It’s a question I’ve been asking (basically everyone) all month. What is your attack plan when it comes to getting rid of a breakout that appears out of nowhere and inevitably ruins your morning. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll even save a new outfit, or at least something I’m looking forward to wearing, for a day when my skin looks better.
Clearly, that cannot go on. I have a new white dress in my closet that is begging to be worn.
So what’s a girl to do? In honor of Acne Awareness month, I chatted with a handful of beauty insiders about their attack plans (or what they advise to do!) when a zit pops up and attempts (keyword) to make all hell break loose.
Here’s what they said.
Joanna Vargas, Celebrity Facialist and Founder of the Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection
“I don't ever approve of anyone doing an at-home extraction, but if it is really necessary, I always recommend using two Q-tips instead of your fingers. When using your fingers to extract, your fingernail inevitably causes the skin to break, which could leave a bigger injury, cause infection, or a mark long after the pimple is gone. A Q-tip is more gentle and gives you a better angle.
A good at-home trick for pimples is to use yogurt dotted on a breakout to bring down inflammation and eliminate redness.
Or, I’ll have my clients apply a bit of my Exfoliating Mask ($75; beauty.com) on the offending pimple and leave it on overnight. It usually disappears immediately.”
Amandine Isnard, Head of Product Development for EVE LOM
“When I see a pimple pop up out of nowhere, I am as gentle as possible with my skin because it means it’s under stress. So, I will of course first use our EVE LOM Balm Cleanser ($50; sephora.com) to thoroughly cleanse my skin and remove any trace of makeup, dirt or grime.
Then I will use—or as soon as I discover a blemish–our highly effective spot treatment Dynaspot ($34; sephora.com) overnight, as it soothes redness and inflammation with Chamomile and Yarrow Extracts, and the high concentration of Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid will efficiently eliminate spots without drying the skin.
I will then reapply Dynaspot on the problem area until it has entirely disappeared. It’s great even under light makeup since the slight pink tint allows for a perfect concealed application under foundation or powder.”
Arielle Panarello, Medical Aestheticians at Union Square Laser Dermatology
"I feel the best way of treating a blemish that ‘pops out of no-where’ is firstly to not pick! This is a big one, as its most people's first reaction. You can spot treat with something over the counter a product with a bit of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or even clay can help zap your zit. If it's not clearing up or you find yourself breaking out more than usual, you can schedule an appointment with your dermatologist or aesthetician who can help steer you in the right direction as far as your skin care regimen is concerned. Your derm may put you on either topical, oral, or possibly both to help clear your skin . Also , if you are dealing with a swollen, painful cyst your doctor may inject you with a steroid solution to relieve some of the inflammation and prevent it from getting worse.”
Cassandra Bankson, Beauty Vlogger
“First thing I do is get ice. Generally when you have overnight pimples, a lot of them are super inflamed... I would try to calm it down. Ice really helps to bring down the inflammation a lot. From there, I would use a scrub to exfoliate off a little bit of it and see if it’s ready to release. If it is, great. You can get rid of it there without having to pick your skin. If it’s not, the exfoliation will still help with cellular turnover, so your skin will be better overall. Then, I put on a spot treatment. A lot of the times, I will use a clear spot treatment and I’ll leave it on under makeup that I apply… Most people should not be popping their own pimples because it can cause scaring, but if a pimple is ready to release, it will do so on its own with a warm compress and exfoliation. If you have to pick or doing anything like that, it’s not a good idea.”