Hormonal acne affects over 50 per cent of adult women. It mostly appears along the jawline and lower half of the face as a result of changes in hormones during a woman’s monthly cycle. It is deep. It is angry. It is very painful.
If you suffer from this type of cystic acne, you are likely familiar with the struggle of having these spots pop up. They often take weeks to reach full size, weeks to heal and then leave a dark scar for months after. It is just oh so lovely.
I have a long history of being treated with various forms of prescription oral and topical medications for my cystic acne. I have combination skin that is very sensitive. A lot of the creams that I was given to treat my acne were so strong that my skin couldn’t handle it, sometimes resulting in my face bleeding. After a lot of trial and error, I found something that worked for my skin – Clindets. They are 1% topical wipes made of clindamycin, an antibiotic that comes in many different forms and is used to control bacteria. Sadly, they have discontinued making this product so I have had to search for an alternative that doesn’t end up causing my skin even more issues (i.e. facial bleeding).
The Create Cosmetics BPT3.1 Acne Treatment ($20) contains 3% benzoyl peroxide to increase the turnover of skin cells and 1% tea tree oil to soothe acne blemishes. It is also made of shea butter, jojoba seed oil, witch hazel and macadamia seed oil. This combination of secondary ingredients work to balance out the drying properties in the product by soothing and hydrating the skin. Unlike traditional benzyl peroxide treatments which are water-based, this is a non-comedogenic, oil-based product.
I really enjoy the minimalist packaging of this product. It comes in a glass bottle, which I think looks lovely on the shelf in my bathroom, but it isn’t ideal to travel with. Overall, it has a medicinal appearance. This product is specifically advertised to treat cystic and adult acne.
The thick, white cream blends easily into the skin. It leaves behind a little bit of an oily feeling on the area where you applied it. If I plan on wearing makeup after I apply it, I wait about 15 minutes, and then blot the area with a clean cotton pad. The cream smells a lot like the tea tree contained within it, so that is something to note if you are sensitive to smells.
As with any benzoyl peroxide product, it will bleach your pillow case, so just be aware of that. TIP: Put down old towels over your pillow before you go to bed to prevent it from ruining your sheets. Switching them out every day is also good for your skin. As we all know, pillows can be a cause of breakouts.
I prefer to use this cream as a spot treatment. Even though it says the word “moisturizer” on the front, it will not replace your daily cream. This product dries out the skin like crazy; however, as weird as it sounds, it is a good type of dry. It doesn’t cause a painful or tight feeling on your skin. What it does do is cause peeling in the area that you applied it. It is recommended on the bottle that when you first start using this, you begin with only one application daily and then build up the usage once you see how your skin reacts to the product.
I think that this product is most effective if used both in the morning and at night. I have been using it for about a month now and it certainly helps to get rid of my acne quicker. Due to the fact that cystic acne is deep within the skin, the peeling process helps to bring sebum to the surface. This gives acne a shorter lifespan on your face (yay!). With whiteheads, it does a really good job of drying up the spot quickly. Ultimately, if you suffer from hormonal acne, there really is no cure for it other than getting your hormones balanced – easier said than done. This product does an excellent job of treating hormonal breakouts once they are already active.