Summer acne solutions to help zap spots ASAP
Promising remedies you may particularly need now
If you're experiencing a breakout right now, especially one induced by the summer's extreme heat and humidity, there are some acne-fighting products that might help. Many of us, even with out teenage years a distant memory, may keep a tube of Clearasil handy in our medicine cabinets for emergencies – after all, the Canadian Dermatology Association reports that the most common skin condition that patients see doctors for is acne. But even though the tried-and-true topical treatments of our youth may still be effective, it's worth noting that in recent years a number of innovative, potent acne-fighting products have been introduced to the market.
Designed to both prevent and target mild breakouts, the best new remedies are easy to apply, and work quickly — some promise to minimize the appearance of pimples overnight — with few side effects such as dry skin or irritation.
These easy-to-use, non-medicated patches aren't designed to work on cystic acne or pimples that are still closed, but you can stick them on top of whiteheads or pimples that have been popped to draw out pus and help with the healing process. There are three patch sizes in each package, and the clear stickers look inobtrusive on your skin, even if you're just wearing them to bed.
Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch, $11.22, amazon.ca
This one-shade concealer with salicylic acid conceals pimples and works on blemishes all in one go, meaning that you won't have to artfully layer acne cream and makeup and hope for the best anymore.
Lise Watier Abracadabra Anti-Blemish, $19, lisewatier.com
This FDA-approved, rechargeable light pen takes 30 seconds to apply on each pimple, using blue light and Foreo's trademarked T-Sonic pulsations to fight acne-causing bacteria. The online testimonies are convincing, and it's a great at-home option if you have sensitive skin that isn't amenable to strong or abrasive topical treatments.
Foreo Espada Acne-Clearing Blue Light Pen, $199, thebay.com
If you're finding drug-store formulations too irritating or drying, there are now a number of designer takes on the classic topical acne cream. This overnight spot treatment by Malin+Goetz includes a blend of active sulfur, salicylic acid, organic camphor and zinc oxide that's been formulated to dry, exfoliate, and reduce scarring and redness all at once.
Malin+Goetz Acne Treatment Nighttime, $30.33, nordstrom.com
It might feel counterintuitive to use a face oil to fight blemishes, but this blend contains both acne-clearing salicylic acid and restorative oils like tea tree, cucumber seed and black cumin seed oil. It also dries quickly, and includes soothing natural ingredients like chamomile and milk thistle.
Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra Clarifying Face Oil, $50, sephora.com
There's a reason that this Canadian company's no-frills, high-potency beauty products regularly sell out online and in stores. For less than the price of a large latte, this formula — which contains a 10% concentration of vitamin B3 — can brighten skin tone and target blemishes and sebum build-up.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, $5.90, theordinary.com
When an allover breakout is too much to tackle with individual spot treatments, using an acne-focused face mask can get you feeling better in 15 minutes. The salicylic acid in this one helps treat blemishes, while ingredients like witch hazel and tea tree will address redness and excess oil.
Skin Republic Anti-Spot & Blemish Face Mask, $8, beautyboutique.ca
Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.