I have combination skin and suffer from sporadic breakouts (timing depends on the frequency of my sugar binges). Since today is Mid-Autumn Festival for the Chinese (Happy holidays for those of you who celebrate!) and is the equivalent of lots and lots of moon cakes, my skin is behaving rather badly.
In the past, I have tried many creams and treatments to reduce the redness. The brand T-Zone Spot Zapping Stick containing tea tree oil and Witch Clear Pore gel comes to mind. I was quite obsessive with them during my high school years, but they had all the potency of a dead fish. Pungent in a nice herbal way, but utterly ineffective for my skin.
In the end, I resorted to a medicinal anti-bacterial cream that you're supposed to put on cuts. That did the trick. However, it was green and not practical for university at all. After all, how many girls want their friends to seen them in their green-pimpled glory when calling it a night, but unexpectedly interrupted?
Anyway, during one of my attempts to liven up dull grocery shopping by perusing the Beauty shelves, I came across Neutrogena's Visibly Clear Rapid Clear Treatment. It comes in a 15ml squeezy tube and costs £4.49. This gel promises to visibly reduce both spots and blemishes in just 8 hours, without being harsh on the skin. It has a patented Microclear technology that reduce the size and redness of blemishes, as well as keeping the pores clear.
I really dislike 'patented technology' claims because that's all fancy-talk rubbish. Instead, I scanned the ingredients list:
Salicylic acid = kills bacteria and opens clogged pores
Lactic acid = great for skin rejuvenation. Reason why Queen Cleopatra used to bathe in asses' milk. Allegedly.
Acetic acid = astringent
A bunch of other stuff I did not know or recognise, but the three items above was enough to sway me.
I have now used this gel on my spots for almost two months and I can honestly say that it works. The biggest effect I see is if I put it on at night before bed, after my normal skincare routine. When I wake up the next morning, the spots are visbly smaller and less red. During daytime, I find there to be little effect and it gets irritating when you have bits of dried gel peeling off when you apply bronzer. So I'm limiting the use to night-time only.
It is also pleasing to note that this gel isn't that harsh on the skin either. Clinique's Clarifying lotion (No. 2) left me with patches of dry skin after continuous use, but the Rapid Clear Treatment has yet to do that, despite dedicated applications every day.
So there you have it! A good treatment that works.