Spot on! | Top 5 Best Acne Spot Treatments

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello lovelies!

Today is all about spot treatments!

a picture of Spot Treatments ; Clinique, Grease Lightning, Kiehl's, Benzgel, Neutrogena

There are 4 main ingredients in over the counter spot treatments :

-Salicylic Acid: A beta hydroxy acid which helps to exfoliate the skin, opening clogged pores and neutralizing the bacteria within.

-Benzoyl Peroxide : Which is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria, rather than simply slowing down the zits' growth. It increases skin turnover, clearing pores and reducing the bacterial count.

-Tea Tree Oil : An all natural antibacterial agent, it has disinfecting and soothing properties.

-Sulfur It is a mild antimicrobial. It also exfoliates thе superficial layer оf tһе skin аnd sloughs оff dead skin cells. It is less drying than benzoyl peroxide.

The key is finding which fighting ingredient agrees with your skin the most. 

In the past, 10 years or so, I have had luck (in phases) with all of these except sulfur (plus I could not get over the smell, so I guess that worked out!).

In high school, my skin swore by benzoyl peroxide, any of them worked, then in my 20's it stopped. That's when I discovered tea tree oil, worked beautifully, until it didn't anymore. Then my skin settled on salicylic acid. AND NOW it seems to like a combination of it all.

Let's start off with salicylic acid :
a picture of Kiehl's blemish control skin clearing cream, neutrogena rapid clear, clinique acne solutions clearing gel
1. Kiehl's Blemish Control Daily Skin-Clearing Cream Treatment : "Formulated with a powerful blend of blemish-fighting Dioic, Salicylic and Lipo Hydroxy Acids, known to minimize the appearance of acne and blemishes". This has 1.5% salicylic acid and is AMAZING. However it is a bit pricey (though the tube lasts quite a while) and I haven't been able to repurchase this, hence the drugstore mentions, it doesn't dry out the skin, quickly diminishes blemishes and helps with scarring as well. 5/5 

2. Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Spot Gel : "A clear gel that is clinically proven to reduce pimple size, redness and height fast - in 4 hours". This has 2% salicylic acid, I believe. Eum it really doesn't change anything in 4h, barely anything overnight...It stings, but is non-drying, and it DOES help, but really hasn't been a big hit with my skin. Perhaps on the occasional zits, this would be effective. 3/5

3. Clinique's Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel : "This ultrapowerful daily treatment gel is powered by Clinique’s four-in-one Clearing Complex with salicylic acid to start clearing blemishes instantly and help prevent new ones from forming". Ultrapowerful? Yes, surprisingly so considering the 1% salicylic acid. This would make my zits disappear over night, but then it just wasn't effective (literally after a week of using it, huge bummer). So again for the occasional zits, would strongly recommend. 4/5

Now let's move on to tea tree oil :

a picture of Lush Grease Lightning (review)

Lush's Grease Lightening "A gentle infusion of thyme, tea tree and rosemary cleans up problematic dirt and soothing aloe vera gel calms and hydrates irritated skin".Yes, this was THE spot treatment, until, yup you guessed it, it stopped working. I came back to it a few times, and it seems I just need to stop for a while every now and then. BUT, now I've found that I like it better as a "serum", I'll apply a thin layer all over my face at night and THEN follow with my spot treatment, AMAZING. You can even use this under BB cream and you're good for the day! 5/5

And finally, benzoyl peroxide :
a picture of Benzagel 5 spot treatment (review)

Benzagel 5 Acne Gel : "An effective topical treatment for both uncomplicated facial acne, and acne vulgaris. It contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, in a unique formulation that is micronized (reduced to tiny particles) to effectively penetrate the skin and kill the bacteria that cause acne inflammation." Yes! Though I still think I preferred Kiehl's a tad more, this controlled the damage, and it's super affordable. Truly a life saver. Now that I combine it with my Grease Lightening (and let's not forget the Magic Potion), I feel like I'm finally getting control of my breakouts (slowly but surely), I would strongly recommend this product. 5/5

The thing with skin is that it's super personal. There's not ONE "one size fits all" product. I've tried products people have swore by with nothing but disappointment and irritation. 

Once you know what your skin likes (active ingredient), or if you've tried all of them BUT one, try it. Also remember your skin changes, what worked once might not work forever. Yes it's a bitch, but we're all trying to figure it out together! :)

Have you tried any of these products? What are some of your favorite spot treatments? I'm always looking for the next best thing, so let's keep each other posted ;)

Talk to you soon!

- Val


  1. Lush! I've always wanted to try that!!! How expensive is it??

    1. Cheap! You can click the link ;) it's 13.95$ for 45g, a real steal!!