As a teen, my struggle with acne and breakouts was a daily battle. You name it, I tried it: Every OTC acne cleanser and spot treatment from drug- and department stores, prescription topicals and finally, an intense round of Accutane. As an adult, I dealt with a brief bout of hormonal breakouts, which eventually calmed down after a low dose of Spironolactone and a ramped-up skin-care routine that included this amazing blue face wash.
Other cleansers I'd tried in the past left my skin feeling parched and irritated, but not this one. The gel formula has a soothing, cooling effect, but you can tell it's really getting into pores to clean out dirt and oil. (For an extra-deep clean, I use it with my Clarisonic Smart Profile.) Beta hydroxy acid gently exfoliates to treat existing breakouts, while algae and chamomile extracts soothe redness.
The $45 price tag is definitely on the more expensive side when compared with Neutrogena's orange Oil-Free Acne Wash (which rings in at under $6), but trust me, I never would have expected such major results from just switching up my cleanser. And because it takes just a quarter-sized blob to generate a rich lather, it'll be a long time before you need to repurchase. Then there's the minimalist, prismatic, rectangular bottle, which makes the whole product something acne products rarely are: chic. (Not so surprising when you think about the fact that Erno Laszlo was Marilyn Monroe's skin-care brand of choice.)
Erno Laszlo Anti Blemish Beta Wash, $45, available at Sephora
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