5 Bargain Acne Spot Treatments

Over-the-counter pimple remedies that really work

Spot treatments are over-the-counter acne products that help to heal those pesky pimples. Unlike other types of acne medication, they are meant to be used only on existing blemishes.

Some spot treatments are left on overnight, while others dry clear so that you can wear them throughout the day. You can even find tinted formulations that help camouflage breakouts without the use of a separate concealer or makeup.

Whichever product you choose, be sure to read the directions fully. Overuse of these products can often be harsh on the skin, resulting in redness, peeling, dryness, or even skin discoloration in some cases.

Spot treatments are good at treating individual pimples but won’t completely clear up a breakout. For this, may need oral therapy in conjunction with a combination topical cream/antibiotic. If you are currently under the care of a dermatologist, get your doctor's approval before using an over-the-counter treatment, especially if you're taking a prescription drug. 

For those treating uncomplicated acne, here are five bargain medications that give anything but bargain results:

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment contains pharmaceutical-grade 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide but somehow manages to treat acne without irritating the skin.

The topical cream is white but dries clear on the skin. Unfortunately, makeup doesn't go on all that smoothly, so people typically reserve this one for nighttime treatment.

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup is salicylic acid-based acne medication which does double duty as a shine-free concealer.

This effective spot treatment goes on smoothly and can be used purely as a concealer or covered with makeup It is available in seven different shade, and, like all Almay products, is hypoallergenic and fairly gentle on sensitive skin.

Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment

Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment also contains two percent salicylic acid, Like Neutrogena, the cream dries clear on the skin and doesn't fully absorb, so covering with makeup is not always so easy.

Moreover, it tends to sting when first applied, although the effect usually subsides after a few minutes. Most people are willing to tolerate this because the product is so effective in reducing the size of a pimple overnight.

Nature's Gate Extra Strength Spot Corrector

Nature's Gate Extra Strength Spot Corrector contains two percent salicylic acid but is one of the few products rightly marketed as eco-friendly. 

The topical medication is paraben-free. All of the added botanical extracts have been certified organic. No animal byproducts are used, and no product has ever been tested on animals. Even the packaging itself is 100% recyclable.

Nature's Gate Spot Corrector is not only good for problem acne, it's good for the environment.

AcneFree Maximum Strength Terminator 10

AcneFree Maximum Strength Terminator 10 offers dual action with 1.5 percent salicylic acid and one percent benzoyl peroxide. Despite its off-putting name, it's a truly great product which not only reduces the size of pimples but manages to unclog pores without redness.

However, it is not a product you should more than one to three times per day as it is known to cause dryness and may lead to visible peeling and irritation.

Was this page helpful?