I am not a beauty blogger. When The Butters Hygienics Co. offered to send me their Zit Zapper Anti-Acne Face Cream, I made it clear to them that I had absolutely no idea how to review it. While I know nothing about skin-care products – I don’t even know whether my skin is dry or oily! – I was in the middle of a particularly bad spot outbreak and was eager to get my hands on it.
Thank you to The Butters Hygienics for sending me their Zit Zapper Anti-Acne Face Cream for free in exchange for my honest review. This in no way influences my opinions, which are very much my own. This review contains affiliate links.
Zit zapper specs
I love The Butters Hygienics. They’re a Black-owned and queer-owned company and their products are all vegan and handmade by Jerome Nichols, who founded the company from his kitchen table in Michigan. I’ve already reviewed their Aloe x Shea lube – which made “my vag feel like it’s been to a spa” – and I was excited to see if their other products were of the same high quality. (Spoiler alert: they totally are.)
The Butter Hygienics’ zit zapper is an antimicrobial moisturiser that is designed to reduce redness and swelling as well as preventing oil over-production and pimples. It’s described as lightweight, creamy, and a “powerful-yet-gentle face fixer” that promises to provide “incredible softness, unrivalled moisture, acne murder, oil balance, & skin evening”. Oh, and apparently it can also be mixed with your favourite foundation.
As someone who doesn’t own even one foundation, let alone enough to have a favourite, I’m already a bit lost.
Exploring the ingredients
The Butter Hygienics’ zit zapper is made with alpha hydroxy acid, tea tree and hempseed oil, and – luckily for a skin-care novice like me! – their website actually breaks down what these things do. Alpha hydroxy acid supports cellular regeneration, i.e. it brightens the skin and help get rid of marks. Tea tree contains terpenoids (which are naturally occurring antimicrobials) and reduces sebum (which is an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands).
Hempseed oil is a dry oil, so it won’t feel slippery or clog your pores, and its scientifically proven to treat dermatitis. It’s also a good source of vitamin e and omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The former is sometimes known as the “skin vitamin” and has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The latter are essential building blocks of skin’s surface layers and work to reinforce and smooth the skin’s surface while increasing hydration.
Am I getting too nerdy here? I googled approximately sixty different things to write the above paragraphs, but I feel like I understand slightly more about what a moisturising cream like the zit zapper actually does, and why helped my spots disappear. Because – and maybe I buried the lede here – it really did.
Actually using it
The sticker on the back of my zit zapper informed me that I should: “Apply a pea-sized dab to clean or exfoliated skin. Best applied with bare hands. 2x daily application is recommended during breakouts.” Immediately I had some questions. What is exfoliated skin? What else would you apply it with? Obviously having a specified volume of cream to apply was helpful, but was that the amount I should use for my whole face?
The last question was by far the most pressing. I could squeeze a pea-sized blob of zit zapper onto my finger, but I had no idea what surface area to apply it to. Was it the volume that I should apply to the nebula cluster of white heads at the corner of my mouth, or should I spread it out between the constellation of spots on my chin? I needed to know the surface area the pea-sized dab should be applied to.
(As I’m sure the rest of you know, exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. I still am not sure what products one could use to apply products like this.)
Taking the plunge and actually putting some of the cream on my face didn’t give me any answers. The first few times I used the zit zapper was in the evening, when ended up staring at the white blobs on my face and wondering if I was supposed to leave it like that – and, if so, whether I could go to bed without it rubbing off all over my pillows? I wondered if I should rub it in, but then realised that the cream wouldn’t be concentrated to just the areas with my angry red spots that I’d carefully dabbed it on to.
It took me approximately four months to work it out. Four months of going to the bathroom in the evening to wash my face before coming back to stand in front of the mirror in my bedroom, where I would peer at my ever-changing constellation of spots and try to calculate how much cream I should clumsily apply. But here’s the thing: the galaxy of spots on my face was changing, because The Butters Hygienics’ zit zapper was working.
Pretending to be a beauty blogger
I found that the zit zapper worked best on the spots on my chin, probably because I tend to pick at these less. I have dry skin and really bad eczema, so I would sometimes end up applying t
he zit zapper to broken skin on my forehead. Applying the cream to already-broken skin made the spots and raw skin more irritated and felt like it was burning; I don’t recommend it. When applied “properly” I found that the cream did make my skin feel tight and tingly in a way that really made me want to itch it all off, but if I waited that feeling would pass.
The cream is quick absorbing, if applied in the correct quantity – which for me is one pea-sized dab to approximately twelve square centimetres of skin. Your milage may vary, of course, and it does depend how fierce a particular cluster of spots are looking when I’m staring them down in the mirror. The Butters Hygienics’ website says that “your face will be left with a gentle moisturised look that edges on matte” and which as far as my inexperienced ass can tell is how my face looks if I check the mirror after ten minutes of reading my book while it dries.
It also feels fucking luxurious. When I use it I feel like someone who has my shit together.
Using the zit zapper helped me build an evening routine, where I would take some time each night to centre myself before bed. I didn’t do it every night because of stress, exhaustion and mental illness, but I’ve never been so good about carving out time for myself to breathe and just be in my body. I’m now trying to build the habit of leaving my phones on my desk after I put the zit zapper on, so I don’t reach for them and start doom-scrolling Twitter as soon as I wake up.
Maybe you’d say that I can’t claim that the cream alone is responsible for this, but I do think it’s smell is a major contributor. The Butters Hygienics’ zit zapper smells fucking amazing, y’all. You can definitely smell the tea tree and it’s smell is very calming – all I want to do is close my eyes and focus on how my body is actually doing.
So, in conclusion? I love it. With my research into what a good moisturising cream should actually do I can confirm that it’s a good one, plus it has has repeatedly calmed down and even completely got rid of my spots. In the same way that I trust The Butter Hygienics when they say that they’re 100% bullshit free, I also trust that their zit zapper really is great for all skin types because helps balance oil production whether your skin is oily or dry. (Mine – I have concluded after googling ‘does dry skin get spots?’ – is dry.)
For just $7.75 you can get a 4oz bottle, which doesn’t sound like a lot but will last you at least three months. Check out their website to treat yourself to some, or to some of their other face, body, hair, bath, and sex stuff. While the ‘treat yourself’ mentality isn’t always healthy, The Butters Hygienics’ products are high-quality and body-safe while still being affordable, and with the current state of the world it will almost certainly help your mental health to grab a product that will centre you in your body, even for a few seconds while you apply a pea-sized dab of cream.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a freelance journalist, sex writer, and professional transsexual. His work focuses on dismantling shame and queering sex.