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This week, the unthinkable happened: I got a random pimple, out of bloody nowhere, smack bang in the middle of my cheek. Right before I needed to be on camera for some work-related stuff. I was completely thrown because this doesn’t happen often. It took me right back to being a teen when this would happen regularly, and I would just squeeze it, make it worse, cry about it and then put discoloured concealer on in a vain attempt to hide it.

I rummaged through my makeup crap looking for some spot treatment that wasn’t years out of date and came up with nothing. So, I turned to my brains trust (my friends) who came up with some ace acne treatment recommendations that actually -gasp- work for them. Because I’m a kind and giving person, I put them in an article for you in case you also have a random pimple and no energy to cry over it right now.

Acne TreatmentPeace Out Skincare Acne Healing Dots, $55

Can confirm, this is top of the list because I tried them and they worked SO WELL. You just peel off the little circle, place it over your pimple and the magic happens overnight. Sure, it’s just a targeted hit of salicylic acid not actual magic, but overnight my pimple was a LOT calmer and not a big red angry boil when I woke up. 10/10, would use again.

Acne Treatment

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Treatment Concealer, $42

My mate recommended this, which she swears by because not only does it dry out those gross wet-looking spots you get, but because it’s tinted it covers it up too. I don’t know about you but I hate chucking on layers of pimple cream and concealer on, because it feels like the latter cancels out the former. With this little gem the two products work together. Synergy, we love to see it.

Indie Lee Overnight Banish Gel, $23

This is a good overnight option if you spy a nasty looking crater on your face before bed. It has kaolin clay and bentonite clay in it (as well as noted pimple predator salicylic acid) and for some reason the idea of clay is just so deeply purifying to me, so I’m a sucker for anything with clay as an active ingredient.

Acne Treatment

Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment, $63

I feel like toners have their moments and then go out of fashion, and they’re having a bit of a moment again right now. This one is aimed at minimising pores and controlling oil with lactic and salicylic acid and again, does the hard yards for you while you sleep. I haven’t tried it yet, but my colleague says it has a v. satisfying tingling feeling once you use it so you know it’s really doing the work.

Acne Treatment

Sephora Collection Clarifying Peel Pads, $24

This is a reco from me because I love Sephora’s home brand of skincare. As soon as I saw old mate the pimple rear its very ugly head this week I started using these every morning and I credit them for me not getting pimples anywhere else on my face. They just leave it so squeaky clean, which I’m told is because of the glycolic acid which is all about smoothing and exfoliating.

Acne Treatment

Go-To The Removalist, $48

I know I was already going on about clay earlier but nothing feels as good when you have a breakout than slathering a big thick clay mask all over your face and this one from Zoe Foster Blake’s skincare brand Go-To is an MVP. I like it because it doesn’t dry my skin out – a delicate balance to strike when you’re trying to nuke all your zits.

Acne Treatment

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, $27

Most people I surveyed came back with this one, a cult classic and absolute must-have in your pimple-fighting arsenal. This product does what it says on the tin (or bottle, in this case). It’s a targeted solution that will suck all the gross moisture out of your pimple. Not something you wanna wear out and about necessarily, since it kind of looks like calamine lotion spots all over your face, but it works.

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, from $64

Okay hear me out here: I know putting an oil on your oily, breaking out face seems counterproductive but this one will not clog your pores and create a pimple army, according to my friend who LOVES this shit. For starters it’s a dry oil so doesn’t really go on all slick anyway. It also contains our fave salicylic acid as well as noted acne busters tea tree and liquorice. It will bring down your redness and help prevent future breakouts.