It’s a nasty combination of skin problems – ageing skin around the eyes and mouth, plus angry patches of acne that take you back to a stuffy high school classroom and sad attempts at trying to shield inflamed and pimply cheeks with swathes of hair that made the situation far worse! Adult acne combined with early stages of loosening skin – as one approaches 40 – is not easy to treat. Enter Skinceuticals’ Blemish + Age Defense range, which targets exactly those areas of concern.

Acne in your adult years is significantly more trying than when it hits during puberty. It’s unexpected, for one, and the added elements, such as workplace stresses and the need (or want!) to keep up appearances with makeup, make it harder to treat. The star product in the range, Blemish + Age Defense serum, targets both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne, as well as associated scarring.

Sold in a 30ml dropper bottle, it mops up oiliness and manages to shrink enlarged pores. It also takes aim at hyper-pigmentation, sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles.

I tried the whole range – including a cleansing gel and spritzing toning solution – and it must be said that it took a few weeks for my skin to settle into the new routine. My acne patches on my cheeks flared up a little before they were beaten down swiftly by the range’s potent blend of dioic acid, which controls bacteria and decreases pigmentation associated with spots. The product left my skin tingling in a slightly alarming way for the first few days, but it didn’t burn at any stage.

It’s hard not to sound like a fan, but the serum’s effect on acne scars was significant. Scarring faded almost to my normal skin tone in under four weeks and the crow’s feet shadowing my eyes and fine lines around my mouth were visibly diminished. Salicylic acid in the serum helped with controlling new breakouts as well. I have, admittedly, been on a low-dose of Roaccutane while using the range (10mg twice a week), so it did have some chemical help. That said, the scarring and pigmentation treatment, coupled with a cell-by-cell exfoliation action, shaved several years off my skin.

The treatment doesn’t come cheap – the serum alone is R1 325 (and available to purchase here) – but as someone who’s reviewed a myriad of acne and ageing products in my time, few come close to the efficacy of this range.


The cleansing gel lasts for ages, as only a tiny bit is used twice a day. I’m in month four of using it and it’s still half-full. Coupled with the decongesting Blemish + Age Solution, I was happily able to wear make-up while using the range. The range includes a silky sunblock, Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, with a sheer skin tint suitable for both fair and dark skin tones. I realise it may be apt at this stage to disclaim this not to be a sponsored post – but believe me when I say it exceeded my expectations.


As a post-note, if Santa is particularly kind to you, splurge on SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF (R2 725 from the Dermastore) an advanced daytime antioxidant that protects your face from all kinds of environmental nasties. Phloretin is an antioxidant that accelerates cell turnover. It also means I won’t be ageing for at least another three years!