I may have the answer to (almost) all of your skin-care woes.
Months ago, I spoke with Dillan O'Neal about the annoying colony of zits that inexplicably found a home on my face long after puberty. The owner of Sugar Sugar By Dillan, which we named Best Sugaring in our 2013 Best Of issue, is also an excellent esthetician, with the most beautiful, dewy skin to prove it. She uses only organic products, and even though I'm all about that, I doubted anything but some strong, burning astringent would clear up those pock-making vermin. Eventually, I bought three products she recommended, and by God, if my acne hasn't cleared and I'm looking a bit dewy myself.
O'Neal swears by two lines: Osmosis Skincare and Medicine Mama's Bee Magic. Both combat dry skin and excess oil, the root cause of acne. Dry skin makes the body pump up oil production to relieve it—and exposure to foreign oils, whether from a greasy fryer or holding a phone up to your face, clogs pores. All you need is a cleanser, an exfoliater and a moisturizer to fix both.
Osmosis offers Cleanse and Polish. Both bottles are in the $40 range, but they last for months. Cleanse should be used like a normal face wash: once in the morning, and again in the evening. This takes care of the basic need to clean our skin from dirt and foreign oils.
Polish is the crucial exfoliator—there's no point in cleaning or moisturizing if the products just sit atop dead skin cells. Polish doesn't have the sandy granules you may be used to; instead, it's an enzyme mask that uses L-lactic acid to gently buff your skin. Apply it for 15 minutes a few times a week; for peskier problems, leave it on for an hour every day, but be warned that it will bring everything to the surface to clear it out.
Last, moisturize with Bee Magic. Exfoliating without moisturizing causes skin to think it's dry and rev up oil production. Bee Magic's thick texture seems counterintuitive at first, but the more you exfoliate, the faster it will soak in. A container goes for $10 to $30, depending on size, but the product can also be used as lotion and lip balm.
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Above all, though, stay hydrated.