You know what they say: the best defense against problematic skin is a killer offense, usually in the form of an army of spa professionals. To bring that same well-trained attack to the home front, we’ve rounded up our favourite all-encompassing skin care systems that work in tandem with problem-specific products to combat the plugged pores and oily glands that lead to bumpy, uneven skin. And since waging battle requires an individually tailored plan of attack, these at-home skin care treatments target the most common skin ailments so that you can victoriously emerge this season with clear,
glowing skin.

The herbalist: Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser ($31), Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion ($22.50), Blue Herbal Moisturizer ($37) available at Kiehl’s boutiques across Canada or

Clear blue skies ahead: Start with the Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser to gently purify pores with salicylic acid, while ginger root extract soothes sensitive skin and absorbs excess oil. Developed by Kiehl’s chemists in 1964, the cool (and cooling) blue astringent doubles as a soothing aftershave—rumour has it the menthol-infused toner was a fan favourite of pop artist Andy Warhol. (We’re already picturing a Campbell’s soup can-inspired painting of the iconic blue and white bottle.) To round out the true blue treatment, the oil-free Blue Herbal Moisturizer, inspired by the Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion, uses cinnamon bark extract and sodium PCA to infuse and seal moisture into cleansed pores, leaving a matte, photo-ready finish.

Click here for spring skin care maintenance tips.

For more at-home acne-clearing skin care systems, read on…
The tool kit: Clarisonic PLUS Sonic Skin Cleansing System ($259), available at Sephora, Holt Renfrew and Shoppers Drug Mart locations across Canada.

A true at-home spa experience, the Clarisonic brush made a name for itself as the ultimate luxe-but-necessary pre-skincare step when it launched in 2005. Now with spot-therapy treatment and an attachable body brush, the patented Clarisonic technology oscillates over skin at three speeds—at a sonic frequency that produces over 300 movements per second—to lift dirt, oil and makeup from the skin in one minute, paving a clear path for pores to soak up your favourite
skincare products. Swap in the body brush head to spot-treat sensitive areas while in the tub and follow up with the refining skin polish included in the set. Bonus: the kit comes with an international charger for a travel-ready beauty tool.

The spot treatment specialist: Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Skin Wash ($43), Overnight Clearing Gel ($58), Concealing Spot Treatment ($42), Sebum Clearing Masque ($54) and skin purifying wipes ($27), available at skin treatment centres, salons and spas across Canada.

A multi-pronged attack for problem skin, the Dermalogica MediBac Clearing system targets overarching and spot-treated facial impurities. Start with the lightweight Clearing Skin Wash, a foaming cleanser that combines salicylic acid with licorice, milk thistle and bergamont botanicals to
exfoliate and soothe skin, while protecting against future breakouts. Before bed, apply a thin layer of the Overnight Clearing Gel over cleansed face and allow the tea tree oil-infused treatment to clarify pores while you sleep. For quick a salicylic acid-medicated refresher throughout the day, carry the Skin Purifying Wipes in your day bag—a well-constructed skin care battle plan for every beauty warrior.

The quick fix: Neutrogena Rapid Clear All-In-One Daily Scrub (approx. $12.97) and Facial Lotion (approx. $12.97), available at food, drug and mass retailers across Canada.

This fast-acting scrub and lotion duo targets the impurities and dirt build-up that lead to bad breakouts. Both the Rapid Clear All-in-One daily scrub and facial lotion use a hybrid retinol-salicylic acid two-pronged attack to both brighten skin and prevent new breakouts from forming. The microspeed technology accelerates absorption of the product—which is infused with soy and retinol— to
illuminate skin while clearing away remnants of teenage acne scars. Though we can’t say the same about lingering emotional ones (read: broken hearts) the scrub uses tiny microbeads to slough away roughness, while the medicated lotion replenishes skin with Vitamin A and seals in moisture. Hey, at least your skin will heal.

Read more:
Spring 2012 beauty: Tinted moisturizers
Sensitive skin: Summer prep
Spring beauty: How to update your look

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