The treatment comes from Dr. Barbara Sturm’s new Microbiotic Collection, which focuses on bringing balance to younger, more acne-prone skin. In the formula, you’ll find a blend of pre- and probiotics to nurture the skin microbiome, which is crucial when addressing inflammatory conditions like acne. Remember: The microflora on your skin is a vital part of barrier function, which makes the skin less permeable (meaning, bad stuff can seep through; good stuff can get out). 

It also contains panthenol and allantoin to help calm irritation and redness. Panthenol, in particular, can also help with the wound healing process, attract moisture, and encourage skin regeneration—all good things when you’re dealing with blemishes. 

But let’s address the stinky elephant in the room, shall we? Like its name suggests, the treatment smells…less than stellar. The formula contains shale oil, which has a pungent, sulfur-like odor. Topically, shale oil has been found to enhance wound healing and provide antimicrobial properties, so rest assured, the brand didn’t add the stench for no reason. It smells the strongest upon application, but I don’t even notice the scent once the formula dries down (just in case you were worried about wearing it during the day). 

On that note, the formula also includes rice starch, which has a mattifying, oil-absorbing effect. So if you’d like to treat and cover up a zit, you could easily apply a thin layer, let it dry, then dab on some concealer

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