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Don’t get me wrong—traveling a lot is great, and I’m blessed to be able to do so as part of my job as a lifestyle writer and editor. But you know what’s not great? Breaking out while traveling. Whether from new environments (hello, going from humid weather to arid, dry conditions in a matter of hours) to touching my face while moving around (going from hotel to plane to my Uber) to just the standard, everyday breakout (hi, hormones), I’ve come to accept that acne is just a part of the equation when traveling.
Don’t get me wrong—I don’t want to break out at home either, but dealing with blemishes while traveling feels infinitely worse. Could it be that my zits are now popping up (pun intended) and showing themselves in every Instagram photo I take? Maybe. Could it be that it’s also painful, and I want it to go away immediately so I’m not thinking of my face while I roam around a new place? Absolutely. Of course, there’s also the fact that I don’t have access to my entire skincare collection when I’m not at home, which makes treating the breakout even trickier. Fortunately, I’ve found a new breakout-banishing mask that takes the place of my anti-acne arsenal in one TSA-friendly tube: Murad’s Rapid Relief Acne Sulfur Mask.
I got my hands on the Rapid Relief Acne Sulfur Mask at an event right before heading to Mexico recently, so I immediately added it to my (always packed) travel toiletries since I could already feel a breakout coming on. Coming in at just 2.5 ounces, it’s an ideal size for a carry-on, and I was ready to give it a go when I arrived at my destination. Once I landed about five hours later, the burgeoning breakout was a full-blown constellation of pimples. As soon as I got checked into my hotel (the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya), I immediately slapped this mask on my face while I unpacked, and hoped for the best.
Murad Rapid Relief Acne Sulfur Mask
The best thing about this mask is that it only needs to be left on for a few minutes to reap its acne-fighting superpowers before rinsing it off—up to ten minutes for one use. It’s gentle enough to use two to three times a week, and with sulfur and salicylic acid, it packs a one-two punch to fight pimples fast. The fast-acting mask is also infused with Kaolin clay, which helps remove excess oil and shine, and soothing ingredients like Austrian peat and oils to counteract any potential irritation from the actives.
As promised, after only ten minutes of having the mask on, I washed it off and noticed that my acute breakout had chilled out considerably; the area wasn’t as red and bulbous as before. Win. I spent the day sweating and drinking by the pool (it was so hot y’all) and felt a bit of concern about the status of my skin after I continuously applied greasy SPF, but the margaritas washed the worry away. Later that night, as I washed my face, I noticed that the breakout that erupted that morning was barely noticeable... and definitely much less noticeable than after I got off the plane.
The next morning as I ate my breakfast in the room, I applied the mask again. I love that it doesn’t smell super sulfur-y; eucalyptus oil keeps the smell fresh and light. After ten minutes, I washed it off in the shower. Usually, when I’m following my at-home skincare routine, it takes a couple of days for my skin to feel like it’s clearing up when I break out. When I tell you that after the second application of the Rapid Relief Sulfur Mask, my skin already looked so much better, I kid you not. Aside from the breakout’s size reduction, the overall texture of the area was smoother, and there was way less redness. I spent another day sweating by the pool, and washed my face normally at night. The next morning, I woke up to (almost) perfectly clear skin. I did one last application before I showered, and at this point, I had only about one small pimple. It was like a miracle had happened.
Since then, I’ve used this mask every time I’ve had a major breakout (I have one bottle at home and one in my travel bag), and I haven’t once been disappointed by the results—it speeds up relief every time. I won’t be traveling without it anytime soon.
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