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here’s how i’m kicking pimples to the curb

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A couple of weeks ago I woke up with a HUGE blemish on the side of my head. My husband—not wrongly—nicknamed it Mount Vesuvius (and they say romance is dead!). I brushed my hair in front of my face and caked on the concealer, but there was no ignoring the fact that my skin was seriously unhappy. It was clearly time to tackle my pimple problem head on (see what I did there?).

Oh, and in case you were wondering, picking and popping zits really is the worst thing you can do. “There is no benefit to it at all, and you’ll cause more scarring and more inflammation,” says Dr. Benjamin Barankin, medical director and founder of the Toronto Dermatology Centre and spokesperson for the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. With his words ringing in my ears, I resist the temptation to poke and prod and turn to a trio of skincare products designed to disarm my new friend.

Clinique’s Acne Solutions Oil-Control Cleansing Mask has quickly become my new favourite skin fix. In just five minutes, this soothing clay mask reduced the swelling of my pimple without making the rest of my face feel tight and overly dried out.

La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo+ is great as a spot treatment during the day because it works well under makeup. It’s super lightweight, but I love that it tingles when I first apply it, so I know the salicylic acid is going to town on my blemish.

I’ve been reaching for Estee Lauder’s Clear Difference Targeted Blemish Treatment before bed, and it’s definitely working its magic on my pimple while I sleep. Bonus: the roll-on applicator makes it easy to apply and ensures that you get just the right amount of product exactly where you need it.

After about a week, Mount Vesuvius is barely noticeable, and my skin feels brighter and clearer overall. Instead of hiding, I’m ready and willing to face the world—with no foundation and no filter!

–Nicole

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