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Hey! I’m here with the BRAND NEW The Inkey List Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment review today!

But before we dive into the review… What is succinic acid?!

Well, I’m glad you asked. According to Vogue, succinic acid is “Perfect for those with spots, it’s a gentle exfoliator that helps peel dead skin cells from pores while also preventing them from clogging again. Naturally found in amber, succinic acid has antimicrobial properties and recent studies have shown it’s also excellent at defending the skin against external aggressors, thanks to its antioxidant properties.”


BRAND: The Inkey List

PRODUCT: Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment

INGREDIENTS: See bottom of page.


  • Contains a blend of 1% salicylic acid, 2% succinic acid, 2% sulphur powder and 0.4% hyaluronic acid
  • Doesn’t dry spots out
  • Wears well under makeup
  • Can be blended into the skin before moisturiser in the day time or dotted onto spots in a blob on top of your moisturiser at nighttime

I’ve Got *Insert Skin Type Here* Skin, Can I use It?

If you get spots then this is suitable for you but particularly those with sensitive skin as the formula is gentle and doesn’t dry out the skin.

However I will say, make sure you PATCH TEST it! This product contains an ingredient, succinic acid, that many of us wouldn’t have tried before so better to patch test it before going in on your spots with it.

I just pop some behind my ear and leave the area for 24 hours.

My Experience With This Blemish Treatment?

I used this spot cream for 3 weeks before then starting a tretinoin prescription so I had to stop using it. What I will say though is that even with using it 3 times a day, like The Inkey List suggests, I had ZERO dryness or irritation but in terms of how it performed on my spots, I wasn’t bowled over, I’ll be honest! 

Yes redness was reduced immediately after use but it didn’t manage to stop any of my spots in their tracks or reduce the size of them, in my opinion. However I will say that the bout of acne that I had when trialling this product was particularly bad and has required my acne prescription to be changed to include tretinoin so that gives you an idea of what sort of acne I was dealing with.

How Does It Compare To The Medik8 Blemish SOS Spot Treatment?

Lots of you have asked me to compare it to my beloved Medik8 Blemish SOS spot treatment that I reviewed a few weeks ago (see review HERE). For me personally the Medik8 spot treatment remains on top! It has an unparalleled powerful ingredient list of not just 2% salicylic acid but also azelaic acid, dioic acid and niacinamide BUT you do pay for this & that is reflected in the cost difference between the 2 treatments (Medik8 = £19, TIL = £6.99). 

The inkey list succinic acid on the other hand has 1% salicylic acid, 2% succinic acid and 2% sulfur powder – great ingredients but I don’t think the treatment is as powerful as my Medik8 treatment.


In Conclusion…

So overall I like it but I don’t love it but that is super personal to me and the acne that I have. I think if you’re someone that gets the occasional small spot here and there then this might be something beneficial to have in your skincare stash! But likewise if you get cystic acne this may also work for you! It’s all so personal when it comes to choosing the right spot treatment as it all depends on the type of acne you have, amongst other factors.

At the end of the day it’s £6.99 so you may as well give it a go in my opinion and see if it helps with your spots – I hope it does!! 

What Does It Look Like/Feel Like/Smell Like?

It’s green in colour, has a faint sulfur smell and is like a light gel-cream!


How Do I Use This Blemish Treatment?

The Inkey List says:

‘Can be applied to a blemish up to three times per day. We suggest cleansing with Salicylic Acid Cleanser, followed by hydrating the skin with Hyaluronic Acid before applying. Place a small amount from the tube onto a clean finger and apply directly onto the blemish. If you would like to use other skincare or makeup on top, leave the formula to dry for 5 minutes before applying.’

I used the treatment in 2 ways. In the daytime I would cleanse, tone, use my serums then before moisturiser rub this blemish treatment into active spots and areas where I’m prone to spots. Leave the area to dry for 5 minutes and then apply my moisturiser and SPF on top.

At night time I would do all of my routine including moisturising and then I would put blobs of this treatment directly over the spots. The blobs dried within 5-10 minutes and then I would go to bed. The cream never came off on my pillows and instead remained on my face until the morning. By morning most of the treatment had absorbed into my skin, just leaving behind dried out green patches over the spots but never any dried out skin!

Gimme The Deets…


£6.99 for 15ml. You can purchase it from HERE, HERE or HERE.


POA =  6 months
No special storage required 

Stick Or Spin Again?

It’s neither stick or spin for me as I’m using tretinoin now so I’m unable to use strong acid products. Plus if I were to use a spot treatment again I would stick with my Medik8 Blemish SOS and Kate Somerville Eradikate Blemish treatment

But as I’ve said, for £6.99, it’s definitely worth a try to see if it may help you with your spots! I’m glad I gave it a go as I kept wondering if it would help my spots due to it being a relatively new ingredient that I hadn’t tried before!

Have you tried this new product from The Inkey List? Have you tried The Inkey List in general? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Love & Knowledge,

S A M A N T H A 


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INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua/Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Colloidal Sulfur, Glycerin, Succinic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Salicylic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Squalane, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 60, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Malachite Extract, Sorbitan Isostearate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, CI 75810 (Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex).

*ratings allocated according to Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary and Incidecoder.

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