It never fails. Whenever you have a big event scheduled — an important Zoom meeting, an interview, a date, basically anywhere to be where people will be peering directly at your face — your skin decides it would be fun to toss a big ol’ pimple in the mix.
By “in the mix,” we definitely mean “on your face.” Not to mention situated where no one could possibly miss it. This pimple might pop up in between your brows as though your third eye has opened. Or jutting off your chin as though you’re auditioning to be the wicked witch’s jaw double. It’s large, it’s in charge, and all you want to know is how to get rid of pimples overnight so you can send your face monster packing. You’re not alone in that one. Unlike what My Big Fat Greek Wedding claims, Windex doesn’t get rid of a pimple. But if the 27,100 monthly searches for how to get rid of a pimple overnight are any indication, you’re not alone in your queries.
Since it can take pimples weeks to fully go away when left alone, you may be tempted to take drastic measures like popping that sucker. Don’t. Surely you’ve heard by now doing can lead to scarring, spread bacteria, and even make your already-obnoxiously-big-bump bigger. You’re going to need to suppress your inner Dr. Pimple Popper.
Don’t despair, though! There are a few quick tricks to bid that blemish goodbye pronto.
Tea Tree Oil
Ah, the wonders of nature never cease to amaze! Derived from a small tree native to Australia known as the Melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. That, paired with the fact that it is anti-inflammatory, makes it great for dabbing on pimples. Before you know it, that nasty zit will be smaller and less inflamed.
If you’re dealing with a particularly large and painful pimple, reach for the hydrocortisone cream. This incredible stuff can take out around 80 percent of the bump’s redness and make it noticeably flatter overnight. Be forewarned, though: Dermatologists don’t recommend using it for more than three nights, as it can thin your skin and lead to more breakouts. Also, if the cream you’re using is too thick, it can further clog your pores. Pick one that is hyaluronic acid-based.
You know when you used to get a blister on the back of your foot and your mom would slap a sticky little circle on it? While it may have had a gimmicky brand name, that patch was a hydrocolloid bandage. They’re designed to help wounds heal faster. These days, there are hydrocolloid dressings made specifically to treat acne — you may have heard them referred to as “pimple patches” or “acne stickers.” Place one of these over your zit, and it’ll suck the moisture right out of your pimple, making it appear flattened within hours.
Take a quick stroll around the drugstore and you’re bound to see spot treatments promising quick zit-zapping results. And while some products may not be effective, there are plenty of spot treatments that do work. One of the best? Benzoyl peroxide. It works by killing bacteria that clogs pores and causes inflammation. Available over-the-counter concentrations go all the way up to 10-percent, so you should be able to find a solution strong enough to kick your big honking zit’s ass. Just go easy, because it can dry your skin out and/or make it more sensitive.
Let’s say you notice your pimple (you might be thinking, How could I not?!) with a little extra time to spare before your big event. In that case, it’s usually best to see if your dermatologist can squeeze you in. They can inject a diluted cortisone medication right into the cyst that is quick, easy, and effective.
What you should not do…
If you wanted to go a more “natural” route and use tactics from ye olde teenage years, here are a few things you should stay away from:
— Don’t pop your pimple. This goes without saying. You may cause more inflammation, damage and scarring and make the situation much worse than if the pimple went away on its own.
— Don’t use toothpaste. While some elements in toothpaste have a numbing, cooling, and drying effect, toothpaste can irritate the skin and over drying of the skin could cause more acne.
— Don’t use metal extractors to try and empty the pus sac. First of all, unless you’re an experienced esthetician or dermatologist you shouldn’t be using them at all. Second, you might irritate the skin and unwittingly scar the area. In other words, don’t try and be your own Dr. Pimple Popper.
Speaking of Dr. Pimple Popper, aka Dr. Sandra Lee, any die hard fan will tell you that she never actually pops pimples. Anyone with a knowing eye will spot the black heads, ingrowns, and other more serious skin conditions that she extracts. But regular ol’ pimples, nope, she doesn’t touch them. And neither should you.
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