5 really great acne treatments

clear skin

Nothing ruins your day faster than an emerging sp0t, smack dab in the middle of your chin. As if that weren’t enough, try being a beauty editor: the pressure to have flawless skin (along with perfectly blown-out hair and manicured nails) is intense. As a result, I’ve tried more than my fair share of blemish-busting treatments (I won’t even get into the diet side of things—those are stories for another day). Here, a few of my favourite topical treatments:

Avène Diacnéal Skincare Lotion

avene diacneal 196x300 5 really great acne treatments

If you’ve got sensitive skin, start slowly with this cult-favourite acne cream (yes, it’s that powerful). Available at most drugstores, it dries up zits almost overnight, thanks to a combination of glycolic acid and retinaldehyde (which is in the retinoid family and speeds up exfoliation). It’s also paraben-free and non-comedogenic . Since it’s extremely drying, I save this one for emergencies only.

Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment

dermalogica concealing spot treatment 300x300 5 really great acne treatments

I often wonder if what people use to camouflage their zits isn’t actually causing the problem. The solution? This new treatment, which simultaneously covers and treats blemishes. Dab it on spots before applying foundation and they might just be gone by the end of the day, thanks to ingredients like zinc oxide, salicylic acid and sulfur. I wasn’t sure I’d like the texture at first since it seems quite watery, but if you let it sit a minute it dries down nicely and covers well.

UPDATE: I’ve decided I don’t like this product all that much. It seems to dry down to this crusty finish… not appealing.

ilike Organic Skin Care Herbal Clay Spot Treatment

ilike herbal clay spot treatment 5 really great acne treatments

This is like a clay mask in wand form, which works surprisingly well to dry up blemishes without causing the dreaded flakiness that plagues those of us with sensitive skin. I love that there are only three ingredients on the label: herbal clay, zinc oxide and clove oil. It also doubles as a concealer, although I haven’t tried it for that purpose yet.

Laboratoire Remède Intensive Double Serum

laboratoire remede intensive double serum 300x300 5 really great acne treatments

This is a new and improved version of one of my favourite acne treatments, the Double Oxygenating Booster. And hear this: nothing—I repeat, nothing—could dissolve a blemish faster than that stuff. (You could actually feel the product tingling, which was très satisfying.) The new version adds 10 percent vitamin C to the oxygenating active formula and can be used either all over the face under moisturizer, or as a spot treatment.

Clear Clinical Acne Treatment Cream

clear clinical acne treatment cream 142x300 5 really great acne treatments

Formulated by Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue, this 5 percent benzoyl peroxide cream is gentle enough to use all over your face, but still fight blemishes. The secret? Moisturizing rosehip oil.


Wednesday, August 19/2009 at 3:02 pm

When you’re an editor with acne, it almost makes you feel like a hoax!

My go-to regime used to be salicyclic acid, but I felt like all the acid was doing was making things angrier so I bailed on it to try a Dr. Hauschka toner called Intensive Treatment. It calmed all the redness down and now I just cover the scars with mineral makeup, which I feel has got to be better than saturating it in foundation. But still, the knots prevail….

Who do I contact to get Remede and ilike?


Wednesday, August 19/2009 at 3:12 pm

I second you on the Dermalogica pick. With the exception of a nasty spot I got as a result of an eyebrow wax (which was the zit that never goes away), this stuff clears things up like nobody’s business!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, August 19/2009 at 8:06 pm

I feel like a hoax a lot of the time! Not just when I have skin issues, but also hair. I remember one freebie colour job where the stylist said he was shocked that “all of you guys [editors] have TERRIBLE hair.” Um, thanks. Just because I can write about this stuff doesn’t mean I’m some kind of beauty superwoman who can execute it all properly!

But back to zits: I NEED to try the Hauschka! I have it but have an irrational fear that those products will break me out.


Wednesday, August 19/2009 at 9:49 pm

Was the stylist in question the kind who takes the Contessas seriously? If so, then we should take it as a compliment!

Why do you think the Hauschka will break you out? It’s just a toner–nothing to clog your pores!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 20/2009 at 9:28 am

OK, going to try! (I think my reservations started with a Hauschka facial I got a couple years ago – some spa an hour or two north of the city. I left coated in a thin layer of oil all over my body, and like clockwork broke out in cystic acne for the week following.)


Saturday, April 9/2011 at 2:49 am

Hi, I was just wondering where I could get the ilike organic clay spot treatment in Canada? Or, specifically, BC? I have tried the Dermalogica one before, but it didnt seem to do much for my acne and the tint dried a little strange.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:49 am

You can order it from here! http://skinbotanica.com/ilike.html


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 11:49 am

Oh and please check this post if you haven’t already seen it – it’s my #1 reco for acne issues: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/


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