Bargain Acne Spot Treatments

Over the counter acne treatments don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

For that annoyingly red pimple, it's acne spot treatments to the rescue. Spot treatments are used directly on breakouts. While they won't stop new pimples from forming, they can help that existing blemish to heal more quickly.

Spot treatments are over-the-counter acne products that help to heal those pesky pimples.  Unlike other types of acne treatments, they are meant to be used only on existing blemishes.

Some spot treatments are meant to be left on overnight; others dry clear so you can wear them out during the day. You can even find tinted spot treatments that help camouflage breakouts. Whichever product you choose, make sure to read and follow the usage directions.

Spot treatments can help heal individual pimples, but won’t completely clear up acne. For those who battle with more frequent breakouts, spot treatments aren’t going to be as quite as beneficial. These are best suited for the person who gets the occasional pimple or red spot. 

Remember, don't apply any spot treatment too often, or you'll end up with a red and peeling patch. And if you are currently under a doctor's care for your acne, get his approval before using a spot treatment, especially if you're taking any prescription medication. 

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

Woman applying face cream
IAN HOOTON/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Active ingredient: 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide.This formulation is said to give the power of a 10 percent benzoyl peroxide but with less irritation. The cream itself is white, but dries clear on the skin. Unfortunately, makeup doesn't go on smoothly over the treated spot, so you'll probably want to put this one on before bed. Buy from Amazon »

Almay Blemish Healer for Oily Skin

Active ingredient: salicylic acid

This inexpensive spot treatment also contains witch hazel, and meadowsweet. Witch hazel is often used as an astringent. Meadowsweet, a perennial herb, is claimed to have refreshing and purifying effects on the skin.

This spot treatment absorbs fully into the skin, so makeup goes on over it smoothly. And, like all Almay products, this treatment is hypoallergenic and fairly gentle for sensitive skin.

Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment

Active ingredient: 2 percent salicylic acid

Dries clear on the skin, but makeup may not go smoothly over the top. It does tend to sting when first applied, but it goes away after a few minutes. Most people are willing to tolerate the stinging because this product makes pimples smaller overnight. Buy from Amazon »

Nature's Gate Natural Results Extra Strength Spot Corrector

Active ingredient: 2% salicylic acid

Looking for eco-friendly skin care? This product is for you. It is paraben-free, and all added botanical extracts are certified organic. No animal byproducts are used, nor has the product been tested on animals. And the packaging is completely recyclable. Good for your skin and good for the earth. More »

AcneFree Clear Skin Treatments Acne and Blackhead Terminator

Active ingredients: 1.5 percent salicylic acid and 1 percent benzoyl peroxide

Such a great product, we'll forgive them the clunky name. Containing two super effective acne-fighting ingredients, this spot treatment works to reduce redness and unclog pores. It's like getting two treatments for the price of one. But don't apply it too often, or you'll end up with an irritated, peeling spot. Buy from Amazon »

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