Whether enduring an occasional flare up or an intense case of cystic acne, reportedly 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 suffer from acne. Still, many people don't recover from this "disorder" until they reach their 30s. Even if you don't consider your occasional that-time-of-the-month breakouts to be acne, chances are zits are something you can do without.
Thanks to the latest medical spa service aimed at banishing the blemish and a bevy of beauty products that zap unwanted zits, smooth skin is attainable.
At Stunning Looks Medi Spa on Rocky Point, problem skin is being solved with the help of Blu-U light therapy for acne. The Blu-U technology is a non-laser blue light device that targets bacteria in the oil glands, working wonders on light to moderate recurrent acne.
I'd compare the treatment to sitting under a face tanner without being exposed to UV light. Because Blu-U is non-invasive, it's actually a safe option for teenagers whose skin and self-esteem are often hit the hardest by acne. And the price is right at just $40 per treatment or $300 for a series of eight Blu-U services.
DIY skin care
If pimples are more of an occasional annoyance, I've got tips on how to cure and conceal these little complexion crashers. First up, whiteheads. Based on everything every other expert on the earth says, I should be telling you not to pop these pesky pimples but I can't think of anything less realistic.
Without dishing about pimple popping techniques (yuck!), suffice it to say that if you must perform at-home extractions, cleanliness is king. Opt for a mild cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. I like Phisoderm's Anti-Blemish Gel Facial Wash, a salicylic acid acne treatment that sells for around $5 at local drugstores. Plus, for those who have back acne or even butt acne, Phisoderm makes an anti-blemish body wash to keep skin pimple-free from head to toe.
Blackheads are a bit more difficult and are best left to be exiled by an experienced esthetician. Preventing blackheads is tough, but with regular maintenance, it's possible to keep skin mostly blackhead free. I rely on a home remedy from a favorite European esthetician, Indira Rakanovic. Between facials, use this homemade yeast mask weekly to fight oiliness and banish blemishes: Take one teaspoon of dry active yeast and add warm water to create a paste. Apply to freshly scrubbed skin and leave on for 45 minutes. Rinse twice, first with warm water, then with cold water. Yeast is rich in Vitamin B, which regulates oil production and speeds healing.
When all else fails, do what you can to conceal by opting for products that camouflage and correct blemishes. I like Benefit's Galactic Shield, a handy little concealer stick that hides blemishes and fights bacteria. Part of Benefit's "Buh Bye" pimple fightin' collection, Galactic Shield sells for $15 online at benefitcosmetics.com. Or head to your local drugstore and pick up Clean & Clear's affordable blemish blaster, Advantage Invisible Acne Patch. This liquid spot treatment forms an unseen surface over pimples, allowing makeup to go on more smoothly while salicylic acid goes to work, aiming to cure the blemish below ($9.99 at drugstore.com).
Remember the key to great skin is consistency, so whatever skin-care choices you make, stick to them -— your loyalty will be rewarded with clearer, smoother skin.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of TampaBayBeauty.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Email Carolyn at [email protected]