No matter how well we do in our respective skincare routines, most of us are going to get a zit from time to time. When that happens, here are a few tips to help minimize the damage.
When to act:
Wait for the pimple to come to a head similar to the photo. If there is a clearly defined white head to the top, the blemish is ready to be released from under your skin.
Also, as much as I know you’re dying to, never pop your zit if you have to put on makeup later in the day. Your face will be red and irritated, the burst blemish will ooze making concealing the damn thing a nightmare, and your pimple will probably come back with a vengeance from being open and exposed to the makeup, dirt, and bacteria of the day. Another benefit of zapping your zit at night is that the red mark left behind won’t be in the sun for a good 10-12 hours. If you are sensitive to the sun, exposing red marks from previous breakouts to the light can lock them in for a long time.
Ok, so now that you’ve shown very admirable self-restraint and waited until you’re home for the night, and your pimple has reared its ugly head, you’re ready for action.
What to do:
First, gently wash your face with your normal face wash using warm water, and pat your face dry with a towel.
Next, follow the steps from this guide: How to Pop a Pimple
Damage control and healing:
Finally, soak part of a cotton ball or cotton pad in a toner that is formulated without alcohol but that has soothing and anti-bacterial properties, and occasionally dab it directly onto your healing zit wound. I absolutely love the Michael Todd True Organics Blue Green Algae Toner. If you only buy one product from them, I’d buy this. I can’t say enough good things about it (but I’ll try later when I review their line).
Keep dabbing the affected area for about 30-60 minutes after you’ve popped your pimple while the wound is oozing and the skin is working on closing itself back up. This will help soothe and clean your skin, keeping the zit from coming back worse than before and also preventing a hard, raised scab from forming (I’ve had way too many of those :P).
This method worked like an absolute charm for me this week. I had a nasty blemish on my chin caused by irritation from rubbing against my husband’s new beard. Thanks, honey! That night, I followed my regular routine and put on a combination of a little moisturizer (MTTO Citrus Cream Moisturizer) with an anti-oxidant-rich serum (Antiox Serum) that really softens and nourishes my skin. The former pimple was red but not at all scabby or inflamed the next morning, so I concealed the redness like crazy, and then the next day, I was delighted to discover that what had been a nasty, fairly painful zit looked like it had been gone a week. No joke.
The key is to be patient for it to come to a head and to pop it at a time when you can prevent as well as counteract further irritation.
Things to avoid: I don’t recommend drying a zit out out as this can cause flaking and irritation. Also, the skin can overproduce sebum and often holds on to clogs for longer when it is too dry. A little salicylic acid when you first feel like it’s forming might help prevent the pimple, but just keeping from touching it except when you’re (gently) washing your face should allow your foe to die out on its own. If it doesn’t, just ride it out. Concealing a non-irritated pimple really isn’t that bad. Dabbing on an extra bit of powder will mattify the area and make it appear smaller.
You know what isn’t easy to conceal? A red, swollen mass. Unless you have severe or cystic acne, this reaction from a blemish usually occurs due to our impatience trying to pop it too early or when a pimple is handled with dirty hands or before the face was properly washed.
I’ve been there, and I’ve mangled my face and made it so much worse, created deep gashes in my face, and spent 30-45 minutes trying (and failing to conceal my destructive decision). Now that I’m a bit older, wiser, and willing to pick my time (get it?), my skin has never been happier.