These editor-approved products will help you banish even the most stubborn of blemishes.
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All blemishes are not created equal. Some are caused by pore-clogging products, and those are generally smaller in size. They can easily be eradicated by using only oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup and skincare products. But if you're experiencing larger, painful blemishes that erupt monthly around your chin and jawline, you're dealing with something else entirely. Those breakouts—otherwise known as cystic acne—are caused by hormones, and that makes fact makes them a bit trickier to get under control. If you wake up with a cystic pimple a few days before of your wedding, keep calm and call your dermatologist ASAP. A cortisone shot can help get the swelling under control fast.
Still, there are things you can do to prevent cystic breakouts altogether. One way to help minimize these types of breakouts in the months leading up to your wedding is by enjoying a skin-healthy diet. That means loading up your plate with antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, wild-caught fish, and, yes, even a little bit of dark chocolate. While a healthy diet is always a good thing, getting rid of cystic acne usually requires the right skincare regimen, too. An everyday cleanser and moisturizer you love are crucial, but when you're dealing with these deep pimples, you'll probably also need skin-clearing products. That's where we come in: We rounded up the products that are most effective in minimizing hormonal acne, helping you achieve a clear, glowing complexion before your wedding day.
Whether you're looking for a serum to add to your daily regimen or a spot treatment to use as necessary, you'll find the blemish-busting treatment that's right for you here.
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This lightweight serum balances oil production, heals acne, and helps prevent future breakouts, thanks to zinc and iris extracts. Just a few drops patted onto your skin is all you need.
Biologique Recherche Serum Complexe Iribiol, $92, shoprescuespa.com.
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This product has a cult following, and it's not difficult to see why. Used for just a few days before bed, it evens skin tone, prevents blemishes, and gives your complexion a glow like no other.
iS Clinical Active Serum, $135, isclinical.com.
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When you feel one of those big blemishes starting to form, don't wait—put this solution on it, and it might go away before it fully erupts. If you put it on a blemish that has already surfaced, it will heal much faster than it otherwise would.
Renee Rouleau Anti Bump Solution, $47.50, reneerouleau.com.
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This one's another lifesaver that will help heal breakouts literally overnight. (So don't stress before your wedding or wedding events, just keep this on hand in cases of emergency.) It contains exfoliating salicylic acid, niacinamide to fade spots, and azelaic acid to kill acne-causing bacteria.
Medik8 Beta Gel, $68, aylabeauty.com.
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Getting on a nightly retinoid regimen is so important if you have cystic acne. Used over time, it can help diminish breakouts and even the skin tone from previous blemishes. (It's also a powerful ingredient in slowing down the signs of aging.)
Differin Acne Treatment Gel, $12.88, walmart.com.
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La Roche Posay
Using a good non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer is essential when you're using acne products. You want to ensure you're keeping your skin moisturized and balanced, because having overly dry skin can also lead to breakouts. This one not only moisturizes, but also contains sun protection and prebiotics—which promote healthy skin in a myriad of ways, from easing acne to dry skin and eczema.
La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV, $19.99, laroche-posay.com.
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You know a product is good when it's been around forever, like this spot treatment. We like to use a Q-Tip and dab the solution on affected areas for speedy recovery. (Plus: it's not irritating, so those with sensitive skin can use it, too.)
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17, ulta.com.
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Dr. Dennis Gross
Reinforce your daily acne-fighting products with a sulfur mask a few times per week. It deep cleans the pores and improves the appearance of skin in one night. Best part—you don't have to wash it off, just put it on before bed, sleep, and wake up with pretty skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross Clarifying Colloidal Sulfur Mask, $42, sephora.com.
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Toners have gotten a bad rap, but this couldn't be further from the truth. This non-drying toner is alcohol free and gentle while helping to purify, exfoliate, and balance the skin. It also helps serums and moisturizers go deeper into the pores to work more effectively.
Renée Rouleau Balancing Skin Tonic, $35.50, reneerouleau.com.