Bonus: You can get it right at the drugstore.

By Chelsea Traber Burns
Updated January 22, 2018
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woman looking in mirror
Credit: Yuri Arcurs/Getty Images

Whether you struggle with a full face of acne or just a single zit every once in a while, it's never fun to deal with. And they always seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times, too. Thanks to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, we now have the inside scoop on how to zap a zit fast.

Zeichner recently posted a photo of himself on his Instagram with a white blob on his face saying, "even the dermatologist gets a zit once in awhile." He then went on to break down his secret triple threat formula he was wearing: Mix equal parts salicylic acid 2%, hydrocortisone 1% cream, and benzoyl peroxide 2.5%-10% in your palm. Then apply the mixture to the spot. And if you've ever wondered which acne ingredient is best for the type of pimple you have (blackhead, whitehead, cyst), follow these helpful guidelines that he goes on to map out.

“Salicylic acid removes excess oil to dry out the pimple (white head), hydrocortisone reduces inflammation (cysts), and benzoyl peroxide kills acne causing bacteria (blackheads or use it as a preventative treatment),” explains Zeichner. But he also warns his followers to “be careful of your pillow cases because benzoyl peroxide will put white spots in dark fabrics.” And lucky for us, Zeichner shows that expensive products aren't always better. For his concoction, he used all drugstore finds.

For salicylic acid, he used Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment ($6; For hydrocortisone, he used CeraVe Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream ($9; And for benzoyl peroxide, he used Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask ($3; Just don't forget to mix it all together before applying!