8 Best Spot Treatments 2022 | The Sun UK

ByKatherine S

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SPOTS have a bad rap and are notorious for popping up just when we could do with them least.

There are a few different types of spots as Dr Justine Hextall FRCP Consultant Dermatologist explains.

“The small under the skin bumps are comedones where the skin follicle is blocked with dead skin cells and oil. If the oil gland is open, the oil oxidises and has a darker appearance hence the term blackhead.

“The acne may have nodules or be deeper, and often painful, cysts.”

It can be frustrating not understanding why we’ve broken out but Dr Justine says there are a number of reasons that can be out of our control.

“Sometimes acne continues from teenage years into adulthood and for others, they may have had clear skin and then begin to see acne for the first time as an adult.

“One of the most common triggers is  hormonal changes associated with stopping the contraceptive pill, post-partum and peri-menopausal hormonal changes.

“Some notice skin changes when they move to a city or experience a stressful job or life event.”

When you do breakout, it might feel like there’s nothing you can do. But there are some excellent treatments available to help soothe pesky pimples and we’ve rounded up our favourites with the help of Dr Justine.

Best spot treatments at a glance:

1. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Blemish Treatment

  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Blemish Treatment, £18 from Boots – buy here

Formulated specifically for oily and acne-prone skin, the Blemish Treatment from French pharmacy brand La Roche-Posay minimises the appearance of spots while moisturising skin.

It’s one of Dr Justine’s favourite over the counter spot treatments and uses salicylic acid alongside lip hydroxy acid to unclog blocked pores.

Glycerin keeps the skin hydrated, which is crucial according to Dr Justine.

“Some of the biggest mistakes people make are to overstrip the skin, use too many actives and not look for soothing and hydrating skincare alongside their normal skincare routine.”

This blemish treatment does the job, but is gentle enough on skin that you won’t risk drawing out any new breakouts.

Product size: 40ml, Key ingredients: Lipo Hydroxy Acid, Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide 


2. Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment


Credit: Murad
  • Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment, £19.88 from Feel Unique – buy here

We all know that feeling of a particularly nasty spot beginning to make an appearance so it’s worth having the Murad Rapid Relief Acne Spot Treatment in your arsenal to soothe the breakout before it actually breaks out.

Dab a little of the gel on the area and let it work its magic. Leaving it on overnight is the easiest way of making sure the gel has enough time to do its job and reduce redness and the size of your blemish.

Murad is cruelty free and available at Feel Unique. So, what are you waiting for?

Product size: 15ml, Key ingredients: Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters

3. ZitSticka Killa Kit

If you’re a picker – no judgement – then pimple patches will have a dual function. Not only will the microdarts dissolve so the spot is flooded with hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid and niacinamide to fight off the appearance of early stage spots but it also creates a barrier so you won’t be tempted to squeeze.

Dr Justine says: For emergency situations, I like the ZitSticka Killa patches because they can penetrate ingredients directly into the spot to treat and soothe within hours.”

So if you’ve got a big event coming up and , then have these to hand to zap away breakouts.

Product size: 8-pack, Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Salicylic acid, Niacinamide and oligopeptide-76

4. The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment


Credit: The Inkey List
  • The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment, £7.99 from Cult Beauty – buy here

Skincare ingredients can be confusing which is why The Inkey List is all about keeping things as simple as possible.

Dr Justine says you should be looking out for ingredients including niacinamide to minimise pores and regulate oil products and to balance actives like retinoids, benzyl peroxide, AHA’s and BHA’s with soothing skincare.

So it’s handy that this treatment doesn’t dry out the skin, causing more breakouts because of the hyaluronic acid that’s included in the formula.

Succinic acid, which is the ingredient at the forefront of this product, gently reduces redness without stripping the skin.

Product size: 15ml, Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, Succinic acid

5. CeraVe Blemish Control Gel

  • CeraVe Blemish Control Gel, £8.80 from Boots – buy here

This was at the top of Dr Justine’s list of products to get excited about.

“I’m really excited by the launch of CeraVe’s Blemish Control Gel because it combines active acids alongside the soothing three ceramides which protect the skin barrier.”

The American brand is known for its no-fuss, hardworking skincare products that include the hugely popular Hydrating Cleanser and the SA Smoothing Cream and this gel follows suit.

With 2% salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and niacinamide, this treatment gel penetrates the pores to help prevent the appearance of breakouts.

It also smoothes skin texture and protects the skin barrier for healthy looking skin that’s blemish free.

Product size: 40ml, Key ingredients: Salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and niacinamide

6. Kate Somerville Microbiome Blemish Mark Fading Gel

  • Kate Somerville Microbiome Blemish Mark Fading Gel, £58 from Cult Beauty – buy here

The Blemish Mark Fading Gel is pricier than the other options in this edit but Kate Somerville is the ultimate cult skincare brand.

It works by exfoliating using salicylic acid, something that Dr Justine recommends. She says: “Topical ingredients that help to treat active acne include benzyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid and niacinamide.

“They help to unblock pores and reduce inflammation but should be followed by a hydrating moisturiser half an hour after application because they can sometimes be quite drying.”

Product size: 30ml, Key ingredients: Benzyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid and niacinamide

7. Dots for Spots Acne Patches

  • Dots for Spots Acne Patches, £6.99 from Amazon – buy here

Another pimple patch option, Dots for Spots Acne Patches are a great affordable option at just £6.99 for 24 stickers.

They’re super thin and translucent so you can wear them during the day without drawing too much attention and they protect the spot from dirt, bacteria and any other nastiness that could exacerbate it and encourage it to stick around for longer.

For the best results, it’s recommended to keep the patch on the spot for six hours or more although it will turn an opaque white when it’s ready to be removed.

Not only are they vegan, they don’t include any hidden ingredients, so you won’t see any alcohol, parabens or phthalates in sight. Win win.

Product size: 60-pack, Key ingredients: Salicylic acid, green tea and hyaluronic acid

8. Avene Cleanance Localised Drying Emulsion

  • Avene Cleanance Localised Drying Emulsion, £12 from Boots – buy here

Avene is known for being an extremely gentle skincare brand. This SOS treatment works by drying out the spot using plant-based active, Comedoclastin, retinaldehyde and glycolic acid.

Avene’s thermal spring water soothes and leaves skin feeling soft and supple. Because of this, it works for any skin type but is particularly good for sensitive, oily, blemish prone skin.

Follow with a moisturiser to make sure your skin isn’t left feeling too dry, but this is one to to turn to if you need to zap a spot fast.

Product size: 15ml, Key ingredients: Comedoclastin, Retinaldehyde, Glycolic Acid