Everything You Can Do To Get Rid of Pimples. Zits suck, straight up. So here’s what you need to know about getting rid of them.
Life’s hard enough without acne. From dealing with work and relationships, to desperately trying not to have Star Wars spoiled before finding the time to make it to the theater, you’ve already got so much on your plate that it’d only be fair for pimples to become a non-issue once you escape the throes of puberty.
Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that zits are an inescapable truth of human existence, here to make your bad days worse and spoil the better ones. On top of that, they’re not even exclusive to your face—your back, your ass and any other swath of open skin are also up for grabs. The good news is, though, that you’re not out of options. As it turns out, acne management, and treatment, isn’t all that difficult. All you need is a little instruction.
Make Sure Your Products Are On Point
Before we get to how to get rid of acne, let’s have a chat about routine maintenance. Because while knowing how to treat zits is good, wouldn’t not having to treat them be better? Of course, there’s no way to make them disappear forever, but there are ways to lengthen the period between breakouts. The key: adding acne-care products to your everyday grooming routine. The best defense is a good offense, after all.
But what does that mean for your medicine cabinet? Well, a few things. First off, ensure that you’re using some sort of of acne-specific cleansing agent. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two of the most common active ingredients. The former, as found in Malin + Goetz Acne Treatment, works as an exfoliator and anti-inflammatory, unclogging pores and relieving redness; on the other hand, the latter, found in Clean & Clear Continuous Control Cleanser, works as an anti-bacterial, killing the germs that cause whiteheads. Your best bet is to apply a combination of the two, and daily because their effects only last as long as you’re using them.
One more thing you might want to add to your arsenal: retinol. Usually used as an anti-aging solution, smoothing out wrinkles and leaving skin looking young and vibrant, retinol-infused creams like Neutrogena Age Fighter can help to clear pores and keep acne at bay. (Plus, who couldn’t use getting rid of a few face-valleys?)
Try Not to Pop
Now, on to eradication. As we’ve mentioned in the past, everybody pops pimples; there’s just something innately satisfying in seeing those little whiteheads burst before your eyes. But the trouble is that in doing so, you leave your skin susceptible to infection and inflammation by all sorts of bacteria. So try to resist the temptation if at all possible. If you can’t though, there are a few things you should know.
To start, wait until the zit has formed a firm white top before proceeding, since trying to pop too early will only make matters worse. When that’s the case, make sure your hands are good and washed, as is the skin you’re about to tamper with. Then, after applying a warm compress for a moment of two, apply gentle pressure to the sides of the zit with either your fingers or cotton swabs (preferably the latter). Alternatively, you can use a pore extractor to do the trick. Either way, once you’re done, you’re going to want to slap a little antibacterial gel onto the area. You know, for good measure.
Treat Breakouts at the Source
While popping may feel final, however, it doesn’t do anything to actually treat the underlying cause of a breakout. Which is where sulfur-based spot treatments, like Kate Somerville’s EradiKate To-Go, come in handy. Designed to help the skin shed dead cells, reduce the size of pores, control sebum production and dry out existing blemishes, these easy medicated swabs are quick, effective, and gentle on skin, so no one will know you used them. Plus, they come in single-use packaging, making it easy to keep a few on hand at all times, just in case a breakout hits right before the big meeting.
Get a Professional Opinion, If Necessary
So, you’ve popped, washed and treated, but you’re still getting pimples like there’s no tomorrow? Then it’s time to go see someone who does this for a living. From cortisone shots to facial peels to prescription-strength gels and creams, dermatologists have a whole host of tricks up their sleeves that over-the-counter treatments just can’t match.