It happens at the most opportune moments. You're going on a first date or you have a big presentation the next day…and bam!
A brand-new pimple rears its ugly black head.
While most of us can't afford at-home visits from the dermatologist (like the celebs), we can turn to non-prescription acne treatments. With aisles full of the stuff, which products will alleviate redness, kill bacteria and won't over-dry the skin? Look for formulas with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but keep in mind higher concentrations (6-10 percent) can irritate the skin.
Still confused? We polled celeb derms, skin experts and our own staffers for the best picks.
"I've tried a lot of spot treatments, but I always come back to this drugstore brand. I just apply a little to the blemish at night and the next morning, I can see a result. If you already have a dry complexion, though, this may not be for you." –Diana Nguyen, editor
"My favorite is the La Roche Posay Effaclar acne kit because it's an easy-to-use kit that has everything in one place. Several good anti-acne ingredients are combined with soothing ingredients to help reduce acne without over drying." –Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, Capital Laser & Skin Care
"I like to use the mask to spot-treat angry blemishes overnight. In the morning, the spot is diminished, less red and smaller in size." –Kailey Harless, social media editor
"Terminator 10 comes in a shiny orange package and has a very industrial-strength feel to it. I use it every night as a spot treatment—it works wonders to dry out even the biggest, nastiest of pimples." –Taylor Stephan, writer
AcneFree Terminator 10, $5.99
"[It] repairs skin while helping to eliminate and prevent breakouts; I love it because unlike traditional Benzoyl Peroxide treatments, this soothes and hydrates skin while clearing breakouts" –Dr. Doris Day, Day Dermatology & Aesthetics