When you’re a kid, you imagine two things happen with your skin: Acne is to be expected in your teens, and you’ll get wrinkles when you’re old. No one tells you the two finicky stages will overlap, and they definitely don't tell you that overlap will last well into your thirties and perhaps beyond.
Now that I’m sitting ripe at 34 and keeping a watchful eye on every eye crease that pops up, I'm frequently irritated by dealing with regular breakouts along my jawline, cheeks, and occasionally forehead. My skin is what’s been described as “oily but dehydrated,” meaning there’s plenty of grease to clog my pores but the lack of water beneath it is encouraging those little lines multiply.
I was browsing Sephora for a solution one day when a bright orange bottle of goo caught my attention. I recognized the name Peter Thomas Roth as a brand I knew was great since I’d lucked into a few samples before, but the $39 price tag for a facial cleanser seemed steep. Regardless I talked myself into the splurge and toted my luxurious-feeling self home, with a few lipsticks and eyeshadows thrown in because that's how Sephora works.
As I washed up that night, I skipped the makeup remover to see how the potent, thick gel worked on its own. It lathered well and stung my eyes and skin a bit the first time, and my face felt a teensy bit drawn and dry as the various glycolic and salicylic acids got to work. I rinsed completely and was shocked how every stitch of foundation and mascara was instantly erased. My skin was the cleanest it had ever felt without feeling totally stripped, and I liked the tingle it left.
Within a week of using the product, I noticed the blemishes I had scattered about started to clear up and the fine lines around my eyes seemed to disappear. The burning sensation the cleanser had caused at first disappeared as my skin grew accustomed to the natural acids, and I didn't need any additional help via toner or secondary cleansing to get my face squeaky clean. Even as my naturally slick face seemed to balance, my skin was also retaining more hydration and thus looking more plump.
The $39 price had scared me at first, but I quickly realized the large-sized bottle was built to last. That first bottle took nearly five months to go through, and the second even longer once I perfected the formula of how much to use: just over a pea size will foam up enough to generously slather my face and neck without getting goopy or wasting any product. At that rate, you're spending around $8 per month for the best cleanser around–drugstore cleansers tend to go for $10 or so, and I've never found one that truly worked for my complicated issues plus they require far more product to actually be useful.
I'm now halfway through my third bottle and well over a year into using this cleanser, and I can't see myself changing up this routine anytime soon. Folks with extremely dry or sensitive skin may find it a bit harsh, but if you're acne-prone and fighting the clock, Peter Thomas Roth's Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel is one of the best investments you can make for clear, beautiful skin.