All throughout high school and my early 20s, I was that annoying person with clear skin whose skincare routine only consisted of cleansing with water and applying moisturizer. That all changed a few years ago when I officially entered my late 20s. My face became infested with painful, hormonal cysts on my chin and jawline that were immune to every single form of acne treatment—whether it was a salicylic acid-based serum, or completely cutting diary out of my diet.
After a bleak cheese-free year, I finally visited a dermatologist who prescribed me spironolactone, a blood pressure medicine that's used off-label to treat hormonal acne. Since I started taking the pill last spring, my breakouts have been relatively under control except for the odd blemish. That's why a solid spot treatment is still essential to my current skincare routine, and how Sunday Riley's Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask came to earn a spot in my medicine cabinet.
Similar to the planet the treatment is named after, Sunday Riley's Saturn Mask is packed with, well, sulfur. The bright yellow element is filled with antibacterial proprieties, which is what makes such an all-star ingredient for clearing up multiple forms of existing acne and preventing future breakouts, too.
Sunday Riley's Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask, Sephora.com
The formula also contains five other ingredients that are commonly found in acne-fighting skincare products such as bentonite clay, tea tree oil, manuka oil, tumeric, and neem. These extra reinforcements help heal blemishes, reduce redness, and improve clarity.
Whenever the odd whitehead or cyst pops up after a week where I've been too stressed out or ate a few too many greasy late night pizza slices, I reach for my tube of Sunday Riley's Saturn Mask. Since my skin isn't generally oily but more sensitive than I am, I prefer dabbing a dot of the neon green mask on each of my rouge blemishes and leaving it on overnight instead of slathering on like a traditional face mask.
After one use, I always find that my zits have noticeably shrunk in size, and in the case of whiteheads, don't look like they're about to explode at any second. There's no shortage of spot treatments on the market—whether you're looking for a formula with medicated or natural ingredients—but unlike the majority of products I've tried, after multiple treatments, this mask doesn't leave a dried-out, flaky ring that's impossible to hide with concealer around the pimple you've been trying to suck the life out of.
Fun fact: I've been terrified of E.T. since I was a kid, but if clear, unclogged pores means giving into this product's play on aliens and outer space, consider me a convert.