In the skin-care world, cortisone cream can feel like the equivalent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘s Windex. “Just put some cortisone on it” is a sentence I’ve uttered throughout bouts of itchy poison ivy, flaky eczema, and peeling sunburn. My cortisone formula — and the cortisone in countless medicine cabinets — is a generic drugstore brand, the one that’s brightest on the shelf or maybe the most affordable. But board-certified dermatologist Sandra Lee, better known as Dr. Pimple Popper, is here to make cortisone cream more interesting.
As of September 9, Lee’s namesake brand SLMD Skincare will launch Super Cortisone+, a “dermatologist dream cream,” which she wants in every single household.
“Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid medication that has fantastic and very effective anti-inflammatory properties,” explains Lee. Corticosteroids are produced naturally in the body, but when utilized topically, it can help treat “basically most things that are red, swelling, or itching.”
In her practice, Lee recommends cortisone for “most rashes, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, sunburns, skin allergies, itching, and even insect bites, poison oak, or poison ivy.” Her goal with Super Cortisone+ was to infuse cortisone cream with ingredients we typically associate with more nourishing (not to mention more glamorous) formulas.
In addition to the standard one percent hydrocortisone, SLMD’s version of cortisone contains a dose of anti-inflammatory ingredients like niacinamide, aloe vera, and vitamin E. “This cream will not only stop and soothe itch, it will also moisturize and strengthen sensitive or compromised skin,” she says.
Lee describes the cream as “thick, soft, and rich,” but unlike drugstore cortisone, it dries to a matte finish instead of staying white and streaky on skin. It’s also fragrance-free in a nod to sensitive skin types.
According to board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, a one percent hydrocortisone cream can be enough to heal the skin for “mild cases of skin irritation.” Keep in mind that for severe or persistent cases, you should speak to your dermatologist about a prescription topical.
Dan Belkin, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends using cortisone cream for brief conditions only. “For most conditions, cortisone should be used short-term or off-and-on in phases, since one of the side effects of topical steroids is thinning of the skin. Long term use can lead to fine wrinkling and blood vessels showing through.”
For her part, Lee isn’t interested in long-term use — she has a whole range of other products you can work into your everyday routine. Instead, she wants everyone to stock up on cortisone for your skin’s next rainy day.
Super Cortisone+ is $15 and available now on slmdskincare.com.
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