Before Trying Glossier's Zit Stick Treatment, Read This

It's not for everybody.

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In case you haven’t checked your Instagram feed today, Glossier—the queen of minimalist, social media–worthy beauty products—just launched a brand-new acne treatment called the Zit Stick.

The stick, which looks just like a Tide pen, is meant to be used on the go (though, to be fair, most spot treatments can be used anywhere, unless you’re trying to fight your zit while engaging in a high-speed horse chase). The pen has a steel rollerball tip that oozes out a lotion-like formula as you click the bottom, so you can roll it over your zit—it dries clear and matte, so you can use it under or over makeup—and let the acne-killing formula do its thing.

The Lowdown

But before you gleefully spend $14 on the pen that will undoubtedly take over your Instagram when it officially launches tomorrow, listen up: This stuff is STRONG—and most definitely should not be used by anyone with especially sensitive, reactive skin (ahem, you rosacea and eczema kids out there). I’m sorry; I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but I’m your resident party pooper.

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Not only is the formula filled with 5 percent benzoyl peroxide—a bacteria-killer that’s often harsh and drying, especially at doses higher than 2.5 percent—but it’s also combined with capryloyl salicylic acid (a somewhat gentler, yet still potent, form of pore-clearing salicylic acid), and tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory). The resulting formula is a pimple-destroying powerhouse that, according to Glossier’s in-house clinical trials, reduced pimple size for 83 percent of subjects after just three hours. And based on that intensely effective ingredients list, I’m not surprised.


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If you’ve got sensitive, easily irritated, or incredibly dry skin (like me!), either skip this treatment altogether, or spot-test below your ear near your jaw line for a few days to see how your skin reacts.

The worst thing you can do for already-irritated, broken-out skin is slather on something that’s going to inflame it even more. Why? Because dried-out, irritated skin is often a catalyst for even more acne. Fun times! So please, take it slow, take a realistic look at your skin, and proceed with caution. And for everyone else with steel-like skin: GO NUTS! Kill your acne! Enjoy!

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Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.