No matter what type of breakout you’re dealing with, Zitsticka has got a product for you. For big, angry cystic suckers, you can reach for a pimple patch. For deep, hormonal breakouts, the retinol stick has got you covered; and for chest/butt/back acne, the body wash is all you need. And this week, the brand introduced its new Pore Vac Clearing Clay Mask ($33), which is specifically designed to stop congested skin (and the blackheads it causes) in its tracks.
As any derm will tell you, the first step in dealing with clogged pores is to suck out all of the gunk that’s clogging them up—which is exactly what this mask does. It uses the derm-approved ingredient trio of acne-fighting ingredients, each of which plays a separate role in clearing away dirt and debris.
First up is salicylic acid, which is known for its ability to crystalize into a small size. This allows it to get way down deep into your pores and break down the culprit behind their clogging. Then, there’s sulfur, which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and keratolytic properties. The ingredient combats acne-causing bacteria and stimulates skin shedding and reproduction, allowing it to work double-time to fend off clogged pores.
Finally, there’s clay, which is what really helps the formula live up to its “vacuum” name. “The purpose of the clay in a face mask is to draw out impurities from your skin,” Arash Akhavan, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with The Dermatology and Laser Group in New York City, previously told Well+Good. In other words, once all of the gunk is broken down, the clay helps to suck it up and out.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, the thought of slathering on a product like this may seem like a no-go because all of these acne-fighting actives have a well-earned reputation of being drying. This formula, though, pairs them with skin-soothing ingredients that make it fine to use on any complexion. Apple cider vinegar staves off irritation, while niacinamide diminishes redness and helps to quash existing breakouts. Also in the mix? Orange peel extract, which offers antioxidant protection as well as brightening and skin-tone evening benefits (and also helps to cover up that yucky sulfur smell).
The formula itself is nice and thick and spreads onto the skin easily. It can be used as a full face mask, as a targeted T-zone treatment, or on individual spots—it’s really a “choose your own adventure” type of situation depending on what type of congestion you’re dealing with. Over the course of a few minutes, it dries into a sort of paste but never gets so dry that it peels and cracks the way most other clay masks tend to. Then, you can use water to wash it away, and whatever nastiness was hanging out in your pores will go right along with it.
For more intel on treating blackheads, check out the video below.
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