1. Pimple cover up: under 1 minute

There’s no blemish that a dab of cover up can’t hide.

Use green concealer to hide any potential redness, or salmon/orange concealer to counteract the blues hues on darker skin. For lighter or smaller acne, just skin-colored concealer might do for a smooth cover up.

When applying, remember this: use proper lighting, make sure you have a small brush for tiny cover ups, and keep a blending sponge for a completely silky finish.

Skin tip: In order to find your perfect makeup match — and to protect against possible skin allergies — always test out the product on your skin before use. If you don’t wear makeup enough to justify a pot, consider looking for sample packs or braving a day without cover up. You might realize how little other people notice.

2. Ice on pimple: 1 minute or more

The use of ice can go a long way. This cooling method works best for inflammatory acne that flares under the skin — including cysts, nodules, pustules, and papules.

Directions:

  1. Begin by cleansing your skin.
  2. Then, wrap the ice cube in a thick towel, cloth, or use a cold compress.
  3. Apply the ice for 1 minute and then remove.

If your pimple is particularly inflamed, you can follow it up with repeat sessions, but wait 5 minutes in between each application. Continue to ice your pimple until it’s gone down enough to cover up.

Do this daily if the pimple persists.

3. Acne patches: 20-min minimum

Can small adhesive dots really suck the life out of your pimple? Yes — although how long it takes depends on the type of acne, as well as if it has a head, or has an opening to release sebum.

From spots that reduce pimple size in just 6 hours to waterproof patches that will act on blemishes overnight, you’re sure to find a patch to suit your skin care needs.

Directions:

  1. Clean the area around the pimple.
  2. If needed, lance the pimple (only if it has a head) with a sterilized tool.
  3. Apply sticker directly to your pimple and wait.

It’s important to note that just like any acne treatment, patches may not provide the same results for everyone.

Dermatologist Suzan Obagi, doctor and director of the UPMC Cosmetic Surgery & Skin Health Center, notes that finding your perfect acne-fighting regimen often requires trial and error with products.

4. Draining a pimple: 5-15 minutes

Derms and estheticians like Dr. Obagi warn that serious complications can arise during at-home experimentation of lancing or popping a pimple.

In the case of particularly large or painful cysts, she recommends seeing a doctor, noting that the use of “unsterile instruments can be a setup for disaster.”

However, we know that even one pimple can wreak havoc on our esteem, so if you don’t mind (or prefer) potential scarring, follow these instructions carefully.

Directions:

  1. Begin by following your usual facial cleansing routine. Don’t over-wash or irritate the area, but ensure that your face is clean.
  2. After cleansing, you should cover the area with a warm compress. You’ll continue to cover the blemish with a warm compress until it drains.
  3. In the case of an inflamed cyst, you can use ice in between warm compress treatments to reduce swelling.

This method will allow for any acne substance lingering in your pores to come out, which will prevent you from using your fingers or an unsterile instrument for popping.

5. Mask treatment: 15-20 min

Give your pimple a little TLC with an easy-to-follow mask treatment. Before you layer on the mask, clean your skin, exfoliate, and then add the mask.

For a mask treatment, you want to pick a product that has ingredients like charcoal, Aztec clay, and Sulfur clay, known for clearing up acne.

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