This Diaper Rash Ointment Has Become My New Overnight Skin-Care Must-Have

Triple Paste Diaper Ointment, $22, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:available here;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">available here</a>
Triple Paste Diaper Ointment, $22, available here

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Struggling with horrible hormonal acne flare-ups is pretty miserable no matter who you are, but when you're a beauty editor (hi!) with access to the best dermatologists, products and treatments in the world (hiiii!), it can feel like an even more frustrating and disappointing personal failure.

In the last year, the perfect storm of circumstances — weaning off the high dose of spironolactone I've taken for the better part of a decade, going off hormonal birth control pills, dealing with the stress of planning my own wedding and four difficult rounds of embryo freezing (and injecting myself full of the hormones that go along with that process) — have led to the worst hormonal acne breakouts I've experienced in my lifetime. I'm sure I'll ramble on in a long, personal essay about my feelings and learnings from this experience one day, but since I'm still very much living it, for now I'll just say: One of the most helpful tools in trying to simultaneously cope with painful breakouts, rosacea-prone skin and redness and dryness brought on by seasonal changes isn't an expensive in-office treatment or a pricey luxury cream. It's actually a drugstore diaper rash ointment.

Yep, the cream meant to be slathered all over babies' butts is my latest go-to skin-care product. How did I get here? Dr. Shereene Idriss.

I went to see the board-certified New York City dermatologist (and founder of an eponymous skin-care brand) when I was about four months out from my wedding last year, and — in addition to measures like prescribing a dose of oral antibiotics, re-starting my spiro and birth control and slathering on Winlevi, all at once — she suggested I seal it all in with Triple Paste Diaper Ointment, the key to her TikTok- and Instagram-popular "face basting" method. After about three months of doing all of those things religiously, I was able to get my acne under control just in time to do some more fun and relaxing pre-wedding beauty treatments before I got married last November.

More on the Triple Paste, specifically: Dr. Idriss swears by it as the final step in "face basting," which she touts as an alternative to slugging with Vaseline. After doing her nightly skin-care routine (including her retinoid), she takes a generous dab of the ointment, makes herself "look like Mrs. Doubtfire," she says, referencing an iconic Robin Williams scene (hello!!!!) and then rinses it off in the morning to smooth, clear, calm results. And Dr. Idriss, of course, knows what she's doing — recent studies have found that topical zinc oxide (the main ingredient in Triple Paste) can help injured and inflamed skin heal.

In a video, Dr. Idriss explains why she chooses this specific ointment over other diaper rash creams: Other formulas contain ingredients that are potentially irritating or skin-barrier-disrupting, like fragrance, beeswax or talc; the 12% concentration of zinc oxide combined with petrolatum and corn starch in Triple Paste are her perfect recipe for soothing inflamed skin of all kinds.

"Think about the butt as your face," she says, hilariously. "It's an inflamed, bad environment. If your skin is red and angry, you want to not just protect it with your actual skin-care products, but really protect it from your environment."

Because Triple Paste also includes corn starch, it can help sop up some excess oil and prevent it from clogging pores, which Dr. Idriss says is key "if you are dry, but your T-zone is oily and acne-prone," describing my combination skin perfectly. The formula was her favorite to use on her kids when they were babies, she adds.

Since November, I've again quit my oral medications to undergo two more rounds of embryo retrievals, and I'm back to relying only on topicals to attempt to quell my breakouts. (At least this time around I don't have the deadline of looming wedding photos to get my face in shape for.) But Triple Paste has, once again, become my nightly skin-care MVP.

Triple Paste Diaper Ointment, $22, available here

Homepage photo: Launchmetrics Spotlight

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