The question then becomes: what do we do with them? As you may know if you are a longtime follower of my blog, I have very congested skin. My pores are always blocked and threatening to erupt into angry blemishes that fight their way to the surface and then try to scar afterwards, and since starting AHA a few months ago, I have had some pretty serious purges. Closed comedones deep under the surface which I thought I would have to have a derm remove with a sharp object surfaced and are gone without a trace.
Enter the Mizon Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot treatment, which I found surprisingly effective in drawing things up into a head much faster and with less damage.
Read on for how it panned out!
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Details:Full product name: Mizon Acence Blemish Out Pink Spot
Purpose: A spot treatment meant to be dabbed onto individual blemishes, not all over the face or troubled areas. Has a unique 2 layer structure which I will get into below.
Scent: Unsurprisingly, it smells like Calamine Lotion.
Texture: A very thin liquid suspended above a powder, which you dip a cotton swab (like a Q-tip, or whatever local brand you have) into without mixing the layers together.
Availability: You can find it on: Amazon | eBay | Jolse | RoseRoseShop | TesterKorea
Price: I purchased mine for around $12 with free shipping from RRS, and it goes for $12-$16 with free shipping from Amazon and eBay.
Rating: 4/5, as most of the time it did help.
Repurchase: Sure, although lately my new BHA has been doing the same thing for my entire face, and I just haven't gotten the huge purge nasties I got with AHA.
Full Review:So pink powders/drying solutions are nothing new. I know that Mario Badescu has one that I've seen mentioned a few times (including as an example of how these products don't work) and several Asian brands have their versions as well.
The thing that intrigued me about this powder, was the ingredients (pictured here in Korean) and also pulled here from UO's website (typos corrected by me), and which I have entered into cosdna for those looking for specific triggers.
Aqua, Alcohol, Calamine, Glycerin, Titanium Dioxide, Glycolic Acid, Dimethyl Sulfone, Camphor, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Salicylic Acid, Triclosan, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Propylene Glycol, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Butylene Glycol, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Theobroma (Cacao) (Cocoa) Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
Lots of interesting things, and a few potential red flags although many of those are flagged if present in high concentrations. An example is Salicylic Acid (a BHA), these flags are present in such low concentrations in cosmetics that there is no danger. In fact, the BHA is one of the things that wooed me to try this; active ingredients such as BHA and AHA have proven acne fighting abilities and supports this product being more then just a glorified alcohol drying treatment.
So yes, it contains alcohol, and it doesn't worry me one bit after reading this really excellent comparison and analysis of how various companies interpret the same studies to support their particular products. As with most things to do with skin care, YMMV - if your skin doesn't like it, don't use it. If your skin does not seem to mind it, but you have been hearing buzz about it, research it until you are satisfied. At least, that's the approach I take!
I looked up the flagged ingredients and was not alarmed, and I'll break therm down below, as well as the various extracts and things that interested me.
Per the official product copy (translated version below courtesy of ebay store f2plus1, which I believe is beautynetkorea's ebay store?) Mizon considers the key ingredients to be AHA, BHA, Triclosan, Sulfur, Coptis Japonica Makino, and Calamine.
Anyone who ever ran afoul of poison ivy/oak/etc as a kid (or an adult!) will likely be very familiar with Calamine lotion and it's soothing effect on skin irritations.
- Titanium Dioxide
At first I was confused, wondering why there was a sunscreen- was it for mitigating the photosensitive effect of the AHA and BHA? It would only be effective if actively on the skin. I dug deeper and found out it's a common additive to make things easier to spread on the skin, and realized that it must be mixed with the Calamine into the paste that clings to the skin when you dab it and holds the rest of the product on there.
- Glycolic Acid (cosdna flag)
One of the main reasons I gave this a shot was the inclusion of active ingredients, such as this AHA.
With my pH strips MIA, I can't check to see if the pH is low enough for chemical exfoliation,but AHAs are beneficial for the skin even at pH levels too high for exfoliation and this is not an exfoliating product anyway.** As I mentioned above with the BHA, it doesn't concern me that it's flagged on cosdna, because you wouldn't be using acids in high concentrations anyway. (Unless you are getting a chemical peel administered by a professional, of course.)
** Update: pH is 5.5 per my brand new test strips.
- Dimethyl Sulfone
This is the 'sulfur' that Mizon was referring to in the above image. It seems that there is not much in the way of solid, compelling evidence that it is effective, but the purpose in this product seems to be as an anti-inflammatory.
- Camphor (cosdna flag)
According to the NCBI, camphor "is used topically as a skin antipruritic and as an anti-infective agent." Antipruritic and anti-infective? Makes perfect sense for a spot treatment. It's also unsafe in high quantities per webmd so I am unsurprised it was flagged by cosdna.
- Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Castor oil in general is a common beauty product ingredient and is considered safe for topical and food use by the FDA, and according to cosmeticsinfo.org, this particular variant is a surfactant/solubilizing agent, which means it helps form a solution involving other ingredients that would not otherwise play nice together.
- Salicylic Acid
Already covered this one above. O delicious BHA, get on mah face and get on with your badass acne fighting action.
- Triclosan (cosdna flag)
This is also one of Mizon's star ingredients, and it's not only flagged on cosdna, it's marked as a preservative. Why would that be a star ingredient?? When I started researching, I realized that it's commonly used as a preservative because it's an antibacterial and antifungal agent. Mizon isn't using it to keep greeblies from growing in your bottle of product, they're using it de-greeblie your skin.
- Coptis Japonica Root Extract
Initially when I googled this as-is, I didn't find anything particularly exciting until I started looking for Coptis Japonica Makino as the product copy specified, and discovered it's an antioxidant and was an old commercial remedy in Canada to treat oral yeast infections. So I'm going to chalk this one up as an antifungal/antimicrobial and general antioxidant goodness and move on.
- Propylene Glycol (cosdna flag)
It's a humectant/moisturizer, and per the info on cosmeticinfo.org, "Propylene Glycol, also known as 1,2-propanediol, is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain cosmetics, medicines and food products. In the human body, Propylene Glycol is metabolized into lactic acid, which occurs naturally when muscles are exercised" doesn't worry me too much.
- Butylene Glycol (cosdna flag)
Moisturizer and solvent, and a controversial ingredient. I was going to type up a massive blurb about it and the hype and hysteria around it, but instead I will leave this as a plea that if you are concerned about it, please research using legitimate scientific sources before deciding if it is a cause for concern.
- Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
Although I didn't get into all the plant extracts listed (let me save you the googling, they're all supposedly anti-inflammatory) I couldn't pass by our old friend, tea tree. It's widely recognized as being antibacterial and antimicrobial, and is a popular acne-fighting 'natural' ingredient, and it's only logical that it be included in this spot treatment.Now that we've covered the science, on to application!
You need to avoid jostling it around too much as it needs to stay separated. The instructions say to leave it for a few hours but I found mine settled in less than an hour even if I shook it up as hard as possible to test it.
How to use:
After finishing my full PM routine (all of it, even moisturizers, as the drying action will power through everything) I apply this spot treatment to any closed breakouts or sore areas where something is forming. If the blemish is already open, I swab off any product and use a hydrocolloid bandage instead of this product.
Grab a cotton swab and dip it straight down into the bottle, which I do fairly slowly to ensure that I neither disturb it too much and also to make sure the liquid permeates the cotton, then press it down into the pink powder at the bottom.
I press reasonably firmly to ensure I've picked up enough of the pink stuff before I carefully draw it back out, allowing the yellow liquid to coat the swab-and-glob-of-pink, trying to avoid bumping it on the inside rim of the neck. I occasionally fail at this, as you can see from the picture. Ah well.
I try to ensure I have equal parts powder and liquid, because as far as I can tell, the pink powder is the soothing element and the yellow liquid is where all the drying and fierce acne fighting action is happening. I want a balance of both.
As you can see in this image, the cotton swab is saturated with the liquid and there is a generous amount of the pink powder at the tip. If I am unlucky enough to have enough blemishes to need another round, obviously I discard the one I am using and get a fresh swab, Never double dip, EVER!
Does it work? Yes, it works quite well for the most part, especially on areas that are trying to form into a inflamed, headless bump that will mock me with soreness for days. Not only does it reduce the swelling and relieve some of the pain, it also seems to ... concentrate (for lack of a better word) the blemish and bring it to a head sooner. Once it's open, I can slap a hydrocolloid on it and let it do the next leg of the relay race to beat the blemish before it scars.
I have also found that sometimes I need to repeat the one-two punch combo of Pink-Spot-then-hydrocolloid-bandage, where the HCB has pulled out all the goo but I can tell that there is something still lodged deep in that pore, waiting to arise with new fury. After pulling off the HCB, I dab on fresh Pink Spot and within 24 hours, it's drawn it out. Compare that to a week of feeling like it's the spot that never ends, I'll take it. It also means I can keep my hands off my face, which is always a plus.
I feel like this product works much better for me than the Mizon Blemish-X cream, which I know is very popular but that I'm not overly thrilled with. If a blemish is trying to go off grid and flare up into something big, I find the Pink Spot tames it a lot faster and more consistently.
Have a pink powder type product that did or didn't work for you? Leave me a comment below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter!
All the best,
**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.