It happens (or has happened/will happen) to all of us, especially around that special time of the month… ACNE! And, when you feel one coming, you know you’re in for a few days of discomfort paired with a little insecurity. Having gone through it all, we’ve come up with the quickest way to treat that pimple before it becomes a monster…
What NOT to Do…
First, let’s start with a few DO NOT’s. Although some of these things seem like a good idea at the time, many of them contribute to extending that pimple’s lifetime to keep your face, chin, nose, cheek (or wherever it happens to be growing) cozy company for longer. When you feel that zit forming, absolutely DO NOT:
- Touch it — your hands can carry a lot of bacteria. Constantly touching, poking, and nudging the zit will only contribute to irritating it more. Try as best as you can to keep your fingers away from the suspect until you have a clean, planned few minutes to treat it properly in the comfort and cleanliness of your own bathroom.
- Pick or pop it — in the early state of a zit, sometimes the most uncomfortable and painful times of the pimple’s lifecycle, it is extremely important not to try and pop it. When it’s ready to pop, you’ll know by evidence of a whitehead (read on for more info on popping). But, until then, DO NOT try popping or picking it. A lot of times this only pushes bacteria and infection deeper into the inflamed pore and surrounding pores, causing further irritation and sometimes even additional pimples.
- Heat compress it — it may sound like a good idea to add a little heat to ease the pain, but this can end up just feeding the infection further. If anything, apply a cold compress (or ice… see below) to constrict blood vessels and bring down swelling.
What to DO…
Phew! Glad we got those DO NOT’s out of the way. So now, here’s what you should DO:
- Clean your hands & your face — get the site and your hands ready for treatment by cleaning away the dirt and bacteria from the day. Use a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin so as not to irritate or inflame the site any further.
- Ice, Ice, Baby! — spend some time applying ice to the pimple to help shrink blood vessels and decrease swelling. Plus, this feels really good! If you can, do three cycles of 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.
- Spot treat it — use a spot treatment to pull that bacteria out. Utilizing a Purifying Clay Mask or an Acid Peel can exfoliate the skin and help pull toxins out without severe manual manipulation and further irritation.
- Tone it up — using a toner, especially one with witch hazel (proven to help with cleansing bacteria and treating wounds), will help prepare your skin to receive the benefits of the next treatment(s).
- Hydrate & Moisturize — keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized helps it to continue its normal healing process. Utilize a hydrating mask and daily, calming moisturizer to ensure skin is nourished and functioning properly. Not sure what the difference between the two is or why this is important? CLICK HERE to read our article on the differences between hydrating and moisturizing.
- If it’s ready… pop it! — when it finally forms a whitehead, go ahead and gentle press around the site to pop and release the accumulated puss. If you have to push too hard or squeeze to get it out, it’s not ready. It’s really important not to pop too soon (see #2 in the DO NOTs above), but releasing this puss when it’s ready to come out will help speed up the healing process after the fact.
- Keep it clean — moving forward, be sure to keep the area clean. Abide by all the DO NOTs above and be sure to keep utilizing gentle products for sensitive skin.