For the occasional blemish, here's a recipe for a quick homemade paste that will calm redness and swelling quickly. Take a non-coated aspirin (or two baby aspirins), crush it with the back of a spoon or chop it with a knife, and then mix in a bit of water to form a paste. Apply to the affected area and leave on for about 15-20 minutes before washing with warm water and a washcloth. This makes a great spot treatment, and it actually helps kill the bacteria to keep it from spreading and causing a full-fledged breakout. It's a great quick-fix, and it's less drying than most store-bought spot treatments (and much more cost-effective too!).
You can also use aspirin to make a great purifying mask. It will help clean and minimize pores, and it makes dull dry skin soft and luminous. For the mask, take four non-coated aspirin tablets, crush or chop, add a few drops of water, and blend with a honey to form a paste. Usually, about a 1/2 teaspoon of honey does the trick but add more if it looks dry or doesn't spread easily. Apply to the full face (avoiding the eye area, just like any mask), and leave it on for about 10-15 minutes. Then rinse the face with warm water.