Benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid. Sulfur. BHAs and AHAs and PHAs. We’re used to hearing all these ingredients when it comes to breakouts. But there’s one buzzy new acne treatment that has everyone talking: succinic acid. It’s on the newer side in the beauty industry but it’s been used medicinally in European countries for years. Now, brands such as The Inkey List are using the ingredient to help acne sufferers get their clearest skin yet.
First, let’s start with the good stuff. Succinic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation (great for those red cystic zits) and excess sebum, while also de-clogging pores. Unlike other acne treatments, it doesn’t dry out the skin which can sometimes make a breakout worse. It helps balance pH levels so dehydrated skin is a thing of the past. It can even help hydrate the skin. Know what that means? Not only does it help with breakouts and dark spots, but it can also plump pesky fine lines and wrinkles. Succinic acid is naturally found in amber or sugar cane and fermented for use.
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One of the first big brands to incorporate succinic acid into its products is The Inkey List. The Succinic Acid Treatment works so well, it keeps selling out. (It’s probably also thanks to the affordable price tag.) Not only did The Inkey List put 2 percent succinic acid in its spot treatment, but also 1 percent sulfur powder to help absorb oil and salicylic acid to exfoliate. The combination of these three ingredients makes this one powerhouse product.
Although this is a more gentle acne treatment that works overtime, you’ll still want to use a hydrating moisturizer and/or serum after application. It’s safe to use during the day and some fans even use it under makeup. A skin-clearing primer? Sign me up.
Because this best-seller keeps flying off the shelves you’ll want to check back here and see if it’s back in stock. Don’t worry—Sephora does keep restocking it. In the meantime, try some other favorites from the brand to keep your skin in tip-top shape.
Retinol Anti-Aging Serum
This non-irritating, line-smoothing formula uses 1 percent of what the brand calls “RetiStar stabilized retinol” as well as .5 percent Granactive retinoid to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as squalane for hydration.
Salicylic Acid Acne + Pore Cleanser
Oily, acne-prone skin doesn’t stand a chance against 2 percent salicylic acid, anti-inflammatory zinc compound and soothing .5 percent Allantoin.
Niacinamide Oil Control Serum
This lightweight serum kicks shine, as well as reduces blemishes, redness, and hyperpigmentation, with 10 percent niacinamide.