When a breakout hits, the goal is always the same: Get rid of the blemish, stat. These 11 spot treatments do just that, without disrupting everything else on your face.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Benzoyl Peroxide
Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD says if maskne is your main concern, use a washable cloth mask or silk mask—and wash it daily. “Do not pick at your pimples or they will cause scarring and make your acne much worse. Dot on topical prescription antibiotic creams or a topical over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide, depending on what you have as an acne spot treatment.”
OTC Benzoyl Peroxide Plus Salicylic Acid
Saddle Brook, NJ dermatologist Dr. Fredric Haberman provides this formula for his foolproof acne-spot solution: “Basically, 10-percent benzoyl peroxide and 2-percent salicylic acid once or twice daily applied to acne spots works very well.”
Renee Rouleau Anti Bump Solution ($50)
A spot treatment can lose its effectiveness if not applied correctly, according to aesthetician Renee Rolueau, who regularly recommends her potent Acne Bump Solution to anyone concerned with breakouts. “Post skin-care routine, use a swab to clean the blemish, spot treat and allow to dry. Then, reapply a dot of SPF. Face makeup is the finishing touch and plays an important role in skin care to enhance protection.”
Stamina Maskne Sleeping Serum ($68)
Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD chooses this off-the-radar pick for her number-one when it comes to overall acne and spot-treating.
Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot and Area Treatment ($18)
Not only does this fast-acting formula work quickly to clear blemishes, but it also helps prevent the formation of future ones. The secret is a combination of oil-controlling (but not drying) sulfur and skin-exfoliating glycolic acid, mixed with soothers like aloe vera and nourishing vitamins.
Ilike Herbal Clay Spot Treatment ($58)
This mega-multitasker relies on clove oil, a potent essential oil, to act as an antiseptic to really purify pores and absorb excess oil. The end result: Pimples are dried up fast—without leaving the rest of your face red and itchy.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17)
This pink liquid gets rave reviews on the regular for shrinking pimples—even whiteheads—overnight. The main ingredient is skin-soothing, anti-itching calamine, which is also what makes the lotion work especially well on bug bites.
Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment ($7)
With an incredible “reduces pimples in four hours” claim behind it, this powerful gel starts to work the second you apply it, thanks to a formula that contains the maximum-strength salicylic acid on the market.
Suki Transformative Purifying Masque ($54)
Don’t let the name fool you: Even though it’s pegged as a mask, this tiny product works wonders when used as an overnight spot treatment. Even brand founder Suki says to give it a try to bust blemishes while you sleep: “I formulate my purifying masque as the ultimate stress-reducer for your worst skin problems—and as your go-to overnight ‘spot’ weapon.”
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment ($13)
Packed with tea tree, calendula, yarrow, parsley and willow bark extract (a natural source of betahydroxy acids), you only need a tiny drop of this herbal-scented oil to remove redness and calm breakouts.
Origins Super Spot Remover ($19)
Perfect for treating post-pimple darkening, this healing gel relies on salicylic acid to treat breakouts, while calming caffeine and red algae reduce irritation and redness.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you