When it comes to my job, few things wind me up more than a product that gives wildly false claims. It shouldn’t be such a big ask that, as consumers, we aren’t lied to about the powers that any one beauty product has, should it? And while things like “cellulite” and “face-lift” creams are the worst offenders for this, I find myself getting riled up over spot treatments the most.
Unlike the aforementioned beauty products that are simply never going to work, because their claims are founded on marketing drivel, spot treatments can, should and do work. Sure, they’re not going to blitz a pimple in a second, but they do have the power to dramatically reduce its severity. So what’s the issue, you ask? None of them ever seems to actually work. I’ve tried countless spot remedies in my time, and while some literally make your skin peel off, others barely do a thing.
In fact, I’ve wasted so much of my precious time on spot treatments that don’t work (I have found you really have to get them on quick to see real change), it makes me quite mad to think about it. To save everyone else the frustration, keep scrolling for my edit of the targeted spot treatments I have genuinely found to make a difference.
This is without a doubt the most powerful spot treatment I have ever come across. It’s jam-packed with salicylic acid and vitamin A to dry out and shrivel up zits. I bring this little tube out when I’m faced with a stubborn spot that just won’t go. But be warned: It’s serious stuff and can cause peeling.
Alongside salicylic acid, this solution is formulated with a variety of oils to help soothe and calm with minimal drying. I have found it’s great for use on areas of mass breakouts.
This is always my first port of call. If this stuff doesn’t work, it’s time to go for something more serious. Again with salicylic acid (you’ll spot this as a recurring theme) to dry things up, it also contains niacinamide and hexylresorcinol to help fade post-breakout scarring, which is everything I need. Plus, it’s not quite as intense as others on the list (which can lead to red marks).
New from one of my favourite skincare brands out there, this stuff contains a mixture of salicylic acid, AHAs and niacinamide to exfoliate, diminish the appearance of existing breakouts and reduce the likelihood of scarring. I’m all in.
Most spot treatments create a drying film on the skin, and that’s just a sad fact. However, this stuff doesn’t. At first, I didn’t think it could work, but it really does. It of course harnesses the power of SA but also uses chlorella extract to soothe.
Another go-to of mine, this stuff is powerful and fast-acting. What more do you need, really?
I have tried many drying treatments similar to this, but none of them has the same effect. While sulphur and BHA work to exfoliate, zinc oxide minimises the risk of further breakouts by controlling sebum production.
Chances are you will have seen spot stickers like this on your Instagram. Some are in fun shapes and are bright and colourful. If you ask me, they’re all average when it comes to spots, but only Zitsticka can tackle the more stubborn blemishes. Just pop on, and let the micro-darts and salicylic acid do their thing.
This was one of the first spot treatments I ever tried, and it’s still a favourite. For spots that are deep under the skin, this won’t do a lot, but if you have whiteheads causing you trouble, this will definitely help to clear them up.
Another sulphur drying treatment, this stuff is just as good as EradiKate and also contains zinc oxide to help diminish the chances of scarring.
This tiny tube is really great. Of course, salicylic acid is in there to decongest (as is niacinamide to soothe), but it also contains azelaic acid to deal with any spot-causing bacteria on the skin.
For days when my skin is feeling a bit sensitive, this is what I reach for. It contains the go-to acids to help minimise blemishes but is specially formulated for sensitive skin, so it isn’t too harsh.