Have you ever gone to bed with a not-so-cute pimple that you’re hoping could be gone by morning? Us, too. That said, we checked in with NYC dermatologist, Whitney Bowe M.D., to find out how to rid a pimple overnight—everything from DIY blends to innovative formulas. Scroll down to find out how.
According to Bowe, if the pimple has already formed, it’s hard to completely rid of it overnight, but there are some things you can do to speed up the healing process. Most importantly, don’t try to pop the pimple or pick at it. “This will only inflame the area even more and could lead to possible scarring,” she tells InStyle. “Instead, wash your face with a product containing salicylic acid to help cleanse the skin and unclog pores." Try philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Cleanser ($22; sephora.com), which works to promote clear, radiant skin. Bowe recommends then following up with a spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide to kill the bacteria.” We love Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion ($18; clinique.com), La Roche-Posay Effaclar DUO Acne Treatment ($37; ulta.com) and Ole Henriksen Roll On Acne Clearing Solution ($20; sephora.com), which all help to combat breakouts fast. In addition, to eliminate any painful swelling or pesky redness, put a dab of hydrocortisone cream on the affected area.
If you start to feel a pimple coming on, there are ways to treat it properly to avoid infection. “Wash your face with a cleanser and dab a spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria,” Bowe says. Try the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17; nordstrom.com) to help heal and dry the zit overnight. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been using the trusty toothpaste trick for some time now. However, Bowe says to never use toothpaste on a developing pimple. “The added chemicals in toothpaste could seriously irritate your skin,” she adds. “The three worst toothpaste ingredients are alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and menthol—all of them can irritate the skin more than help it.” In addition, Bowe recommends staying away from ice. “Although ice temporarily constricts blood vessels and can therefore take the red out, that effect only lasts seconds,” she adds. “Right after the skin re-warms, the blood vessels dilate, and you get a rebound redness that worsens the pimple and makes it bigger.”
However, DIY options are not totally out of the question. Add a dab of tea tree oil to the spot. Better yet, create an avocado and yogurt face mask. “The avocado is very moisturizing, but it doesn’t clog pores and it also contains vitamin C, which is a natural brightener,” she adds. “The yogurt has probiotics in it, which have been shown to calm inflammation, and the lactic acid acts as a gentle exfoliate, so it gives you a glow.”