Banish pesky spots with these effective topical remedies.

Spots are not, alas, just reserved for the teenage years. Adult acne, blemishes and breakouts can hit at any age, right the way up to menopause thanks to a range of factors, including hormonal imbalances, a disrupted skin microbiome, diet and lifestyle or allergies. Confusingly, a well-meaningly over-zealous cleansing regime that strips the skin of its natural moisture barrier can lead to over-sensitivity and breakouts. On the flipside, an inefficient (read: slapdash) cleansing step will leave dirt, sweat and make-up in your pores which will also – you guessed it – cause blemishes.

So how to find the happy medium and keep your skin clear? Finding the right cleanser for your skin’s needs is the first step to supporting for your skin’s own natural repair and healing abilities. Yet when blemishes and acne do strike, having an effective topical treatment in your skincare arsenal will deliver target ingredients, expertly designed to reduce inflammation, speed up healing time and reduce scarring. Here are 12 of our favourites from under £10.


Microdart Patch Kit, £27

A clever patch with 24 micro-needles that delivers spot-busting ingredients deep within the skin to zap it at its source. Buy it.


Invisiscar Resurfacing Treatment, £35

Once a blemish has healed, scarring and discolouration can be slow to fade. This resurfacing treatment has a cocktail of BHAs and vitamin C to reduce pigmentation, redness and discolouration. Buy it.


Acne Patch, £7

Hailing from South Korea – one of the leading countries in skincare innovation – these handy and discreet hydrocolloid stickers draw out impurities from the skin to lessen the ‘lifespan’ of a spot, reducing inflammation, redness and long-term scarring. Buy it.


Blemish Control Pads, £30

These pre-soaked pads are great for swiping over troublesome breakouts. Infused with two per cent salicylic acid (the highest non-prescription strength), they decongest and exfoliate fast. With allantoin to heal and glycerine to hydrate, they treat without stripping the skin’s natural oils. Buy it.

The Inkey List

Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment, £8

An easily absorbed, non-drying treatment to reduce excess oil without stripping the skin, the succinct acid reduces the size of blemishes whilst salicylic acid unclogs pores and hyaluronic acid hydrates to clear spots fast without drying. Buy it.


Blemish Control Gel Moisturiser, £11.50

Packed with blemish-controlling acids to treat breakouts whilst refining skin’s texture and unclogging pores, there is also a healthy dose of ceramides and niacinamide too that will add moisture and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier to protect from future breakouts. Buy it.

La Roche Posay

Effaclar Duo Blemish Treatment, £18.80

Formulated to target blemish-prone skin in a myriad of ways, this effective treatment helps reduce blemishes, blackheads, shine and post-breakout scarring – all in one. Part of La Roche Posay’s brilliant Effaclar range, it is designed for oily and acne-prone skin. Buy it.

Revolution Skincare

Overnight Targeted Blemish Lotion, £6.67

Not just reserved for chicken pox, calamine is great for soothing and reducing the inflammation of blemishes too. With salicylic acid and zinc oxide to dry-out spots, this topical ointment will work overnight to heal and treat. Buy it.


Clearcalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment, £16

REN’s natural spot treatment contains willow bark extract to support skin renewal, with maritime pine and thyme extracts to soothe and prebiotic chlorella extract to boost the skin’s natural microbiome, which will in turn help strengthen its own spot-busting abilities. Buy it.


Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £14.45

This lightweight gel treatment gel contains saw palmetto to reduce excess oil production and salicylic acid to clarify. Simply dab a thin layer onto the troublesome area one to three times daily to reduce and repair blemishes, fast. Buy it.

Kate Somerville

Eradikate Blemish Spot Treatment, £24

Applied topically with a clean cotton bud just where you need it, this highly-concentrated spot treatment contains BHAs, Zinc Oxide and Sulphur to exfoliate, clear and balance skin overnight. Buy it.


Blemish Rescue Oil, £35

From plant-based skincare brand, Votary this gentle yet effective formula contains salicylic acid to calm inflammation and deeply cleanse pores, whilst rosemary essential oil acts as an antibacterial treatment and oat oil calms. Buy it.

By Lydia Mansi
November 2022

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.