GEMs Of Beauty:
“It’s too bad your skin is so white,” said the world’s worst dermatologist to me, back when I was miserably suffering from a surfeit of zits, “because it takes so long for the pimples to heal.” What I should have said to him was, “It’s too bad your bedside manner was learned at the hands of Attila the Hun, you worthless quack,” but I was too intimidated to speak up about the red blotches (aka post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation) that lingered for weeks and made me even more embarrassed about my pale-faced skin. Had he been a better doctor he might have offered good advice, but no. And so I suffered in humiliated silence for years.
As our children hit adolescence, fears of acne grow along with the rest of them, and anyone with a bad case needs to see a competent dermatologist, pronto. There are extremely effective options now that didn’t exist back in the Middle Ages when I was a teen. But for mild cases—and for all moms who still have to deal with the very common situation of waking up to zits that seemingly bloomed overnight (yeah, thanks, hormones—how generous!)—there are also some terrific over-the-counter products that will zap the zits without shredding your skin. Here are some of the best for teens and their moms: