The faster way to heal blemishes

Apply a spot treatment to conceal and treat acne quickly.

Ask any dermatologist: When it comes to treating acne, playing the long game is the best way to achieve results. Diet changes, routine overhauls, and prescription medication can all lead to fewer breakouts and smoother skin. When a blemish appears, however, that strategy is usually deserted in favor of an immediate action. Resist the urge to pop or pick and reach for a spot treatment instead, says New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. “They heal pimples faster by delivering a powerful dose of active ingredients (often salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide) to the acne lesion.”

Spot treatments are not new to anyone who struggles with acne, but traditional formulas are often thick, white, or textured, making them suitable only for overnight use. However, there are products that can be applied during the day to covertly heal blemishes—and speed healing.

Engelman notes that these treatments should only be used as needed, and should not replace an ongoing regimen of medication, moisturizer, and cleanser. “You’re treating acne after it’s already reared its ugly head, not preventing pimples from forming,” she says. But when a quick fix is necessary, try one of the below for a fast and discreet solution.

glossier zit stick

Unlike many spot treatments, which should only be used once pimples have come to a head, Glossier’s Zit Stick can be applied at the first sign of a breakout. The formula, which combines bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide with pore-unclogging salicylic acid, dries clear and can be used up to three times per day.
Find it

cosrx clear fit master patch

COSRX’s pimple patches, which are applied directly on top of a blemish and work to draw bacteria out, are thin enough to be worn during the day or disguised under makeup.
Find it

it cosmetics full-coverage concealer

Oil-based concealers can clog the pore and make the breakout worse. This one from It Cosmetics is made with tea tree, a natural acne-fighting extract, and sulfur, which dries out excess oil and unclogs the infected pore.
Find it
Be a more sustainable athlete

7 eco-friendly habits for athletes

How to live more sustainably

“Little things that aren’t super hard can have a positive environmental impact.”