On-The-Spot Acne Zappers That Really Work

  1. Begin Slideshow
    acne-treatment-opener

    66

    SHARES

    0 comments
    See All Slides

    In some way or another, all of us deal with the occasional breakout — a few have it lucky and only experience them once in a blue moon, while for others it's a never-ending war. But no matter where you fall on the skin spectrum, one truth remains constant: Having a pimple downright blows.

    And, while having a daily regimen that helps protect your complexion from flare-ups is key, equally as important is having a reliable on-the-spot treatment to help you in those skin emergencies — because unfortunately, the odds are pretty high you're going to be faced with a pimple in the most awkward spot at the most inopportune time. Thanks, hormones!

    Finding the right spot treatment for your particular flavor of breakouts will take a little bit of trial and error — not everyone's skin responds the same because not everyone's skin type or cause of breakout is the same — but according to Dr. Eric Schweiger, a dermatologist and acne specialist at NYC's Clear Clinic, there are a few universally effective ingredients you should be on the lookout for.

    "Salicylic acid is one of the most commonly used acne spot treatments, because it works so well," he says. "It gets rid of acne by cleaning out the clogged pore and sloughing away dead skin cells that contribute to the acne flare-up. Benzoyl peroxide is another commonly used acne spot treatment, which works by killing the P. acnes bacteria that causes acne. By reducing the acne-causing bacteria, inflammation on the skin (the result of the skin’s reaction to the P. acnes bacteria) is allowed to decrease. Finally, tea tree oil , an antibacterial and antinflammatory oil, is a great choice for someone with sensitive skin, as it generally does not cause as much redness or dryness to the skin [as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid]." Also effective? Clays (like kaolin or bentonite) and sulfur, which smells funky, but can work miracles on shrinking down an angry, red, painful pimple.

    While they may seem like magic, sadly spot treatments can't help all pimples pull a disappearing act. If you have cystic acne (i.e., pimples that manifest below the surface of the skin), you won't see much relief with any of these. Also, as Dr. Schweiger notes, it's very easy to over-use these products and cause even more issues for your skin. "When over-applied, spot treatments may result in redness, dryness, and flaking to the skin," he says. To avoid this, Dr. Schweiger says it's crucial to only use a small amount of the product — remember that a pea-size amount of these medications is enough to cover your whole face, so treating a spot requires the smallest amount possible. And, if you are prone to dryness, be sure to apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer immediately following the spot treatment, he says.

    Now that you know the basics on battling your breakouts, check out our picks for the spot treatments we swear by, then tell us what you rely on to zap your zits.

    Begin Slideshow

MORE SLIDESHOWS

How To Decorate Your First Grown-Up Apartment

I've done my fair share of moving into and out of dorms, apartments, you-name-it. The process summed up in a word? Tiring. But, the prospect of each new place is always met with healthy amounts of excitement and anticipation, too. Thoughts of extravagant baking projects, Netflix binges on just-purchased couches, and read

Shopping

Math Says You Can Throw Your OTHER Black Pumps Away

Okay, okay. There's no need to start tossing shoe boxes out the window. No, not even if you desperately need a bit more closet space. But, it seems like we might have pinpointed THE very best black pump, according to math that is. Rank & Style has calculated the Stuart Weitzman Nouveau pump as the top pick for the classic read


Styling Tips

The Most Flattering Swimsuit For YOU

Lately, it's taken nearly all our willpower not to think about sun rays, long weekends, and beach hair — from the actual beach and not a bottle. But, there's really no bigger buzzkill than hours of trying on bathing suits that epically fail to do your body justice. And, the fact is, your swimwear is probably the read


Plus Size

Tall & Plus Size? These 8 Shops Fulfill Your Style Needs

So, you're a tall drink of water, blessed with the ability to reach the top shelf and see over crowds without standing on tip-toe. You might have envy-inspiring long legs, but much to your frustration, on you, most pants suddenly become capris, and midi-skirts are actually minis. And, though it seems like the fashion world read