When it comes to acne, breakouts can make anyone feel insecure. For Enrico Frezza, founder of skin-care brand Peace Out Skincare, struggling with acne and hyperpigmentation made him feel a constant roller coaster of emotions. After hours spent in skin-care aisles looking for products that work, Frezza became frustrated with the lack of effective offerings and transparency in ingredients. The now 31-year-old decided the best way to tackle his acne was to create his own line.
“When I was a teenager around 14, my acne started getting out of control,” he tells Glamour. “It was a lot of cystic acne and it came out of nowhere. I started taking everything over the counter, tried to treat it, and that didn’t work. Eventually I started taking antibiotics and saw dermatologists, and that didn’t work. I was a really extroverted kid, and as soon as I got acne, it made me an introvert. Nobody in my family or my group of friends had those kinds of breakouts. I felt really insecure.”
According to WebMD, over 85% of teenagers and over 40% of men over 25 experience acne. For a teenager, it’s pretty normal to want to hide under a rock when struggling with breakouts, but for an adult, dealing with the skin condition can be embarrassing. Frezzo turned to Accutane, which worked temporarily for the cystic acne he was struggling with, but eventually he found himself fighting breakouts again. Turns out, Frezza is not alone. Studies show that almost 70% of Americans struggle to find a suitable and effective skin-care routine.
It was when Frezza had three pimples appear the night before a friend’s graduation party that he found himself in the drugstore once more. Frustrated with having tried every single acne product, he ended up in the wound-care aisle, where he discovered the ingredient that would lead to Peace Out’s first product.
“I stumbled upon a drug called hypochlorous acid and salicylic acid, which absorbs fluids and protects against external irritants,” he says. “I mean, I put egg whites on my face and antiperspirant and deodorant hoping they would stop my oil glands, so why not try this? I put the patch on, and I woke up, and my pimples were flat. I found something that can absorb the pimples overnight—the bump was the biggest concern, especially when I tried to cover it with makeup. How can we make this into an acne treatment? That’s when I thought about infusing it into a patch.”
Hypochlorous acid contains antimicrobial properties that help to fight the bacteria that cause clogged pores and breakouts, while salicylic acid works to deep-clean excess oil out of pores and reduce oil production. Salicylic acid is also the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA) used in skin care. Taking this newfound knowledge, Frezza went to the lab and created Peace Out Pimple Patches, a staple in the skin-care line now sold at retailers worldwide.
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