nothing worse than when a monster zit starts to take over your face. And, that
always seems to happen at the worst times — a first date, the morning of your
dream-job interview, your wedding day. While most
people believe the best way to get rid of a blemish is to dry it out, that’s
probably the worst thing you could do. In fact, that’s exactly why it’s bad to
overload your skin with alcohol, salicylic acid,
and benzoyl peroxide — the active ingredients in modern-day acne treatments. Stripping the skin of moisture to the point that it cracks can cause
bacteria to spread and the infection to get worse.
So, what does work? Salves.
“They’re old-school, but they work to help balance the skin,” says Doris Day,
MD, dermatologist and founder of Day Dermatology & Aesthetics
in NYC. We
know what you’re thinking: You want me to
use something that feels like sap on my blemish-prone skin?!
While it might seem that something so
thick and tacky would clog pores more and make matters worse, salves actually help soothe the skin, protect wounds, and draw out any infections lurking within.
“The ingredients vary from
one salve to the next, but basically it
creates an environment locally where the skin has to give something up to maintain
its pH balance,” Dr. Day says. “For example, charcoal, sulfur, clay — ingredients that are often
used in drawing salves — are drier than the skin, so the pimple will give up
the moisture and draw out the infection to create that balance.”
So, what types of breakouts
are these balms best for? “Everything but blackheads,” Dr. Day says. “In fact,
they are great for cystic acne, because they draw out the excess moisture and
calm the skin without irritating it.” Keep clicking for five salves that will zap your
zits in no time.
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