I almost never break out, but I began questioning everything from my diet to my roster of beauty products when my skin recently had a serious meltdown. It all started when I noticed bumps forming along both of my cheekbones. They weren’t quite pimples but were big enough to make my highlighter look uneven—almost like a rash, although they never changed in texture or color. They weren’t red and didn’t itch, but nothing made them go away. I immediately suspected my go-to drugstore highlighter was to blame, since the spots appeared along the highlighted area, but when I took a break from it, they didn’t budge.
Next, I decided to take a closer look at my skincare routine. I began exfoliating more than usual and incorporated AHAs like lactic acid and retinoids for a deeper clean. I figured if the bumps were anything like milia (those tiny whiteheads you get around the eyes), they just needed some diligent scrubbing.
Two months later, the daily exfoliation and at-home peels hadn’t made a bit of difference, so I decided to schedule a dermatologist appointment. That sounds like no biggie, but for someone who considers herself a total skincare junkie, this was all a bit devastating for me.
Before I even made it to the doctor’s office, I received a new face wash by Kate Somerville. It’s a spinoff of the ExfoliKate Daily Foaming cleanser I’ve raved about on multiple occasions. The updated formula contains 3% sulfur to help “reduce and prevent blemishes, unclog pores and balance oily skin.” I’ve heard sulfur is a miracle ingredient for treating breakouts, so I figure I have nothing to lose. (Again, I don’t think my problem bumps are pimples, so I’m not even sure if this product is for me.)
I tried Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser for the first time on a Saturday afternoon, and I’m not kidding when I say that by Monday, my skin had drastically improved. The bumps now have a rougher texture (almost like a tiny, invisible scab), but they’re significantly smaller. I continue using the cleanser once a day in conjunction with my Foreo Luna cleansing device—for a deeper clean, I leave it on my face like a mask for a few minutes before washing it off—and within a week, the spots I’d painstakingly tried to eliminate for months have completely disappeared. Nothing else in my skincare routine or diet has changed, so I’m chalking this one up as a major win. As it turns out, sulfur is a miracle ingredient, and I couldn’t be happier.
EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser, Kate Somerville, $38