5 Best Acne Spot Treatments

Acne spot treatments can reduce pain, swelling, and redness. They can also aid in removing the pore blockage that initially caused the blemish by loosening or dissolving it. Only mild, superficial papules and pustules respond to spot treatments.
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Do you have a pimple that bothers you a lot, and you wish you could rapidly zap it away? With an acne spot treatment, you can, in a sense. Acne spot treatments are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that treat particular, isolated zits.

They are dabbed simply on existing blemishes instead of being applied to the full face like other acne remedies. Others dry clear so you can use them during the day. Some acne spot treatments are left on overnight. Even tinted acne spot treatments help conceal blemishes while you apply them.

How Spot Treatments Work

Acne spot treatments function by providing chemicals that combat acne in the affected area. You can lessen redness, swelling, and pain with spot treatments. They may also aid in dissolving or releasing the pore blockage that initially caused the blemish.

Acne spot treatments are only effective on small, superficial papules and pustules. They won’t treat deeper, more severe lesions like acne nodules or cysts. These blemishes develop considerably more deeply within the skin, beyond the range of acne spot treatments.

Several acne spot treatments are available, ranging from inexpensive options from drugstores to pricey, posh ones.

Whichever you decide on, as long as it has an active component that has been shown to combat acne, it doesn’t matter. One of the following ingredients will be included in the best acne spot treatments.

Benzoyl Peroxide

The best over-the-counter remedy for acne is benzoyl peroxide.

It lessens swelling and renders the pore difficult for acne-causing germs to hide in. Use it no more than once or twice a day because it can dry.

Be careful around your towels, bedding, and clothing because benzoyl peroxide can bleach out fibers. So, avoid using a benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment on top of (or below) Retin-A (tretinoin). Tretinoin loses its effectiveness when administered with benzoyl peroxide because of chemical breakdown.

Salicylic Acid

A beta-hydroxy acid is a salicylic acid. It aids in removing the debris that has become lodged in the pores.

Pustules can also be dried up using it (pimples with white heads).


Another component that helps to reduce inflammation and dry out zits is sulfur.

Sulfur can be as drying to the skin like benzoyl peroxide.


Adapalene, sold under the brand name Differin, is the only topical retinoid acne medicine sold without a prescription.

Technically. Differin is a substance that resembles retinoids and functions similarly to them. This drug was formerly only available by prescription. It aids in pore cleaning and exfoliation.

Using Acne Spot Treatment

Typically, you’ll dab a small amount of spot treatment on the pimple once or twice a day. There is no need to rinse off; instead, give the drug time to soak in for a few hours, at the very least.

You can wear out some products since they dry clear. Some are colored, so you should only use them at night and wash them off in the morning. Regardless of the product you select, read and abide by the usage instructions.

Treatment Mistakes

Your regimen for treating acne may benefit from including acne spot treatments. But you can misuse them without even realizing it.

Using Them Too Often

Any spot treatment solution used excessively might dry up the skin and irritate it. If you apply it more than twice daily, you are using it excessively. The outcome can be a dry, red, flaky pimple.

Using Products Not Meant for the Skin

You’ve heard of unusual acne treatments like Windex, toothpaste, and garlic.

Everyone would be utilizing those strange treatments if they worked that effectively. The truth is that these cures are ineffective and could severely irritate your skin.

Not Using Regular Acne Treatment

Your skin won’t clear up with acne spot treatments. They only function on distinct, observable pimples that have already formed.

You must prevent acne from ever developing if you want dependably clear skin. This necessitates a unique acne treatment regimen.

Therefore, even while acne spot treatments have their uses, you shouldn’t utilize them as your only acne treatment option.

Getting Rid of Acne

While there are methods to hasten the healing of acne, preventing breakouts from occurring in the first place is the only approach to getting consistently clear skin. Even in clear areas, this necessitates regular usage of an acne treatment medicine to maintain their clarity.

An over-the-counter acne product can be sufficient if your acne is minor. It’s time to step it up if your typical acne treatments aren’t keeping you acne-free. Think about taking an over-the-counter drug like BenzaClin, Retin-A, or Accutane. Severe acne necessitates prescription treatment.

Are you already taking medication with a prescription? Inform your dermatologist if you’re not satisfied with the outcome. You may require a different medication. The objective is to completely clean up your acne so you won’t need to use any acne spot treatments.

Give your doctor a call instead of using acne spot treatments if you have a large pimple that won’t go away. An OTC product might not be strong enough to address your blemish. Alternatively, it might not be a pimple but a boil or another skin condition. Call your healthcare practitioner if you are unsure.

Experts’ Recommendations For The Best Acne Spot Treatments

Although many acne spot treatments are available, getting one that genuinely works might be difficult. Shop TODAY consulted several dermatologists and an esthetician to learn more about the best acne spot treatments for speedy skin clearing. You’ll have a clear complexion in no time, free of acne patches and drying creams.

Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment

According to dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, “Benzoyl peroxide is effective for treating acne since it not only destroys germs that contribute to acne but also helps to prevent and clear out clogged pores.” “It also possesses comedolytic and anti-inflammatory effects, making it effective for all forms of acne, including bigger red pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. To prevent unwanted irritation, I advise using it one to three times daily and applying a small amount in a thin layer.”

Benzoyl peroxide can clear acne, but it absorbs rapidly, is lightweight, and won’t dry out your skin. According to dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling of New Jersey, “it is also oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and trigger further breakouts.”

Additionally, she advises using it twice daily as part of your morning and evening skincare routine.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Another excellent method to get rid of all of your acne blemishes is to use this cult-favorite breakout remover. This drying lotion made with salicylic acid, calamine, and sulfur is the holy grail of esthetician Candace Marino.

She said, “The calamine lotion will help calm and chill the skin.” Salicylic acid will assist in exfoliating the pores and help remove oil buildup, while sulfur aids in purifying the pores.

Marino advises against shaking this product before using it, despite the temptation. “The top is pink, and the bottom is clear. Therefore, you should use a Q-tip to plunge to the bottom and then remove it without swirling, “She spoke up. Afterward, dab it on and wear it overnight while sleeping.

Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment

This acne spot treatment, which contains salicylic acid, a potent acne-fighting ingredient that exfoliates and unclogs pores, also lowers blemish size in hours, according to Sperling.

She also noted how many users of this blemish remover claim to notice quick results. Research conducted by the company found that 97% of consumers thought their blemishes looked better after just one day.

“This thing is fantastic. After applying this to my pimples, I quickly saw a significant difference. I generally have good skin, but occasionally I get a zit, which works well! “one Sephora reviewer commented.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment

Although the price of this La Roche Posay acne treatment is undoubtedly higher than average, Sperling believes it is worthwhile.

Our product’s key component is benzoyl peroxide, just like many other choices on this list. It is also produced using a special lipo-hydroxy acid.

Sperling says, “this exfoliates the skin to eliminate dead skin cells and excess oil.” “For those with mild to moderate acne, this (product) works well. You may apply one to three thin coatings daily to the afflicted regions. You can notice a difference in your skin within a week or so.”

Differin Gel

Dermatologists concur that Differin is essential for acne sufferers (it also doubles as a great anti-aging product).

Differin Gel, a prescription-strength retinoid that is the gold standard for the treatment of various types of acne, from whiteheads to blackheads to mild to moderate acne or even occasional breakouts, is by far my favorite over-the-counter product, according to the Dr. Melissa Levin, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology.

For patients who suffer from acne, Sperling added, “Differin is my go-to product recommendation.” Now that a prescription is no longer necessary, it is economical and simple to obtain.

Adapalene, a retinoid, is the substance that makes Differin active. The superstar component, according to Sperling, “treats and prevents breakouts, boosts cell renewal, stimulates collagen, lessens discolouration, and restores your skin’s natural texture and tone.”

Levin said that Differin is “photo-stable,” which means you can use it in the daytime while the sun is out, and it has anti-inflammatory qualities.

A little goes a long way when it comes to application. “It takes significantly less for spot treatment since you only need a pea-sized amount to cover your entire face. I advise incorporating it into your bedtime skincare routine and using it just once daily, “She said. Although you can use it on all skin types, those with mild to moderate acne-prone skin will experience the best results.

Just remember that initially starting retinol, slight irritation, dryness, and redness are common; give your skin some time to acclimate.


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