There is no such thing as a good time for a pimple. It simply does not exist. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you have a pimple and you want it gone—like yesterday. While no technology exists (yet) to zap your zit in the next hour (even though, like, it’s 2018?), I can promise that these tips will help it become much less noticeable overnight. We don’t have time to waste (we’ve got blemishes to banish!), so let’s get down to business.
Quick Note: While we’ve got 10 kick-butt recommendations to kick your pimples butt, we are not suggesting, by any means, that you should use every single tip all at once. In fact, this will likely have the opposite of your desired effect and inflame the pimple more. So, choose which steps work for you and then find your inner zen and ~be patient~.
While we don’t suggest using every step all at once, this first step is first for a reason, and should absolutely precede any other pimple-purging activities you’ve got planned. Cleansed skin is a necessary base. Jennifer Ahartz from Dermalogica recommends cleansing twice because “the first cleanse helps to remove oil, makeup and pollution from the skin and the second cleanse removes any remaining debris, helping to keep the follicles clear”. Read more to find out which cleanser is best for your skin.
If you’ve got a swollen pimple on your face that’s causing pain, reach for an ice cube and sit it on the pimple for three to four minutes. This is model Kaia Gerber’s favorite tip for a reason—it takes out the redness and inflammation, making it look less scary in no time.
If you need the zit gone like, yesterday, you may be tempted to pop it. However, this is not one of those “no ragrets” situations. You will regret this, I assure you, when you’ve turned your pimple into an oozy red mess that takes days to heal and then scars. Dr. Robin Evans, a dermatologist at SoCo Dermatology in Connecticut, backs me up saying that “picking will make any pimple take longer to heal”. You heard it here, folks.
An easy find at your local drugstore, dabbing a little hydrocortisone on a red and juicy pimple can “take about 80 percent of the red and make it flatter overnight”, according to Dr. Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in NYC. Use a teensy bit in the evening, and then again in the morning. Just make sure not to overdo it and use it too regularly, as overuse can thin your skin and actually cause more breakouts in the long run.
This is a personal tried and true favourite. Forget those $50 acne treatments at Sephora, this costs $5 and your mom probably already has it in your cupboard. Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, if you don’t have it) will make basically dry out your pimple, making it smoother, less inflamed, and overall less obvious. It will also absorb excess oil, unclogging your pores. Simply dab your dots with a Q-tip dipped in the vinegar overnight and you will see a big difference in the morning. This is the miracle cure.
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you may have tea tree oil lying around. With similar effects, tea tree oil is one of the best acne-fighting ingredients. Dilute a few drops of the oil with water (otherwise it can be a little irritating) and dab it on your pimple with a cotton swab. Leave it on overnight and be amazed by the difference in the morning.
Want to know what’s not an at-home miracle cure? Toothpaste. While a lot of people swear by this remedy (and it seems so easy!), it can be hard to predict how your skin will react. Dr. Bowe says that “toothpaste may contain ingredients and fragrances that can irritate and damage your skin”. The last thing we need is an angry zit.
You knew we would get here eventually. Dr. Evans says that spot treatments can definitely be effective—they help to reduce inflammation and dry up the pimple. Spot treatments take active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur and suck the oil from the clogged pore, reducing inflammation in the process. Dab a little on and leave it overnight, per usual. We’ve got our favourite spot treatments here.
This is the best and brightest that blemish-banishing products have to offer. Honestly, I trust anything coming out of South Korea where skincare is concerned (they just have it figured out), and the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch is no exception. I mean, even the name inspires confidence. These patches are small circles (that come in three different sizes), that adhere to your skin and treat breakouts by eliminating infection and bacteria, which is what causes them in the first place. These patches breakdown debris from blackheads and suck the gunk from whiteheads overnight. It even works for cystic acne, helping to flatten and heal them. These patches will reduce your pimple to a small, flat smooth mark overnight, making it way easier to cover with concealer.
Instead of covering your whole face in a heavy foundation (which may further infect your pimples), try using a concealer that doubles as a salicylic spot treatment, like Evolution Man’s Conceal and Treat. This way you can look flawless while achieving flawless skin. It’s a win, win.