Team Buro Answers: The best overnight acne treatments that have saved our skin(s)
A few years ago, while living in Sydney, my housemate had me at, “Have you tried Vicks?”. She wasn’t the first Aussie to suggest this. Rarely short of random (and angry) breakouts on the chin, I put their remedy to the test—a light layer of the ointment over and around the area is all it takes. While the zit may not magically disappear in a few hours, the pain, redness and swelling does. I find it speeds up the healing process too, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It never fails me and has been my answer to every huge, ripe zit that pops up on my face. I've been using it since my college days after my best friend introduced it to me and it has yet to fail me—except when it's the painful, bumpy red pimple. With the acne patch, I simply stick it on the zit and by morning, whitish pus would appear on it, and the pimple would be gone. Or at least, reduced enough to cover easily with my tinted moisturiser alone—and that's saying something!
I first heard about this remedy when I was started out in the industry and everyone was raving about its efficacy. Recently I’ve been suffering from cystic acne and this came highly recommended (again). So I took the plunge and behold, it works like a charm. Dip a cotton bud into the pink solution—made of salicylic acid, calamine and sulphur—and dab on the surface blemish. By the next morning, the evil red mountain would have subsided and I’m happy to have avoided an eruption.
I've tried tea tree oils and toothpaste (don't judge!) in the past, but for me, nothing works like good ol' benzoyl peroxide. While I'm aware of its side effects, I'm not too affected by it as I always try to moisturise frequently in between each use. Once in a blue moon, when that doesn't work, I'll turn to acne patches to treat "ripe" pimples. I usually use a sterilised acne needle to gently pierce the tip of the zit before sticking the patch on and letting it work its magic overnight.
I swear by this French skin saviour. It works by extracting all the gunk out and accelerating the process instead of drying up your skin (like typical acne treatments). At the first sight of a blemish, I put a thin layer overnight. When I wake up, the red bump has grown into a tiny pimple with a head, which falls off by the time I wash my face when I step into the shower. It’s my Holy Grail for breakouts, and I’ve never looked back since.
Sadly for my zit-ridden T-zone, salicylic acid doesn't work one bit, nor does benzoyl peroxide (it only aggravates my already-sensitive and very thin skin). But I found a nifty trick of spot-treating my acne with this clay mask overnight—one dot is all it takes to reduce swelling/redness and remove the white head. What's also helpful is a multi-masking session before treating my stubborn blemishes—just so my skin soaks up nutrients before getting a detox.
For someone who has an oily T-zone, I’d usually steer clear of any oil-based products. However, there’s one exception: tea tree oil. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, this "dry oil" helps treat acne and dry out any blemishes, blackheads or whiteheads overnight. I'd usually apply it directly on a stubborn zit before bed and come morning, it'd be visibly smaller and less irritated. Psst, I actually find the scent quite soothing, though some may argue otherwise!
Going down the rabbit hole that is Reddit in search for a remedy for my acne woes has yielded quite favourable results. One tip that I picked up and is now part of my skincare routine is CosRX’s snail mucus essence coupled with a few drops of The Ordinary's bestselling serum. I find that the latter pills a little when used on its own, but paired with the essence it absorbs beautifully. While no overnight cure for stubborn zits, this combo works really well to soothe breakouts.
Ah, the good 'ol blemish-busting salicylic acid. It has probably been three or four years since I stumbled upon this zit-buster in Sephora, and it came in handy during my worst breakout days. Just a tiny dab on painful bumps is all you need to visibly calm skin down overnight—just in time for a brunch date the next day.
After hitting my thirties, I hardly get breakouts (hello mature skin) but whenever I do, it'll be in the form of red, painful bumps that are sizeable and hard to extract. I bought this cream from a Japanese pharmacy during my last holiday, and it works like magic on zits as such. When applied overnight, the swelling visibly reduces. Also, I really like its lightweight texture which absorbs easily when I apply concealer on top of it. Will definitely repurchase when I’m back in Japan!
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