I never thought I'd begin a blog post with the phrase "Continuing with our ongoing themes of pimples and Australia," but... here we are.
The story goes like this: During my trip to Sydney - and I think it could've been the day after the city tour including Bondi Beach - I found myself sporting some unfortunate-looking red spots on my chin. Since I knew for sure that there were no mosquitoes nor sand flies in that area (good gravy please, NO), I thought I'd go ahead and trudge through downtown Sydney in search of a pharmacy... or at least a store that sold decent cosmetics.
Long story short: I made a new friend on George Street.
After getting over the initial giggles over the name itself, I ducked into the local Priceline in search of something to take care of my little problem. But all of my leads came up short, and the only pimple-fighting brands I could find were "the usual suspects" targeted for teenagers.
I was just about to give up when I thought, Hey, why not duck into the Neutrogena aisle and see what they have over there? That's what I did, and that's how I managed to walk out of that store with my first decent spot treatment in years.
No, scratch that: I walked out of that store with one of the greatest pimple-fighting spot treatments of all time.
Here's why Neutrogena's Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight and Fade Gel is worth all that trouble, and more: When they tell you to start with a thin layer of product, they mean one thin layer of product - and when they tell you to start using "once daily," they mean once daily. Usually, when I put pimple-fighting stuff on myself, I have the tendency to pile it on the monster and let it dry overnight. I was tempted to do exactly that with the Neutrogena on one of the zits on my chin... but since this one was a gel, and formulated for acne sufferers who are no longer served by the Clearasil market, I figured I should try going slow first. Besides, the tube promises to fight and fade - and it wouldn't hurt to do it more than once if it didn't work the first time, right?
The next morning, I checked myself in the mirror: One application + one thin layer = zits gone, practically overnight. Bingo.
The secret, so to speak, is in the sauce - specifically, the proprietary blend of salicylic and glycolic acids that get over and under the skin to get to the zit without leaving the unsavory acid-burn marks that come from traditional zit treatments. It works for me, especially, since I suffer more breakouts on my T-zone and don't have to worry about acne everywhere else. I also appreciate the fact that the gel formula absorbs fast (unlike the goopy peel-off mask gels that I've used in the past) and the fragrance isn't obnoxious at all.
The only caveat I could think of with this is the increased sun sensitivity as a result of all the acids in the formula - that, and the possibility that it might not work if you'll need something stronger for regular breakouts - but other than that, no problem anyway.
Verdict: Thumbs way up, and worth passing on to your family and friends.
Edited to add: The folks at Neutrogena recommend starting with one application daily, and then building up to two to three times daily if the zit is especially bothersome. Good thing to know!