Wish you could send that pimple packing? Follow these rules to get a pesky breakout under control with minimum damage.
1. Pickers never prosper. Never, as in, never ever pick a pimple. One moment of satisfaction will lead to instant regret and a big oozing mess (and maybe even permanent scarring). If there’s really a prominent white head, use a washcloth or cotton ball to press down (not inwards) around the area and follow up with a toner to avoid spreading bacteria.
2. Go hot and cold. Run a washcloth under hot water and use it as a warm compress to help bring the breakout to a head. Apply with gentle pressure for a few seconds at a time so that you don’t scald your skin. Later, when you need to hide the blemish, apply an ice cube to the area to bring down swelling and redness.
3. Sleep it off. You’d be surprised what a good snooze can do to bring a pimple down to size. Your body does its best healing work when you’re sleeping, and it’s the perfect time to dab on a little spot treatment. But…
4. Go easy on the strong stuff. Limit your use of spot treatments to just twice a day, and make sure to apply them directly on the blemish, not all over your face. While these treatments are effective, they often contain harsh ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, so use with caution. Otherwise, you may end up with a dry patch that’s even harder to cover up than the original pimple. If you suffer from sensitive skin, some tea tree oil can also work wonders.
5. Resist concealer overload. Too much concealer is like drawing a big circle around your blemish and labelling it BAD SKIN DAY. If you’re applying too many layers, you may not be using the right product. (Products designed to conceal under-eye circles, for example, usually have a liquid consistency that isn’t concentrated enough to do major cover-up duty.) Instead, look for a thicker, creamy concealer and apply it sparingly with a small, pointed makeup brush. Then apply foundation over it to blend it in with the rest of your skin. Finish up with a light dusting of powder.
6. Practice post-pimple clean-up. Once your breakout starts to recede, say goodbye to any telltale signs with a gentle exfoliator. It will help to remove any flakiness and also encourages skin cell turnover to help fade post-pimple pigmentation issues. Rather than a scrub (which might irritate), a toner or mask with exfoliating ingredients such as fruit enzymes will do the trick.