PCA Skin Blemish Control Balm - Body Acne LEAD
Credit: courtesy; Time Inc. Digital Studio

A few weeks ago, I decided to really kick my workout regimen up a notch. While exercise has always been a part of my life, I was getting bored of my cardio-only routine and wanted to start feeling physically as strong as I feel on the inside. I know, we’re getting deep here.

That meant lifting weights, trying new classes, and essentially being OK with trial and error and being so sore that I can barely walk up the subway stairs… or move from my desk… or climb into bed.

It also apparently meant being OK with my skin acting out. Perhaps it was the sweat around my sports bra (gross, sorry) or perhaps it was hormones wrecking havoc, but I was dealing with body acne. It wasn’t horrible, but obviously nothing I was going to throw a party about for, nor invite to stay a while, no less.

I knew what I needed to do. Wash my gym clothes really well and find a great acne-curing body wash or cleanser.

Good new! I found one. Let’s chat about PCA’s Blemish Control Bar ($38; Fun Fact: I love bar soap, so a cleanser in bar form that fights acne? Oh, I think I’ll take 23, please.

It’s made with 2 percent salicylic acid to address breakouts and eucalyptus to further cleanse your skin. And let me tell you, the scent is strong, but lovely in that luxe and rejuvenating spa session kind of way. You unscrew the top of the jar to reveal a solid cleansing formula. Next, you take a moist sponge and rub it on the top of the bar in circular motions to create a lather. Then, you rub that sponge on the troublesome area. You’re supposed to leave it on your skin for about two minutes, which actually feels like a million years when you’re in the shower, so I shave my legs or condition my hair… or do both while I wait.

Then, I rinse and moisturize after I get out of the shower. Painless, no?

I actually found that the sponge and the solid cleanser allows me to specifically address problem areas. I used it for about a week and quickly realized that my blemishes were drying up and healing. It’s now a regular in my shower to prevent these issues from popping up (literally), and as my workout marathon continues (it’s the best stress relief method, I’m telling you,) I think I’ll add it to my gym bag, too.