Unblemish is a line of products created by dermatologists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields. The products are formulated to treat and prevent acne and also calm skin that is red and inflamed. This regimen includes four products and includes the Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, Spot Fading Toner or Clarifying Toner, Dual Intensive Acne Treatment and Oil Control Lotion SPF 20.
In addition to treating the common causes of acne, the Unblemish line is also targeted towards individuals with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH. PIH is the presence of brown or red marks that acne blemishes often leave on the skin after they have healed. The following reviews the Unblemish acne regimen and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the products included in the kit.
Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash
• Contains sulfur
• Reduces redness
• Exfoliates skin
• Kills acne-causing bacteria
• Has a strong smell
This cleanser is composed of three percent sulfur, which has antibacterial properties and helps to eliminate acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Sulfur is also a keratolytic agent and promotes the regular shedding of dead skin cells. This is a key step when controlling acne, since the irregular shedding of skin cells leads to clogged pores and the formation of acne.
As an anti-inflammatory, sulfur also lessens the appearance of redness and calms inflamed skin and acne blemishes. One of the main disadvantages of applying cleansers that contain sulfur to the skin is that sulfur has a very strong smell, and may be off-putting for some individuals. Sulfur can also cause dryness and can irritate individuals with sensitive skin.
Spot Fading Toner
• Contains salicylic acid
• Contains hydroquinone
• Cleans pores
Since this toner is alcohol-free, it will be much gentler on acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid helps to exfoliate the skin and open up pores, which helps to prepare the skin for the Dual Intensive Acne Treatment.
The Spot Fading Toner contains two percent hydroquinone, which is an ingredient that helps to lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of post-acne marks on the skin. This ingredient can cause side effects, such as itching, redness and stinging. Since hydroquinone also increases sensitivity to the sun, it is advised to stay out of direct sunlight and protect skin from the sun.
• Contains witch hazel
• Contains glycolic acid
• Cleans pores
The clarifying toner is also alcohol-free, which is a major advantage for anyone with acne-prone skin. Witch hazel prevents inflammation and helps to minimize the appearance of pores. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid and works by keeping pores clear and promoting the exfoliation of skin cells.
Dual Intensive Acne Treatment
• Contains benzoyl peroxide
• Kills acne-causing bacteria
With a five percent concentration of benzoyl peroxide, the Dual Intensive Acne Treatment kills acne-causing bacteria and helps to treat existing acne and prevent new breakouts from forming. It helps to clear pores and keep them free of debris that can cause acne.
A disadvantage of using benzoyl peroxide is that it can cause significant drying of the skin and increase irritation for people with sensitive skin and those applying it to their skin for the first time. Benzoyl peroxide can also bleach towels, clothing and hair, and the product should be allowed to dry completely before touching them.
Oil Control Lotion SPF 20
• Provides sun protection
This lotion contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which will provide protection from the sun and prevent against sun burn. Boerhavia diffusa root extract helps to soothe skin and reduce redness.
Since this kit was developed by dermatologists, it contains many active ingredients that are known for controlling and managing acne. Salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulfur are all effective at eliminating the bacteria that causes acne and reducing the likelihood of clogged pores by sloughing off dead skin cells. Many of the products also contain botanical and herbal ingredients, which can soothe irritated skin and moisturize.
One of the main disadvantages of the Unblemish regimen is that the kit is rather pricey compared to other products that contain most of the same ingredients. It is also difficult to ascertain how long the products in the kit will last. If one kit will last for a few months, the price of the kit may be justified.
Individuals who have an aversion to products with a strong smell may want to avoid the cleanser included in this kit. While benzoyl peroxide has been proven in fighting acne, the five percent concentration in this regimen may be too strong for individuals who have never used the ingredient previously. The use of hydroquinone may increase signs of irritation, especially when used with other ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide.