How Do I Choose the Best Overnight Acne Treatment?

Marlene de Wilde

It is not easy to get rid of acne completely overnight, but there are some ways of controlling it and reducing the damage. Toothpaste is an effective overnight acne treatment, as are ice, aspirin, sulfur, zinc and salt. Popular over-the-counter acne products usually contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. The exact causes of acne are unknown, but the primary suspects are hormones and genetics.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

Spot treatment is the most effective overnight acne treatment, and changes in diet and lifestyle are the best ways of dealing with acne in general. What does not work is picking at spots or using facial scrubs, which serve only to aggravate the problem. Any product that is alcohol-based is also more likely to exacerbate the condition than treat it.

Salt can be mixed with water and dabbed on the affected area to treat acne overnight.
Salt can be mixed with water and dabbed on the affected area to treat acne overnight.

Benzoyl peroxide is a common antimicrobial ingredient in many over-the-counter acne treatments, whether they are brand names or generic. Acne can be treated by using one of these medications as a spot treatment, then following it with a home remedy, like the application of ice to reduce swelling. Another ingredient that fights acne is salicylic acid, which speeds up the rate at which cells renew themselves. Salicylic acid can be found in aspirin, and crushing up a pill, mixing it into a paste with a little water and applying to the spots for the duration of the night should provide results.

Salt is a natural antiseptic that can be mixed with a little water and dabbed on the affected area. This should kill the bacteria that is responsible for the creation of acne. Sulfur and zinc are two more home remedies that many find effective when used as an overnight acne treatment. Sulfur is found in many acne products and causes the skin to dry out and peel. Zinc can be taken as a supplement or be applied topically in a cream. A dab of toothpaste works by drying out the spot and absorbing the oil.

Different people respond to different acne treatments, and what is effective for one person may not be effective for another. The best thing to do is try out a few overnight acne treatments to see what works and what does not. If acne is severe, it is best to consult a dermatologist, as diet, lifestyle and facial care regimes may need to be altered in an effort to combat the condition. For many, getting over acne is just a matter of time. Until then, damage control can limit the ravages to some extent.

Ice, aspirin, salt and toothpaste are among effective overnight treatments for acne.
Ice, aspirin, salt and toothpaste are among effective overnight treatments for acne.

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Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- Really? I've heard about this from several people but I never tried it. I think it's a weird idea and there are so many other options.

I've used both store brand spot treatments and more unconventional methods and I think both work about the same. The only treatments I haven't tried are sulfur and salt. I've tried aspirin and zinc. Zinc is found in baby rash cream, so that's what I've used. I've tried aspirin which I crushed and then mixed with water.

Another good natural treatment is turmeric powder. I mix this with water to make a paste and apply it on top of my pimples. It's antibacterial so it completely dries out pimples by morning. I've heard good things about clove oil which is another antiseptic/antibacterial but I'm not sure if the oil would irritate my skin.

Does anyone know any other overnight acne remedies I haven't tried?


I've been using toothpaste as an acne spot treatment for years! It's a bit irritating because it can sting but it works.


I use aloe vera gel as an overnight acne treatment. I apply pure aloe vera gel all over my face before I sleep and wash it off in the morning.

Aloe vera has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It's also healing for acne scars. I've been getting great results with this and I love that it's a natural acne treatment and not a medication.

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