Glossier’s known as the cosmetics brand for those on the go, and its Zit Stick exemplifies this to near-perfection. There’s just one quibble that holds it back (which we’ll get to in a moment).
The hook for Zit Stick is that it’s a convenient way to treat acne in one simple step. It comes in a plastic tube with a roller-ball applicator. Simply twist the end of the tube to dispense the product (which has a lightweight lotion texture), then apply it directly to your breakout to (hopefully) make it go away as soon as possible.
When it comes to the acne-fighting powers of this product, Zit Stick has what it takes: its active ingredient is 5% benzoyl peroxide, one of the gold standard ingredients to banish breakouts. Benzoyl peroxide helps kill the bacteria that cause many kinds of acne, and in this concentration, it can work quickly to get a zit under control.
One note: some people are sensitive to benzoyl peroxide, so if you’ve had issues with it in the past, keep that in mind when considering this product (Glossier even mentions this in its advertising).
Along with benzoyl peroxide is pore-refining niacinamide and skin soothing cucumber extract + a derivative of salicylic acid that can also calm the redness that often accompanies a pimple. We should note that the salicylic acid here isn’t meant to act as an exfoliant, simply as a skin-soothing ingredient. Thankfully absent are alcohol, witch hazel, or menthol, which are often included in acne spot treatments.
The only drawback for this product is that when it dries (which is quickly, within a few seconds), it isn’t exactly invisible as claimed. It leaves a faint white mark behind, which can be an issue especially if you have a darker skin tone. (This is common in benzoyl peroxide spot treatments and isn’t something we would’ve called out, except that Glossier made claims that it doesn’t do this).
A quick word on the price: Although this seems affordable, you can find many benzoyl peroxide treatments that contain the same percentage of active ingredient but simply packaged in a 0.5-2 ounce tube for a better value on an ounce-per-ounce basis.
Otherwise, Zit Stick is a smart product that uses proven ingredients to tackle an issue which many of us face.
- Convenient packaging makes this easy to take on the go.
- Contains 5% benzoyl peroxide, a gold standard ingredient in fighting acne.
- Includes niacinamide, which can help reduce the appearance of pores.
- Skin-soothing ingredients are included to tackle acne redness.
- The finish isn’t “invisible” as claimed.
- On the pricey side given the tiny amount of product you get.
A portable pen to clear zits at high speed. Unlike visible spot treatments (usually used overnight, in secrecy, at home), Zit Stick is designed to live in your pocket, bag, and daily life. Use at the first sign of a pimple, applying up to three times daily until your zit is gone—5% Benzoyl Peroxide kills the germs that caused the zit while shrinking size and swelling, with Tea Tree Oil and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid (a less irritating derivative of Salicylic Acid). Click three times, glide over zit with the antimicrobial stainless steel tip, and wait a few moments for it to dry to a translucent, go-about-your-day finish.
Glossier is the brainchild of Emily Weiss, whose successful beauty blog IntoTheGloss.com inspired the spinoff skin care/makeup line launched in 2014. Weiss describes the concept behind Glossier as a lifestyle beauty brand with a highly edited selection of streamlined skin care and makeup products.
We consider Glossier's makeup the strong suit of the brand. Their tagline of uncomplicated makeup staples that live with you, not on you, rings true with their simple yet impressive lineup of color products. Each is intentionally designed as a low maintenance option to enhance your appearance but not overpower it, allowing your natural beauty to shine through. By and large, the makeup products perform well, and while the shade options aren't vast, we're impressed by the flattering, attractive colors they've curated.
Glossier's skin care fares a little lower on the rating scale. While the majority of formulas are decent, they tend to be lackluster in terms of a well-researched cocktail of beneficial ingredients. Not bad, but not great either. Aesthetically-speaking, the skincare products stick to their reoccurring promise of dewy, glowy looking skin.
We're happy to report the majority of Glossier's skin care and makeup products are fragrance free, which is a rarity in the cosmetics industry and better overall for the health of your skin.
To sum it up: Skin care-wise there's room for improvement, but if you like the minimalist approach and cool girl vibe, Glossier makeup delivers. We're intrigued to see what they come up with next!
For more information on Glossier, visit glossier.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.