Dr. Sandra Lee, MD, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, is the founder of SLMD, a brand of skin care products specifically formulated to prevent and treat acne. If you haven’t heard of SLMD Skin Care before, you might recognize Dr. Pimple Popper from the viral Instagram and Youtube videos of her extracting perhaps some of the largest (and grossest) pimples out of her patients’ faces. After treating tens of thousands of blemishes, it’s safe to say that Dr. Sandra Lee knows a thing or two about getting rid of acne. But does SLMD Skin Care live up to these expectations? Read on to find out.
What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2023?
Dr. Sandra Lee, MD, has been a board certified dermatologist for over a decade and is a fellow of the AAD and the FAACS, specializing in dermatological and cosmetic surgery. She is also the head physician at Skin Physicians & Surgeons in Upland, California. Developing a product line has always been on Dr. Lee’s mind, but it was the support and positivity of the Pimple Popper community (i.e. “Popaholics”) that really inspired her to make SLMD Skincare a reality. Her mission is to cut the clutter and put ingredients that work into the hands of the people who need it most. By developing SLMD, Dr. Lee is bridging the gap between a doctor’s visit and a trip down the skin care aisle by providing safe and effective solutions that she would actually prescribe to patients in her own dermatology office.
You’ll find all of the key SLMD products in the Acne System Kit, a twice-daily, 3-step acne system that is formulated to help people of all ages and skin types fight breakouts and prevent new acne from forming. SLMD claims that this acne system will work for anyone, whether you struggle with blackheads and whiteheads, inflammatory and cystic acne, or just struggle with acne-prone skin in general.
The first step in the SLMD Acne System Kit is the salicylic acid cleanser, which is designed to remove impurities without stripping away skin’s essential moisture.
After cleansing, step two of the SLMD Acne System Kit can either be the benzoyl peroxide lotion (used in the morning) or the retinol serum (used at night). Both are formulated with proven active ingredients that help to correct blemishes and prevent future breakouts.
The final step of the SLMD Acne System Kit is a moisturizer that will help restore your skin’s look, feel, and overall health. SLMD also makes a moisturizer with sunscreen, but this product is not included in the SLMD Acne System Kit.
The formulation behind SLMD Skin Care is nothing out of the ordinary. Ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol are extremely common and found in most OTC acne treatments. The key ingredients in SLMD Skin Care may not be unique, but they are clinically proven to be effective at preventing and treating acne.
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that can effectively clear excess oil, dirt, and other impurities from pores. This ingredient can do so based on its structure which makes it more oil soluble so it can penetrate into the pores of the skin. After entering the skin, salicylic acid dissolves keratin, the protein that helps to hold your skin cells together. This is effective because dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin, leaving your skin looking dull and also possibly clogging pores. By breaking down keratin, salicylic acid effectively exfoliates the skin and clears out pores, thus, decreasing the chances of blemishes developing.
As the name implies benzoyl peroxide is something known as a peroxide, the technical term for an unstable bond between two oxygen atoms that can create free radicals. While free radicals often have a negative connotation, in this case they can be used to effectively kill P. acnes bacteria by destroying the cell walls. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide can exfoliate and help peel the outer layer of skin. One drawback of benzoyl peroxide is that while it does effectively kill P. acnes, it also kills the good bacteria that keep your skin healthy. This can leave skin feeling dry and irritated, which for some people can make skin look worse.
Retinol is another name for vitamin A and is commonly used in topical anti-aging products, and more recently in acne products since it is clinically proven to improve skin’s texture and brighten skin tone by naturally exfoliating the skin. When retinol is used topically on the skin, it speeds up the process of cell turnover, which in turn makes it harder for pores to become blocked because the cells are rejuvenating at a faster rate.
The SLMD Acne System has received very positive reviews from its users. On the SLMD website, the acne system kit has received an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The reviews reveal that this system can produce results in as little as two weeks, and many reviewers claim that after a month of use they had no major breakouts. One thing that many reviews do mention, however, is that after discontinuing use of the SLMD Acne System, their acne returned, sometimes even worse than before.
In sum, while the SLMD Skin Care products are far from innovative, they do contain classic acne-fighting ingredients that have been proven effective at preventing and treating acne.
What are some Alternatives to SLMD Skincare?
If you’re looking for skincare products for breakout-prone skin, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend this acne serum.