How to get rid of spots 101: Zap that zit in time for the weekend

Try Marie Claire beauty team's three step spot-busting routine...

Acne, spots, blemishes, breakouts, whatever you call them, waking up with an eruption of redness over your face is never fun. In fact, it’s maddening. Which is why there’s a never ending search for how to get rid of spots.

Acne spots almost always rear their ugly heads when you could really do without them; just in time for an interview or a date – they seem to read our minds and make an appearance when they know they’ll wreak the most havoc.

There’s some comfort in knowing we’re not the only ones to suffer though. Even Kendall Jenner isn’t immune. She’s one of the world’s most recognisable faces and has managed that tricky transition from reality TV star to credible catwalk model – she’s even achieved her ambition of walking the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. You’d think she’s had it easy but her skin held her back in her younger years and she opened up about her experience with acne on her subscription-only website.

Kendall’s younger sister Kylie gets the odd spot too and recently shared her go-to product for banishing them; we were pretty smug to learn that it’s Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, £15, because it’s one of our all time favourites too.

We all know popping is not the way to go (then why is it so damn tempting?!). If you have more will power than us and you (can) resist the urge to squeeze the life out of it, then here’s our tried-and-tested blemish blitzing tips. Or, to find the cleanser, moisturiser and serum that’ll help fend off blemishes, tell our sister beauty site Powder a bit about your skin and they’ll pick out the best products for your skin (and your purse!)

Cleanse
Not once, but twice – the first time with an oil, try Clinique’s Take The Day Off, £22, to remove make-up and debris, the second with a balm, we love Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, £39.50, to lift out any stubborn dirt. And, no, wipes will not do either step adequately and should be banished to festival and emergency use only – they’re far too harsh.

Tone
Not strictly necessary, but a nice way to restore the pH balance of ruffled skin. Opt for something soothing to calm so there’s no risk of irritating your skin further. If you have more than a handful of spots to contend with try a product containing the Beta Hydroxy Acid, or BHA, Salicylic Acid like Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner, £18.50. Salicylic acid will speed up cell turnover, fade spots and hopefully minimise your chances of scaring.

Treat
If you only get the odd spot then you can probably skip this step but if you’re seeing a resilient few that keep cropping up despite your efforts, then employ one, if not both, of these steps.

Invest in some treatment pads saturated in BHAs, we love Origins Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Pads, £24.50, for 60 pads). Sweep one over cleansed skin once a day.

Another favourite is Vichy’s Normaderm 3-in-1 Cleanser, £12. Use it as a cleanser or leave a layer of it over your skin for 10-minutes as a mask – it’s perfect for skin that’s been left a little sensitive by frequent eruptions.

Blitz
A couple of favourites we always return to:
Eve Lom Dynaspot, £22. This pale pink paste is antiseptic, soothing and will accelerate the elimination of the ‘plug’. It’s along the same lines as Jenner’s Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. They say it’s ‘skin toned’ but unless you are about the same colour as a Percy Pig, you’ll want to put this on during the evening when you’re on your tod/around someone you don’t feel the need to look good for. Don’t try to put concealer on top of it, either – you’ll look like you’ve put make-up on top of chalk. Just leave it on for as long as possible and then remove with toner before applying base.

Clinique Clinical Clearing Gel, £20. This one’s the big guns but needs to be deployed with care – like the Lom spot product, it contains salicylic acid (which helps to gently slough off the dead skin and effectively ‘eat up’ the contents of the blockage), but is also fairly heavy on the alcohol content. For this reason, crack this out when you have a MEGA spot that needs reigning in before an event.

Reading now

Popular