The Great Breakout Experiment

If you follow my Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve recently had a nasty bout of stress-related acne, the likes of which I haven’t dealt with in over a year. Rather than bemoan my spotty fate, I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to use some skin care products I hadn’t had to use in a while.

All great experiments need a control – that is, a part of the experiment that’s either left alone or that you do what you’ve always done to it, so that you can compare the part you’re experimenting on to the control. Since I had at least six good-sized zits blooming on my chin, nose, and forehead (no I will not post photos, you’ll have to make do with my excellent descriptive writing skills), I had a pretty decent – and gross – sample size to work with. Time for some science!

Mythbusters Science

For the control pimples, I just popped them after I double-washed my face. I know, I know, it’s bad for your skin and you’re not supposed to, but dangit, they were Right. There. They needed to be popped, guys. I didn’t use my fingernails, because you damage your skin more if you do that, I just squeezed them with the pads of my fingers, cleaned off what came out, then dabbed a little tea tree oil on them to disinfect, because of course they were the kind that bleed a lot when you pop them. Sorry, did I warn you that there would be gross pimple-popping language in this post? Guess you know now!

For the other three, I applied three Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots. I had snagged them before my wedding in case of last-minute skin emergencies, but I’d only used one so far, while I was in Hawaii and the humidity had caused a single pimple to crop up. Well, this round was different. I was going to see if these bastiges were worth the money. I know PTR is a good brand, as I’ve used some of their body wash and shampoo before – they’re solid, so I had confidence in this product already.

I applied them after I’d put on my essence and eye cream, but before my moisturizer, which I applied around the dots. They’re tiny clear dots that look like Scotch tape, but they’re infused with tea tree oil (told you that stuff is gold), alpha-hyaluronic acid, and other goodies to dry out those nasty bumps and get them cleared away. Let’s break down how they performed:

  • Staying Power: A+. They stuck right to my oily, oily face, and didn’t budge all night. And I’m a toss-and-turn kind of sleeper, guys. I had to make an effort to peel them off in the morning.
  • Weird Burning or Tingling: Nope! It just felt like I had some tape on my face, and they’re so clear it took me a second to find them again the next morning. There was a very mild tingly feeling I got about twenty minutes after I put them on, but it subsided quickly.
  • Redness or Irritation: Nope again! Once I peeled them off, the irritation that was already there from the pimples had actually subsided. Obviously, these things contain adhesive, so if you’re allergic to that, this is likely not the product for you, but barring that, these actually reduced the redness on my face where they were stuck.
  • What About the Pimples? Greatly reduced. Like, noticeably improved, literally overnight. I was impressed. They were flatter, less red, less painful, and they looked like they’d go ahead and heal up without me having to pop them! Greatness.
  • How Did They Compare to Just Popping Them? No contest, the dots were a much better idea. The ones I popped were scabbed over the next day, so they were extremely noticeable – moreso than when they were just red and swollen, for sure – whereas the ones I’d put the dots on looked flatter and less visible. It took a lot more TLC to get the scabbing to come off gently than it did to finish letting the pimples I’d put the dots on finish going away.

Conclusion: Invisible Dots for the WIN. They’re easy to use, and yeah, they absolutely work. As an acne-prone person, I’m going to keep these in my skin care arsenal from here on out, and I recommend you do the same, if you have similar skin needs.


4 thoughts on “The Great Breakout Experiment

  1. Great to know! And welcome to the Never Pop club. I usually use astringent twice a day to treat my breakouts (t-zone for the lose), but it takes a few days and lots of moisturizer for that method to clear up blemishes. These dots sound amazing!

    Thanks for sharing and being willing to do science on yourself for the benefit of others!


    1. Man, that t-zone. Mine is the worst too, and I paid for all my popping and picking with some scars when I was younger. Good skin care is minimizing them, though. Glad you liked the post; let me know if there’s something else you want to see on here!


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