The 3 Best Pimple Drying Lotions

Is it just me, or do pimples always pop up at the worst times. The day before a big event? Bam — there’s a pimple. The night before a big presentation at work? Oh, hello zit. They never show up when we’re planning on hunkering down for the weekend and have time to coax them away slowly. So instead, we’re forced to find ways to deal with them quickly. And the best way to do that? By keeping a bottle of one of the best pimple drying lotions on hand.

Not everyone is familiar with what a drying lotion really is, or how to properly use one. These typically tiny bottles are packed with concentrated amounts of everything that clears up your skin. Most formulas have some mix of zinc, sulfur, and salicylic acid. The acids are suspended above the more solid zinc, which is how they’re supposed to stay. This isn’t like a bi-phase cleanser that requires shaking. Instead, you allow the zinc sediment to settle to the bottom, and then dunk a clean Q-tip into the bottle before tapping it onto your problem areas. The mixture of the sediment and acids work to clear up your blemishes overnight — a miracle when you’ve got an important event the next day.

So if you’re ready to add a touch of magic to your skin care routine, then you’re in luck. Below, find a list of the best pimple drying lotions on the market. Pick one up, dot it on, and watch your pimples disappear into thin air.

$26

Ask a beauty lover what their go-to spot treatment is, and you’re likely to hear Kate Somerville EradiKate. This itty-bitty bottle has skyrocketed to cult status in skin care circles — and for good reason. It contains the highest percentage of sulfur allowed in skin care, which is exactly a 10 percent concentration. That sulfur sinks into your pores to unclog them, excavating all the gunk that keeps whiteheads hanging around on your skin. The formula also contains a host of beta-hydroxy acids to reduce pores, plus zinc oxide to control oil production. Together, this trio reduces blemish size overnight — sometimes eliminating them completely. Be warned though. Since this mix contains high concentrations of oils, it can be super harsh on sensitive skin types. Do a spot test to see how your skin react first before going to town on your face.

$17

One of the big issues with drying lotions is that they can cause major redness due to the high concentration of acids. But that’s what makes Mario Badescu Drying Lotion so great. This little bottle contains a heady mix of acids including sulfur and salicylic acid. It also has zinc to control oil like the other bottles on our list. But the standout ingredient actually isn’t an acne-fighter at all. It’s good ole calamine. Yep, like the stuff you apply when you get a mosquito bite. What calamine does is soothe and calm the redness caused by inflammation and the acids in the drying lotion itself, too. This is perfect for folks with sensitive or reactive skin types who tend to go red with harsh ingredients. Pop on this drying lotion, and your crimson skin will be neutralized.

$20

Sometimes we don’t have a whole night to dry out our zits. In those cases, you should reach for End-Zit Acne Control Drying Lotion. It’s a tinted option that you can wear during the day — which is perfect for those mornings when you wake up with a blemish you need reduced by nightfall. It comes in light/medium, medium/dark, and an untinted option as well. Like the other lotions, it contains sulfur and zinc oxide to dry out your zits. But it also covers your blemishes, so you can heal them while concealing them. Swipe it on in the AM, and your whiteheads will be zapped by the time your date shows up.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

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