The 6 Best Acne Spot Treatments According to Adults Who Still Get Acne

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

There’s hormonal acne, cystic acne, just because acne and now, maskne. And we thought it would just magically disappear once we entered adulthood. Surprise! It’s still very much here. However, we’ve definitely come a long way from the days of burning astringents and oil-free everything, and these six acne spot treatments are proof. From pimple patches to clay-based treatments, here are six grown ass women on the products that address their adult acne issues.

I’ve Been Dealing with Acne for Almost 20 Years, and Clearly Basics is the Only OTC Option That’s Really Worked

best acne spot treatments 1

1. Versed Game Over Acne Drying Treatment

Best Clean Formula

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 96/100

I’m definitely not someone who can leave a blemish alone; if it’s poppable, I channel my inner Dr. Pimple Popper and get to work. But that usually leaves me with dark spots that last much longer than my actual pimple ever does. I just really don’t like using acne products, because they’re usually pretty abrasive and not gentle on my dryish skin. That was until I tried Versed’s new acne line. I love everything else the brand creates, thanks to its super clean formulas, drugstore accessibility and prices and its commitment to sustainability. And the Game Over Acne Drying Treatment really did it for me. I just dot on a tiny spec of the 10 percent sulfur and clay formula onto a blackhead or white head and by morning, its completely dried up without causing harm to the surrounding skin.

best acne spot treatments 2

2. Mighty Patch Invisible+ Hydrocolloid Acne Pimple Patch

Best Pimple Patch

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 92/100

“My roommate turned me onto acne patches a few years ago, but with a different brand. To be honest, I found them helpful in terms of preventing me from touching or picking at my pimples, but otherwise I wasn't all that impressed. Then I got a sample of Mighty Patch and was forced to do a full 180. These things really and truly work to speed up my skin's recovery time. The Invisible+ patches are the ones I use most frequently, because they're less noticeable than Mighty Patch's original spot treatment and I think they work slightly better. They're brilliant at drawing out all the gunk and bacteria from whiteheads and pustules in just a few hours. Of course, they also have that added benefit of preventing me from touching, picking at or popping my pimples, which helps my skin recover that much quicker.” —Abby H., Associate Editor

best acne spot treatments 3

3. Burt’s Bees Herbal Complexion Stick

Best Herbal Remedy

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 95/100

“Every month, like clockwork, I get one pimple on the left side of my chin as I’m getting my period. (Being a woman is fun!) When this happens, I use one—and only one—product to get rid of it fast: Burt’s Bees Herbal Complexion Stick. This liquid dispensed via rollerball is made from ten herbal ingredients including tea tree and juniper oils, which are known for their astringent qualities (which means they’re used to remove irritants from the skin's surface and even out skin tone). When I feel a spot rearing its ugly head, I apply a little of the Complexion Stick to clean skin and wait. How long? Umm, less than 24 hours. It’s magic. Within 12 hours or so, there’s a noticeable difference in how red and raised the spot is. A few hours later, it’s pretty much gone.” —Sarah S., Editor

best acne spot treatments 4

4. Dermadoctor Ain't Misbehavin' Intensive 10% Sulfur Acne Mask & Emergency Spot Treatment

Best Mask/Spot Treatment Hybrid

  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetic: 17/20
  • Results: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 92/100

“You know when skincare products dramatically promise ‘clearer skin by morning’? This is the only one I've tried that's actually fulfilled that claim. I've been using this acne mask as an overnight spot treatment for well over a year and it's truly been a godsend. With ingredients like sulfur, kaolin clay and witch hazel, angry pimples and excess oil don't stand a chance. Though it's touted as an ‘acne mask and emergency spot treatment’ I've only ever used it as the latter, dotting my face with specks of the thick white cream until no zit or zit-to-be is left behind. By the time my alarm goes off the next morning, each blemish is considerably less red and smaller in size and after a few days of continued use, they're almost gone completely. At $48 a tube, it's not the cheapest acne product on the market, but because I only use it as a spot treatment, the same 2.37 oz. tube has lasted me years.” —Catrina Y., Associate Managing Editor

best acne spot treatments new 2
Renée Rouleau

5. Renee Rouleau Anti-bump Solution

Best for Cystic Acne

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Results: 18/20
  • Total: 95/100

“You know those under-the-skin pimples that require either a trip to the derm or a month to heal? This cuts their lifespan in half, at least. It’s so gentle and never drying, but somehow still gets the job done (and even though it’s pricy, it’s less than the price of a cortisone shot).” —Katherine G., Food Editor

best acne spot treatment new 1 copy
Rescue Spa

6. Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Original "1970"

Best for Allover Use

  • Value: 20/20
  • Functionality: 20/20
  • Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Results: 20/20
  • TOTAL: 96/100

“It’s a fancy name for a fancy product. This cult-favorite potion—specifically this rendition of P50, because there are several others—is STRONG. But I've struggled with cystic acne for a long time and no product works as well. I use it religiously and as-directed as an all-over-your-face exfoliator by adding a squeeze to a cotton round and pressing it into my skin. And when I feel a blemish coming on, I make sure to give that spot some extra attention. I like to hold a soaked pad over a potential problem area with some pressure for a couple long seconds and it typically disappears the next day." —Dara K., Executive Editor

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.

BL Headshot
Brianna Lapolla


Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...
read full bio