We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of waking up to find a new blemish sprouting on our face. Depending on its size, location and the agenda for the day, you may opt for some concealer or perhaps you succumb to the temptation to pop it. Even better, you apply a product like the new Vichy Normaderm BB Clear, which is designed to both instantly conceal and treat to reduce blemishes. This lightweight BB is formulated with highly concentrated salicylic acid to fight pimples, and mineral pigments to control shine all day long while keeping skin hydrated. While you’re clearly better off going this route, we wondered, when it comes to getting rid of pimples, what exactly is the best plan of action? Here’s what a dermatologist, a beauty expert and an esthetician have to say about how to get rid of acne.
Ice and Spot Treat
“Apply ice as the cold temperature will help reduce inflammation in a blemish to diminish redness and swelling,” says skincare expert and celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. “Next, apply a non-drying spot treatment or cortisone cream. Immediately applying a spot treatment can help reduce the appearance of the blemish. But due to the drying nature of many spot treatments, they could leave skin dry, flaky and more irritated, making it more noticeable. Using a non-drying treatment or an over-the-counter cortisone cream will help reduce inflammation without disrupting the texture on the surface of the skin.”
Dr. Neal Schultz, dermatologist and host of DermTV, adds that “tea tree oil is great at reducing inflammation and also acts as an antibiotic, but you must dilute it. Ingredients like sulfur, resorcinol or benzoyl peroxide can also hasten involution of new pimples, but cortisone, antibiotics and tea tree oil work faster.”
Don’t Pick! Go See Your Dermatologist Instead
When asked how to get rid of pimples, Schultz says the answer is never to pick. “I promise you’ll make it look worse and risk dark staining (hyperpigmentation), which is more noticeable than the pimple and harder to get rid of! If you can see your dermatologist, he or she will open the pimple and extract the pus, which is the fastest way to get rid of the pimple. If necessary, the residual pimple will be injected with a miniscule amount of cortisone, which is the surefire way to make a big swollen pimple/cyst go away even faster.”
Prior to extraction, he recommends a glycolic peel to help not only your new pimple, but also to prevent other pimples from forming.
If You Can’t See a Doctor, Cover It Up
“Pimples are three-dimensional, so you want to remember that when you’re trying to cover one,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles. Start by applying a product that treats and conceals, like Normaderm BB Clear, and then follow up with a good concealer if necessary. “Anything too light or shimmery will draw attention to the blemish, so make sure you use a concealer that is exactly the same color as your skin and a non-shimmery powder to set it.”
Stiles likes to opt for a thick, dry concealer when covering a pimple because it makes it more difficult for the concealer to slide off (since the surface of your skin with the blemish is slanted). “For the best application, use a medium/small flat brush and apply the concealer in a crosshatch motion (top to bottom, then left to right), feathering out the edges and blending it into the surrounding skin. Set with a very soft, clean, fluffy eyeshadow brush so that you don’t brush away the concealer you just worked so hard to apply.”
“If you have a real doozy of a pimple that you messed with, you know the kind, the one that is dark under the blemish because you were able to get it out, use a touch of a peach concealer over the dark area of the pimple to counteract the darkness,” says Stiles. “Then apply a concealer in the exact same shade as your skin and proceed as described before.”
Presented by Vichy Laboratories