You can be doing all the right things to keep your acne under control, when, lo and behold, a pimple pops up out of nowhere. And, of course, it happens right when you have a first date, big presentation, wedding, or fill-in-the-blank major event in the next 24 hours. That’s when it’s handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are a few things you can do at home to make your pimple go away faster and look less red in the meantime.
Ask Yourself: To Pop or Not to Pop?
When making an action plan for how to make a pimple go away, the first thing you have to decide is whether or not to pop it. We provide a step-by-step guide for that here, but the rule of thumb is: if you don’t see a white head, don’t pop it, especially if it’s a big hard pimple lurking under the skin's surface. Popping a pimple before it’s ready will only make matters worse.
On the flipside: If the white head has already reared its ugly head and the pimple is swollen, extracting the contents via careful popping can help make the pimple go away faster and jump-start the recovery process. Refer to our guide above for important tips on how to be gentle on your skin while popping a pimple.
Unclog Pores and Soothe Redness
Whether or not you pop the pimple, salicylic acid (also known as BHA) is your next go-to fix for making pimples disappear quickly. This superhero ingredient not only keeps blemishes at bay, it also works incredibly fast on active breakouts.
Salicylic acid’s acne-fighting power is twofold: first, it penetrates pores to dissolve oil and other breakout-causing substances, and, second, its soothing properties help minimise the redness that accompanies a blemish. It’s a win-win ingredient to help get rid of pimples fast.
Use a salicylic acid exfoliant daily for acne-prone skin, and keep a high-strength spot treatment on-hand to help those occasional, extra-stubborn bumps go down overnight.
What About Removing Pimple Marks?
What do you do once your pimple is gone, but you’re left with a dark spot that won’t go away? There’s a trick for that, too: Spot treat with a potent dose of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is backed by scientific research for its ability to help brighten uneven skin tone and minimise dark spots. Keep using that salicylic acid exfoliant as well to further speed up the fading of pimple marks.
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References for this information:
Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology, August 2015, pages 455–461
Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, March/April 2009, pages 74–81
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, September 2008, pages 170–176
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, January 2005, pages 171–176