AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment Review

A product I always like to have on hand: spot treatment for acne, because you never know when one will “pop” up! Terrible pun aside, let’s see how this cute AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment works and compares!

Quick Summary

  • Non-irritating and light weight texture will be suitable for all skin types
  • Uses salicylic acid + tea tree extract to fight blemishes
  • Works best in tangent with pimple patches or a stronger treatment


What is it
Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment provides effective relief from breakouts and blemishes. This light gel is also infused with hydrating Ceramide capsules to help restore the skin barrier.ture gel which combines the effects of toner, serum, lotion, cream, mask and make-up primer.

Best suited for
Acne-prone and/or oily skin types, or anyone who prefers a gentler approach to clear skin.

Things to note
Alcohol-free but does contain rosemary essential oil.

A baby sized dropper glass bottle. Looks super cute but wish it came in a bigger bottle so it can be used as a preventative treatment all over.

Faint rosemary scent.

Water-like. There are tiny ceramide capsules suspended in the liquid but you can’t feel them.

Absorbs quickly leaving a natural finish. No stickiness or shine.

Available For
$18 for 15ml on StyleKorean and Stylevana

AXIS-Y’s commitment to fighting counterfeit skincare products is evident in their packaging!

Ingredients Highlight

The 6 base ingredients as part of the AXIS-Y formula are as follows:

  • Green Tea Extract is a powerful antioxidant that’s also well-studied. It can help protect our skin against UV rays and will work wonderfully under your sunscreen (never in place of it!). It’s also anti-inflammatory and potentially anti-bacterial!
  • Licorice Root Extract has both skin brightening and soothing properties. The active glabridin prevents pigmentation from forming and is anti-inflammatory, while liquiritin helps fade the dark spots. A small study found it to be effective with minimal side effects.
  • Tea Tree Extract sounds promising initially, however most of the antibacterial and antifungal benefits were studied on the oil. Manufacturers claim they have the same benefits though.
  • Camphor Leaf Extract is often used in cooling products like Tiger Balm and VapoRub in part because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, but a study actually found it to increase collagen production and assist in wound healing! Promising, but more studies are required to prove these benefits.
  • Mentha Aquatica, aka Water Mint and a member of the mint family. Clarins claims this is excellent for firming the skin, but the one study done only found it had antioxidant and antibacterial properties, but how it translates to in topical applications is still unknown.
  • Broadleaf Bamboo is a lesser known ingredient but was found to have anti-inflammatory effects in one study.

4-Terpineol is the core ingredient and the main active component in Tea Tree Extract/Oils with great anti-bacterial benefits. It’s also non-irritating to use at 2%.

Phyto-Oligo 1%, is the effective technology, and it’s a trademarked compound of Althaea Rosea Root Extract and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, so you get the skin soothing and moisturizing benefits from both.

Other anti-acne ingredients: Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid

Other moisturizing ingredients: Centella Asiatica Extract, Beta Glucan, Moringa Seed Oil, Ceramide, Trehalose, Hyaluronic Acid

Full Ingredient List

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Niacinamide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Aloe Leaf Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Fig Fruit Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract, Hydrangea Macrophylla Leaf Extract, Mentha Aquatica Extract, Sasa Quelpaertensis Extract, Tea Tree Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Camphor Leaf Extract, Cryptomeria Japonica Leaf Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark/Bud Extract, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Chamaecyparis Obtusa Water, Trehalose, Octyldodeceth-16, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, C12-14 Pareth-12, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Ceramide Np, Fructooligosaccharides, Beta-Glucan, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, 4-Terpineol, Licorice Rhizome/Root, Moringa Seed Oil, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin

How to use the AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment

  • After your cleansing and toning step, dab the product on the affected area and pat until absorbed.
  • Can be used regularly in areas prone to breakout as a preventative measure.
  • Can be used morning and evening, just make sure you apply sunscreen in the morning since this contains small amounts of AHA and BHA.
  • Can be used daily since it’s gentle on the skin.
AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment Review

Usage Experience

✅ Much gentler on the skin compared to other acne treatments

If you can’t stand the harsh stings of typical salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatments, the AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment will be a welcome change. The blend of moisturizing and soothing ingredients will also help expedite the healing process!

✅ Pairs perfectly with pimple patches

Thanks to its water-like texture, you can easily apply the spot treatment first and then apply your pimple patch once the product has absorbed. This combo has increased the healing time compared to using either alone!

❓ Could double as a acne-prevention serum…if the bottle was bigger

I was going through a phase where I kept breaking out on my forehead, so I’ve actually started using this bottle daily even after my active blemishes have healed. It’s kept the breakouts at bay, but tiny bottle makes daily use not very economical. If this was the same size as the AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum it’d be perfect!

AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment texture

❓ Too much emphasis and lesser known ingredients

Which is a shame because the formula actually contains some fantastic and well-studied ingredient! I get the marketing appeal of using botanical extract, and some like Green Tea or Centella Asiatica Extract are excellent. But Water Mint? It’s kinda crazy how their Sunday Morning Refreshing Cleansing Foam had a better base 6 imo.

❌ Gentle formula also means reduced efficacy

So yes those harsher treatments sting like *&^$ but my spots are always significantly reduced the next morning and gone by day 3. With the AXIS-Y Spot Treatment alone (no pimple patch) the spot doesn’t fully go away until 4-5 days later.

AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment Compared

💡 Dr. Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine 95 Essence
Originally called the LJH Tea Tree Essence, this uses the same water-like texture and gentler tea tree extract approach to fight blemishes. However Dr. Ceuracle’s comes in a bigger bottle, making it more economical for daily all-over use.

💡 Peace Out Acne Treatment Serum*
This is more like your regular spot treatment featuring 2% Salicylic Acid but also great ingredients like Niacinamide and Centella Asiatica! You can use this all over or just on your breakouts and I’ve seen good results with it. Has a thicker gel texture so won’t layer well under pimple patches.

💡 Youth to the People Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant*
Ok they seem totally different at first, but both contain salicylic acid and soothing plant extracts. YTTP takes it further with 3% mandelic acid which can help gently clear our pores. It’s definitely more of a preventive than treatment product, but it’s still excellent for acne-prone but sensitive skin types.

Final Verdict

  • Ingredients
  • Packaging
  • Texture/Application
  • Performance
  • Price

This product came at just the right time as I was going through an unusual breakout phase (too much holiday eating?). I appreciate the brand’s gentle approach to spot treatments and I can see this being a great addition for those who already use/love pimple patches.

However the biggest deal breaker for me is the small size. I actually think the product shines as a preventative everyday serum as it’s a bit weak as a standalone treatment. Hopefully AXIS-Y will increase the size in the future!


  • Is the AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment cruelty-free?

    Yes! AXIS-Y is one of the few (but growing) Kbeauty brands that is cruelty free and are certified by PETA. (source)

  • Is the AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment vegan?

  • Is the AXIS-Y Spot The Difference Blemish Treatment safe to use while pregnant or nursing?

    Since it contains salicylic acid, I would highly recommend against using this if you’re pregnant or nursing. As always, please check with your doctor to confirm.

Article Sources

To keep my content accurate and trustworthy, I rely on peer-reviewed studies, articles from reputable academic institutions, and quotes from certified healthcare professionals to back my claims. No woo-woo clickbait nonsense here!

  1. Li, Yuan-Hong et al. “Protective effects of green tea extracts on photoaging and photommunosuppression.” Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI) vol. 15,3 (2009): 338-45. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0846.2009.00370.x

  2. OyetakinWhite, Patricia et al. “Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2012 (2012): 560682. doi:10.1155/2012/560682

  3. Elsaie, Mohamed L et al. “The efficacy of topical 2% green tea lotion in mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris.” Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD vol. 8,4 (2009): 358-64.

  4. Davis, Erica C, and Valerie D Callender. “Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 3,7 (2010): 20-31. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/.

  5. Tran, Thao Anh, et al. “Camphor Induces Proliferative and Anti-Senescence Activities in Human Primary Dermal Fibroblasts and Inhibits UV-Induced Wrinkle Formation in Mouse Skin.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 29, no. 12, Oct. 2015, pp. 1917–25, https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5484.

  6. “Antioxidant, Anticholinesterase and Antibacterial Activities of Stachys Guyoniana and Mentha Aquatica.” Pharmaceutical Biology, 2017, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13880209.2016.1238488.

  7. Sang-Mi, An. “Effects of Plant Extract Containing Creams on UVB Radiation-Induced Inflammatory Responses in Mice.” Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea, vol. 36, no. 4, Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea, 2016, pp. 271–80, www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO201015037854883.page.

  8. Lee, Chia-Jung, et al. “Correlations of the Components of Tea Tree Oil with Its Antibacterial Effects and Skin Irritation.” Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, vol. 21, no. 2, June 2013, pp. 169–76, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2013.05.007.

This post is sponsored by AXIS-Y but all opinions are 100% honest and my own. Any pr products are also marked with *. This post contains affiliate links, and each purchase helps cover the
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