Unexpected spots can strike at any moment, and they’re never more unwanted than when they flare up the night before a big occasion. Regardless of what’s happening tomorrow – job interview, first date, or nothing whatsoever – you’re here to find out how to get rid of that pimple as fast as possible, and we’ve got the answers.
But remember the first rule of spot club. Don’t pop it. It may be satisfying but you’re putting yourself at risk of scarring or even making the pimple last even longer if the wound fills with bacteria and closes again.
First thing first, check out our handy guide to identifying what type of breakout you have so you know best how to treat it.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Best for: Papules and pustules
Drying out a spot may not be the most recommended form of treatment, but it is one of the quickest way to get rid of a breakout overnight, and is still much safer than popping. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion utilises sulfur to dry out the pimple and combat bacteria, but the formula also contains calamine to calm skin and salicylic acid to clear the pore. It’s popular because it’s a fast worker and performs well, even on particularly stubborn blemishes.
Yes To Tomatoes Zit Zapping Dots
Best for: Spots that have popped or broken through
If you’ve broken the first rule of spot club and popped your spot, or if you’ve accidentally caught it, or maybe it’s broken through the skin and formed a head, now is a great time to stick on a spot sticker. These basically act like mini dressings or plasters, covering the wound to prevent bacteria from getting in, creating the right environment for the skin to heal, and preventing you from picking at the spot and making it worse. Some (like these Yes To Tomatoes Zit Zapping Dots) also contain ingredients like charcoal and salicylic acid to help clear the pore and draw out buildup.
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
Best for: Under-the-skin spots
This one is great for when you can feel the subtle soreness of a spot lurking beneath the surface or a hard and painful bump beginning to form. These kinds of spots are deep-rooted and often don’t come to a head, which can make them harder to treat. Unlike gels or pastes which sit on the surface, Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion has a thin, watery texture which means it can absorb quickly to target the root of the blemish. The formula is strong, but also contains zinc, allantoin, and niacinamide to reduce inflammation and irritation.
Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Booster
Best for: Calming inflammation and redness
If your spot is already on the way out and the pain has reduced but there’s still a noticeable swelling and/or redness, then try the Elemis Superfood Cica Calm Booster – this potent solution will work a treat to reduce its appearance while you sleep. The water-thin solution should be patted onto the spot – cica works fast to calm inflammation, soothe irritation, and repair damaged skin.
Revolution Skincare 2% Salicylic Acid
Best for: Blackheads and whiteheads
If you’re prone to oily skin and experience blackheads and whiteheads, then you need to add salicylic acid to your routine. It’s the only exfoliating acid that’s oil-soluble, which means it can absorb deep into skin to clear the pore. When pores become clogged with oil this easily allows for buildup to form, usually from dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt. If the buildup reaches the surface of the skin it oxidises, which turns it black. Salicylic acid penetrates the oil and dissolves the buildup – what’s more, it’s an anti-inflammatory so helps to calm redness and swelling as well. You’ll find salicylic acid included in lots of cleansers, masks, and serums, but if you’re after a targeted spot treatment, try Revolution Skincare 2% Salicylic Acid.
Kitsch Ice Roller
Best for: Calming inflammation
Okay, this one’s not gonna take down a hormonal acne flareup in one go and prevent all future breakouts, but what it will do is soothe painful spots and reduce inflammation, taking down swelling and calming redness instantly. The chill constricts blood vessels, stimulating circulation which helps the immune system to clear out the blemish. If you catch the spot at just the right time, you may well prevent it from getting any worse. An ice cube will work, but the Kitsch Ice Roller is less messy (and also does double-duty to relieve under-eye puffiness).
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
Best for: Congestion and scarring
Sometimes, spots bring friends. If your breakouts tend to flare up in patches (triggers can be a time of stress or the run up to your period) a leave-on treatment like Alpha-H Liquid Gold can be an ideal solution. Like salicylic acid, glycolic acid works by dissolving dead skin cells and buildup from pores, but it also helps to buff away dead skin on the surface, reducing the appearance of blemishes, and preventing future buildup from causing more blemishes. In the long-term, it also helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and scarring from previous breakouts.