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Hero Cosmetics Pimple Correct Acne Clearing Gel Pen Versus e.l.f. cosmetics Blemish Breakthrough Acne Fighting Spot Gel

Facial Treatment
Facial Treatment
American Brand United States
American Brand United States

Overview

What they are

These products are both vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe facial treatments. They have a total of 5 ingredients in common

Cool Features

They both contain BHA

Suited For

They're both likely to be good for fighting acne, anti aging, brightening skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, reducing pores and scar healing

Free From

They both do not contain any parabens, silicones or sulfates

What's Inside

They both contain fragrances and oils

We independently verify ingredients, and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Spot a product that needs an update? Let us know.

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and see relevant ingredients

At a glance

Click on any of the items below to learn more

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients Side-by-side

found in both products
Pimple Correct Acne Clearing Gel Pen
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Nigella Sativa Seed Extract Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Nigella Sativa Seed Extract is a fragrance.

Unknown Full details ->
Isopentyldiol Solvent

We don't have a description for Isopentyldiol.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Polyacrylate Absorbent, Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising

Sodium Polyacrylate is the sodium salt of polyacrylic acid.

Lactic Acid Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 6 Benefits 3 Concerns

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance IconOil IconGood for Oily Skin Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon Good for Oily SkinGood for Oily Skin Icon

This tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree plant. Tea tree oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Niacinamide Smoothing
Niacinamide IconGood for Oily Skin IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin Icon
NiacinamideNiacinamide Icon 6 Benefits

Niacinamide has emerged as an all-star ingredient due to its many benefits.

Polydextrose Humectant

We don't have a description for Polydextrose.

Unknown Full details ->
Caffeine Skin Conditioning

Caffeine is most associated with coffee, tea, and cacao. In skincare, it helps with calming inflammation and anti-aging.

Maltodextrin Absorbent, Emulsion Stabilising, Skin Conditioning

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide. It is derived from starch such as rice, corn, wheat, or potato starch.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing
0 / 0 Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
3 Benefits

Allantoin plays a role in soothing and moisturizing the skin. Because of this, it is often added to products with strong active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Ceratonia Siliqua Gum Emollient, Emulsion Stabilising, Masking

Ceratonia Siliqua Gum is extracted from the seeds of the carob tree. You might know this ingredient as Carob Gum or Locust Bean Gum. It is used to stabilize other ingredients and improve the texture of products.

Unknown Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract Skin Conditioning

This ingredient comes from the stem of the Prickly Pear cactus. The stem is rich in polyphenols, a potent source of antioxidants. It is anti-aging and soothing properties.

Agar Masking

Agar is the vegan substitute for animal-gelatin. It helps thicken and improve the texture of cosmetics.

Disliked Full details ->
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder comes from the aloe plant.

Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Biosaccharide Gum-1 Skin Conditioning

Biosaccharide Gum-1 is a sugar created from fermented sorbitol. Most sorbitol is made from potato starch.

Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract is extract from the neem plant.

Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract Skin Conditioning

Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract is from the Neem tree. Neem trees originate from India.

1,2-Hexanediol Skin Conditioning, Solvent

1,2-Hexanediol is a multi-tasker ingredient. It acts as a preservative to increase shelf-life and can aid other preservatives in preventing microbe growth. 1,2-Hexanediol also helps the skin retain moisture as a humectant.

Caprylyl Glycol Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Caprylyl Glycol is a humectant and emollient, meaning it attracts and preserves moisture.

Sodium Levulinate Skin Conditioning

Sodium levulinate is the a sodium salt of Levulinic Acid. If dissolved in an aqueous solution, the two ingredients become identical.

Glyceryl Caprylate Emollient, Emulsifying

Glyceryl Caprylate comes from glycerin and caprylic acid, a fatty acid from coconut.

Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract.

Disodium Phosphate Buffering, Masking

We don't have a description for Disodium Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Polysorbate 60 Emulsifying
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Polysorbate 60 is used to help stabilize products. It is a surfactant and emulsifier. These properties help keep ingredients together in a product. Surfactants help reduce surface tension between ingredients with different states, such as liquids and solids. Emulsifiers help prevent oils and waters from separating.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer (let's call it AAVC for short) is a synthetically created polymer. It's used as a film-forming agent and used to thicken the consistency of products.

Disliked Full details ->
Gellan Gum

Gellan Gum is a high-molecular weight heteropolysaccharide gum. It is created by the process of pure-culture fermentation with the bacterium Pseudomonas elodea.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Anisate Antimicrobial

Sodium Anisate comes from fennel. It is used as a preservative and to add flavoring.

Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract Emollient, Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract is an extract of the flowers of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae

Solanum Melongena Fruit Extract Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Solanum Melongena Fruit Extract.

Azelaic Acid Buffering, Masking
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne Icon
5 Benefits

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid derived from grains. This ingredient is effective in treating acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions.

Corallina Officinalis Extract Skin Conditioning

Corallina Officinalis Extract is from the red seaweed, Corallina Officinalis. This seaweed is found all over the world but is most common in the rocky shores of Great Britain and Ireland.

Curcuma Longa Root Extract Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Curcuma Longa Root Extract is from the spice, turmeric. Besides being a healthy and delicious spice, turmeric also has plenty of skincare benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial properties.

Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract Skin Conditioning

Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract comes from the Holy Basil plant. Holy Basil is native to India.

Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil Emollient, Skin Conditioning
0-2 / 0 Oil IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon
OilOil Icon Helps hydrate Dry SkinHelps hydrate Dry Skin Icon Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

This ingredient is the fixed oil extracted from seeds of the desert shrub Jojoba. It is more commonly known as jojoba oil. The seed oil is liquid wax ester from the plant. It is non-comedogenic.

0-2 Com. / 0 Irr.
Sodium Phosphate Buffering

We don't have a description for Sodium Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Sebacic Acid Buffering

We don't have a description for Sebacic Acid.

Unknown Full details ->
Limonene Perfuming, Solvent
Fragrance Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon

Limonene is a fragrance that adds scent and taste to a formulation.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Blemish Breakthrough Acne Fighting Spot Gel
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 Emulsion Stabilising

Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6 is a texture enhancer and pH adjuster.

Disliked Full details ->
Camphor Masking
May cause irritation IconEU Allergen IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
4 Concerns

Camphor is a waxy solid with a strong scent. It is made using turpentine oil.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil Antioxidant, Perfuming
Antioxidant IconFragrance IconOil IconGood for Oily Skin Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon FragranceFragrance Icon OilOil Icon Good for Oily SkinGood for Oily Skin Icon

This tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree plant. Tea tree oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract Antiseborrhoeic, Astringent, Skin Conditioning
Can worsen Dry Skin Icon
Can worsen Dry SkinCan worsen Dry Skin Icon

Hamamelis Virginiana Extract comes from the witch hazel plant.

Disliked Full details ->
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae.

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Astringent
Antioxidant IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconHelps fight Acne Icon
AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 5 Benefits

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is derived from the leaves of the tea plant. Black tea, green tea, and oolong tea are all harvested from this plant.

T-Butyl Alcohol Perfuming, Solvent
Alcohol IconFragrance Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon FragranceFragrance Icon

T-Butyl Alcohol it is most commonly used as a solvent.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Benzoate Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Disliked Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Denatonium Benzoate Masking
Alcohol Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon

Denatonium Benzoate is a denaturant and masking ingredient.

Unknown Full details ->

Ingredients Explained

These ingredients are found in both products.

Ingredients higher up in an ingredient list are typically present in a larger amount.

Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Loved

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Antioxidant, Perfuming
Mixed

This tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Tea Tree plant. Tea tree oil has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

According to the book Journal of Profiles of Drug Substances, tea tree helps in reducing acne-causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes. This is due to the Terpinen components of tea tree oil.

Tea tree may cause sensitivity and irritation for some people. This oil naturally contains fragrance such as linalool and limonene.

However, research shows irritation usually occurs when using pure tea tree oil and not in cosmetic products.

Tea tree oil was found to help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis in one study.

Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested. Another study showed it to caused damage to the nervous system of dogs and cats when applied to their skin or given orally.

Learn more about Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil
Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide

Ingredient Ratings

Here's what our community thinks of the ingredients in these products.

Pimple Correct Acne Clearing Gel Pen
24
9
6
7
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated
Blemish Breakthrough Acne Fighting Spot Gel
4
3
7
1
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

When to use

40 Routines
45% use in am
53% use in pm
68% use every day
When to use See routines that use it ->
20 Routines
45% use in am
55% use in pm
50% use every day