Bring. Zit. On!
Breakouts are awful on any random day, but when you have a big event? The worst. Whether you woke up with a cluster or just one giant shiner, there are easy ways to reduce redness and inflammation overnight! Here, a 24-hour plan to good skin.
Step One: Wash Your Face
Any type of blemish, whether a pimple or blackhead, is caused by a buildup of bacteria, oil and dirt. But "dirt" can be a combo of makeup, dead skin, oil from your hands, and yes, regular ol' grime. Gentle washing (not too rough! scrubbing further irritates already inflamed skin) with a personalized for-your-skin-type cleanser removes the dirt and much of the oil.
Step Two: Freeze the Puffiness
Zits are red and puffy because they're swollen. You can reduce the swelling like you would for anything else: with ice! Put an ice cube in a paper towel, twist the end, then hold the cube directly on an inflamed blemish. A few minutes should do the trick.
Step Three: Medicate and Moisturize
Dry your face and apply an oil-free, anti-acne moisturizer with a high concentrate of salicylic acid. It helps the skin shed quickly, which keeps pores from clogging and prevents more pimples. Put a bit of acne spot treatment cream containing 10 percent benzoyl peroxide on individual zits to inhibit the main acne-causing bacteria. Tie your hair up to keep pore-clogging oils, dirt and product away from your face.
Step Four: Have a Snack
We interrupt this highly scientific process to address a favorite subject: food! What have you been munching on lately? Some breakouts are a direct result of eating something that made your hormones go wacky or increased oil production on your pretty face. The solution? Cleanse from the inside out. This means drinking water all day (nix the sodas and coffee), noshing on healthful foods (fresh veggies, whole grains, no sugar or greasy foods) and getting a good night’s snooze to slow down hormone-affecting stress.
Step Five: Wake up, Sunshine!
When you get up in the morning, repeat the first three steps before putting on makeup to cover any spots. (Tip: Be sure to use cool -- not hot -- water when cleansing, to reduce redness.) Using a new cosmetics sponge, apply foundation that matches your skin tone, in a light patting motion. Dab a little concealer on individual zits, then touch up with a second pat of foundation. Lightly apply a little blush, mascara and lip gloss. Know what? You look fabulous!