Breaking out? You're not alone. But before you go slathering your face in an all-over retinoid, consider getting straight to the point with one of the best acne spot treatments. These pimple-fighting formulas are typically made with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, hydrocolloid, and other combatting and absorbing ingredients that can make blemishes — whether budding or about to pop — disappear almost overnight. Yes, really.
If you feel like you're doing everything right with your skin care routine — you wash your face morning and night, exfoliate regularly, wear sunscreen, blah, blah, blah — but you're still experiencing breakouts, it's most certainly time to add one of these spot treatments to your routine. The best part is that not only do they work to drain the blemish, but heal it faster, too. The result? A less visible — both in terms of inflammation and redness — spot come morning. All you have to do is apply it before bed and let it work it's magic while you sleep. Sound good? Thought so!
From a pink-tinted drying lotion to translucent pimple patches you can wear at work, here are the best acne spot treatments to tackle even your most stubborn breakouts.
1. This Cult-Favorite Drying Lotion That Makes Surface Blemishes Disappear Overnight
Renowned for its ability to make most types of blemishes (particularly those that have already come to a head) disappear overnight, this cult-favorite drying lotion works to drain the puss and fluid from surface blemishes (like whiteheads) before your very eyes. Formulated with salicylic acid, sulfur, and zinc oxide, this light pink spot treatment dives deep to address the impurities causing pesky pimples, helping to not only battle the current blemish, but prevent others from appearing, too. The powerful treatment is commonly recommended for overnight use — mostly because you probably don't want to walk around with pinkish-white spots all over your face — and the fast-drying formula ensures that it won't smear during your slumber. One very important tip to note, however, is to not shake the bottle: instead, dip a Q-tip into the formula and apply it onto each spot directly.
2. These Hydrocolloid Patches That Absorb All The Gunk That's Causing Your Breakout In The First Place
These best-selling Korean pimple patches are made with hydrocolloid, a substance that's used in medical dressings to absorb excess fluids and soak up pus. The cruelty-free design makes for a discreet, topical sticker that doesn't apply a blemish-busting formula so much as it eliminates the dirt and grime causing the blemish in the first place. Created without any alcohol, parabens, or sulfates, you can count on these lightweight stickers to be ultra-gentle and ultra-efficient. Watch them turn from translucent to white as they work, and leave them on as long as possible to prevent you from touching (read: further aggravating) the blemish. Each box comes with 36 "stickers."
3. This Tea Tree Oil Treatment Cream That Works To Both Battle Blemishes and Hydrate The Area For A Speedy Recovery
This antibacterial, tea tree oil-infused spot treatment penetrates pores deep down to kill blemish-causing bacteria on the spot. The all-natural, acne-fighting formula is free of complexion-compromising chemicals, parabens, and sulfates, making it an extremely gentle solution for sensitive skin. Whether you're battling cystic acne, scars, or whiteheads, this spot treatment can get to the root of the problem while also moisturizing the area to ensure the breakout is not only addressed, but that the skin is adequately hydrated for full (and faster) recovery, too.
4. This Salicylic Acid Gel That Combats Blemishes, Then Calms Them
This acne-treating gel uses salicylic acid to diminish the appearance of breakouts, followed by red algae to calm the area once the blemish is brought down. Salicylic acid is known for its ability to cut through acne-causing oils, dirt, and debris to both eliminate blemishes and prevent them from re-forming down the road, whereas red algae is known for making redness and irritation vanish almost immediately. The natural formula is made without any nasty chemicals (parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes and fragrances, phthalates, GMOs, etc.) and is suitable for all skin types. It even has a near-perfect 4.5-star rating on Amazon, which is pretty rare. Reviewers recommend applying it as soon as you notice any sign of a pimple, and it should disappear by the next day.
5. This Bentonite Clay-Based Formula That Treats Cystic Acne
Made with bentonite clay, this spot treatment works like a face mask in targeted areas to draw out toxins, makeup, dirt, and other impurities that could be clogging your pores and causing breakouts. In addition, tea tree oil works as an antibacterial offense against the blemish, helping to tone, heal, and moisturize the area. To top it off, pink grapefruit oil, peppermint, and spearmint water work to reduce swelling and infection while balancing oil production and promoting a healthier patch of resurfaced skin.
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