There’s nothing fun about acne at any age. But there is something enjoyable about the latest zit-zapping products on the market. That's because these innovative and unique tools put a clear complexion within reach. “Some of these new at-home treatments and devices are so much more effective than what we’ve had in the past that they keep people from having to come to see me in the office,” says dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi. Here are a few of the best.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment ($36.95): This product clears skin in two ways. First, it uses benzoyl peroxide to clean out pores and reduce blemish-causing bacteria. Though it contains a high percentage of this acne ingredient, it is "micronized," meaning it is ground into very fine particles to penetrate deeper and be less irritating than usual. Next, it exfoliates pore-clogging dirt and dry skin with 0.4 percent LHA, which is six times more effective than salicylic acid alone. In as little as three days, your acne looks better and your skin tone is more even, too.
Murad Clarifying Wipes For Blemish-Prone Skin ($18): These totable wipes offer skin salvation when you need to cleanse your face on the go or when you’re just too tired to stand in front of the sink. Drenched in witch hazel and algae extract, they remove dirt, oil and bacteria; prevent excess sebum production, and give pores a diminished appearance. Bonus: they also contain grape seed extract and vitamin E to fight free radicals that cause wrinkles and fine lines.
Joey New York Shed The Red ($30): As if bumps and blackheads weren’t bad enough, acne often comes with horrible redness. This gel-serum soothes these crimson splotches and evens skin tone with unique ingredients like coconut water and Indian ginseng extract. Then it gently sloughs away acne-causing, skin-dulling dead skin cells with citrus fruit acid, sugar cane and apple. Brighter, newer cells appear alongside a smoother complexion.
Clarisonic Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set ($47): This kit contains an Acne Cleansing Brush Head that attaches to a Clarisonic Cleansing Device (sold separately). Its oscillating bristles deep-clean your complexion, but are gentle enough on sensitive, pimple-prone skin. It also comes with the Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser, which contains 2 percent salicylic acid to exfoliate and sweep away pore-clogging debris so skin is prepped for any treatment products you apply next.
Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light ($245): Blue-light therapy is a top dermatologist office acne treatment because it gets to the root of the problem: it kills pimple-causing bacteria. But it also requires several pricey, time-consuming appointments. With the Tria device, you can wield the same blue light as your MD while you kick back in your pj’s. Just run it across blemish-prone spots for five minutes a day and you’ll have clearer skin in a matter of weeks.
Dr. Brandt Blemishes No More Daily Exfoliating Cleanser ($25): This combo cleanser and exfoliator fights acne with natural ingredients. For example, it uses willow bark extract, which is a natural source of salicylic acid. Extracts of flaxseed, cucumber and one from a Finnish tree called picea abies work to ward off bacteria, speed up cell turnover and sop up oil without leaving skin parched.
Photo: Courtesy of the brands