Breakouts and acne are totally normal, but we totally get that sometimes you really do wish you could wave a magic wand and make your blemishes disappear. But what is the best treatment for spots? As tempting as it is to pick, pop, and slap on the toothpaste, we promise you this: you’re only making things worse. Your best course of action is a targeted spot treatment designed to quickly and effectively target the breakout and take it down, asap.
Packed with powerful blemish-busting ingredients like salicylic acid, zinc, and tea tree, this is our edit of the very best breakout treatments.
By BEAUTY BAY SALICYLIC ACID + NIACINAMIDE BLEMISH PASTE
Many spot treatments use harsh, drying ingredients which can end up drying skin out, triggering irritation, and causing pigmentation. This one combines hero ingredients like zinc and salicylic acid with nourishing squalane and niacinamide (to prevent scars from forming). Combined it helps to both reduce the blemish and prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
There’s a reason why this OG classic has so many rave reviews – it works in record time. Simply dab onto breakouts (use a cotton bud) as the final step in your evening routine, let it dry, and get your beauty sleep. When you wake up, you’ll find pain, redness, and swelling is significantly reduced. The star ingredient is sulphur, which works by gently drying out the spot and absorbing excess oil.
Zitsticka Killa Kit Skin Clarifying Microdart Patches
Perfect for when you can feel a painful (but invisible) under-the-skin spot brewing. Stick one of these handy blemish stickers on the second you feel it coming – each patch contains tiny microdarts which infuse the spot with ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree. While the ingredients get to work, the patch itself absorbs pus and deflate the size of the spot.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
While microdart patches are best for spots that haven’t yet come to a head, regular ones like this are great for spots that have already broken through and have a white head (known as a pustule). As well as protecting the broken skin from bacteria and pollution, they absorb the congestion from the pore, so the spot quickly looks smaller and much less noticeable.
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
A straight up solution of one of the world’s greatest spot-fighting ingredients, salicylic acid. This lightweight gel is totally invisible so is perfect for wearing during the day and even (if you give it time to dry down) under makeup. The dropper bottle dispenses just the right amount – and a little goes a long way.
Dermalogica Breakout Clearing Booster
This treatment dries down clear and doesn’t leave residue on the surface of the skin, so it can be used morning and night to target your breakouts all around the clock. A blend of niacinamide, salicylic acid, and lactic acid works to bring down swelling and redness while also preventing more spots from forming.
Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel
Sensitive skin types will love this option, which sees salicylic acid and witch hazel combined to address the inflammation and irritation of blemishes. It’s boosted with probiotics, cucumber, and algae extract to soothe and calm skin, leaving the area feeling refreshed and decongested.