighter, smoother, clearer, younger-looking skin. If you haven’t already, get on to these as a priority.

READ MORE: The cult-status peels we can’t keep in stock: here’s everything you need to know

MECCA MAX SPOT DOTS BLEMISH BUSTING PATCHES

If you’re the touchy-picky type, these sticky dots will protect your skin from your own curiosity. Infused with skin-protecting ingredients, they act as a second skin to protect raised or cystic blemishes from popping, picking and spreading (and after that, scarring), while absorbing excess sebum. If you’re trying to get rid of a spot quick, spot-treat with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, or Dr. Dennis Gross DRx Blemish Solutions Breakout Clearing Gel before applying your dot.

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD CLEARING TREATMENT

If your acne-fighting approach favours a weekly detox over a nightly ointment, look to this hardworking charcoal mask, formulated with sebum-extracting kaolin clay and a blend of six exfoliating acids that work to loosen pore-clogging dead skin cells and sweep them away. If you’d describe your skin as oily and congested, this mask will bring you the balance you need.

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