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Arcona AM Blemish Lotion ($38) is part of Arcona’s Basic Five for problem skin and I was a little nonplussed when the nice people at Arcona urged me to try it. I do have sensitive skin, but I am not acne prone and my skin is only problematic when it reacts to products that it doesn’t like. But I decided to be a good sport and give AM Acne Lotion a try and find that I recommend it for many things – in particular, pore refining.
AM Blemish is a lightweight lotion with a strong whiff of eucalyptus and mint. It tingles for a few seconds on application and absorbs quickly into the skin. I began by testing it on my nose, where I have a tendency of open pores. AM Acne Lotion immediately improved them and within a week had closed them nicely. I was even able to reduce use to every few days for maintenance. I also found that AM Lotion worked really well on an errant pimple, as well as the bane of my life, whiteheads on the back of my shoulders and sometimes cleavage.
Although I can’t personally testify to AM Blemish Lotion’s efficacy for major breakouts, Arcona does recommend it for adolescent and adult acne sufferers, promising that it clears lesions and reduces inflammation. Anyway, you don’t have to have acne to enjoy the benefits of this lotion.
I was drawn to a couple of the less obvious ingredients and one, in particular, is very exciting: sulforaphane glucosinolate. If you want a good reason to eat broccoli (and, believe me I need one as I can’t abide the stuff), then this is it. Hundreds of studies confirm sulforaphane glucosinolate, a compound in broccoli (thankfully it’s also in Brussels sprouts, which I do like), as a powerful antioxidant that can lower blood pressure and inhibit cancer. It has enzymes that help detoxify the body, which may explain its inclusion here. I especially like that broccoli has been discovered to be a sunscreen.
There’s also an anti-microbial, Epilobium Angustifolium (Canadian willowherb). It contains antiseptic compounds (which inhibit bacterial growth and some believe that it might help acne) and anti-inflammatory substances. This and its potent anti-irritant effects are due to a kind of tannin called oenothein-B.
More obvious, but nonetheless welcome, are salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory and exfoliant, as is L-lactic acid. Eucalyptus and tea-tree also provide healing and antiseptic properties. Although I don’t like one of Arcona’s preservatives of choice, sodium hydroxide, I do approve of totara extract, a preservative derived from a New Zealand tree.
Update 4/20: I recently had a little breakout on my forehead and at the side of my nose. A dab of Am Blemish Lotion and my face cleared up within the day - completely. It doesn't qualify me to comment on its acne defeating abilities, but it definitely zaps zits.
Formerly named Arcona AM Acne Lotion.
Ingredients: Agua (Distilled Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid, L-lactic Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Balm Mint (Melissa Officinalis) Extract, Eucalyptus (Globulus) Extract, Sulforaphane Glucosinolate (Broccoli), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Melaleuca Altenafolin (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Totara Extract, Acacia Gum, Sodium Hydroxide