When it comes to rating zits on a scale from mildly annoying to all out assholery, cystic zits get a huge A in my book. This is mainly because there’s usually nothing you can do about them, save frantically swiping ice cubes over the area until it goes numb, followed by fervent prayers to the powers that be for a painless, easy passage from under the surface volcano to full on eruption (which, let’s be honest is a) hardly ever the case and b) takes ages to happen).
You know what I’m talking about; you wake up one morning and you can feel the zit forming before you can see it; a hard, painful lump that sometimes stays under the surface of your skin for a couple of months and hurts your face / makes you question your sanity in the interim, rendering all topical treatments, from toothpaste to tea tree oil, virtually ineffective.
That’s why I took so long to come around to the idea of Mario Badescu’s Buffering Lotion, the seemingly magical potion that claims to obliterate both cystic and surface acne – overnight.
Declarations like these usually induce dangerous levels of eye rolling; sure, you’re telling me that this ‘lotion’ is going to ‘zap’ my zits away in less than 24 hours? Riiight. Like I haven’t been burnt by those claims before.
But then I started reading more and more about its seemingly magical properties – people were practically writing odes to it on skincare forums and then Mindy Kaling (who is my spirit animal) wrote about it on her blog claiming that it’s the only thing that works on her zits.
So I caved in and bought some, and I’m here to tell you that this humble pie tastes delicious, because I was wrong but I don’t care because I have seen the light and it is good.
What it does: shrink cystic acne by delivering its magical properties (some of which include zinc oxide, hydrolyzed protein, and allantoin, known for its skin soothing benefits) right to the heart of your cystic acne, destroying its dreams of wreaking havoc on your face and shrinking it so that it never comes to the surface.
It works well on the more traditional type of acne too; the kind that sits on the surface of your skin and forms a white head, and is supposed to be hugely effective on acne clusters as well, although I’ve not had much experience with those before.
What I do know is this: I haven’t had a one cystic acne-related issue since I bought this, which isn’t to say I never get those sub-surface bumps, but that once I feel one coming on, I dab copious amounts of this watery liquid on the area and in about two days (and sometimes overnight!) it’s gone – no pain, no swelling, no redness, just – gone.
Which is more than any acne treatment has ever done for me, and so I’ll be hanging on to this one – and joining the hordes in shouting my love for it from the rooftops.
Buffering Lotion by Mario Badescu, available on Beauty Bay.