A dermatologist, makeup artist, nutritionist, and aesthetician on the best treatments for breakouts.

In an odd way, acne is chic, from 13 to 300. Everyone seems to have it. And, given the opportunity to vent their anguish over the poor quality of their skin, there is hardly a soul on earth that wont bond with a fellow sufferer.

Like any dread disease with no proven cure, the range of treatment options is staggering: famous actresses and top models pop Accutane capsules like so many Raisinettes; a beautiful socialite swears by a dab of toothpaste; grandmothers use lemon juice; one top fashion editor recently flew all the way from Milan to L.A.

And back just for an appointment with the skin care guru, Sonia Dakar, whose regimen of power peels and proprietary salves has everyone from Cameron Diaz to Drew Barrymore and Jane March raving.

Another editor says a carefully calibrated program of Retin-A, vitamin C, and tea tree oil keeps her skin presentable.

Experts — dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt, makeup artist Charlie Green, nutritionist Oz Garcia, and aesthetician Susan Ciminelli—–are just as divided; in fact, the only things they appear to agree on is that stripping oily skin completely will only make it oilier (sounds reasonable) and, oddly, that bananas are a real problem.

The best acne-fighting products use a wide variety of ingredients…


The best acne-fighting products use a wide variety of ingredients to accomplish a common goal: getting rid of acne for good.

Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($16.50) with salicylic acid removes acne-causing bacteria and everyday Peter Thomas Roth Pumice Acne Scrub ($30) with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide is a great exfoliator that keeps pores clean and skin free of blemishes.

With licorice extract and lichen extract, Biodroga Anti Blemish Crème ($26) treats current breakouts and prevents future ones.

Origins Spot Remover ($10) takes a fragrant approach to acne, combining salicylic acid, oregano, and clove buds to get rid of pimples.

Zirh Fix ($32.50) is a potent cream containing witch hazel, salicylic acid, lemon oil and botanicals to calm breakouts and reduce redness.

Smooth on oil-free, alcohol-free Neutrogena Clear Pore Treatment ($5.29) and leave it on overnight to penetrate pores and fight blemishes while you sleep.

Alchemy Emergency Medic Treatment ($15), with antioxidants, vitamins and shea butter, keeps lips conditioned, and is a must-have for any Accutane users.

Yon-Ka Creme 15 Acne Treatment ($29) purges toxins and trapped oil from the skin with extracts of burdock sage, St. John”s Wort, birch sap, and lime essential oil. Apply Avon Anew Perfecting Lotion ($16) with 2% alpha-hydroxy acid and salicylic acid every morning for all-day acne prevention.

After washing your face, control excess oil with Shu Uemura acnormal lotion ($15) with glycolic acid and watercress extract.

The antibacterial and astringent properties of Joey New York Pure Pores Masque and Blemish Treatment ($21) tightens pores with camphor and titanium dioxide for smoother skin overnight.

Treat blemishes with Cellex-C Hydra 5 B-Complex ($60), an oil-free gel with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B-5 for smoother, more radiant skin.

Tea Tree Solutions tea-tree-oil ointment
will zap most breakouts almost completely within 24 hours.

The Great Awakening by Philosophy exfoliates and oxygenates, while alleviating breakouts with enzymes.

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