Earlier this month, Glossier released their newest product: Zit Stick, billed to work like an “Undo” button for pesky pimples. Formulated with a blend of benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid, it comes in a user-friendly, millennial-pink, Tide-like pen. It also boasts impressive results: The brand says more than 83 percent of people in a clinical trial saw their zits minimized after just three hours of use. We had a few New York Magazine staffers who don’t like to pop their pimples test it out.
Madeleine Aggeler, staff writer
The first thing to know about Glossier’s Zit Stick, is that you have to twist it 7,000 times before any of the gel comes out. I learned this because, after twisting it a mere 4,000 times, I thought, Huh, maybe it’s just so light you can’t even see it? and rubbed it on my face a couple of times. This was dumb. You can definitely see it, just keep twisting.
Glossier says the Zit Stick can reduce the size of your pimples in three hours, to which I would say — sure, maybe! I tend to get zits on the same three areas on my chin, so I applied it there before going to sleep, and the next morning they looked less red. I wouldn’t say they were completely erased, but it helped, and I’ll probably keep using it in order to feel some semblance of control over my life and chin zits.
Lisa Ryan, senior writer
I normally break out when it’s my period or if I drink a lot. Luckily, prior to testing Zit Stick I had just drank a ton of sugary wine, so a nice pimple emerged on my lower chin. I promptly whipped this out and then struggled to figure out how to use it. At first, I applied literally nothing to my face, thinking that the gel was just that clear and thin. I realized I was wrong when I kept twisting the cap and actual stuff came out.
I’m not sure if the Zit Stick helped or if a larger power listened to my prayers for good skin, but the zit did get a lot smaller in the course of a few days. Most of my zits stick around — they linger or become cystic to remind me that I do not and will not ever have perfect skin. This one was easy, it just kind of got tiny and then went away. I assume the blemish stick helped. I’m just glad I have a new line of defense for the next time I drink too much wine.
Daise Bedolla, social media editor
My skin has been mostly calm over the past several months, but there’s one persistent spot on my chin that always flares up around my period. I was hopeful that the Zit Stick would be the one to finally stop the cycle. But it was difficult to even start using the product. To get “the formula flowing,” Glossier recommends twisting the click pen 16 times.
But for me, it took me way, way longer — to the point where I wondered if I had gotten a faulty product (it turns out, several YouTube reviewers had the same experience). Once the formula did come out, I swiped it on my chin and loved that it was cold upon contact. Except … the next day I had no visible results. The inflammation wasn’t reduced and the pimple looked just as irritated as before. I persisted and diligently applied the product for three days, which in the end did help reduce the size of the initial spot. Somehow though, I also got three more flare-ups in the area where I put on Zit Stick. I wanted to like the product. I really tried to like it, but in my opinion, the results fell majorly flat.
Hunter Harris, Vulture associate editor
I stopped using over-the-counter products on my acne a few years ago, and was skeptical of Zit Stick. Generally, when I put on a gel or a spot treatment, I like to feel that it’s “working” — like there’s a tingle, a feeling of something, but this product didn’t really give me any sensation. But I did use it two nights before bed on a bump on my forehead, and was pleasantly surprised that the zitster nearly disappeared.
For an emerging hormonal bump on my jawline, it was less helpful. I did try wearing it under makeup once but found that it didn’t wear super well. (My skin started flaking and it was hard to dab concealer on.) Would it be my first line of defense? Probably not, but I would use it before a lazy work day where I’m not wearing makeup. Overall, it’s a fine spot treatment, save for one aspect: the applicator! For two nights, I tried twisting it in every direction but the product took forever to come out. Even when it did, I’m not sure the applicator is the most effective.