Personal care treatments

The 6 Best Nighttime Acne Treatments

Here’s the hard truth – there’s no way to completely zap a zit in a matter of hours – but there is a way to drastically reduce its size and appearance (and likelihood of scarring) quickly, which is where overnight acne treatments come in. The best overnight acne treatments contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur, and retinol, and can come in the form of a mask, spot treatment, pimple patch, or serum.

The best way to use an acne treatment is during your nighttime routine when your body’s natural circadian rhythm works to help the skin restore itself. Before applying your treatment of choice, first make sure your skin is completely clean and dry. Apply your acne treatments in the form of serums and gels directly to your skin, followed by a gentle moisturizer. In the case of acne patches and spot treatments, one tip is to complete your entire skincare routine, then remove any excess product from your active acne areas with a damp cotton swab. before applying the patch or spot treatment to your skin.

Remember that some of these ingredients, like retinol, can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage. Be sure to wear SPF during the day to protect your skin from further inflammation, which of course you should be doing anyway. You can find a list of best sunscreens for acne prone skinhere.

Shop the best nighttime acne treatments

Want to eradicate your acne in the blink of an eye? Shop the best nighttime acne treatments:

  1. Best Overall Acne Treatment Overnight: JORI daily anti-acne mask without rinsing
  2. The best acne treatment in French pharmacies: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Double Action Acne Treatment
  3. The Best Sulfur Acne Treatment: Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment
  4. The best pimple patches: Mighty Hero Cosmetics Crest
  5. The best acne serum: Peace Out Skincare Anti-Acne Serum
  6. The best adapalene treatment: Differin Gel Adapalene 0.1% Acne Treatment

1. The Best Nighttime Acne Treatment


  • Formulated by a top dermatologist.
  • Specifically designed for people with hormonal acne – although anyone with any type of acne can benefit from this product.
  • Can be worn all over the face as an overnight mask or during the day under makeup.
  • Cruelty-free.

The inconvenients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabrics.
  • This mask is not recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

JORI founder Cori Zeichner admits she formulated this product to help with his own adult hormonal acne alongside her husband, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, who happens to be one of the top dermatologists in the industry. The JORI daily anti-acne mask without rinsing contains saw palmetto, which helps to balance DHT’s relationship with androgen receptors. (DHT, aka dihydrotestosterone, is the hormone that can worsen hormonal acne.) In addition, this leave-in mask contains alpha-linoleic acid to lighten the complexion and a 2.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide, which is clinically proven to treat acne. Unlike other chalk-like benzoyl peroxide treatments on the market, JORI’s mask is one of my favorites due to its gel-like texture that melts into my skin. To be honest, it’s one of the only masks that has been able to clear up my hormonal acne after I was 25.

*Author’s note: Benzoyl peroxide will whiten fabricsso be sure to wear a white top to bed and try to sleep on a white pillowcase.

Key ingredients: saw palmetto, alpha-linoleic acid, linoleic acid, 2.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide Cruelty Free: yes Cut: 1.5 ounces

2. The best acne treatment in French pharmacies


  • Can be used to treat acne spots or individual blemishes.
  • Can be used day or night.

The inconvenients:

  • Can dry out.
  • Not without cruelty.

If you are looking for something to help treat cystic acne, whiteheads and blackheads in a snap, go for La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Double Action Acne Treatment. This spot treatment contains 5.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide, which helps remove dead skin cells and decrease the production of excess oil. Also in this formula is lipo-hydroxy acid, a derivative of salicylic acid that causes “cell-by-cell exfoliation”, as a study said so, helping to dig deep into pores to prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming. This is a spot treatment, so be sure to only use it on acne-prone areas to avoid drying out the rest of your skin.

Key ingredients: 5.5% micronized benzoyl peroxide, lipo-hydroxy acid Cruelty Free: yes Cut: 0.7oz.

3. The Best Sulfur Acne Treatment


  • Effective in drying out blemishes overnight.
  • Cruelty-free.

The inconvenients:

  • Doesn’t treat the whole face – only active acne areas.
  • while you box wear it during the day, it has a light pink color, so you’ll probably prefer to use it only at night.

While all acne treatments work to diminish breakouts, many can also be harsh on dry, sensitive skin. A study claims that sulfur is an excellent acne treatment for people with sensitive skin, as it has antibacterial properties and can dry up acne pimples in a flash while being gentle on skin prone to rosacea and eczema. 10% sulfur (the highest concentration of sulfur allowed in clinical acne treatments, by the way) is the key ingredient in Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatmentand it also contains salicylic acid to exfoliate and diminish clogged pores.

Key ingredients: 10% sulfur, salicylic acid Cruelty Free: yes Cut: 1 oz.

4. Best hydrocolloid pimple patches


  • Can help stop pimple picking as it creates a physical barrier between active acne and your fingertips.
  • The patches appear almost invisible on the skin, so you can wear them discreetly during the day.
  • Cruelty-free.

The inconvenients:

  • Does not cover large breakout areas.

The Mighty Hero Cosmetics Crest is a unique patch that helps heal pimples while they are still active. Hydrocolloid patches first appeared in wound care, as their adhesive hydrocolloid layer absorbs things like oil, pus and grime wounds, while the outer layer helps retain moisture in the skin to aid healing. Nowadays, people use hydrocolloid patches at home to help reduce pimples at all their stages, whether they are developing or have reached their culmination. In this box you will get 36 patches – put one on and within eight hours your spot should appear much smaller and less red.

Key ingredients: hydrocolloid Cruelty Free: yes Delivered with: 36 patches

5. The Best Acne Serum


  • It’s a complete serum, so it’s ideal for treating and preventing acne breakouts of all sizes.
  • Can be used day or night.
  • Cruelty-free.

The inconvenients:

  • Like most face serums, it is expensive.

Looking for an acne treatment that fits right into your current skincare routine? Consider replacing your serum with Peace Out Skincare Acne Serum, which contains several ingredients formulated to ward off breakouts. Here, 2% salicylic acid targets acne and blackheads, while niacinamide and vitamin C promote a luminous and even complexion and provide antioxidant protection. Finally, centella asiatica extract acts to calm redness and keep the skin hydrated.

Key ingredients: 2% salicylic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C, centella asiatica extract Cruelty Free: yes Cut: 1 oz.

6. The best adapalene treatment


  • It’s an all-over gel, so it’s great for treating and preventing acne breakouts of all sizes.
  • Contains adapalene, which is a retinoid studied for its effects on acne.
  • Favored by dermatologists.
  • Once required a prescription – now you can get it without a prescription.

The inconvenients:

  • Not without cruelty.
  • Can only be used at night.
  • May not be suitable for people with dry and sensitive skin.

Using a retinoid is one of the best ways to treat and prevent acne all at once. Differin Gel contains 0.1% adapalene, a derivative of vitamin A which specifically targets acne (adapalene is so potent that once you needed a prescription; however, you can now get it over the counter via Differin Gel). Immediately, adapalene treats breakouts by soothing redness and inflammation, and longer term, it helps prevent acne by encouraging skin cell turnover to keep your pores clean (and therefore less likely to clog). Best of all, this ultra-effective acne treatment is relatively affordable at under $15 for a 30-day supply.

Important note: you will only want to use this at night and be extra diligent about applying SPF in the morning, as retinoids are among the ingredients that can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

Key ingredients: 0.1% adapalene Cruelty Free: Nope Cut: 0.53oz

Referenced studies:

Serenoa Repens: does it have a role in the management of androgenetic alopecia?, Sundaram Murugusundram,

Serum Androgen Levels in Acne and Their Role in Acne Severity, Usma Iftikhar and Nakhshab Choudhry,

Linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid lighten ultraviolet-induced skin hyperpigmentation, H Ando, ​​A Ryu, A Hashimoto, M Oka, M Ichihashi, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.

The Use of Lipohydroxy Acid in Skin Care and Acne Treatment, Joshua A Zeichner,

An Update on Managing Acne Vulgaris, Jonette Keri and Michael Shiman,

Wound Care: Facts and Fiction About Hydrocolloid Dressings, HR Barnes,