Even at the ripe ol’ age of 30, I still continue to deal with zits and use pimple cream on a regular basis. Whether they’re caused by random hormone changes, clogged pores, or both, I usually can’t go a week without at least one pimple showing up on my face. In addition to washing my face night and day with a salicylic acid-based cleanser, and trying my hardest to actually wash my makeup tools a few times a month, I keep a tube of Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment on deck for moments when my zits won’t quit.
Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment has been in my beauty arsenal since freshman year of high school, after raiding my sister’s room for something—anything—to quickly get rid of a zit before the next school day. When I woke up the next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my breakout was half the size it was the day before. From that moment on, the treatment became one of my holy-grail favorite beauty products, and I’ve never looked back.
No matter how big (or small!) of a pimple I get, massaging this translucent cream into my skin, which starts out as white on my fingertip, is like the kiss of death for my breakouts. I use it whenever I see or even feel a zit coming on, which is at least once a day (sometimes twice). Since this treatment contains benzoyl peroxide—another acne fighting ingredient—it works quickly to bring my skin back to its clear and glowy glory. “The benefits of a spot treatment is that it’s easy to apply, you don’t have to apply it to the entire face,” Francesa Fusco, M.D., dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology, tells SELF. “It can go easily under makeup, and it works quickly on superficial white heads and/or a juicy pimple.”
According to Dr. Fusco, most spot treatments on the market contain between 1 and 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Spot treatments have extended contact with pimples—you don’t wipe them off after application—it makes them even more effective than a cleanser, which is rinsed off, or serum that may be diluted. Since my holy-grail treatment is formulated with a hefty dose of 2.5 percent of the ingredient, which is why it’s no surprise that the treatment clears up my (sometimes) problematic skin like magic.
Buy it: $10, cvs.com
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