At the first sight of a pimple, you probably reach for the strongest, most potent spot treatment you can find in your bathroom cabinet to shrink it. While your blemish may go down a few sizes, the area around the spot becomes a peeling, red, irritated mess that’s impossible to conceal with makeup. Alternatively, you can be nicer to your complexion and still get rid of breakouts by swapping your harsh spot treatment for a product that contains acne-fighting ingredients that are gentler, but still effective. Read on for right ways to make your next pimples bite the dust while keeping the rest of your skin happy.
1. Arithmetic Acne Control Complex
Your teen years may be far behind you, but you can still struggle with regular breakouts as an adult. Arithmetic’s treatment is specifically designed with people over the age of 20 in mind. A lower dosage of blemish-fighting ingredient benzoyl peroxide and hydrating jojoba oil and shea butter work in tandem to gently fight blemishes and retain skin’s moisture.
Arithmetic Acne | $30
2. Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment
Formulated with a natural tint that will cut the time it takes to get ready in the morning in half, this treatment conceals the redness from blemishes as sulfer and zinc oxide clear and eliminate breakout-inducing bacteria and excess oil from the skin.
Dermalogica | $26
3. Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Maximum Strength Spot Treatment Cream
Licorice root extract and tamanu oil are the secret weapons in Burt’s Bees all-natural spot-healer, which is gentle enough for sensitive skin, so it won’t cause further irritation.
Burt's Bees | $11
4. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
Say goodbye to blemishes overnight by dapping this treatment on pesky pimples before hitting the lights. Its fast-drying ingredients, including salicylic acid and calamine, reduce redness and size as you get some shut-eye.
Mario Badescu | $17
5. Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Fast-Acting Acne Spot Treatment
The name says it all: Clearer days really are ahead thanks to this formula’s combination of salicylic and glycolic acids, which help quickly dry up pimples, and dimethicone and squalane keep skin moisturized.
Philosophy | $19
6. La Roche-Posay Effaclar K Daily Renovating Anti-Relapse Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
This MVP treatment works all sorts of acne—including blackheads—and smooths rough, uneven texture without irritating skin.
La Roche Posay | $31
7. Estée Lauder Clear Difference Targeted Blemish Treatment
What sets Estee Lauder’s treatment apart from the crowd is that it’s able to penetrate blemishes quickly to speed up healing with minimal redness or inflammation to your complexion.
Estee Lauder | $35
8. Origins Super Spot Acne Remover
Dab on a dot of Origin’s spot remover to quickly minimize pimples. The gel formula wears well under makeup, so it’s an ideal treatment choice if you want to continue to zap blemishes throughout the day.
Origins | $16