Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bust Those Zits NOW!

[As published on Emmagem.com HERE]

I HATE getting pimples. They always rear their ugly heads whenever I least expect it, like when I’ve got a wedding to attend, or if I’ve got an important meeting up ahead. It messes with my confidence level, and I don’t like it when there’s a red beacon on my forehead, screaming for attention when I’m trying my level best to look and feel self-assured.
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Growing up, I’ve had my fair share of pimples, some of which have left scars on my cheeks (thank god for concealer!), and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. For those of you blessed with good skin, I’m jealous but at the same time, happy for you!
If you trawl through the internet you’ll find that it is filled with tips on how to zap those zits, but how many of them really work?
We put a few to the test:

Honey
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How to: The sticky nectar is said to contain antiseptic properties, and can reduce redness and swelling.
Verdict: Apart from being a sticky, drippy mess, it did nothing whatsoever to help cure that annoying zit.

Aspirin mask
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How to: Mash up a couple of aspirin tablets (which contains salicylic acid, an exfoliator) with distilled water. Apply on face, leave  for a few minutes and rinse off.
Verdict: It did reduce the redness immensely, and skin felt softer and smoother after application. However, it was pretty drying so it might be better to use directly on the spot itself, and limit usaege to no more than twice weekly.

Toothpaste
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How to: Apply a dab of white toothpaste on a pimple for half an hour, and wash off. It’s said to reduce redness/swelling.
Verdict: If it gets too close to the eyes, it stings! And it was rather annoying to scrape off the dried bits of toothpaste  while rinsing, so we’re not a fan of this.

Tea tree oil
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How to: Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and is a popular ingredient in anti-acne products. Dab directly on the spot and leave it as it is.
Verdict: If anything, we noticed that applying tea tree oil on a pimple ‘ripens’ it, and you wake up the next morning with a pus-filled zit (which is so satisfying to pop, but don’t try this at home as it can cause permanent scars!).
And never, never leave tea tree oil too long on your face, because yours truly was stupid enough to saturate a tiny cotton square in hopes of curing the pimple faster, only to be greeted with a burnt patch of skin that stayed there for two weeks.

Home remedies aside, here are a few tried-and-true zit-busters that have proven their money’s worth:

Dalacin-T, RM38.90
Available at pharmacies nationwide
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This was my go-to remedy for pimples when I was growing up. It’s only available at pharmacies, and like all pharmacy-bought medicine, you’re required to record your name and details before purchasing. It’s a clear liquid that’s to be dabbed on the area once a day, and absorbs quickly without leaving any trace of ‘existence’ on your skin. It works really well to get rid of huge cystic acne, but can be a bit drying on the skin. Ever since age has caught up with me, I find myself turning to this less frequently, as my skin is drier and cystic acne doesn’t flare up as often anymore. However, for younger people with oily skin, this would be a godsend.

Aviderm Rectifying Cream, RM120
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I got to know about this brand from one of my friends, because I noticed an immense improvement in her skin condition. Her pimples and whiteheads had disappeared within the span of two months, and I was going through a bout of really bad skin at that time. This fairly-unknown Malaysian brand combines traditional Chinese herbs and modern technology to treat skin problems. Having tried this cream, I have no complaints so far. The smell takes a bit getting used to, but the instant cooling sensation is indeed refreshing, and thankfully is has managed to keep a major part of pimples at bay, using natural ingredients.

Herbaline Pimples Cream, price unavailable
Herbaline
It’s not a common occurrence for beauty editors to rave about a product, so when I noticed a friend from a Chinese language magazine raving about this on her Facebook, I knew it had to be good. My cousin has been using Herbaline for more than ten years now, and swears by the Aloe Vera Gel for sensitive problematic skin. What is great about Herbaline products is that it uses a concoction of natural plant-based ingredients like Witch Hazel and Aloe to treat pimples. Another friend who works as a magazine writer recommends the facial treatments offered at Herbaline Facial Spas, which are affordable yet effective.

Here’s to no more pimples and good-skin all year round!

(Images: pinterest.com)

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