It's 2021 guys, so if you're still using toothpaste or even Sudrocreme to get rid of your spots, it's time you upgraded your methods... Blemishes and acne are totally normal and something we all experience, but we totally get that sometimes you just want to snap your fingers and make them disappear. Unfortunately we can't (yet) do that, but rather than using old- fashioned methods which simply dry out your skin, you can try a spot treatment that will work to reduce the appearance of your blemish overnight. These formulas work with a variety of anti-inflammatory and pore-flushing ingredients to gently calm the skin, reduce redness and speed up your skin's natural healing process.
From products we like to keep in our bag at all times, i.e. Glossier's Zit Stick, to overnight spot stickers treatments like ZITSTICKA, which inject a cocktail of spot-fighting ingredients directly into the heart of your blemish while you sleep. Not to mention Neutrogena's Clear Light Therapy Targeted Acne Spot Treatment which uses red and blue light technology to calm and fight bad bacteria. Once you've tried one of these formulas, we promise you'll never reach for the Colgate again, which also means you don't have to panic when someone rings your doorbell, or drops you a surprise FaceTime. Not matter your skin type, or sensitivity, here's our edit of the best 14 spot- fighting formulas... you can thank us later.
1 Carbon Theory Overnight Detox Serum, £14
Carbon Theory are professional blemish busters. The entire range is focused on decongesting the skin, but this is our personal fave. Unlike other drying treatments, this hydrating serum contains nourishing antioxidants and vitamin E alongside spot stoppers tea tree oil and charcoal. Smooth over cleansed skin at night and awake to a brighter, clearer complexion.
2 Dots for Spots Original Acne Absorbing Pimple Patches
These hydrocolloid patches are basically invisible when you apply them so very Zoom-friendly (trust us, we’ve done it). Give them 6 hours to work and you’ll be left with a way less obvious spot. The hydrocolloid material basically creates an optimum healing environment for your breakout to heal. You’ll know when it’s ready to be removes when the translucent patch turns white.
3 Plenaire Violet Paste Blemish Solution
Combining anti-bacterial spot soother zinc oxide with clarifying azelaic acid, this powerful tonic treats blemishes while you sleep. The Salicylic and beta hydroxy acids, both known for their ability to reduce excess sebum, refine and prevent new breakouts from forming. Oh, and as with all of Plenaire's products, the formula is completely vegan and uses UK sourced ingredients.
4 La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+
If bigger breakouts are something you want to address you need to tried the elite formula in Efflaclar Duo+. It can be used as a daily moisturiser if your skin is on the oilier side and includes niacinamide, salicylic acid and glycerin to soothe and improve the skin texture. Additionally, if you’re worried about the marks spots can leave behind, this can help to fade scarring too.
5 The INKEY List C-50 Blemish Night Treatment
Sometimes you're up against not one, but a whole bunch of breakouts. In this instance, you need a targeted treatment that you can smother over your whole face. Enter: The INKEY List C-50 Blemish Night Treatment. It packs the same zit killing punch, but in a formula that can be applied all over.
Incorporate into your nighttime routine to decongest and rebalance excess sebum production. The soothing serum has anti-inflammatory properties too, which calms down stressed skin and reduces redness.
6 EradiKate Blemish Treatment
Looking for something to dry out one of those angry, under the skin spots ASAP? Apply this to a cotton bud and target the area head on to dry it out pretty much overnight. It’s formulated with a really high percentage of sulphur – 10% – to fight brewing breakouts while the zinc oxide and the salicylic acid help to prevent excess oil and sebum.
7 Glossier Zit Stick, £12
Our prayers were answered the day that Glossier brought this to the UK. The aptly named Zit Stick should be kept in your bag at all times for emergencies. It contains a cocktail of 2% capryloyl salicylic acid (a more gentle version of salicylic acid) and tea tree, to zap spots on the go.
8 Murad Blemish Control Rapid Relief Spot Treatment
This fast-acting, invisible gel penetrates spots, shrinking them within 4 hours. 2% salicylic acid exfoliates the surface of the skin, clearing out excess oil and bacteria deep within pores, whilst the botanical blend calms your complexion and reduces redness.
9 ZITSTICKA KILLA
Zitsticka have already carved a big name for themselves in the industry, thanks to their ingenious approach to clearing our complexions. Each of these pimple patches has 24 micro darts that inject a targeted, zit-fighting formula right into the heart of your spot, stopping it in its tracks. FYI, it works best if you use it at the very first sign of a breakout.
10 REN Clean Skincare Non-Drying Spot Treatment
A spot treatment that doesn't contain salicylic acid? Yep, they do exist. Non- drying, it's packed full of natural bio-actives that help restore equilibrium to the skin's microbiome, boosting good bacteria and keeping breakouts at bay. It's also incredibly soothing, so if you find your skin gets really red and angry, this is probably the guy for you.
11 Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel
Those with sensitive skin should approach this with caution.
No doubt it works, but it packs a punch. Ideally suited to oily, blemish prone complexions, the hero ingredient is (you guessed it) salicylic acid, along with saw palmetto, to heal and prevent future blemishes. Apply sparingly, please.
12 Disciple What Spot?
Disciple's What Spot? is a rollerball packed with vegan botanicals and anti- inflammatory oils that aim to calm even the most stressy spots. It also contains natural prebiotics to promote good bacteria on the skin and help fight the blemish-causing bad bacteria. Plus the stainless steel rollerball is easy to clean and more importantly, hygienic.
13 Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, £15.50
There's a reason this cult formula has been dubbed a life saver by celebrities and models alike... One of the fastest working salicylic acid treatments on the market, apply before bed and that blemish will be gone come morning. The best part? Despite its potency it's suitable for even the most sensitive skins.
14 Starface Hydro-Stars
Buy now Starface.world, £16 Who says spot treatments can't be cute? This happy little yellow box contains 32 hydrocolloid star-shaped patches which you apply as soon as you feel the first signs of a blemish. Hydrocolloid is a wound dressing which will promote healing and increase the turnover of your spot. Not only that, but you look downright adorable wearing them.