It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. Waking up the day before a special event to discover a big, red pimple baring itself for all to see right on your face!
Here’s how to get rid of it quickly and safely:
1. Don’t ever pinch, squeeze or pick at a pimple. This only causes it to become more red and inflamed, and will spread the bacteria and oils that caused it in the first place, to other parts of your face! It can also lead to scars.
2. Every 30 minutes, apply an ice pack to the pimple and hold it there for about 2 minutes. This will decrease the swelling and redness and help shrink the inflammation and pain that sometimes comes along with it.
3. They don’t call it concealer for nothing! Covering the pimple with a light dose of flesh-tinted concealer can help mask it when you’re in a hurry. It also helps cover up that oily shine.
4. Cleanse your skin 2-3 times a day with mild, unscented soap or a specialized acne cleanser that has no harsh chemicals (such as lye). Scrub skin gently with an exfoliating pad or washcloth, but don’t rub too hard, otherwise you’ll sap your skin of its own natural oils, which help to repel buildup naturally.
5. Apply a cream or ointment containing benzyl peroxide or salicylic acid (many over-the-counter acne medicines contain these ingredients) to the blemish or around the entire facial area. Note that these ingredients both have a tendency to dry out skin if used too much and are not recommended if you have sensitive skin.
6. Wear oil-free makeup whenever possible. These types have less of a tendency to cause the pore buildup that results in blemishes. Remove your makeup nightly and cleanse with an acne-fighting medicine to remove dirt, oil and makeup from deep within the skin.
7. If you’re in need of a quick fix, a dab of toothpaste on the affected area right before bed can help soothe irritation and reduce redness. Pressing and holding a wet tea bag or a cotton ball with a dab of lemon juice against the blemish for five minutes can also reduce swelling and redness.
If you follow these tips, chances are you’ll notice a significant difference rather quickly – often within a day or two. If pimples become a recurring problem or worsen, your doctor or dermatologist can suggest a daily skin cleansing routine that will suit your skin type. Other long-term remedies, such as facial masks, diet adjustments and increasing the amount of water you drink can also help combat outbreaks.