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The Best Spot Treatments for Different Types of Acne

A hormonal pimple needs different treatment than a whitehead. Find out the best spot treatments for all kinds of acne below.

Acne can be extremely frustrating, especially when there are many different types. To really get a hold of acne, the best thing to do is to educate yourself on what causes the different types and the best ingredients to fight them. We created this handy guide to ease the process so you can determine which spots you have and get product recommendations that will help to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

best spot treatments

Blackheads and Whiteheads:

The best way to combat certain spots is by knowing exactly how they occur. Blackheads and whiteheads usually form as a result of hair follicles that get clogged with trapped dirt, sebum, and debris, causing the pore to become infected. The best treatment for this type of acne is exfoliation as this helps to avoid the buildup of dead skin within the pore as well as aid in regulating oil production.

While most treatments call for exfoliating your whole face, what about when you just need to exfoliate a certain area where you have an abundance of blackheads and whiteheads? Well, the best thing to do is to spot treat! An effective spot treatment is the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Cream. Although this product is targeted as an all over cream, you can definitely use this to spot treat on a daily basis. It contains 4% BHA, centella asiatica, and soothing oils that moisturize and gently exfoliate to reveal smoother, softer and glowing skin by morning. It’s also formulated to be used on an everyday basis, making it gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types.

cosrx pimple patches

The next great spot treatment for this type of acne is targeted towards those who are prone to picking at their blemishes. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it before, but it’s best to avoid this habit because it can cause acne scars and hyperpigmentation. To avoid the unnecessary grief, you can use the Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches to help effectively treat acne while protecting it from your wandering hands. These work by breaking down the debris from blackheads and absorbing gunk from whiteheads so you wake up to clearer, blemish-free skin.

Pro tip: For really stubborns spots, you can spot treat with a tiny bit of the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Cream and then after it dries, cover it with the pimple patches, effectively doubling the treatment all in one night!

Inflammatory Acne:

Inflammatory acne results in lesions that become inflamed and turn into red and tender bumps which can be filled with pus and bacteria. These pimples usually start as comedonal acne (AKA blackheads and whiteheads) so using chemical exfoliants like AHA and BHA will help but it’s important to also use an antibacterial spot treatment to really kill the bacteria efficiently.

Some of the most well known antibacterial ingredients are tea tree oil and sulfur and it just so happens that the Etude House AC Clean Up Pink Powder Spot contains both. This effective spot treatment uses the tea tree and sulfur combo, plus salicylic acid to destroy acne-causing bacteria and help to to reduce redness and inflammation. Here’s how to use it: Just take a Q-tip and dip into the pink substance at the bottom and spot treat away. Remember not to shake the product since its meant to be a multi-layered one which keeps the concentrated pink powder at the bottom.

For more sensitive skin, the Missha Speedly Solution Anti-Trouble Patch is a great option to protect and treat acne all at the same time. Similar to the Cosrx Pimple Master Patch, the Missha patches are quite literally a Band-Aid for pimples that help to fight acne overnight with a combination of anti-inflammatory salicylic acid and tea tree oil. These are especially vital for pimples that have been popped as they are essentially an open wound that needs to be protected from outside bacteria. While these aren’t miracle workers that will make your spots completely disappear overnight, they’re as close as they can be as they cut your recovery time in half. This means you’ll be back to clearer, glowing skin in no time.

Hormonal Acne

Ah, cystic acne. The bane of almost everyone’s existence. This acne usually flares up around your chin area and right before your period. It’s painful to the touch, uncomfortable and sometimes virtually invisible, making it not possible to pop. But one thing you can do to is be proactive and take preventative measures to prevent hormonal acne from surfacing in the first place.

Try using products with azelaic acid. This ingredient is derived from grains like wheat and works to fight pimples by prohibiting the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Because it’s an acid and it fights bacteria, it works really well to dig deep into pores and attack and get rid of bacteria that’s living deep within the pore. A popular product is The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%. It has a high concentration of azelaic acid that will work to deeply eradicate bacteria while helping skin retain its moisture.


best spot treatments

While hyperpigmentation isn’t a form of acne, it’s usually the byproduct of it. It’s possible you could be left with acne scars even if you didn’t pick at your blemishes. I know that may sound discouraging but don’t worry, there’s even a spot treatment for that! The Acwell Anti-Mark Gel contains niacinamide and licorice root extract which work in tandem to brighten dull areas and fade redness while aloe vera extract soothes irritated and inflamed skin.

Bottom line:

The best way to combat acne is by understanding how it occurs and keeping in mind the most effective ingredients to fight it the most efficiently. Remember these treatments take time, so don’t expect them to make your acne completely disappear after one use. Skin care is all about routine and patience and if you master that, you’ll be able to stick to an effective routine that will improve your skin over time.

+What do you think are the best acne spot treatments? Let us know in the comments below!

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