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Many of us naively assume the more maddening issues that taunted us in our youth automatically disappear when we reach a certain age: bullies, homework, zits. But the fact is a lot of us are still dealing with those challenges, including the pesky pimples we first experienced during puberty.
Adult acne is a lot more common than you might think, and New York City dermatologist Adarsh Vijay Mudgil says the cause can be a number of factors. One of those is stress. “Stress causes our endocrine system to go haywire,” he says. “When the stress hormone cortisol surges, acne is a frequent consequence.” Adult or not, in these current unprecedented times, stress-related breakouts are at an all-time high for a lot of people, which is where Bliss’s new Clear Genius collection comes in.
The clarifying lineup includes: a gel cleanser, a 2-in-1 toner + serum, and a liquid peel. This trio of products work together to purify pores without drying out skin. Salicylic acid can be found in each of the products and is one of the best acne-fighting ingredients out there, according to Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “It is a beta hydroxy acid that removes excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to keep the pores clear,” he explains. Other ingredients in the collection include niacinamide, cica, Brazilian sea water, and zinc, “[which] have soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits that aid in balancing and calming the skin,” Dr. Zeichner adds.
All of this sounded quite promising, which is why we asked three editors currently dealing with different types of adult acne to put the Bliss Clear Genius line to the test.
Reformed Zit Zapper Seeking Gentle Ingredients
Tester: Lauren Swanson | Breakout frequency: Daily
My entire experience with acne has been so vivid that I can pinpoint the day I got my first major zit. It was in the middle of summer when I was in sixth grade. I was walking into a fast-food restaurant to meet up with some friends when I felt a tender bump emerging on my chin. This is also when my acne coping mechanisms began.