I agree with the staff of TIA with their two cents on adult acne: total bumsville. My attempts to find a solution packaged in a bottle was sadly futile for years. Some products I tried in the past sorta worked after nights of application but nothing really had that "magic." However, there was a period of almost six months when my face was acne-free, thanks to a cream I was given as a gift.
This cream was from Fab India (a high-end department store in Mumbai) and for some reason, it worked miracles—until it expired. I have to admit I was extremely skeptical when I first tried it— I go by the rule that acne can only be "cured" by being dried out. In this case, the cream was obviously doing the opposite and ultimately proved my theory wrong. The ingredients had been rubbed off the packaging so I wasn't really sure what was in it. To this day, I have not found a cream that worked as well as that. Of course, I long for a replacement, which hasn't happened yet in cream form.
With that said, I did find a replacement—not a cream. Jack Black Clear Complexion Razor Bump and Acne Treatment
is basically Salicylic Acid (2%), one of the most common ingredients found in acne treatments. What it basically does is dissolve the top layer of dead skin cells and facial oils that block the pores. So it essentially dries out the top layer with its liquid magic. Pimples shrivel up and you're good to go. And it looks like I'm back on the liquids.
What I like about this (and the reason why it works better than other clear acne spot treatments) is that it includes other ingredients that act as a catalyst and ultimately help clear your skin, including hyaluronic acid, which is a water-binding agent that hydrates the skin. So even though the Clear Complexion Solution is drying your pimples, the product is soft and not too abrasive (you know, when it totally stings and kind of peels?). There's also aloe and willowherb extract, which helps smoothes and soften. The Green tea extract is an awesome antioxidant that's anti-inflammatory. I personally think this offers a good portion of the magic at work.
The 3-in-1 Clear Complexion Solution is also used for eliminating razor bumps and as a toner.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 2%
Inactive Ingredients: Water, SD Alcohol 40, Sodium Lactate (lactic Acid), Sodium Bicarbonate, Camillia Sinensis (green Tea) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (chamomile) Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium (willowherb) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (witch Hazel) Extract, Galactoarabinan, Allantoin, Sorbic Acid, PEG/PPG-14/4 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA.