This Serum Seriously Reduces Acne & Acne Scars

As a long (and pretty well-documented) sufferer of acne, I'm hyper-vigilant about finding products that will keep the bumps at bay while reducing the scars they leave behind. I'm lucky enough to have lived through my worst bout of acne in high school, so my mission, four years later, is to keep my skin zit- and scar-free for the foreseeable future.

Although I am, and will likely always be, a dermatologist-prescribed retinol user, I've been off the stuff for nearly two months and have replaced it with a serum that has seriously improved the texture of my skin: Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum.

It all started a few months ago. I was having a chat with dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group, about different ingredients that play well with acne-prone skin. She recommended I avoid physical exfoliants and opt for a little chemical exfoliation instead. "Look for products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid," she said. "[They] can help prevent the plugging of pores from oil and...dead-skin buildup that can lead to acne breakouts, while dissolving blackheads."

A product that can prevent breakouts, exfoliate, and eradicate blackheads? It sounded like a dream. The trouble was, there are tons of alpha-hydroxy acid (a.k.a. AHA) toners, scrubs, and even masks on the market, and I've tried my fair share of them, with paltry results. They tend to leave my skin feeling sticky, dry, or worse, irritated, because of the high concentration of acids.

So this time around, I looked for a glycolic serum that promises hydration along with exfoliation, and that's when I found Drunk Elephant. The brand's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is extremely lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving little to no residue behind. Plus, unlike most of the AHA serums I've tried in the past, this one doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and dry — in fact, some nights I forget to apply my night cream afterward!

After nearly two months of use, I've noticed smoother skin, fewer breakouts, and reduced scarring, which has made for a more even complexion. And despite the fact that we're in the dead of winter, I have far fewer dry patches than I did just three months ago, thanks to the serum's juicy combination of exfoliating AHAs and hydrators like raspberry extract and horse chestnut.

At $90, it's certainly not inexpensive, but it's by far the best AHA-infused product I've ever used. Plus, a little goes a long way (I use a pea-sized pump for my whole face), which means I'll be using this bottle for quite a while. That makes the hefty price tag a little more palatable, right?

Drunk Elephant
T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $90, available at Sephora.

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