Zeno Hot Spot$40; drugstores
The claim: Shrinks blemishes with heat.
How it works: Turn it on, and press the heated tip to a pimple for two and a half minutes (the device beeps every 30 seconds and automatically shuts off when time is up). The company recommends doing two to three treatments over a 24-hour period to kill blemish-causing bacteria. This recently released version is less than half the size of the original (it will easily slip into your purse or makeup bag) and heats up instantly—but after 80 treatments (or about 40 pimples) it's kaput, and you'll have to buy a new one.
The verdict: "The heat is enough to destroy the bacteria that live in a pimple, and to evaporate the water that causes much of the inflammation, so the blemish will look smaller," says Ellen Marmur, MD, associate professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center. "But because the heat has to be applied to an individual blemish for several minutes a day, it's not a very practical device if you get more than the occasional breakout."
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