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Beauty Secret: Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm

Note to self (and to you): When applying sunscreen, make sure to get the skin exposed by your swimsuit’s fancy cutouts. After my daft oversight, the ensuing second-degree burn huffed and puffed angrily for more than two weeks, and no amount of aloe vera, ointment, or anti-inflammatory lotion could stifle the pain or speed recovery. In fact, everything I slathered onto my roasted skin irritated it further.

Until, that is, I remembered my jar of Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm.

Often recommended for women recovering from chemical peels, the salve has the consistency of Vaseline — but that’s where the similarities stop. It thwarts inflammation and irritation with tamanu oil, which allows skin to repair itself more readily. Dromiceius oil helps stimulate cell renewal — another must for the healing process. And marine extracts act as water magnets, helping to hydrate skin and encouraging moisture retention. Though it goes on a bit thick (creating a nice barrier between angry skin and the elements), the balm absorbs thoroughly without leaving a greasy film.

After I applied a layer of Phormula 3-9 Repair Balm morning and night, my skin recouped in four days.

You may be wondering why I didn’t reach for it right off the bat. Frankly, the $255 price tag causes me to tap into its magic sparingly, and I had hidden it for safekeeping. But you can use it for any skin irritation (think: zits, scars — yes, it fades scars, too — and more), and you don’t need to apply too much to right your skin woes. In fact, I’ve had my jar for a long time, and it’s solved at least 10 major skin calamities (and countless minor ones). That’s priceless.

Available at ernolaszlo.com, $255.

Photo: Courtesy of Ernzo Laszlo

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