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Between the floss, mini sewing kits, and stain removal pens, sometimes our handbags become a holy grail for what-if scenarios. When an awkward and uncomfortable situation presents itself—see blueberry seed in your teeth—these things are there to scale down the embarrassment and hopefully, bring down that blush. You might be good on the breath mints and clear nail polish to fix that snag in your tights, but no purse-salvation kit is complete without a product that’s there to help you out when a blemish pops up out of nowhere. While taking off your makeup and cleansing your skin is the best bet for a clear complexion, it’s not always that accessible. There are tiny, compact, and travel-sized treatments you can throw in your cosmetics bag that are only meant to be applied on one troubled spot for quick results. Got a zit you’re ready to send away? Take a look at this roundup of available spot treatments below.
The convenience element isn’t its most admirable factor (you need a Q-tip to really make it work), but there’s no doubting its formula. Mario Badescu is known for many products—including a gem of a rosewater facial mist—but this has got to be one of its most popular sells. All you do is dip your Q-tip in the bottle and into the pink powdery substance that’s dispensed in the clear liquid. The formula consists of ingredients like zinc oxide and salicylic acid, which will help to dry out the blemish and exfoliate the dead skin cells around it. Because it’s recommended to use after cleansing, you’ll want to make sure your face is free of makeup before dabbing a bit on.
(Where to Buy: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $17, nordstrom.com)
Sometimes we crush on an ingredient (OK, several), and tea tree oil is one of ’em. Because of its antibacterial, soothing benefits, it’s a winner when it comes to ridding your skin of blemishes. The Body Shop took their Fair Trade oil, which is fixed into several products including body washes and serums, and used it to create a blemish gel that targets that annoying, standout zit. Cleanse that specific area and dab some of the gel on top of the blemish to allow the product to get to work.
(Where to Buy: The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Gel, $10, thebodyshop-usa.com)
If there’s one thing Yes To Carrots products will do for you, it’s teach you about the ingredients found in vegetables that can be beneficial to your skin. Turns out, tomatoes are high in one that’s kind of worked up a solid reputation when it comes to drying out and diminishing the size of a pimple. Yep, salicylic acid. It also contains ginger root, and ginger has properties that help reduce redness—probably the thing that’s making that blemish really pop out at you in the mirror. It applies in a cooling metal roller ball, getting rid of the chance that you’ll further transfer oils and bacteria when applying with your hands.
(Where to Buy: Yes to Tomatoes Roller Ball Spot Stick, $10, walmart.com)
Here’s the thing with acne treatments. You want them to dry out that spot, but you also don’t want them to completely dehydrate your skin to the point that it has to overcompensate to produce even more oils, potentially leading you in the direction of even more breakouts. That’s a no-go. This product, made with organic ingredients, uses jojoba oil to heal the spot while also keeping the skin hydrated wit its light consistency. It’s also packaged in a roll-on bottle for extra convenience.
(Where to Buy: Meow Meow Tweet Spot Serum, $25, meowmeowtweet.com)
Boscia’s take on the spot treatment is housed in a super thin and portable container, which is suggested to be applied on clean areas of skin. It includes willow bark extract, which is an ingredient known for exfoliation and helping to reduce inflammation. It gets a double-duty kick of power with added jojoba oil and antioxidant-rich vitamin E which is often found in many moisturizers and skin care products.
(Where to Buy: boscia Clear Complexion Willow Bark Spot Treatment, $15, sephora.com)
Maybe you’re looking for an all-natural approach to getting rid of that blemish, besides you know, waiting it out. Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Solutions might spark some beauty product curiosity within you. Willow Bark, which also is known for containing traces of antibacterial salicylic acid, is formulated into this little glass bottle, along with tea tree oil and calendula oil which can help with redness and inflammation. You’ll often find this ingredient in products meant to soothe skin.
(Where to Buy: Burt’s Bees Anti-Blemish Solutions Spot Treatment, $10, burtsbees.com)
Looking for a product that doesn’t have 56,000 unpronounceable ingredients to it? Try an all-natural product from Indie Lee! This product contains salicylic acid, which by now you know of, and witch hazel—an astringent that removes oils and has the benefit of helping to reduce the appearance of your pores.
(Where to Buy: Indie Lee Blemish Stick, $28, indielee.com)