Let it ~EradiKate~ all your acne.

By Rachel Dube
July 31, 2020
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After suffering from breakouts in high-school, I made it my mission to clear my skin and have a very regimented skin-care routine in college. However, since the emergence of COVID-19, my skin has been problematic, to say the least.

Unsure of its cause, I suspected it was due to either mask-wearing (hi, maskne) or the increase of stress. I mean, let's be honest, all of our lives have been turned upside down these last few months. When I break out around my period, the breakouts appear on the side of my face. The fact that these new breakouts were appearing on my chin, cheeks, and forehead were indicators for me that it wasn't my usual hormonal acne. Aside from that, the breakouts were also much bigger zits than what I get on my period. (Related: What Is Cystic Acne, Exactly?)

With no end in sight to these new breakouts (or the pandemic, for that matter), I decided it was time to buckle down and find my holy grail acne spot treatment.

Let me give you a little background: My acne has never been bad enough that I needed to get medication from a dermatologist (🙏🙏🙏), but it was unpleasant enough that I wanted to get rid of it (I mean, no one enjoys getting pimples). In the past, I've tried other spot treatments with benzoyl peroxide (one of the most derm-recommended and effective ingredients for acne). While they were effective in getting rid of breakouts, the side effects—such as dry skin, burning, and redness—just weren't worth it. For me, the side effects far outweighed the positive of getting rid of a pimple or two. Benzoyl peroxide is much stronger than the spot treatment that I was searching for; I wanted one that worked but was quite a bit more gentle (and also wouldn't stain my pillowcases and towels, for that matter).

I sought out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues in the beauty industry for salicylic acid spot treatments from a variety of brands. (If benzoyl peroxide is the MVP for acne, salicylic acid is its right-hand man.) People swore by Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion (Buy It, $17, ulta.com) (which comes with a cult-like following), Paula's Choice BHA 9 Treatment (Buy It, $43, dermstore.com), Clean and Clear's Advantage Spot Treatment (Buy It, $6, amazon.com), and Origins Super Spot Remover (Buy It, $19, ulta.com). While all of these products were highly advocated for by people I know, I just didn't find them effective. All they seemed to do was just aggravate my zits and face even more, making it worse than if I'd just left my skin alone. I just didn't get what the hype was all about—was it me or did these products just not work?

Finally, came Kate Somerville's EradiKate Acne Treatment (Buy It, $26, katesomerville.com). I had previously bought, tried, and loved other Kate Somerville products (see: the incredible "2-minute facial"), so I figured I'd give this one a try. What was the worst that could happen? Little did I know, this product would be life-changing.

kate-somerville-eradikate-spot-treatment
Credit: Kate Somerville

The brand promises that EradiKate will effectively eliminate zits, reduce redness, and prevent future breakouts. It's made of 10 percent sulfur, plus beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and zinc oxide. Together these active ingredients all compliment each other by working together to fight current acne and prevent future acne.

The ingredients check out: Sulfur is used to eliminate acne and protect skin against new acne by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria Propionibacterium, which is a top cause of acne. This product actually has the highest amount of sulfur allowed for clinical acne control by the Food and Drug Administration. As a chemical exfoliant, BHAs minimize and unclog pores and act as an anti-inflammatory for the skin. By keeping your pores clear of dirt and excess sebaceous filaments (aka oil plugs in your skin), you have a better chance of keeping your breakouts to a minimum. Lastly, zinc oxide is a natural mineral that provides oil control by reducing the production of sebum (the oily, waxy substance produced by your skin). Less sebum production equals less inflammation, which helps to speed up the acne healing process.

To use, you dip a cotton swab into the bottle and apply a small dab to an emerging or existing zit on your face. (Pro tip: Don't shake the bottle first!) For the best results, use at night after cleansing. This allows the product to work its magic while you sleep. EradiKate dries pink and isn't too thick on your skin. In the morning, just rinse off the leftover product with your cleanser or water.

The first time I used EradiKate, I saw a massive zit shrink in half overnight. I thought this was too good to be true so I tried it again on a new zit a few days later. The same exact thing happened. My zit not only shrunk in size but the redness was dramatically reduced as well. Without any product use, it usually takes my zits about a week to go away on its own. EradiKate had also cut down the healing process by about five days since the zit disappeared after just two.

before-and-after-acne-spot-treatment-kate-somerville
Credit: Rachel Dube

Although Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion is very similar to EradiKate in regards to color and consistency (they're both small jars with pink sediment at the bottom and a clear layer of alcohol at the top), the components are very similar—they both contain sulfur, zinc oxide, and salicylic acid—but the results differed significantly for me. While Mario Badescu came highly praised by many people I know, I just personally didn't see results from it. I found it to be ineffective in getting rid of my zits. (Although it's unclear the exact percentage of sulfur in the Mario Badescu drying lotion, the fact that EradiKate has a whopping 10 percent might just be the reason why.)

I started using Kate Somerville's EradiKate about two months ago and, frankly, I'm still obsessed. (Just ask all the people I've raved about it to in the last few weeks.) Although I can't promise that everyone will have the same results that I did, I know how impressed I was with it—and I think the photos speak for themselves.

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