Consider these your go-to products for getting an angry spot under control
Why is it that giant, painful spot always appears just before a really important event? This unfortunate turn of fate is exactly why you need the best spot treatments to hand: to get rid of ’em. Fast.
The best spot gels usually contain a concoction of anti-inflammatory and bacteria-reducing ingredients, like salicylic acid and niacinamide, to help reduce the painful swelling and spot-causing substances. Salicylic acid in particular can get deep into your pores to help decongest them, speeding up the spot shrinking process.
We should stress the below are specifically designed to be applied only to the odd angry pimple rather than as an all-over treatment for acne flare-ups. If the latter applies to you, whether you’re suffering from teenage acne or adult acne, we feel your pain, but you’re better checking out our guide to the best acne treatments.
If, however, you’re looking to take down the mother of all pimples and Sudocrem isn’t doing it for you, keep reading to find the best spot treatment you can buy. And when you’re done here, be sure to read How to Pop a Pimple by Dr Pimple Popper.
The best spot treatments: Hormonal spots
Ever wondered why get that one spot always appears in the same place around the time of your period? Changes in your hormone levels can cause the skin’s sebaceous glands to over-produce oil, which in turn can bind with dead skin cells and clog your pores and result in a spot or spots. Hence that monthly visitor on your chin, forehead or nose.
While a lot of the best spot treatments can be stashed in your handbag for on-the-go application, some formulas work to form a protective, invisible barrier over the spot to treat it all day long. The best bit? Make-up can be applied over the top to disguise any angry blemishes, if they’re making you feel self-conscious.
Arm yourself with one of the best spot treatments by shopping our top picks below, and rest assured that any flare-ups won’t bother you for long.
We thank our lucky stars every day that Kate Somerville products are now available in the UK. We love them all, but this one stands out for its efficacy. The mixture of salicylic acid, zinc and highest possible level of sulphur (10%) helps reduce the size of the spot, rids the area of bacteria, controls the oil and prevents any further blemishes.The key to this product is to not shake the bottle - you want the separation. Dip a cotton bud into the bottle, ensuring you go all the way to the bottom to pick up the pink sediment and dab a small amount onto the offending spot. It's genius.
Dr Nick Lowe is one of the biggest names in skincare; his spot gel contains salicylic acid to treat blemishes and calm the skin, eucalyptus to slow bacteria growth and niacinamide to reduce surgace oil. Airless technology in the packaging also helps stop the ingredients from degrading and oxidising, so it'll stay effective for as long as possible. This one comes recommended to us by Millie Mackintosh: 'I’ve tried lots of different ones and it really does dry them out. You put it on every three hours, so i’s kind of a must have if you’re travelling or for your handbag.'
A super spot solution from Origins that'll clear your skin in no time – it may be pint-sized (the thimble of solution will last you ages), but you'll feel it getting to work as soon as you've applied it to the affected area. As well as salicylic acid, this one also contains red algae to soothe and calm red, inflamed skin, and dries as a clear protective film over your spot. It's my go-to when an angry red one pops up.
A spot gel that won't break the bank: Soap and Glory's wonder gel contains salicylic acid with the addition of lactic acid as a surface exfoliant, as well as witch hazel and vitamins A, C, E and B3. Your purse (and skin) will thank you for choosing this one.
Murad's brand new spot treatment is a game-changer for your handbag. At 2% concentration, this is a maximum strength salicylic acid formula, it'll reduce down your spot's size and redness within four hours.
Fun fact: It can be used under or over make-up, so you don't need to wait until you're bare-faced to zap that zit.
This wonder overnight solution is a must-have for your bathroom cabinet, eliminating bacteria and dead skin cells while you sleep with a 2% concentration of salicylic acid. If you break out during the day, you can rest knowing you've got this to fix you at night. Thank goodness for Dermalogica.