If you’re a human with skin, you’ve likely had the following experience: you get a zit, pop it, pick it, go to sleep, and wake up the next morning with a giant monster of a scab on your face. Then your stomach sinks, because scabs do not go away quickly; they tend to stick around for days. They also happen to be impossible to conceal.
Last year, I wrote about the cocktail of products I used to hasten the healing process for my frequent self-inflicted face wounds. It involved applying a pimple patch, snail mucin, face oil, and Tatcha’s Recovery Cream, and then, when the scab fell off, putting on a brightening serum like Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma to help lighten the spot up. Sometimes at the end of all of that, I’d use some sort of mask in order to amp up the hydration. In other words: it was a 9,000-hour process that no sane person has time for.
So imagine how happy I was when I discovered Cosrx’s Centella Blemish Cream. When I stumbled upon this little beauty (at oo35mm, my go-to Korean skin-care store) I happened to have an acne-related scab on my chin. I brought the product home, applied it to the affected area, went to bed, and woke up to find that my scab was almost fully healed and ready to flake away.
The wonder ingredient in this product is something called centella asiatica–leaf water — an antibacterial herb that is traditionally used to heal damaged or burned skin and to help prevent and fade scarring. With this in mind, I tested out the product on active zits and found that even then it helped reduce redness and lighten up leftover hyperpigmentation. It’s scentless, paraben-free, and extremely gentle on the skin, which makes it especially perfect for my people (the acne-prone). I’ll use it now as a spot treatment on any problem areas (before I apply my moisturizer), and if I have a scab, I’ll smother this on it. It’s small, it’s mighty, and if you’re a picker like me, it’ll save you over and over.
More Strategist-approved things for hyperpigmentation
In our guide on how to help acne scars disappear, experts recommended products with mark-fading hydroquinone, and Ambi Fade Cream includes 2 percent hydroquinone, the highest concentration allowed without a prescription. “It also contains soy, which is well known for treating pigmentation issues, and vitamin E, which helps with scarring,” says Dr. Julia Tzu.
Rio’s cheaper alternative to the magic, scar-fading Drunk Elephant, this argan oil has legions of fans.