Pimples have a way of popping up when you don’t want them the most. No matter how tempted you are to pick, squeeze, or do minor surgery, keep your hands to yourself. You don’t want to be scarred for life, do you? If you only have one nasty blemish, there’s no need to break out the heavy, acne-fighting artillery for your whole face. You can treat random eruptions — without drying out the rest of your skin — by using a concentrated acne spot treatment. They’ll go to work directly on the acne-causing bacteria to bring down bumps fast. Try these zit zappers, and you’ll be back to your perfect self in no time.
The Best Buy
Might Patch – $13
Mighty patch takes the top spot for us due to its extreme ease of use. Recommended for angry whiteheads, Mighty Patch works as a protective barrier, sealing out bacteria and germs, and sealing in powerful medicines that essentially suck your whitehead dry. You’ll know when it’s done working because the patch turns white (from all that bacteria that was just in your face). Extremely sticky, the Mighty Patch has staying power and can easily be worn over night for a blemish-free tomorrow.
Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment – $22
This invisible gel can shrink a pimple in just four hours. Wake up with a zit? No problem. Apply this speedy spot treatment, and it could be gone by lunchtime. It’s a fast-acting formulation that uses salicylic to exfoliate and clear pores, bringing down the redness quickly.
Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Spot Treatment – $18
This blemish treatment has been a star in Kiehl’s lineup since 1964. Salicylic acid kills the eruption-causing bacteria, ginger toot soothes and absorbs excess oil, and frankincense calms down your sebum (oil) production. Add this to your post-shave routine to take down annoying bumps and dislodge ingrown hairs. Rumor has it Andy Warhol was a fan.
TreeActive Cystic Acne Spot Treatment – $22
You need to be very careful when treating severe acne. Harsh products, artificial fragrances, and added chemicals can cause your face to flare up even worse. This solution uses bentonite clay to draw out impurities and gently calm the skin. Pink grapefruit essential oil reduces inflammation, peppermint and spearmint oils act as an antiseptic, and tea tree oil eliminates bacteria.
Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment – $6
Benzoyl peroxide is an extremely effective ingredient used in most acne treatments. It really works. However, a high dose can irritate and dry out your skin causing redness and inflammation. This pimple treatment is formulated with just the right amount to kill acne bacteria without causing further flare up. Best of all, you can find it right in your local drugstore at a great price.
Evolutionman Conceal and Treat – $18
If you have a big date and a big pimple, try hiding the zit with this concealer. Don’t get nervous — we’re not suggesting that you apply a full-face of man makeup. This blendable stick can camouflage your unsightly pimple while clearing the bacteria. Try a shade a drop darker than your actual skin tone and conceal while you heal.
(Malin + Goetz) Acne Treatment Nighttime – $22
This overnight pimple treatment is pretty damn powerful. Sulfur is the hero ingredient that will knock out blemishes while you sleep. It goes on a bit different than the other lotions. Don’t shake to mix it. Instead, dip a cotton Q-tip into the sediment at the bottom of the jar. Apply directly to the pimple. No rubbing. Just let it work as you catch some Zs.
Dr. Sebagh Breakout Spot-On – $55
When you needed the pimple gone yesterday, reach for Dr. Sebagh’s powerful Breakout Spot-On. Dab it on the second you’re cursed with a blemish and watch it shrink like magic. This potion also reduces redness, tightens pores, and calms your skin. File this pimple treatment under pricey, but worth it.
Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment – $6
Because you want this zit gone yesterday, this gel works fast to dissolve the oil gunking up your pores. Once your skin is clear, the medicated salicylic acid sinks in to reduce swelling and redness.
Burt’s Bees Natural Maximum Strength Spot Treatment Cream – $11
You can count on Burt’s Bees for the best natural skincare remedies. This pimple treatment is formulated with willow bark extract containing exfoliating beta hydroxy acids that work to clear pores and reduce redness.
If you’ve got an issue of razor bumps rather than pimples, check out our solution to that skin problem here.
Article originally published by Jennifer Jones on March 18, 2017. Last updated by Chase McPeak on May 10, 2018.