Exclusive: Glossier Is Launching Zit Stick, an Innovative New Acne Treatment
There's no getting around it — if you let it, a breakout can ruin your day. Luckily, for the 50 million of us dealing with acne (and that's just in the U.S.), Glossier just launched Zit Stick — a new, acne-fighting spot treatment designed to treat your blemish, no matter when (or where) it pops up.
Since the company's launch in 2014, Glossier has been formulating new skin-care and makeup launches left and right — one of the most buzzed about being its first acne product, Solution, which dropped earlier this year. Luckily for anyone who's ever gotten a zit, Glossier's Solution — the exfoliating toner that totally changed one Allure writer's skin — was just the beginning.
Today, Glossier officially introduced Zit Stick, a benzoyl peroxide-based spot treatment that looks sort of like a Tide pen.
Like a Tide pen, Zit Stick is designed to be used on the go, as it's a translucent formula that rolls on under or over your makeup. "We started to think about how treating zits tends to be a private affair — something you wait to deal with until you can apply that thick, visible spot treatment at home," Melissa Souto, Glossier's director of product marketing and development, tells Allure. "That's what got us thinking about Zit Stick, a solution that lets you start to treat a pimple fast, the moment you feel one coming on, no matter where you are."
To banish breakouts, Zit Stick relies on a double-duty formula of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. "Benzoyl peroxide is perhaps the most effective ingredient we have in treating acne," Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Allure. "It works by lowering levels of acne-causing bacteria on the skin to help calm inflammation."
But, as you probably know, if you've tried a benzoyl-based product, the ingredient can also be too drying — and what's the point of getting rid of your pimple if you're left with a flaky, irritated dry patch? Glossier thought of this, opting for a formula with half the benzoyl peroxide of many acne treatments to cut down on the risk of over-drying the blemish.
That doesn't mean Zit Stick is lacking in firepower. The formula also contains capryloyl salicylic acid, which is a "gentler derivative of salicylic acid," says Souto. "It exfoliates the surface of the skin to reduce stress on the skin and help the benzoyl peroxide do its magic."
Though Zeichner points out this ingredient isn't technically recognized as an acne-fighting ingredient by the Food and Drug Administration, it can be an important exfoliator. "As a beta hydroxy acid, it helps exfoliate dead cells and removes excess oil from the surface of the skin…so it will likely give some benefit," he says.
Add in skin-calming ingredients, like tea tree oil (which is an acne treatment in its own right) and soothing cucumber extract, and you have the perfect translucent formula for treating a pimple in public.
As for the rollerball pen packaging, Glossier says the pen's delivery system is just as key as the formula. "One of the most crucial parts of the process was working on the formula and packaging in tandem, instead of one after another," Souto says. "We created the formula with the packaging in mind and vice versa to make sure that the consistency, dosage, and application was perfect, hygienic, and easy."
Here's how it works: After clicking the pen three to six times, you'll get the perfect amount of formula on the rollerball, made of antimicrobial steel. "It lets you work the product into the skin for a translucent finish without having to use your fingers," Souto says. "An added bonus of the rollerball is its cooling effect, which makes for an enjoyable application experience and can help reduce swelling."
Rollerball packages like Zit Stick's have the potential to be tricky, Zeichner says. Since they touch your skin and then roll back into the formula, there's a concern that dirt and oil from your face could contaminate the formula. But since Zit Stick's formula contains a germ killer (the benzoyl peroxide), this isn't really anything to worry about, Zeichner says.
"The rollerball is made of antimicrobial steel, which, unlike sponge or brush applicators that tend to be receptive to bacteria, prevents bacteria growth," Souto adds. "That, in tandem with the benzoyl peroxide in the formula, makes it a totally hygienic, finger-free application process."
As with any skin-care product, Zeichner advises keeping your eye out for any weird changes in the formula, just to be on the safe side. "If the product does not look, feel, or smell the way did when you purchased it, toss it," he says.
Glossier's Zit Stick will retail for $14 at glossier.com, beginning tomorrow.
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