Updated 05/15/22. It’s not always possible to prevent blemishes from forming, but you do have control over what happens once they appear. And trust me, every move you make counts! Here’s how to get rid of a blemish FAST, while minimizing the potential for irritation and stubborn post-breakout marks.
2 Things You Should Know About Blemishes
1. Your Body Will Do Everything It Can to Quickly Get Rid of a Blemish
The human body is truly amazing. The expression “time heals all wounds” is true for our minds, bodies, and skin. For example, when a smoker quits smoking, their lungs can actually start to heal themselves from the damage associated with nicotine. And when you accidentally cut yourself, the skin will quickly stimulate repair processes to help close and heal the wound. (Fun fact: The tooth is the only part of the human body that can’t repair itself.)
So, when a blemish appears, your body will do everything it can to get rid of it fast—even if you don’t use a spot treatment.
2. Picking at a Blemish Will Only Make It Worse (and Last Longer)
I am a recovered skin picker. In the past, whenever a blemish would appear on my face, I couldn’t resist picking at it, hoping it would somehow go away faster. Both absent-mindedly and intentionally, I picked, and I always ended up with oozing, scabbing marks that would remain on my skin for months.
So, yes, I know how tempting it can be to pick, but you must ask yourself, Will picking at it make it any better? Or will it result in an oozing, bleeding scab? After all, a blemish is smooth and can be camouflaged with makeup. A scab, on the other hand, is a rough surface that doesn’t take well to makeup and becomes impossible to hide during the healing process. Plus, picking is damaging to the skin and can create an open wound that’s susceptible to infection. Trust me—it’s better to leave it alone!
How to Get Rid of a Blemish Fast
When you get a red, painful blemish, it will turn into one of two things—a pustule or a cyst. Knowing what type of blemish you’re dealing with is crucial because it will determine how you treat it. If you treat a blemish incorrectly, it can result in a longer blemish cycle as well as lasting damage to the skin in the form of pigmentation and scarring.
If you have a pustule, the infection inside the blemish will work its way up to the surface of the skin, resulting in a whitehead. If your skin could talk, it would say, “There is an infection and I want it out. I’ll take care of this by excreting the infection through the surface. Just hang tight. I’m coming up so get out of my way.”
How to Get Rid of a Pustule
Resist the urge to apply a harsh spot treatment. Instead, apply a NON-DRYING spot treatment, like the Anti Bump Solution or simply leave it alone until the whitehead appears. Once the whitehead is visible, you can gently squeeze it out (just make sure you wash your hands first and wrap your fingers in tissue). Then, and only then, apply a drying spot treatment like the Night Time Spot Lotion. This will work its way into the opening of the skin and dry up the remaining infection in the pore lining.
If you apply a drying spot treatment before the whitehead has appeared, it will dry out the surface of the skin and keep the infection trapped. This will make the blemish last even longer and cause more damage to the skin. If anything, you should try to keep the blemish calm by applying Daytime Blemish Gel under makeup. It won’t dry it out. Instead, it will keep dirt and debris out, while helping reduce redness and flakiness.
If you have a cyst, the infection won’t come up to the surface. It will stay deep within the skin until the body eventually re-absorbs it. If your skin could talk, it would say, “I’m just going to hang out down here for a while. Don’t worry. I’ll go away on my own, so don’t try to make me come up and out.”
How to Get Rid of a Cyst
Cystic blemishes mostly occur in the chin and jawline areas. It’s important to remember that they’re like submarines—they’re meant to stay under the skin. No matter what you do, they’ll never rise to the surface. This means picking is especially off-limits! In this case, your best bet is the Anti Bump Solution. It will address the infection from within and help prevent future cysts from appearing.
If you’re really tempted to pick at a cystic blemish, I recommend reaching for the No Picking! Twisty Toy. It was designed to keep your hands busy so you don’t pick at your skin, whether intentionally or absentmindedly. It’s a simple yet effective solution!
How to Get Rid of a Post-Breakout Mark Fast
Use an Exfoliating and Skin-Brightening Product
Post-breakout marks are dark in color because inflammation from the blemishes triggers the skin to produce pigment. What can you do to fade them? I recommend using the Post-Breakout Fading Gel. It contains exfoliating and brightening ingredients to help fade these stubborn marks (read more about how to fade post-breakout marks!)
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
If the affected skin is left unprotected from UV rays, it will stimulate melanin cells, which will only make the post-breakout mark darker and redder. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen—it’s incredibly effective at preventing and fading discoloration.
For blemish-prone skin, it’s very important to use a sunscreen formula that doesn’t clog pores or encourage more breakouts to form. That’s where the Weightless Protection SPF 30 comes in. I formulated it to be lightweight and mattifying.
The Bottom Line
Be smart when it comes to caring for your blemishes. If you determine what type of blemish you’re dealing with and choose the right product to address it, it will be gone in no time!
One more thing—based on my extensive knowledge of how to best care for blemishes, I created a Zit Care Kit. It has four specialized products, along with special tools, to address every type of blemish FAST. It’s important to remember that every blemish has a life cycle and you must treat it with the right product at the right time to quickly get rid of it. Work WITH Mother Nature, not against her. This kit will help you do just that.
Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”