(Beauty Report Card)

I Swear By This Cleanser Trick To Banish Breakouts In One Day

Plus, the face wash that makes it all happen.

By Desiree Talley
Desiree Talley

Climate change has my skin in shambles. After relocating from New York City to Los Angeles, my typically blemish-free skin is similarly figuring out how to navigate life in a new city during a pandemic. Historically, I would get three pimples a month — no problem! In my twenties, this was easily tamed by washing my face regularly. As I got older, three breakouts turned into six or more. The stress of the move made it even worse. I panicked! I needed a stronger facial cleanser to treat acne in order to help my skin calm down that was also preventative.

I turned to friends for product recommendations. Many of them shunned me because my “breakouts were not that bad.” Now, add to that the adult acne that attacks you the minute you hit age 30, plus maskne breakouts — skin terrors. You can only imagine the psychological rollercoaster that constant breakouts cause a once blemish-free queen.

That being said, through the recommendation of a friend, Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser has been my saving grace. The directions instruct combination-to-oily skin girls like me to use the cleaner 2-3 times a week (which I did while living in NYC), but the way my skin is acting up in LA, I use the cleanser 5 to 6 times a week. Increasing the use has really helped to reduce or eliminate my breakouts.

On a good week, I can simply apply the cleanser to my damp hands, then rub the product all over my face, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes while brushing my teeth before rinsing off with lukewarm water. During a week when the LA weather, combined with adult acne and mask bumps, don’t want to see me shine, I repeat the above steps, but let the cleanser sit on my face for at least 10 mins. This extra time usually helps the pimple clear up in a day or two. I also used the cleanser as an overnight spot treatment during times when my skin and the universe don’t want to see me win — I always come out on top!

But like any good thing, especially in skin care, be careful of over use. While in New York and before my skin terrors hit, I tried using the cleanser as a daily wash — big mistake. My skin is pretty smooth, even in texture and pigmentation, and lacks dark spots, so using the cleanser on a daily basis was a bit too intense for me. I got a rash-like cluster of baby bumps on the drier part of my face, but that subsided after a two day break from the product. Clearly, too much of a strong active like glycolic acid can wreak havoc on your skin.

While I can’t say this cleanser is the way to go for people with more serious acne issues — like hormonal acne, which can sometimes require products from a dermatologist — it may help those generally acne-free folks who are experiencing an uptick in pimples popping up out of nowhere.

All in all, Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is my holy grail skin care product to manage breakouts because it quickly minimizes the bumps on my face and allows me to live the blemish-free life that I deserve.

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