The morning is full of possibilities… except when you wake up with a giant zit. Then it kinda just bites. You can (and should) dab on a spot treatment with 2 percent salicylic acid, but even that takes about a week to do the job. So it’s a good thing there are these ways to shrink it in the meantime.
1. Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream as a spot treatment.
It contains the same steroids that dermatologists inject into pimples to get rid of them, says Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist in New York City. The more you pile on and the longer you let it sit, the more effective it’ll be. Fusco recommends waiting 15 minutes before rinsing it off.
2. Reach for Visine.
This sounds kind of crazy, I know, but a drop makes pimples less inflamed the same way it does with bloodshot eyes. (It won’t make the bump smaller, though.) “Visine takes the red out of pimples,” says David Bank, a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, New York. Just take a cotton swab soaked in the redness-relieving drops and lightly dab it on any blemished areas you want to look less noticeable.
3. Speed things along with a clay face mask.
Kaolin clay has been shown to draw impurities out of the skin, says Jeanette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. I like Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask, which I’ve even used as a rinse-off spot treatment in a pinch.
4. Get a face wash with 2 percent salicylic acid.
If you’re prone to hormonal zits (which usually occur around the mouth), start using the wash the week before your period and you’ll be less likely to break out, says Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City.
5. Don’t pop the sucker.
Doing so can damage skin tissue and make your pimple worse. But if you absolutely, 100 percent cannot help yourself (and you did not hear this from me), take a hot shower and then gently, gently, gently press down on the skin surrounding the pimple with a cotton swab (this prevents you from applying too much pressure). Or just be safe and don’t pop it.
More on acne treatments:
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