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These Brands Are Changing the Way We Treat (and Talk About) Acne

Gone are the nuclear creams that rid acne but damage everything else in its path. Meet the companies tackling acne in approachable ways.

beauty products treating acne
Gear Patrol

Contrary to popular belief, acne isn't your skin's death sentence. Everyone's faced a hard-to-hide pimple or set of stubborn blackheads before. But few brands act like it. They make acne seem like the end of the world — a condition that kills your confidence, keeps you from seeing friends or dates and damages your skin forever. Traditional brands use messaging that implies your breakout should be a breaking point, where you should panic and your skin should purge. But I'm here to clear the air: Nuclear acne treatments that sear the skin's surface into submission are no longer the sole way forward.

There's a new cohort of companies changing not only the way you treat acne, but the way you talk about it, too. Soft Services, Starface, Peace Out, Bevel and SolaWave obviously see acne as a problem but not one you should stress out about — that'll only exacerbate the issue. This new class of acne treatment brands makes manageable overnight patches that are as playful as they are potent; gentle pore-clearing sheets; high-tech red and blue light wands; creams that cover up while they clear; and serums that repair skin damaged by pimples prior.

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Soft Services
soft services
Soft Services

Founded in 2019 by beauty experts Annie Kreighbaum and Rebecca Zhou, Soft Services is a "targeted" body care company designed to treat a suite of common skin issues: dry skin, keratosis pilaris, irritation, ingrown hairs, discoloration, body acne and beyond. The combination of potent ingredients and custom formulas form create a strong collection of effective products perfect for tough and sensitive skin alike.

Clearing Clay
Clearing Mist
Buffing Bar

Starface shot onto the scene with its star-shaped, acne-treating stickers. Wearers could slap one on when a pimple appears, sleep with it on and remove it the next morning. Many started wearing them out, too, with an air unashamed confidence. It kickstarted a kind of acne nonchalance that's carried into brands established after them.

Hydro-Star + Salicylic Acid
Lift Off Pore Strips
sola wave

SolaWave and its flagship product, the SolaWave Wand, strive to treat a multitude of skin issues (including acne) with red light, blue light, facial massages, microcurrents and heat. It might sound like heresay, but there's real science behind it all. With a sleek, modern design and even more modern functionalities, the wand can drastically reduce fine lines and wrinkles, pimples, dark spots and dull spots alike.

SolaWave Red Light Wand
SolaWave Blue Light Wand

FRONTMAN wants you to put your best face forward — even when you have acne. Their sole product offering thus far, the FRONTMAN Fade, is a two-in-one formula that diminishes the appearance of acne while covering it in a skin-colored cream. The Fade is available in four shades and should only be worn during the day — and you can; It's completely invisible, even if you're not great at applying makeup.

Peace Out

As the name implies, Peace Out is a skincare brand dedicated to eradicating the skin of its most common ailments: acne, dark spots, inflammation, wrinkles and the ilk. In fact, you shop the brand's offering that way, by picking your issue and finding products that strive to solve it. Under acne the brand boasts a bunch of solutions: stickers for overnight use, creams for clearing breakouts and balms for reducing the visibility of stubborn blemishes.

Acne Dots - 6 Dots
Peace Out Acne Dots Jumbo
Acne Treatment Serum

Bevel makes products specifically for Black skin, which they've proved is both sensitive and in need of specialized products. Big beauty brands don't take minority users into account when formulating new products, meaning many could damage skin or could simply not work. Bevel's been mindful of them from the start, formulating a collection of hair, skin, body and shave products that are as sensitive as they are potent — and particularly for Black people.

2-in-1 Spot Fader
Exfoliating Toner
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