Over the past few years I've tried just about every acne product that's come across my desk. I've slathered on countless face masks, serums, and spot treatments in an attempt to get my adult hormonal acne under control. Most of the products did nothing to the massive red lumps along my jawline, but a few did considerably shrink them down to size.
The latter group of products left me impressed. At least, I thought they did until I tried Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Facial ($120; Net-a-porter.com). I'll admit I was skeptical when this little guy landed in my hands, but was open-minded about giving it a shot because a huge, red, puffy whitehead had popped up on my cheek that morning.
Allies of Skin's mask is full of big promises. The major one is that its blend of AHA acids, enzymes, and probiotics will zap zits and lighten dark spots from past breakouts as you sleep. A skincare product that claims if you leave it on overnight you'll wake up with perfect skin? Yup, heard that before.
The main ingredient in its formula is azelaic acid, which has anti-inflammatory proprieties that help heal both existing blemishes and scars. Caffeine reduces puffiness, lactic acid exfoliates to get rid of oil buildup, and niacinamide calms redness and tightens pores. Combined with hydrated glycerin and hyaluronic acid, the mask is designed to be used every day without drying out skin.
That night, I applied the serum-like mask on the lower half of my face where I'm prone to breakouts and have dark spots from past cystic blemishes. Since I have the tendency to be heavy-handed with acne skincare products in general, I dabbed a little extra on my monstrous zit.
When I looked in the mirror for the first time the next morning, I expected to see a whitehead that had tripled in size. However, I was pleasantly surprised. My pimple was no longer puss-filled, but a simple red dot.
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I decided to give it another go the following night, and the night after that. My blemish was completely gone after two applications, and within a week, my skin was noticeably more even. Considering I've grown tired of trying so many different acne products that work but dry out my skin (or that only kind of work), I don't see myself straying from this mask in the near future.
Yes, $120 seems expensive for such a small amount of product, but trust me that a little goes a long way. When I think about the grand total of all of the products I've tried that didn't do anything for my hormonal acne, this mask seems like a steal.