When people say I have good skin I usually roll my eyes. My skin is good because I work at it. I live in constant fear of my cystic acne making an appearance. Cystic acne is your basic pimple gone berserk. A typical pimple is simply a clogged pore (usually your own dead skin cells are to blame). Pimples become more noticeable when some bacteria gets trapped inside too which causes the area to become red and swollen. Cystic acne happens when this infection goes deep into your skin, creating a red, tender bump that’s full of pus. So you get the lump and the redness but it usually doesn’t have any discernible head to ‘pop’. Actually if you try and ‘pop’ it you can cause the pus to rupture out of the pore underneath your face which causes more breakouts and makes your face a disaster zone. Another terrible thing about cystic acne is how much it hurts and itches so you constantly feel like you need to touch your face and get rid of the interloper. Which leads to more issues of course (check out tips for covering botched pimple extractions here).When it gets to that point the only thing you can do is go to your doctor and go on antibiotics to clear up the infection (actually you should probably go BEFORE you have scabs and scars on your face like me!)
One of the ways I battle cystic acne is by using masks. Since any blackhead or little red pimple can lead to a full scale cystic acne bulge, I try to spot treat the worst areas of my face weekly and then do a good deep cleaning mask every few months (the ideal would be monthly but who has the time?!). So here is my all time favorite mask: Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores. It’s quick, easy, and not too messy and it can be used to prevent, spot treat, or heal redness and pore obstructions.
Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores is the best spot treatment out there for a very fair price. 1.7 oz retails $21 CAD and that gives you 5-6 full face masks (when used sparingly). I find this mask is great to prevent and treat redness. I use it predominantly on my nose, chin, and forehead to combat blackheads and pimples or to soothe my skin after an extraction attempt. It’s one of those masks that you apply and then allow to dry. I find it really is great for reducing redness and swelling and I can spare the 10 minutes it takes to dry. It doesn’t flake off very easily so I’ve even been brave enough to sort and fold laundry while I wait for it to tighten. While its pigment is extremely dark I find it rinses away from light surfaces (such as sinks or towels) very easily. I love that it is packaged in a tube rather than a pot since this makes it easier to apply. I honestly wish I had known about this product in high school to treat morning pimples instead of my cousin’s insistence to use toothpaste to dry out a bad pimple … my cousin didn’t know I had blue toothpaste. So instead of a big red pimple on my face, I had a big red pimple and blue skin from the ‘toothpaste treatment’.
I also find a thick layer of this mask to be very luxurious if you have the time. It has a very neutral smell so it’s amazing to lie back and coat yourself in a thick layer of this rich skin improver. I also find it works well at combating body acne and keratosis pilaris.
So if you need a quick fix – ask for this great mask for Christmas! Or better yet ask for a holiday set that includes it! 😉