Best Drugstore Spot Treatment for Acne

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best drugsrore spot treatment for acne

Acne is one of a girl’s worst nightmares. I dislike when unsightly zits pockmark my otherwise gorgeous face. I’m sure it’s the same for you! Sometimes it seems like nothing helps whether it’s a cover-up, cream, or acne medication. 

Fortunately, handsome gents and gorgeous ladies can purchase a good spot treatment for acne right over the counter at your favorite drugstore.

According to Dr. Cale Spot treatments do exactly what their name implies: treat troublesome acne spots. For quick results, just consult your dermatologist to help you pick the right one. 

Spot treatments utilize powerful ingredients to diminish the appearance of acne, help prevent them from occurring again, and provide some relief from sore, reddened skin

Best Drugstore Spot Treatment for Acne

When combined with your regular skincare routine, spot treatments help keep acne at bay. It’s important to note spot treatments work best for one-and-done zits; some, however, also work across your entire face. Combine with a gentle moisturizer and cleanser for gorgeous skin in no time!

 In this article, I’ll share my favorite drugstore spot treatment for acne. I like to switch up my routine every now and then, and I guarantee these products are effective and easy-to-use!

1. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel with Maximum Strength Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Medicine, Pimple Cream for Acne Prone Skin with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, 1 ozCheck Current Price On Amazon

Not all acne is created equal. Some acne is easy to clear with some patience. Tougher acne can be an even bigger pain to deal with. Fortunately, Neutrogena has the solution! It’s Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment effectively and quickly destroys the worst acne.

Benzoyl peroxide is so heavy duty and powerful that acne quakes before it! Ever since I started using Rapid Clear, I have not had any acne reappear. This is especially true on my acne-prone areas like my chin, nose, cheeks, and T-zone. I love this product, and so will you!

2. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 Acne Spot Treatment

J&J Persa-Gel Acne Tr M/S Size 1z Clean & Clear Maximum Strength Persa-Gel 10

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Clean & Clear is one of my favorite skincare brands. Their products always yield amazing results pretty quickly! Their Persa-Gel 10 Acne Spot Treatment is no different.

Although you can get this over the counter, it works as well as any prescription! The benzoyl peroxide formula works to treat acne and prevent blemishes. It also digs down to the source where breakouts begin. It works well, and it works so quickly! With Clean & Clear, clearer skin is in your future!

3. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, 15g, 30 Day Supply, 0.5 Ounce

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Differin’s unique active ingredient adapalene gel offers another way to combat acne. Anyone who has sensitive skin or has issues with benzoyl peroxide will love this treatment! The Differin FDA-approved gel is gentle on your skin, leaving behind no redness or dry skin.

This treatment works at the cellular level to reduce inflammation. Because of this, the formula takes several weeks to become fully effective – your skin may seem worse before it gets better. Worry not! That just means your lovely, bright, vibrant skin at the end of it all will be worth it!

4. Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Spot Treatment

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment, Vanishing Formula, 0.75 oz

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Anyone looking for a product with the strongest acne ingredients on the market will appreciate Neutrogena’s On-The-Spot acne treatment. The formula incorporates benzoyl peroxide as its active ingredient. Benzoyl peroxide blasts your acne out of existence.

The formula digs deep to kill acne-causing bacteria. Your skin will look clearer on the first day! Put it on in the morning, and by night, you’ll be ready to hit the town! It even helps prevent acne from reappearing, kind of like that annoying ex you just can’t seem to get rid of. I absolutely love this product!

5. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, 1 Fl Oz

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Anyone searching for acne treatment that works while you sleep will jump for joy with Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion! Salicylic acid forms the crux of this formula. Salicylic acid gently treats acne without overdrying your skin. Other ingredients like zinc oxide and sulfur purify and detoxify your skin.

It’s like you’re taking your skin for a spa day! Professionals adore this drying lotion for its clarifying and toning properties. I can’t tell you how amazing my skin looks after using this lotion! 

6. TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment

TreeActiv Invisible Acne Spot Treatment, Mess-Free Fast-Acting Formula, Works Under Makeup, Tea Tree, Peppermint Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil, Safe Acne Treatment For Sensitive Skin (0.25oz)

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If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly on the go. As a result, you need acne treatment that works all day, as well. That’s why I love TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment. TreeActiv only uses the safest ingredients derived from nature, such as bentonite clay.

Clay offers amazing benefits like drawing out toxins from beneath your skin, soothing irritation caused by other products, and removing impurities. Most importantly, it treats acne and prevents blemishes all day. The perfect companion for the on-the-go go-getter such as yourself!

7. Keeva Organics Acne Treatment Cream

Keeva Organics Acne Treatment Cream With Secret TEA TREE OIL Formula - Perfect For Acne Scar Removal, Fighting Breakouts, Spots, Cystic Acne - See Results in Days Without Dry Skin (1oz)

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Finding the right acne treatment cream can be difficult. Some ingredients dry out your skin, while others can irritate it. I recently discovered Keeva Organics Acne Treatment Cream, and I’m hooked! Tea tree oil forms the active ingredient.

Naturally-derived tea tree oil functions as a moisturizer, toner, cleanser, astringent, and more all in one! It’s the perfect solution to treat acne but also treat your skin! It heals acne and prevents future breakouts. You’ll get clearer, sexier, smoother skin in no time!

Can Spot Treatment Make Acne Worse?

The effectiveness of any acne medication depends on a number of factors: your skin type, the product’s ingredients, your skincare routine, and the environment. Although spot treatments typically yield effective results, sometimes their use can actually make your acne worse.

This does not mean you have a defective product; it simply means you might need to tweak your facial routine or find a different product. I’ve suffered reactions or dry skin to some products, but I always have found a spot treatment that suits my specific needs.

For instance, some spot treatments contain benzoyl peroxide. People hail benzoyl peroxide as an extremely effective acne-fighting ingredient. Unfortunately, it also comes with a number of side effects. 

Benzoyl peroxide can severely dry out your skin, sometimes creating a negative feedback loop where your acne gets worse, you use more product to combat the acne, and as a result, your acne worsens. Personally, I recently discovered I have an allergy to benzoyl peroxide, so I have to avoid it at all costs. 

Overwashing the skin or overusing acne treatments increases the likelihood of dry skin. Dry skin is easily inflamed, making it more difficult to use acne treatments. Additionally, vigorously washing your skin strips your face of its natural oils. Oily skin is bothersome, but some natural oil is important to maintaining healthy skin and a beautiful complexion.

If you plan on using spot treatments, I recommend using a gentle cleanser prior to using your spot treatment. This allows the product to work most effectively.

 Switching acne treatments every week can also irritate your skin. For the most part, it takes some time for your skin to adjust to a new product. Stick with a treatment for a few weeks for the best results. 

 Finally, don’t forget to moisturize! Acne-prone skin is notoriously dry. It can become worse if you use a medicine that contains retinoids. Don’t be afraid to use a moisturizer! A noncomedogenic moisturizer won’t clog your pores. Therefore, your skin is less likely to break out, and it still retains ample moisture!

spot treatment

 Which Ingredients Should I Look for in a Spot Treatment Product?

 Manufacturers use a number of different acne ingredients to combat acne. It’s important to note that you should not use more than one spot treatment or acne product at a time. Your skin is more likely to dry out. This, in turn, could exacerbate your acne. 

 Some of the most common acne-fighting ingredients include:

 ●      Benzoyl peroxide: As mentioned above, benzoyl peroxide is one of the most powerful ingredients found in some topical spot treatments. Unfortunately, some people might experience some side effects to it, including inflammation or irritation of the skin, hypersensitivity to light, bleaching of fabric or clothing, and reddened or dry skin. It’s usually recommended for those with mild to severe acne.

 ●      Salicylic acid: Along with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid is a common acne-fighting ingredient. It’s a safe, effective ingredient that has few side effects. If using this product, you might experience mild stinging or skin irritation. Most topical acne medication has around 1.5 – 2% as an active ingredient. You’re sure to find this ingredient in a majority of spot treatment products.

 ●      Alpha hydroxy acids: Alpha hydroxy acids are found in some products. Derived from sugar-containing foods, they treat acne by removing dead skin cells and reducing inflammation. They also create healthier skin by diminishing the appearance of pores and acne scars by stimulating the growth of new, smooth skin.

 ●      Sulfur: Sulfur is commonly combined with other ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Sulfur removes dead skin cells, helps unclog pores, and removes excess oil that can cause inhibit the creation of acne. Keep in mind that products containing sulfur might have a slightly unpleasant scent or could cause dry skin.

How to Use a Spot Treatment?

how to use a spot treatment
Woman With Spot Medication on Acne

 Here are some steps you can follow to use your acne spot treatment effectively:

 1) Clean your face.

Choose your favorite facial cleanser and gently wash and pat dry your face. Cleaning your face is important since it removes oil, debris, and other things that can clog your pores. 

Make sure to use a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Products with oil in their formulas can clog your skin. Since acne thrives on oil, it can exacerbate the issue rather than helping clear it. Using a spot treatment after this might further aggravate your problem.

 2) Apply your spot treatment.

  Next, apply your chosen spot treatment. Follow the instructions on the container. Gently rub it into your acne and any other spots on your face or neck where you’d like to treat and prevent acne. 

 3) Moisturize.

Wait a minute or two, and then moisturize your skin with your favorite product. Moisturizing your skin keeps your skin hydrated. Many acne products can dry your skin out. Moisturizing helps to keep this problem at bay.

 Don’t forget to…

 1) Only use one acne product at a time.

 Using more than one product that contains acne-fighting ingredients at the same time can dry your skin out, leaving it dull, more acne-prone, and irritated. Try one product at a time so you can figure out which one works best for you.

 2) Be patient.

 Patience is key! Your acne won’t disappear overnight. Keep up with your acne-fighting routine to achieve the best results. However, these results might take a few weeks before you see a real distance. 

Most spot treatments reduce the appearance of acne pretty quickly. But improved skin takes time!


In this article, I shared my favorite drugstore spot treatment for acne. Acne is an annoying skin condition, but with some great products and a consistent skin routine, you’ll be able to combat it in no time! Spot treatments work quickly to treat and diminish the appearance of acne; help prevent future breakouts; and keep your skin clear, bright, and beautiful! 

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