The 10 Best Acne Spot Treatments to Zap Pimples Fast

I don't know about you guys, but when I notice a breakout pushing its way through the surface of my skin, I enter attack mode. Forget letting it run its course. It's all about acting fast and breaking out the heavy artillery. Sometimes this involves popping it, and sometimes it means applying one of the best acne spot treatments I can get my hands on. Luckily, according to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, popping and treating a pimple isn't necessarily a bad thing if you do it the right way.

"Waiting [a day or two to pop the pimple] will allow you to effectively control the blemish without damaging the skin," Rouleau tells us. Wrapping your fingers with tissue and gently applying pressure will do the trick. Then she suggests using a spot treatment to clear out the follicle. Exfoliation is also key to help get rid of dead skin cell buildup so that the ingredients can actually penetrate deeper—just aim for a chemical exfoliator instead of a physical exfoliator so you don't rough up the skin and make matters worse.

However, know that spot treatments work best on pustules (traditional pimples filled with pus). If you have cystic acne or papules (inflamed red pimples that haven't quite reached the surface), spot treatments won't cut it. (For more info on how to treat other kinds of pimples, check out our foolproof guide.) But if you're dealing with a pesky pustule, we've got the best hard-hitting products that will shrink your skin's new resident in no time. Keep scrolling to see the best acne spot treatments your money can buy.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.