I think most of us with teen acne probably experimented with astringents, those evil cousins of today’s milder toners.
My dad introduced me to Sea Breeze, which could probably strip the grease off a mechanic’s hands. After all, that cooling sensation was a sign that it was working, doggone it! Indeed, no other clean did feel quite like Sea Breeze. Who wouldn’t love pimply skin that was so dry and tight that it felt like a plaster mask when you smiled?
Sea Breeze never did do anything for my acne, and quite frankly their marketing wasn’t up to par with Propa pH, the other big astringent of the 90s. Somehow the cheap Picasso rip-off art on the Sea Breeze ad just wasn’t cutting it. Propa pH, on the other hand, picked out the most all-American looking model they could find with perfect peaches ‘n cream skin for their campaign that ran in ‘Teen, YM and Seventeen magazines. I remember first laying eyes on that blonde’s skin and feeling like I discovered the answer to my acne issues. I scurried home with a shiny bottle in my hands, full of hope.
Propa pH sadly failed to live up to expectations, but it still is a memorable ad for me, 18 years later.