It’s the night before a big date, or the week before your friend’s wedding, and your skin decides to act up right then! Dealing with breakouts is ten times more frustrating when you’re under time pressure, but it does sometimes happen. If you’re currently in a spotty situation, read on to find out the different steps you can take to get rid of that breakout as soon as possible:
Keep using a gentle cleanser
While your initial reaction might be to ditch your trusty cleanser for an acne-fighting one, don’t! Acne leaves skin inflamed and irritated, which means your skin desperately needs mildness and moisture to help soothe the angry spots. Gentle cleansers like Dove don’t leave your skin with a squeaky-clean feeling, which is a sign that your face hasn’t been stripped of much-needed moisture. Additionally, try to limit your usage of facial cleanser to evenings, as washing twice a day may further cause dryness and flaking.
Apply a sulfur mask to target bacteria
There are several masks out there that claim to target acne — from kaolin clay, turmeric, to calamine powder, there is a myriad of options. Sulfur stands out among the rest as it has anti-bacterial properties that can zap acne away after just a few applications. Most sulfur mask treatments are only supposed to be left on the skin for a few minutes to avoid drying out acne-ridden areas. Keep in mind that highly concentrated sulfur masks do have a distinct smell that may be unpleasant for some.
Stick on a pimple patch to shrink zits
If you have particularly swollen zits with a visible white or yellow center, it’s time to bring out the big guns and stick on pimple patches before you sleep. Love them or hate them, this trendy skincare product really does work wonders overnight when used properly. The Strategist’s review of Cosrx patches points out how it should be used on acne that has already popped or whiteheads that are near the surface of your skin. These patches work by trapping moisture which then sucks out dirt and bacteria from the spot, leaving it flat by the time you wake up in the morning.
Use acids to fade scars
Once you’ve successfully shrunk down your acne to the point where you can cover it with makeup, then it’s time for the last crucial step — getting rid of scars. There won’t always be marks after a bad breakout, especially if you were careful not to pick at your skin. When there are, though, they can take forever to fade and are a hassle to cover up. Catch them early with acids like Alpha Hydroxy or Kojic Acid that remove dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, making scars disappear faster. It’s even better if your treatment is combined with other scar-busting ingredients like vitamin C or vitamin E. PrettyMe’s review of Kojic Acid Soap highlights vitamin E’s antioxidant properties that help heal and fade scars left by acne. Just be sure to apply sunscreen in the mornings when treating acne scars, as you’ll likely have sensitive skin that is prone to hyperpigmentation.
All in all, it only takes gentle care and a few trusty products to soothe an angry breakout. It’s important to remember that prevention is still better than short-term solutions and can save you from the headache of dealing with unexpected spots. Healthline recommends keeping your face clean, moisturizing every day, and staying hydrated to prevent pimples. When you do get the odd spot, don’t panic and follow the tips above to help clear your skin safely and quickly.