There's something very real—almost too real—about getting a cortisone shot first thing in the morning. There's the unpleasantness, but also the visible effects. Those are real, in a good way. Even so, anyone who's gotten one before would much rather get clear skin without involving a needle or a trip to the dermatologist. For me, that's where I took a chance on Renée Rouleau's Anti-Cyst Treatment. It's a miniature glass bottle—the cap/pump is comically about the same size as the container portion—filled with a cystic acne-fighting formula with plenty of lactic acid. I dab it on spots that are prone to painful breakouts, and it shortens the lifespan of a zit, sometimes even stopping it from surpassing the vaguely irritating, sort of red, zit-to-be stage. For a random product picked up from the pipe dream of the Internet, the results are impressively real.
Photographed by Tom Newton.