It's a common yet inaccurate belief that acne heals with age. Sure, that might happen for some people, but everyone's skin is different, and for many of us, chronic acne persists into adulthood. (As much as we wish acne magically vanished in a cloud of smoke on the day we officially pass through adolescence, that's just not the case). The worst part is that due to this "acne only affects teenagers" mindset, there's a lack of adult acne products on the market. There are products to treat and prevent blemishes, and there are products that address aging concerns—there is rarely a product that does both.
That's the idea behind the acne line Unblemish, created by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, who are better known as the creators of Proactiv. The four-step line of products brightens, tones, and firms the skin while also treating and preventing blemishes.
"With triggers such as genetics, stress, and hormones, acne is the most frequently diagnosed condition by dermatologists, affecting approximately 30-40 percent of adults," the brand writes in a press release. "Because adult acne causes can be unpredictable, prevention and full-face treatment versus spot treating a single blemish are vital in breaking the acne cycle to eliminate current acne and prevent future blemishes from forming."
Treating acne is one thing, but unless you have otherwise perfect skin, you likely have more than one concern at a time. "Acne is not the only skin concern for adults—other age-related skin changes need to be considered such as the slowdown of skin cell renewal, less natural sebum production, loss of elasticity, and increased sensitivity. As a result, in addition to dealing with acne, adults also experience uneven texture and tone, visible pores, and loss of firmness." That's where Unblemish comes in.
Step 1: Exfoliate
The first step in the process is this exfoliating face wash. It's formulated with clay, AHAs, salicylic acid to slough away blemish-causing debris and keep pores clean and unclogged. There's also colloidal sulfur, which rids the skin of excess oil and conditions it for a smooth and even appearance.
ICYMI: Exfoliation is key to preventing blemishes because it clears away impurities that could clog pores and lead to inflammation. It's also critical to the anti-aging process, which is something many people don't know. Regular exfoliation stimulates new collagen production and increases cell turnover, both of which lead to a fresher and firmer complexion.
Step 2: Tone
The second step in the process is the Clarifying Toner, which is formulated to keep pores clear with witch hazel, while vitamin B brightens the skin, and a combination of aloe, green tea, and rosemary extract soothe any irritation or inflammation. Use this directly after the face wash to get the best benefits.
Step 3: Treat
Next is the Dual Intensive Acne Treatment. Even though it comes packaged in a single tube, there are two chambers inside. One has a benzoyl peroxide cream, and the other has a hydrating and conditioning gel made from botanical extracts like pomegranate and chamomile.
Step 4: Moisturize
The final step in the process is the lotion, which, not unlike all of the other products in the line, is formulated to treat acne and aging concerns. At its core, it's a moisturizer. However, the hydration is backed up by vitamins E and C, which smooth and brighten the skin from hyperpigmentation (and acne scars, too!), while a mineral sunscreen provides SPF 20.
Every single product in this line can be purchased separately if you so desire. However, they're formulated to work best in collaboration with one another, which is why the brand offers a package deal. It may be more expensive than other anti-acne routines on the market, but it's unlike other anti-acne routines in that it also treats and nourishes adult skin. So, in that way, you can think of it like a 2-for-1.