This Soothing Serum Calmed My Painfully Over-Exfoliated, Inflamed Skin Overnight

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This Calming Serum has Been my Saving Grace

Skin Ceuticals

I had horrible acne when I was a teenager that mostly went away by the time I was in my early 20s. But when Covid began, my acne returned with a vengeance. My skin is constantly congested and breaking out; I feel like a pubescent child again instead of a woman in her late 20s. As a beauty editor, I have all the tools and knowledge at my disposal to deal with this properly and methodically, but a few weeks ago, I was so frustrated that I over-exfoliated my face into smithereens. For the days following, I experienced some of the worst sore and inflamed blemishes of my life. 

I had the type of zits that hurt regardless of what I was doing, but they were especially sore when I moved my face in any way. After cursing myself for knowing better, I looked for something that would calm down my skin, reduce some of the constant pain, and have any ingredients that would exacerbate the issue. This is how I came to find, use, and love SkinCeuticals’ Phyto Corrective Gel

SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel


Shop now: $70; 

This green concoction has a medicinal, herbal smell and its consistency is thinner and less gooey than a gel but somewhat more viscous than a traditional serum. Before bed, I washed my face and applied nothing but the Phyto Corrective Gel

In the morning, my skin was noticeably less red, and the blemishes were smaller, less inflamed, and most importantly for me, less sore. It was the first relief I’d experienced in at least a week. My face no longer felt angry at me, and that in turn gave me some emotional peace. 

The soothing Phyto Corrective Gel Serum has a ton of noteworthy ingredients, including eucalyptus leaf, cucumber, and hyaluronic acid. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that heal wounds (like distressed skin and blemishes) faster. I also personally find that it makes my skin feel clean and refreshed, combatting its usual oily state. Cucumber, meanwhile, is great for soothing and calming skin. It also helps with hyperpigmentation, skin healing, skin barrier health, and moisture thanks to a combination of vitamins A and C. Hyaluronic acid keeps my skin moisturized, and therefore, it’s able to heal. 

This isn’t an everyday product for me, but it is now an integral part of my skin cycling routine, given how acne-prone I am. It’s been especially useful while I’m on  my period — when my skin is a hormonal nightmare. 

While $70 isn’t exactly cheap for a serum, it’s a pretty good deal from a brand that’s hero product is $169. Check out the skin-saving serum on Skinceuticals

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