Hmmm. Ah, I see. Yes, you look awful. I mean, who even gets pimples these days? What are you, 12? I jest, of course. I’m sure you’re all devilishly handsome. Those bastard bumps are just getting in the way. As soon as we expunge them from existence with all the violence and chemical cache of a ‘90s Iraqi dictator, the world will see your face for what it really is: a sexual WMD from which a bunker would be no escape, a tractor beam that transcends even restraining orders, a woman-magnet with eyeballs.

Now, de-pimplin' ain’t easy. One option would of course be to switch-up your bathroom cabinet with the products in this column, starting with Ren’s Clay Cleanser, which gives pimples no chance. But then I’d have no room for my panoply of niche Parisian fragrances. The cabinet is staying as is.

Clearcalm Clay Cleanser

Clearcalm Clay Cleanser

$23

REN Skincare

Buy at amazon

Here’s how to use it: Pimples or no, cleanse just the same. Warm water, splash your face and lather on the clay cleanser. Gently massage it away with more water and towel-dry your face with barely-there pressure in a dabbing motion. You’d usually move straight on to moisturizing here. But for your pocked face, there’s more work to be done.

More indeed. Starting with something else French (hey, nothing wrong with a themed column). But before we journey back to the country of cheese and romance, some crowbarred-in context. I sat down with an old contact recently. Picture the scene: a journalist (me) meets his fixer, like in the spy movies. She has the information I need. “Zinc,” she says. Is this code? “Zinc, and salicylic acid,” cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto recommends. That’s the shit that kills pimples dead.

Satisfied that my Pulitzer was probably already in the post, I returned home and discovered Serozinc by French brand La Roche Posay.

Serozinc

Serozinc

$15

La Roche-Posay

Buy at La Roche-Posey

This zinc spray mattifies your skin, reducing oil and lowering the chance of a breakout. Apply by spraying directly onto your face, and for the love of all things sentient, close your eyes. It feels a bit weird but if your mom is anything to go by you’ll be perfectly adept at taking a load of facial mist.

What? I heard she likes beautifying.

Moving swiftly on. Clinique’s Anti-Blemish Solutions range is among the best set of pimple-specific products ever to come across my desk. Which is good, because they’re inexpensive. In terms relative to this costly industry, anyway. My pick of the range is the Blemish-Correcting Serum.

Acne Solutions Acne + Line Correcting Serum

Acne Solutions Acne + Line Correcting Serum

$45

Clinique

Buy at Clinique

Apply after the spray has settled to moisturize your skin without causing excess grease build up, which would only exacerbate your pimple problem. Small blobs, small hand movements. Don’t put any of this around the eye area. That’s not what it’s for.

That serum comes in a small bottle, too. Meaning there’ll be plenty of room in the cabinet. Of course, as an essential disclaimer, it’s my duty to remind you of the sexual frisson emitted from your face each and every time you read this column. It might be time for a harem.

But first, the diaspora of your spots. The persecution of your pimples. Let’s return to this business of being more handsome. With the serum absorbed, all that’s left is to deal with is outbreaks as and when they happen. It’s important to state that, if you have the hormonal profile of a teenager (perhaps because you are a teenager) then holding back pimples is like trying to be some sort of grooming King Cnut.

For the rest of us, there’s blemish gel. No need for a hefty price tag here. One of the most effective, simple and wallet-pleasingly cheap options is Tea Tree Blemish Gel by The Body Shop.

Tea Tree Blemish Gel

Tea Tree Blemish Gel

$15

The Body Shop

Buy at amazon

Run the gel directly over spots, either using the wand or with super clean hands. The ingredients will reduce redness and help to purge you of pimples.

Now, I await your comments. Which I’m sure will read something like, “Nah bro just use toothpaste and vinegar your column is shit.”

Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week.

– Alex Harris

Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.

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