BURO Beauty Stash: Skin-clarifying treatments for brighter, clearer skin

Breakouts begone


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Sarah Tai for BURO Malaysia
BURO Beauty Stash: Skin-clarifying treatments for brighter, clearer skin

Team BURO has come together for this month’s BURO Beauty Stash to bring you the best products for a clear complexion. 

Welcome back to BURO Beauty Stash, the column where we try the latest and greatest beauty launches and share our favourites with you. This May, we’re talking about all things acne and the products that have helped us resolve it.

Ahead, we’ve got it all, from traditional salicylic acid spot treatments to sulfur-infused serums. In fact, we’ve even got birch milk and linoleic-acid options for those with sensitive skin! To find out which products have been saving our skin in the last year, scroll through our acne edit:


Lancôme Clarifique Double Treatment Essence 150ml, RM490

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“For the longest time, I’ve been dealing with dry, flaky areas around my face and dull-looking skin. As I have dry skin that is also sensitive, finding products that exfoliate without stripping my already parched skin is essential (also, waking up to red skin is not fun!). I’ve only been using the Lancôme Clarifique Double Essence for two weeks now but so far, I’m happy to say that I’ve found a product that checks all the boxes.

“The first thing I noticed with the essence is that it has two layers that need to be shaken before use. This bi-phase formula, combining water and oil in two key phases, has two primary functions. The first phase exfoliates and brightens while the second phase soothes and hydrates. My skin soaks up the lightweight watery consistency and leaves it feeling plump to the touch, prepping it for my next skincare step. I love that it features four exfoliating acids that not only gently resurface but also provide other skincare benefits: Glycolic acid for improving skin texture, lactic acid for maintaining skin’s hydration, salicylic acid for refining pores and phytic acid to brighten the skin. 

“Over the course of two weeks, I have already seen some improvements. I no longer deal with dry patches and my skin is visibly brighter! Thanks to other ingredients such as beech bud extract and a blend of hydrating oils, the boosted radiance has given me an inner glow that makes me look healthier and more youthful. Noticeably, the redness around my nose has also reduced. Plus, makeup also sits better on my face as there is no more cakiness from flaky problem areas and my pores are less visible. I have a strong feeling that the glass skin I’ve been dreaming of won’t be far away if I continue to use the Lancome Clarifique Double Treatment Essence! If you have similar skin problems to me, give this product a try and watch it work its magic.” — Marissa Chin, Lifestyle & Culture Writer



Then I Met You Birch Milk Toner, RM182

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“I was put onto this product by the brand founder herself, Charlotte Cho. During our interview earlier this year, she mentioned that one product was responsible for resolving her hormonal acne. As someone who has struggled with hormonal acne on and off for the better part of a decade now, I begged her to reveal her secret. According to Cho, it’s this toner. You can bet that the first thing I did was go home and slap this product directly on my face—and I have continued to use it religiously for over four solid months now to really put her claims to the test.

“Well, I’m happy to report that I have actually noticed a pretty big difference in the quality of my skin. Firstly, the toner is packed with 86 per cent birch juice, squalene, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, making it the perfect hydrating prep step for your routine. I love how lightweight and watery it is, layering well under both my makeup and my nighttime skincare routine. But, the real star of the show is the one per cent glycolic and lactic acid blend that works to gently exfoliate, refine and brighten my skin on a daily basis.

“Since I started using this toner every day, my skin overall just looks more even and bright. I do still break out, but I’ve noticed that the breakouts are generally a lot less inflamed and they no longer appear in giant, painful clusters. Plus, I’ve been struggling a lot less with congestion—something I’d credit the AHAs in this formulation for. All in all, I’d say this toner as solidified itself as a must-have in my routine—so much so that I’m going to have to pick up my second bottle very soon!” — Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Editor



KraveBeauty Oil La La Linoleic Acid-Rich Oil Serum, RM145

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READ: Liah Yoo on the influencer-to-brand founder pipeline, sustainability in beauty and KraveBeauty’s Malaysian debut

“When I asked founder (and beauty icon) Liah Yoo for the one KraveBeauty product she’d recommend to me and my combination-oily, acne-prone skin, this was what she whipped out. Now, it’s not your average breakout-busting formulation—rather than spot-treating with drying actives, this product works with your skin to balance your sebum composition and soothe redness. It’s powered by linoleic acid and has an incredible, watery oil texture that cushions your skin without leaving it feeling greasy.

“I’ve been using this product for almost two months now, and I can’t stop reaching for it. As someone who has really struggled with acne and persistent greasiness, this little serum has been a total game-changer. Not only is my skin less oily overall, but it also is less congested and less prone to breakouts. Plus, when paired with the Then I Met You Toner, the results are unmatched! PS: If you’re wondering how I’m sure that these are the products responsible for my glow, I had to go a week without either when I was away on a trip, and my skin suffered greatly. Trust me—the results were 100 per cent thanks to this dream duo!

“I just appreciate that it’s an acne solution for girlies who have already sensitised skin—no harsh or drying actives are necessary to get your skin looking clearer and feeling better! I also have to say that the packaging for this product is absolutely ingenious—the outer box has all the instructions you need for recycling and the design of the pump means that you are left with absolutely no wasted product. It’s clear that a lot of thought and care has been put into the product, from the formulation to the packaging, and it shows throughout the entire Krave line.” — Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Editor



Kiehl’s Truly Targeted Acne-Clearing Solution, RM150

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“When I first heard of this spot treatment, I was told it was a ‘Liquid Pimple Patch”. As such, I was expecting something akin to Fenty Skin’s acne treatment—something that creates a physical layer over the skin as it dries and can be peeled off. This is not that.

“Rather, this spot treatment is designed to create a breathable barrier that sinks into your skin as opposed to laying atop the spot. Then, the two per cent salicylic acid and four per cent niacinamide work to reduce the appearance of your pesky spot in two hours (allegedly). Then, you’re supposed to leave it to dry and work its magic before layering on the rest of your routine (spoiler alert: this can take a while).

“As far as the claim goes, I do think that the treatment does a pretty decent job of reducing the size of your spots in a short amount of time, and it’s super user-friendly. You only need very little for it to cover a spot, too—less than a drop from the attached pipette—and it goes a very long way. Plus, as promised, it doesn’t interfere with your sunscreen and makeup, so you don’t have to worry about pilling. I also can attest that it did a great job of preventing any post-inflammatory scars and marks from popping up. All in all, if you’re looking for a flash treatment for when a bad spot starts rearing its head, you’ll like this.” — Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Editor



Paula’s Choice 6% Mandelic Acid + 2% Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant, RM185

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“To be completely honest, I’m not one to notice major changes in my skin unless I am experiencing a terrible breakout. However, that doesn’t mean my complexion is free of concerns and blemishes! Overall, I have pretty textured skin, especially around my nose and chin. On top of that, I scar easily and err on the dry side of things. I’ve tried my fair share of exfoliants throughout my skincare journey and none of them have really made a noticeable difference to my skin. Enter Paula’s Choice’s Skin Perfecting 6% Mandelic Acid + 2% Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant.

“While I wouldn’t call this the holy grail, one-product wonder that saved my skin, it has certainly been a welcome addition to my skincare lineup. Gentle and easy to incorporate into my routine, this formula has left my skin feeling more supple and smoother. The mandelic acid has improved the appearance of my scars, whereas the lactic acid has helped hydrate and renew my skin barrier. As for application, it doesn’t leave any stickiness or residue so it’s easy to build other products onto my skin during both my daytime and nighttime routines. Anyone looking for a gentle and simple formula to add to their regimen should definitely consider this Paula’s Choice exfoliant!” — Amanda Fung, Senior Lifestyle Writer



Aesop Immaculate Facial Tonic

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“Admittedly, this isn’t a product that has been geared specifically towards tackling acne, but I would be remiss not to include it in this list. The new Immaculate Facial Tonic is a facial tonic infused with softening rose petals, hydrating panthenol and exfoliating Mucor Miehei, which helps to decongest and resurface your skin with no irritation.

“Not only does this tonic hydrate the skin deeply, but it also works to brighten my complexion. I like to use it on days where my skin is extra sensitive but still in need of an exfoliation. My go-to technique is to apply soak a cotton pad with the tonic and leave it on my cheeks and forehead to sit like a little hydrating sheet mask—when I remove it, my skin is always left beautifully glowy and soft. Better yet, it helps to remove flakiness and prevents my pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells, which in turn prevents new breakouts from cropping up.

“I also love the subtle, natural scent of the product—the warm, floral and woody notes are a great treat for the senses after a long day!” — Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Editor



Sigi Skin Blissful Radiance Hydrating Anti-Acne Serum, RM345

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“This product is marketed for sensitive skin—given that my skin has been on the fritz as of late, something that would treat my breakouts without further inflammation sounded perfect. It’s formulated with three types of hyaluronic acid and panthenol to hydrate the skin and combat flakiness from the acne-busting sulphur active. 

“If you have a sensitivity to salicylic acid but you’re still looking for a spot treatment that will target your breakouts, this could be a good option for you to try. Sulfur has some great clarifying properties, and this serum somehow manages to make it smell undetectable (real ones know just how bad sulfur can really smell in a beauty product!). Better yet, the texture of the serum is very lightweight while still feeling nourishing, so it’s a great option for our Malaysian humidity (just as well, given that it’s a Singaporean brand!).” — Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Editor



For more skincare reads like this, click here.

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