Let’s not mince words, here: Breakouts suck. On a Wednesday, you can have perfectly clear (ish) skin, and then on Thursday, your nose will have cultivated an army of zits for no apparent reason. It’s unfair, and we’re tired of it. And rather than canceling that first date or job interview (hey—people have done it), we’re giving you the ultimate list of products that get rid of pimples, fast. OK, sure, you probably already have a few go-to treatments that you *swear* clear up your zits in, like, a few days…or weeks…with some peeling skin…and massive irritation, or maybe you’re still on the hunt for that holy-grail product that gives you a glimmering, perfect face. Either way, though, there are a ton of new anti-acne products on the market that are so impressive and fast-acting, you’ll be itching to make the switch.
And no, these aren’t that skin-burning treatments of your middle-school years that nuked your face overnight, but a mix of masks, spot treatments, and oils (yes, oils) that are totally effective, gentle, and, in some cases, 100-percent natural. Basically, there’s no reason to live with breakouts if you don’t want to. So to get you started on your clear-skin journey—which, with these products, should be more like a short stroll than a trek—we rounded up 10 of our favorite acne-fighters, below. Keep reading to pick your favorite, and then kick that zit’s ass.
Amala Purifying Blemish Treatment
This natural product uses a blend of lemon, ginger, and white tea to clarify overactive oil and sooth irritated, broken-out skin, all while reducing the size and redness of zits.
Amala Purifying Blemish Treatment, $36; at Amala
Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil
Made with 1.5-percent salicylic acid, this oil quickly dissolves bacteria and dead skin cells that lead to blackheads and whiteheads. And while salicylic can sometimes dry out your skin, the formula also contains milk thistle and cucumber seed oil to replenish skin’s moisture.
Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $80; at Sephora
This retinoid-based (which means it clears out clogged pores while reducing fine lines) treatment used to be only available by prescription, but thanks to new FDA approval, you can now get it over the counter. Bye, zits.
Differin Gel, $13; at Differin
Lumion Oxygen Serum + HOCL
OK, so this might not seem like a zit-zapper, but for you dry, sensitive-skinner readers, this lightweight serum could be your holy grail. It’s filled with oxygen and hypochlorous acid (or HOCL), and it mimics your immune system to fight infections in your skin. Apply thin layers all over your face to prevent future breakouts, or tap it over a zit to gently destroy it.
Lumion Oxygen Serum + HOCL, $38; at Lumion Life
HydroPeptide Spot Correction Acne Eliminating Treatment
This spot-treatment is packed with oil-absorbing sulphur, skin-smoothing lactic acid, and fine line-preventing peptides to fight acne and also give you literally the best skin ever.
HydroPeptide Spot Correction Acne Eliminating Treatment, $38; at HydroPeptide
Karuna Skin Clarifying Duo
Part sheet mask, part spot treatment, this two-step product features skin-plumping and gunk-removing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and chamomile. First, apply a spot-treating match to your pimple, slap on the sheet mask, and wait while the two combine to activate a targeted bump-zapping treatment.
Karuna Skin Clarifying Duo, $12; at Karuna Skin
BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne Clearing Treatment Serum
This silky, water-light serum is infused with licorice root extract, meadowsweet extract, and salicylic acid, all of which work to reduce excess oil, even out your skin tone, and reduce inflammation in sensitive skin.
BareMinerals Blemish Remedy Acne Clearing Treatment Serum, $42; at Bare Escentuals
Plant Not A Spot Acne Treatment Mask
The natural combo of oil-absorbing charcoal and antibacterial basil oil in this spot-treatment (or full-face) mask will mattifying the skin with unclogging pores. Just add just a few drop of water to a teaspoon of the powdered formula dab it on your zits.
Plant Not A Spot Acne Treatment Mask, $24; at Plant Apothecary
Arbonne Intensive Acne Spot Treatment #4417
The two-percent of salicylic acid in this product dries up zits, fast, which is a great thing for the impatient, but a not-so-great thing for the sensitive-skinned. Make sure to follow up with a lightweight moisturizer if you’re worried about flakes.
Arbonne Intensive Acne Spot Treatment #4417, $30; at Arbonne
Tata Harper Clarifying Spot Solution
A new spot treatment from a famed natural skincare brand? Yes, please. A combination of zinc, copper, magnesium, essential oils in this spot-treatment dissolve gunk from your skin without irritating or drying it out.
Tata Harper Clarifying Spot Solution, $32; at Tata Harper Skincare