The 7 Fastest-Acting Blemish Solutions

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Just when I thought I left every trace of acne back in middle school, I moved to New York. Between the weather shift—I quickly learned that pollution is a real killjoy to a clear complexion—and quick uptick in stress, my blemishes came creeping back in full force. After testing every zit-zapping product I had collected on my desk (just in case), these seven were the most effective. 

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1 / 8

TULA Acne Clearing + Tone Correcting Gel ($36)

It’s so lightweight that it almost feels like water, and treats past, present and future breakouts (even stubborn acne scarring lightens up). 


2 / 8

The Good Chemist Clarity Serum ($65)

This clean cocktail of glycolic and salicylic acids, vitamins C and E, green tea leaf and kaolin clears breakouts, brightens tone and soaks up excess oil.


3 / 8

Tammy Fender Clarifying Dermagel ($72)

This luxe, all-natural blend of tea tree, myrrh and thyme will make anyone a believer in natural skin care—one cleared pimple at a time. 


4 / 8

ALMAY Clear Complexion Blemish Amor ($10)

Instead of dabbing pore-clogging concealer on blemishes, I kept this totally clear treatment at my desk (it’s made with salicylic acid) and applied it throughout the day.


5 / 8

True Botanicals Clear Trio ($185)

An all-natural cleanser, toner and facial oil with one thing in mind: balancing skin to keep it at its happiest, bounciest, clearest state. Consistency is key with this regimen! 


6 / 8

Differin Gel ($11)

It’s not a new product, but it is my holy grail. It doesn’t get better than this clear, lightweight gel—it’s the first OTC topical retinoid treatment—when clear skin is a must. (I wear it under my makeup every day.)

7 / 8

Caudalie Vinopure Natural Salicylic Acid Pore Minimizing Toner ($28)

Your skin will feel clean and balanced after swiping this 100-percent natural salicylic acid toner all over. It controls oil, breakouts and blackheads without stripping any moisture. 


8 / 8

Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid ($58)

Make the most of your beauty sleep with this potent, all-over acne treatment that delivers on its promises: it clears breakouts, minimizes the look of pores and evens skin texture and tone. 

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