The Best Over the Counter Acne Spot Treatments

mario badescu drying lotion vs buffering lotion

Up until the last six months or so, I had been incredibly lucky to have perfectly acne-free skin. Since I'm now ancient at 26, I thought I'd somehow successfully escaped acne entirely, thinking that it was something that just adolescents deal with. Well, I was unfortunately very, very wrong! After thinking logically through what could be causing my skin to have a hissy fit, I'm pretty sure it's a combination of California's air, working up a sweat at Pure Barre much more frequently, and not being as diligent about avoiding dairy and my other food sensitivities as diligently. All of that said, I firmly believe that I need to attack my skin problems from the inside as well as the outside! I'm working on cleaning up my diet, and swiping my skin with an astringent soaked cotton ball before I leave Pure Barre.  

I've had the pleasure of having a combo of whiteheads and deep, painful, cystic acne, and I quickly learned that what may work for one kind of pimple may not work for the other. Enter Mario Badescu. I'd heard great things about his skincare, and during one terribly broken-out week, I broke down and bought both the buffering and drying lotions. 

The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is specifically for clearing up whiteheads, and I apply it with a q-tip to spots in the evenings before bed. When I wake up, the blemishes are much smaller, if not gone completely! The formula dries everything right up, and soothes redness, to boot, and I've found it's particularly perfect for the dreaded back acne! 

While I love the drying lotion, it's not formulated to get rid of those super painful "buried" pimples, which is where the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion comes in! I shake the bottle up, and apply a small amount with my fingers at night, and sometimes, if a blemish is particularly bad, I apply a bit under my makeup in the morning, too. Every time I've used this powerful potion, my cystic acne is cleared up n a matter of a couple of days, versus a couple of weeks. It's like liquid magic! 

Now that I've spilled my secrets with you, tell me: what products and habits help you keep your skin clear?

PS- check back later today for the best DIY face mask I've ever tried!


  1. Hi Sharona! Yes I do- it really helps me, too, but still need the spot treatments for when spots sneak by even the Clarisonic's power!

  2. I totally get it -- I just ordered these two products today, and am totally trying the lemon/baking soda mask asap! It's funny because I also thought acne would go away once I got for us! Thanks for your helpful post!!