The best spot cream is one that takes down inflammation (read: redness), shrinks and dries out the blemish and speeds up the healing process. It will also set to work straight away to ensure you're spot-free much faster than if you'd left it to run its course. Having suffered from acne in my 20s (plus being a beauty editor) means I have tried pretty much every single spot cream out there. Some are pointless while others are modern miracles. I'll be sharing the latter with you here.
I've rounded up the 12 best spot creams that I and other beauty editors swear by—whether they're suffering from hormonal acne or just a one-off blip. And in case you didn't already know, a spot cream is designed to be applied directly to the blemish rather than all over the face. They're also usually more potent with active ingredients like pore-clearing salicylic acid, anti-inflammatory zinc and anti-bacterial tea tree, so you can expect to see results in a matter of hours rather than days. Keep scrolling for the 12 best spot creams money can buy.
This particular range is great for blemished skin. This targeted corrector tackles spot-causing bacteria and contains beta-lipohydroxy acid that sloughs away dead skin that can block pores.
Salicylic acid drives deep down into pores to flush them out. This will tackle active spots, but when applied to spot-prone areas (nose and chin, for example), this will prevent them occurring too.
With a winning combo of spot-fighting salicylic and soothing calamine, this lotion drys out the spot and takes down inflammation in a matter of hours.
With the calming zinc that tackles bacteria and magnesium, this treatment removes impurities while masking redness and blemishes.
They're not lying when they dubbed this "rapid relief." It works quickly and efficiently (in four hours or less) to calm angry zits.
Surprise! This formula contains salicylic acid but also chamomile to soothe, tea tree oil to tackle bacteria and zinc to prevent sebum production in the area.
Apply this portable product at the first signs of a spot. It gently purifies and dries blemishes at the same time calming (thanks to the addition of niacinamide) and reducing redness and tightening pores.
A super-affordable option, this contains hero spot fighters salicylic and lactic acid. It also boasts a "blend of irritation soothers, redness reducers, and oil-secretion slowers."
Salicylic acid and zinc are usual suspects, but the sulfur and camphor work in tandem to dry out and minimise spots fast.
This potent gel contains salicylic acid, saw palmetto herb and red algae to soothe inflammation.
This formula's benzoyl peroxide tackles spot-causing bacteria in pores while seven botanicals including lavender and tea tree calm skin irritation and redness.
Clinique's offering has over 100 positive reviews on its site. One user named Katuk wrote, " I think it works best when you first feel a spot coming up—it seems to stop them in their tracks." And user Roslind remarked, "This treatment is genuinely surprising—one application overnight saw an immediate reduction in my spots. Well worth the money, and so much better than other products I have tried."
If you feel that you must squeeze your spot immediately, see how to properly squeeze a pimple at home.