I have been suffering from cystic acne since before I could remember. One of the most severe types of inflammatory acne, cystic acne consists of painful, inflamed nodules that form large--well, cysts--that can last for weeks on end, cannot be "popped", and even cause scarring. Growing up with my mother as a physician, I learned very early the key to preventing scarring is to treat them at the first sign. For my doctor-oriented family, that meant getting regular injections in the cysts of steroid (+/- lidocaine -- it's super painful!). But if you can't go in to see a dermatologist every time, this is the only regimen/brand that I have found truly helps with cystic-type acne.
What I've been doing for my latest cystic acne explosion is alternating the drying mask and healing mask every night. 20 minutes on just the afflicted area (for me, that's my chin), then rinsed off. Then every night afterwards I apply the Buffering Lotion. Key tip: sulfur is the bees knees when it comes to beating cysts. I've observed over the years that benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are essentially useless on cystic pimples once they've already formed.
For the rest of my face that just suffers from normal pimples (comedones), I have been liking this new acne solutions treatment from Clinique. It has witch hazel which is cooling and antibacterial, in addition to your usual salicylic acid. The thing I like best about it is that unlike other salicylic acid gels, this one absorbs super fast so I can go right on to applying my makeup without waiting 10 minutes for it to dry.
One thing I cannot stress enough: DO NOT PICK. Unless you want permanent, disfiguring scars on your pretty face. Step away from that mirror! I hope this helps some of you who are fellow inflammatory acne sufferers. Leave a comment below if you have been afflicted with acne (especially cystic acne).