Beginner’s Guide: The Best Spot Treatments

There are hundreds of on-spot treatments available in the market nowadays and they all claim results within hours.  With so many options it can be a tough choice when you’re shopping, so I want to help you understand which ones are most effective and why!  Today I’ve picked out a few of the best spot treatments on the market and have taken a look at what makes them work, so you know exactly what the ingredients are doing too!


On-spot treatments are mainly based on 3 ingredients; benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulphur.

Benzyl Peroxide

This targets the bacteria which is associated with causing acne.  So when applied to the onset of spot it will help prevent further inflammation of the spot.  Be careful when you’re using products containing benzyl peroxide, as it can bleach your clothes and sheets and overuse can also cause dry skin.

Murad Acne Spot Treatment

Murad Acne Blemish Spot Treatment

Salicylic Acid

This works very similarly to exfoliators in the sense that it unclogs pores by breaking down any build-up.  This as a result, reduces accumulation of sebum and bacteria which cause acne.

Murad La Roche Posay

Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Overnight Treatment | La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Breakout Corrector


There are different theories about how sulphur actually works but most suggest that it draws our access oils from skin, which prevent build-up leaving our pores clear and healthy.  Again, as with benzyl peroxide you need to use extra care when using products that contain Sulphur as this discolors clothing.  Another little tip to consider is that the smell sulphur has naturally (almost like rotten eggs) so a lot of products may use fragrance to mask it.

Murad Dermalogica

Murad Acne Blemish Spot Treatment | Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment

Other ingredients to look for are Niacinamide which has anti-inflammatory properties; oils such as tea-tree and witch hazel which have both anti-bacterial action and products containing AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid which gently exfoliates your pores, leaving them clean and oil-free.

Aveda Outer Peace Spot Treatment

Aveda Outer Peace Spot Treatment

This has tamanu oil and other plant extracts such as amla, boswellia and saw palmetto.  The mix is great for reducing redness and inflammation.  It also helps moisturize and tone your skin so definitely a very good all-rounder.


Skin Doctors Zit Zapper

Skin Doctors Zit Zapper

This little tube has a great mix of salicylic acid, tea tree oil and witchhazel so it will reduce the pimple size as well as exfoliate and prevent bacterial growth.

Always remember that your skin is unique and everyone will respond differently to different products, so test and try a few to see what works best for you! Let us know your favourite products below or if you have any questions then please email me at or tweet me @LFpharmacist.



Make Up Specialist

Major fan of scented candles, Make Up brushes and Highlighter. I’m always on the hunt for those Holy Grail products and my dressing table is covered in more beauty products than I like to admit. As an adopted Northerner originally from Brighton, I spend most my days wondering what all this rain is about. My hair isn’t grateful for the move. Currently loving: NIOD Photography Fluid