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Kinship Pimple Potion review

This pimple treatment works miracles on my acne-prone skin

On the left: The author tilting her head to show her acne-free skin and smiling. On the right: A light blue squeeze tube lifted up against a blue background. Credit: Reviewed / Kayla Hui / Kinship

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Since the pandemic’s onset, my maskne has only gotten worse. I’ve tried everything from pimple patches to facial scrubs to clear it up, but nothing has relieved my chin and forehead of bumps and hyperpigmentation. After months of feeling self-conscious every time I had to jump on a Zoom call, I was willing to test any product that might give me clearer skin. So when I heard about Kinship Pimple Potion, I decided to buy it to see if the rave-worthy reviews were true.

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What does Kinship Pimple Potion claim to do?

A light blue squeeze tube laying on a light blue background with a yellow squiggle of formula next to it.
Credit: Kinship

Kinship Pimple Potion contains salicylic acid to relieve acne.

The $19 pimple potion includes four active ingredients: 2% salicylic acid, retinal, bakuchiol, and “Kinbiome,” the brand’s proprietary, plant-based prebiotic. “Salicylic acid breaks down bonds between dead skin cells, so they can be expressed through pores more easily and not clog them up,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board-certified dermatologist with Austin Mohs Surgery Center based in Austin, Texas. Retinal, a derivative of vitamin A that purportedly works 11 times faster than retinol, can improve acne and skin texture. Bakuchiol, a plant extract that has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects, has been shown to reduce activity in sebaceous glands, “potentially leading to less clogging and less oil production,” Mamelak says. And “prebiotics are food for the skin’s microbiome that help protect and promote healthy skin."

What’s it like to use Kinship Pimple Potion?

A person with long brown hair lifts an index finger and tilts their chin up to show a yellow dot on their skin.
Credit: Kinship

Use Kinship Pimple Potion as a spot treatment for pimples.

Kinship Pimple Potion has a lightweight, whipped consistency and an orange blossom scent that's not overpowering, and dissipates after an hour. The manufacturer recommends applying it to acne-affected areas on clean, dry skin. I used the potion on top of active breakouts at night and in the morning for a few months, as well as a few times a week after cleansing as a preventative measure. Despite having eczema-prone, dry, sensitive skin, I found that the product’s formula and fragrance didn’t cause irritation or dryness.

After cleansing my face with Murad Clarifying Cleanser and applying Thayers Witch Hazel Toner and Olay Vitamin C Serum, I applied a thin layer of Kinship directly onto my chin pimples that I attribute to wearing a face mask (the non-skincare kind), as well as to my forehead. I then patted it into my skin until the formula absorbed, meaning the yellow tint became undetectable. The potion's slim, squeezable tube made application easy and hygienic. Sometimes, I applied the product using my index finger, but I preferred to use a cotton swab to avoid causing further irritation to an inflamed pimple.

Does Kinship Pimple Potion do what it claims to?

A yellow lotion-like squiggle of formula on a light blue background.
Credit: Kinship

Kinship Pimple Potion has a whipped consistency.

Kinship Pimple Potion worked better on my skin than any other acne product I've tried. The brand touts the product's ability to clear and prevent acne, and I found that it worked exactly as advertised. After a few months of testing and applying the product at bedtime, I noticed that my large pimples shrunk down to half their size, and my small pimples disappeared the following morning.

The product also seemed to improve my skin's texture, and prevented new breakouts from forming. I noticed visible texture improvements on areas of my face where I applied the product that don't normally break out, as well as a reduction in breakouts on acne-prone areas. Based on that, I echo the brand’s claim that this product can stop pimples in their tracks.

Should you try Kinship Pimple Potion?

A person with long blond hair in braids on either side of their head holds up a blue squeeze tube in front of their eye while having yellow dots all around their face.
Credit: Kinship

Apply Kinship Pimple Potion anywhere you want to prevent breakouts.

Since using the product, I’ve enjoyed smoother-looking, clearer skin: Kinship Pimple Potion has earned a spot in my beauty routine. I’d recommend this product to anyone who has been dealing with incessant pimples—maskne-induced or not. I think you’ll enjoy Kinship's easy-to-use packaging, pimple-clearing ingredients, and its ability to quickly banish pesky breakouts.

Get the Kinship Pimple Potion from Ulta for $19

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.