15 Best Acne Spot Treatments Of 2021 For Flawless Skin

Written by Sneha Manandhar
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Who hasn’t faced the nightmare of waking up in the morning to be greeted by a huge red zit and you have an important event coming up! What is your first reaction, after the tears, of course! You squeeze it and hope for a miracle, and we all know how well that works. Some of the best acne spot treatments can take care of that problem for you. Acne is caused due to clogged pores, which can happen due to a variety of reasons, all of which are not under your control. Inflammation, increased sebum production, makeup, a faulty diet, stress, genetics or hormones can all contribute to the clogging of your skin’s pores.

Please remember that a spot treatment works wonders on pustules, which as the name suggests, are pimples filled with pus and not so much on papules, which are inflamed red pimples. You have a variety of acne treatments available in the market, from pimple patches to drying lotions, which will take care of your pimple problem in no time at all and improve your skin texture. So, check out the 15 best acne spot treatments available in the market and get ready to greet the world with flawless and glowing skin.

TOP 10 PRODUCTSCheck Price
Avarelle Acne Cover Patch
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Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch
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Differin Gel Acne Treatment
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Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
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Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel
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Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
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Acne Free Terminator 10 Acne Spot Treatment
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TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment
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DRMTLGY 24-Hour Acne Serum
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Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Spot Treatment Cream
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15 Best Acne Spot Treatments Of 2021

1. Avarelle Acne Cover Patch

Do you feel helpless because of obstinate acne scars? Do try one of the best vegan acne spot treatments in the market that covers your blemishes invisibly. Made with cica, tea tree, calendula oil, and hydrocolloid technology, it blends seamlessly with your skin and shrinks zits overnight, even sucking out the pus it may have. They are suitable for every skin, even sensitive skin, and every skin tone and do their job speedily without anyone being the wiser. This product comes in a pack of 40 with 3 different sized patches. It has an easy peel design that makes it all the more convenient so do try it out.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Natural ingredients
  • Cruelty-free
  • Drug-free

CONS:

  • May not stick well on very oily skin

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2. Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch

Have you ever noticed how pimples and acne seem to appear just before an important event, leaving you in complete panic? This hydrocolloid patch called Mighty Patch promises to extract impurities, camouflage blemishes, and heal your skin. It’s made with the highest quality hydrocolloid, which is a fluid absorbing gel, and draws out pus from your pimples. It reduces blemish size, speeds up the healing process, and protects your skin. This patch comes with a translucent matte finish and blends seamlessly into your skin making it almost invisible. These hydrocolloid patches are UV sterilized, non-toxic, and totally safe for your skin. Each box comes with 36 or 72 medium-sized patches. So, resist the urge to pop those pimples and try one of these patches for flawless skin.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Drug-free
  • Non-drying
  • Propylene glycol-free
  • Paraffin-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

CONS:

  • Does not work on blackheads

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3. Differin Gel Acne Treatment

Differin gel contains an acne-fighting retinoid called adapalene that plays a crucial role in the treatment of acne as it regulates skin cell turnover and reduces inflammation deep in the skin. What makes the retinoid, adapalene, so good is that it’s gentler on your skin while still being very effective. Differin Gel renews skin resulting in clearer, smoother skin over a period of time and restores the skin’s tone and texture. This acne spot treatment, not only clears but prevents blackheads, pimples, and whiteheads and effectively targets 2  primary causes of acne, which are inflammation and clogged pores. One of the best overnight acne treatments available, it helps reduce the risk of scarring and pigmentation. In a clinical study, Differin gel showed up to 87% reduction in acne lesions in just 12 weeks.

PROS:

  • Water-based formula
  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-approved

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for very sensitive skin

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4. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Aren’t we all waiting for an acne treatment that works? This acne spot treatment lotion targets the blemishes on your skin while you sleep. It helps to draw out impurities and reduces the appearance of acne scars. This fast-acting formula contains thyme and salicylic acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells and prevents the pores from getting clogged as well as sulfur, which cleanses pores and absorbs excess oil, thus improving your skin texture. Calamine provides a cooling and soothing effect and zinc oxide help to dry up blemishes overnight. This simple, gentle, and effective skin care is suitable for all skin types and maybe the answer to all your acne problems, making it one of the best salicylic acid acne treatments.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Sulphate-free

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for very sensitive skin

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5. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel

This gel ranks among the best acne treatment gels and contains benzoyl peroxide, which is an acne medicine that reduces the size and redness of acne in just 2 hours. The effective gel formula not only treats pimples but also helps prevent breakouts in the future. It promises continuous improvement in skin texture and appearance and is the acne medication recommended the most by dermatologists, making it one of the best over the counter acne spot treatments for clearer skin. It is specially formulated for acne-prone skin to help manage acne scars and acne breakouts. You should cleanse skin thoroughly before applying the gel, which you can apply 1 to 3 times daily.

PROS:

  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Suitable for acne prone skin
  • Effective within 2 hours
  • Soothes skin

CONS:

  • Has chemicals

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6. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment

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This salicylic acid acne spot treatment shows amazing results in just a day and even though it’s oil-free, it doesn’t over-dry your skin. This treatment dissolves oil and allows maximum acne medication to enter into your pores and reduces redness, swelling, and pimple size in just 4 hours. Amazing, isn’t it! It also contains witch hazel, a natural ingredient known as soothing the skin. This acne spot treatment removes dead skin cells which clog your pores and cause oil and bacteria to build up, causing acne. So, stop popping those pimples and try out this product.

PROS:

  • Oil-free
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Contains salicylic acid and witch hazel
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • Contains fragrance

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7. Acne Free Terminator 10 Acne Spot Treatment

Have you been looking for a product that is stronger than your pimples? This top acne spot treatment has 10% benzoyl peroxide as well as ginger, chamomile, and calendula oil. Benzoyl peroxide delivers medication to affected areas, and can be used to relieve all types of breakouts. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the redness and inflammation caused by pimples. The Terminator 10 formula is also infused with calendula oil and chamomile that helps soothe and calm the skin. It has a lightweight formula and does not leave a white residue while removing stubborn pimples, blackheads, and acne and prevents them from recurring.

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Natural ingredients
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Dermatologist-recommended

CONS:

  • Some may feel a slight burn if the product is left on for too long.

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8. TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment

This top acne spot treatment is the most effective treatment for severe and cystic acne and is packed with natural ingredients like bentonite clay, tea tree water, witch hazel, peppermint water, spearmint water, spearmint essential oil, eucalyptus oil, pink grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and aloe vera that calm the skin while eliminating acne. It does so by removing toxins, unclogging pores, removing dead skin cells, reducing inflammation, and nourishing troubled areas. Suitable for all skin types. It is a good acne spot treatment that is gentle on the skin and frees it from pollutants, acne marks, large pores, helps balance oil production, and aids in reducing breakouts.

PROS:

  • Organic
  • Hand crafted
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • No GMOs
  • Paraben-free
  • Palm oil-free

CONS:

  • May not work on hormonal acne

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9. DRMTLGY 24-Hour Acne Serum

This 24-hour acne serum quickly dries pimples, prevents further breakouts, and is effective for both your body and face. It’s one of the most effective treatments for severe and cystic acne and diminishes acne scarring, is effective as a spot treatment, controls excess sebum production, and prevents acne, and breakouts. It’s highly recommended by dermatologists to treat blackheads, whiteheads, cystic acne, and hormonal breakouts within 24 hours. This benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment unclogs pores without over-drying your skin and contains the purest form of glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide to effectively reduce breakouts and scarring.

PROS:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Hormone-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for very sensitive skin

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10. Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Spot Treatment Cream

This 99.4% natural acne spot treatment cream contains acne-fighting salicylic acid derived from willow bark, which penetrates and opens clogged pores, reduces acne, and helps prevent further breakouts. It also contains beeswax, glycerin, jojoba seed oil, hops extract, honeysuckle flower extract, and soybean oil to name a few, which reduce and improve blemishes naturally. This dermatologically-tested cream has clinically shown to reduce and improve the appearance of blemishes without irritating the skin. Give your oily skin the best that nature has to offer with this natural, soothing cream that treats your acne problems.

PROS:

  • Natural ingredients
  • No animal testing
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Responsible sourcing
  • Recyclable packaging

CONS:

  • Has added fragrance

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11. Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief

This fast acting acne treatment medication with microcrystal benzoyl peroxide offers emergency blemish relief from those unexpected and uninvited blemishes. This invisible spot treatment also contains allantoin that moisturizes and softens the skin. It penetrates deep into your pores to stop acne-causing bacteria and prevents new breakouts. The Proactiv acne spot treatment is safe for all skin types and is specially designed to unclog pores and absorb excess oil from oily skin. Try this for clear skin to not only look great but to regain that confidence that reveals your true self.

PROS:

  • Fast acting
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • May cause dryness in rare cases

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12. Puriderma Acne Spot Treatment

This  acne spot treatment from Puriderma contains tea tree oil, which is nearly as effective as benzoyl peroxide without the side-effects and is suitable for all skin types. This mild formula is non-irritating to the skin because of its natural ingredients like panax ginseng extract, which softens the skin and helps to even skin tone, lavender flower extract, which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties to reduce inflammation and acne, salix alba extract, which contains salicylic acid which fights acne and is also a good exfoliant to shed dead skin cells. It balances the moisture and oil in your skin and repairs it intensively. It’s a very effective treatment for severe and cystic acne and not only treats it but also prevents future breakouts.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Contains vitamin E
  • Natural ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • Some may find it causes oiliness in the skin.

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13. Kate Somerville Acne Treatment

This fast acne spot treatment helps to clear blemishes and significantly reduces inflammation. Zinc oxide absorbs the excess sebum while this sulfur-based acne treatment quickly calms breakouts and helps prevent future breakouts. BHAs reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. In a clinical study, 94% of users showed remarkable improvement in blemishes within 2 days. It can be used to spot treat existing pimples or those that haven’t yet surfaced. This product dries out existing acne, unclogs congested pores, reduces redness, prevents future breakouts, absorbs excess sebum, and minimizes the appearance of pores. What more do you want?

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Dermatologist-created
  • Suitable for all skin types

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for hormonal acne

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14. Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment

Murad rapid relief acne spot treatment contains salicylic acid, which exfoliates your skin to clear pores, smoothens your skin, and reduces blemish size. Other ingredients are witch hazel, glycerin, horse chestnut seed extract, oat kernel extract, yeast amino acids, and shea butter to name a few. It promises to reduce blemish size and redness within 4 hours. Its patented pine and thyme inspired complex fights inflammation while balancing the oil and moisture of the skin. This doctor-developed product is very effective in treating acne, reducing inflammation, removing blemishes, and prevents further breakouts.

PROS:

  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Formaldehyde-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Oxybenzone-free

CONS:

  • Contains alcohol

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15. La Roche-Posay Dual Action Acne Treatment

This acne medication contains benzoyl peroxide, glycerin, and micro-exfoliating LHA or Lipo-Hydroxy Acid that targets the bacteria in acne. It not only reduces the number and severity of acne blemishes but also clears blackheads and whiteheads. This dual action treatment has shown to reduce acne by 60% in just 10 days and has been dermatologist-tested on sensitive skin. It can be used as an all-over treatment or a spot treatment. Its non-drying, oil-free, and fast absorbing texture works wonders in treating the acne on your skin. So don’t let acne bring you down–try this product and face the world with blemish-free skin.

PROS:

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Allergy-tested
  • Fragrance-free

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for very sensitive skin.

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When you’re trying to fight acne scars, it is essential to get your hands on the best acne treatment that works and suits your skin requirements. It’s important to keep a few things in mind so that you can make an informed choice.

How To Choose And Use Acne Spot Treatment

The best acne spot treatment product for you depends on many factors like your skin type, the severity of your acne, and your personal preferences. Here are some general guidelines which will help you to choose and use acne products.

  • Ingredients

Benzoyl peroxide: If you’re not sure about which acne product to buy, start with the one that contains benzoyl peroxide as it’s the safest bet. It kills bacteria causing acne, removes excess oil from the skin, and removes dead skin cells, which can clog the pores of your skin.

Salicylic acid: This ingredient helps prevent pores from getting clogged.

Alpha hydroxy acids: The 2 types of alpha hydroxy acids that are used in the best drugstore acne spot treatment products are glycolic acid and lactic acid. They remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation of the skin. They also stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin and improve the appearance of acne scars.

Sulfur: Sulfur-based acne treatment helps in removing dead skin cells that clog pores and also helps to remove excess oil.

  • Start with lower strength acne products

If needed, increase the strength of the product you use and how often you use it, very gradually as it helps your skin to adjust to the treatment.

  • Use products with different active ingredients

As acne ingredients work in different ways, it is helpful to use varying products and ingredients to treat stubborn acne. Applying one product in the morning and a different one at night can prevent skin irritation.

  • Be patient

Treating acne with acne products takes patience and time. It may take up to 2 to 3 months of daily use of an acne product to see results. And sometimes acne may look worse before it gets better.

  • Experiment with what works

You may need to try different products with varying active ingredients before you find what suits your requirements.

Uses Of Acne Spot Treatment

  • Wash problem areas twice daily with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser.
  • Consider pore-clearing adhesive pads as they remove dirt, and oil and unclog the pores. But, don’t use them more than once every 3 days.
  • Don’t use too much. Apply just enough acne product to cover the problem areas and apply it only after cleansing the skin.
  • Use an oil-free, water-based moisturizer. This helps to prevent your skin from drying or peeling.
  • Avoid oily cosmetics, sunscreens, and hair products. Try to use products that are labeled water-based or non-comedogenic.
  • Don’t pick or squeeze blemishes as it can cause infections or scarring.
  • Watch what touches your face. Keep your hair clean and make sure it stays off your face. Also, avoid resting your phone or hand against the side of your face.
  • Always follow directions on the product package.
  • Before using a product for the first time, check if you are allergic to it by conducting a patch test.
  • If you are using a cream, gel, solution, or lotion, apply a thin film of the medication to the affected areas once or twice a day and rub it in gently.
  • When using a product containing salicylic acid, wet the affected area and gently rub the cleanser into the skin for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Dosage is based on your skin’s condition and response to treatment. Do not use large amounts or apply this drug more often in the hope of quicker results. It won’t help and the chance of side effects may increase.
  • If your condition persists or worsens, seek immediate medical help.

We have all been there; you wake up in the morning and there is that huge zit on your face and you feel your life is coming to an end and the tears start. But now with some of the best acne spot treatments available in the market, your panic-filled days are over. All you need to do is find the product that suits you best and literally zap away your skin woes. There is a range of products available that take care of your skin problems like acne, pimples, and blemishes and the best part is that it can actually do it overnight and leave you ready to face the world with confidence. Now, isn’t that amazing!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does spot treatment for acne work?

Spot treatments help to reduce redness, swelling, and pain. They can also help to unclog the pores that are the cause of the acne to start with. Spot treatments only work for minor papules and pustules.

Should you rub in acne spot treatment?

If it’s a spot treatment, you should dab it on with an applicator until it covers the blemish and wipes away the excess, If you are using foam, cream, gel, or lotion, apply it to the affected area as directed, usually once or twice a day. Apply a small amount of the product to the affected area and rub it gently.

Is acne spot treatment safe for pregnancy?

Azelaic acid is considered to be safe during pregnancy, according to the AAD. Generally, skin treatments containing clindamycin and erythromycin are considered to be safe. The safety of using benzoyl peroxide to treat acne during pregnancy hasn’t been established.

Do spot treatments make acne worse?

Your skin may get worse initially, but it will get better! Spot treatments won’t clear up your skin completely as they only work on individual pimples that have already formed and are visible.

How long should you leave acne spot treatment on?

At first, you should wash the preparation off after a few hours, but gradually try to increase the length of time on the skin. Creams and gels should be ideally applied about 15 minutes or so after washing the area with soap and water and gently drying with a towel.

How to get rid of pimples overnight?

Use products with salicylic acid as it prevents pores from getting clogged. Add spot treatment to your regular skin care routine. Try tea tree oil as it immediately reduces inflammation. You can also try a detoxifying mud mask or use a hydrocolloid patch. Aloe vera also works very well if there’s inflammation. To strengthen your skin barrier and prevent further breakouts, use hydrating products. Do see a dermatologist if a pimple persists.

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Sneha Manandhar holds a Master’s degree in English from the University of Pune. She has previously worked with media and publication houses in varied capacities as a lifestyle writer, an editor, a copywriter, and a translator. She reviews beauty, skin care, and wellness products from specialized curated lists. She believes that SEO-driven content is the present and the future and keeps herself busy by dabbling in SEO-related tools and honing her editing skills.