When you think of acne, you think about high school and those dreaded days when you’d feel so insecure about yourself because of pimples, pimple marks, and scars. But acne is more common than you think. It is in fact the most common skin condition in the U.S., with over 50 million Americans suffering from it every year, as per the American Academy of Dermatology. It often begins in puberty and remains through adolescence and at times, into adulthood. Today, we’re counting down the 10 best acne spot solutions that you might want to check out of you’re in the middle of an acne crisis. Check out these solutions.
1. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Considered a holy grail among beauty editors and women all around the world, Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion has earned a reputation for being the most effective pimple-fighting solution. It effectively dries up surface blemishes with its lightweight liquid formula. It is powered by salicylic acid that exfoliates to help shed pore-clogging dead skin cells, sulfur to purify pores and absorb excess oil, and calamine that cools and soothes the skin. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with a 91% recommendation rating at Sephora.
Promising review: “I was skeptical of an acne spot treatment as few have made a difference in the past – but this one is a game changer for me! Cleared up small pesky and larger spots within 2 days! My skin is definitely a bit dry around spot areas but bow i just simply will start using my hydrating lotions. Glad I finally bit the bullet and bought this!” Paulina Chalina
2. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment
Effectively reduce the appearance of blemishes caused by acne with Kiehl’s Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment, which is formulated with sulfur and vitamin B3. It works incredibly fast so you can go to prom and take Instagram-worthy photos without worrying about zit marks. Rated 5 out of 5 stars with a 100% recommendation rating on Ulta.
Promising review: “This stuff must be formulated with witchcraft, because it zaps basically any pimple I put it on. Whiteheads? Gone. Angry pimple under the skin that hasn’t formed a head? Calmed down with the first treatment, gone the next day with twice daily application. Weird red spot that I thought might be a pimple? Poof, like magic! This stuff even reduces the number of whiteheads I get in the crevices around my nose.” Kate L. from Portland, OR
3. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot and Area Treatment
Pimples begone with this acne spot treatment from Peter Thomas Roth that has an extra strength, non-drying, non-irritating, oil-controlling formula. It works on acne, blemishes, and oiliness to reveal improved skin look and texture. It is powered by 5% colloidal sulfur, 4% glycolic acid complex, aloe vera, allantoin, botanical extracts, and vitamins C, E, and pro vitamin B5. Colloidal sulfur absorbs excess oil and prevents further breakouts, while glycolic acid helps to exfoliate dead surface skin cells and support natural cellular turnover. Aloe vera is also present to help soothe and hydrate skin. Formulated without parabens. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with an 87% recommendation rating at Ulta.
Promising review: “Noticeable improvement of blemishes within hours. Even works on my cystic acne, which is a first for me. I was skeptical on a spot remover that doesn’t contain salicylic acid but I’m so glad I tried this. It’s now my go-to. Also doesn’t dry the skin out as much causing that flakiness that many spot removers do. [I’m] 30 years old, normal/sensitive skin with hormonal and cystic acne.” J from Virginia
4. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide
Powered by micronized benzoyl peroxide (5.5%) and Lipo Hydroxy Acid, this pimple treatment from a Roche-Posay is truly one of a kind. Lipo-Hydroxy Acid provides micro-exfoliating powers to clear away cellular debris and oil. it has a non-drying cream formula that is fast-absorbing. It’s also oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars at Walgreens.
Promising review: “I had severe cystic acne and tried everything but nothing even helped slightly. I decided I’d splurge on this since nothing else worked, it has COMPLETELY cleared my skin. I cannot believe the results.” Lizzeth
5. Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel
If you’re going for clean beauty, you’re going to love Origins acne treatment gel, an acne spot remover that quickly fights and fades blemishes for spotless skin. It features saw palmetto and 1.5 percent salicylic acid that gets rid of excess oil that leads to breakouts. It’s formulated without any of the bad stuff like sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, and other chemical-based ingredients. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars with a 79% recommendation rating at Ulta.
Promising review: “I have severe cystic acne, and this product goes to work immediately and within a few days of using every night (you just pop a little on your finger and tap it onto the blemish) the spot is already ten times less inflamed than the days prior. I seriously recommend this product for those with cystic acne! Also, this bottle may be small but it lasts you a very long time, which is great!” Torie from St. Louis
6. The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
The Ordinary is a brand that has steadily gained popularity because of the high quality and affordability of their skincare products. This Salicylic Acid 2% Solution helps exfoliate to reveal blemish-free, clear skin. It is powered by salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates, and Hamamelis Virginiana leaf water, an alcohol-free, leaf-derived witch hazel extract that has antibacterial properties and benefits. Rated 4.3 out 5 stars with an 84% recommendation rating at Sephora.
Promising review: “Skincare staple! After hearing such great things about this product I finally decided to get it, and I am SO glad I did! This product has become a staple in my skincare routine. Helping take away acne scars, any blemishes I have, and gave my skin a beautiful all over even skin tone. You can’t beat it for the price point!” Kadebe
7. Murad Acne Control Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment
Treat blemishes and pimple marks in just 4 hours with Murad’s Acne Control Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment, powered by salicylic acid. It effectively exfoliates pores and smooths skin. It’s powered by pine and thyme extracts, a patented complex that gets rid of irritants while preserving the skin’s healthy balance. It comes in a clear gel formula that is great worn under makeup. Rated 4 out of 5 stars with an 81% recommendation rating at Ulta.
Promising review: “As I am going through a whole new set of hormonal changes, I am breaking out again. So happy the sales clerk at Ulta recommended this to me. In less than 24 hours my large breakouts are almost completely gone. Not to mention it is helping to diminish other areas where a larger blemish had been.” Kimberly from Buda, TX
8. Boscia Charcoal Spot Corrector
Say goodbye to spots and pimple marks with this Charcoal Spot Corrector from Boscia, which features activated charcoal to keep blemishes away. It contains a mix of jojoba leaf, a powerful antioxidant that battles free radical damage caused by environmental factors, and willowherb, a skin-calming botanical that alleviates inflammation and redness. Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars at Sephora.
Promising review: “This spot corrector is AMAZING. Little to no stinging when applied and clears up breakouts in 1-3 days. It reduces redness and it doesn’t have to be used only on your face! Absolutely love the way it feels and my breakouts have vastly improved.” Ardie
9. Proactiv Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Whether it’s darks spots, acne, blemishes or sun damage, this advance treatment serum helps fade these skin problems thanks to its unique ingredients. It is powered by Hydroquinone 2% that gradually fades skin discolorations, spots, blotches, and marks, the antioxidant Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil to help calm skin and reduce irritation, and Citric Acid that helps renew the skin. Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars with a 100% recommendation rating at Sephora.
Promising review: “I love the texture of this product! It absorbs easily into the skin and after using it consistently for one week, I can see a difference in my skin’s clarity and it has lightened my acne scars. I have dry skin and this works great!” Amanda Imani
10. Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment
Powered by the highest level of sulfur for skin care products, this acne treatment from Kate Somerville effectively clears blemishes and acne scars, reduces the appearance of redness, and prevents future breakouts. It also contains AHAs to reduce the appearance of large pores and zinc oxide, a natural mineral that provides oil control by absorbing extra sebum production. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars, with a 79% recommendation rating at Ulta.
Promising review: “I used a cotton pad and only needed to dab a little bit in each section of my face that had blemishes. within two days my skin got smooth and less oily. Feels great!” Gabby from Napa Valley, CA
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