The Breakout Treatments That Really Work
The Breakout Treatments That Really Work

The Breakout Treatments That Really Work

Want to tackle a spot head on? Rather than squeezing or picking, an effective topical treatment should really be your first port of call. Promising to minimise inflammation and limit long-term scarring, these are some of the best…
By Sapna Rao

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream, £18 | COSRX 

This treatment contains all the ingredients to bring a big spot down or stop it in its tracks, including the brand’s patented CentellAC-Rx Complex – a powerful blend of friendly acids to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and balance its PH levels. In particular, madecassic acid will protect the skin from scarring.

Available at


Drying Lotion, £16.25 | Mario Badescu

This hero drying lotion offers instant relief upon application – watch as the wet-to-dry powder formula dries down and instantly cools the area. A powerful blend of zinc oxide, salicylic acid and sulphur will draw out anything trapped below the surface. If you need to get rid of a spot overnight, pop this on to wake up to better-looking skin.

Available at


Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £13.60 (was £17) Origins

If a drying lotion isn’t for you, a lightweight gel formula might be more your speed. Working best on oilier skin types, this blend of salicylic acid and saw palmetto is perfect for fighting inflammation, fading discoloration and smoothing texture. It also works to banish toxins from the skin’s surface while regulating any excess sebum production.

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Dark Spots Serum, £19.20 (was £24) | Peace Out

While most of these products are designed to target early-stage blemishes, dark spots and scarring can be equally difficult to treat. Formulated in the same way as a spot treatment, this serum is intended to be applied directly to the blemish to fade any marks and smooth out texture. Lightweight but potent, it contains a powerful AHA blend, as well as tranexamic acid and brightening boosters kojic acid and alpha-arbutin.

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Saturn Sulphur Spot Treatment Mask, £20 | Sunday Riley

If a spot is causing discomfort, irritation or simply needs a bit of cooling relief, make this product your go-to. Thick in consistency – it is a mask after all – the 10% sulphur, zinc and niacinamide formula promises to clear up acne while also preventing new blemishes from forming. Great for those who suffer with problematic skin.

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The Ultimate Stinky Pimple Treatment, £30 | Dr Barbara Sturm 

While this topical treatment will bring down spots, you can also apply it to larger areas or even your entire face to tackle blemish-prone skin. Containing pre and probiotics, apricot kernel oil and shea butter, it’s also great for calming and soothing inflamed skin, while hyaluronic acid ensures everything is well moisturised to keep the all-important skin barrier up and running.

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Killa Clarifying Microdart Patch Kit, £27 | ZitSticka

Pimple patches will stop you from touching or picking blemishes – and Zit Sticka does some of the best. To get rid of new spots before they get worse, simply pop the sticker onto the blemish and let the powerful exfoliating concentrate and miniscule self-dissolving ‘microdarts’ work their magic. 

Available at

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