Woken up to a big, red, can’t-miss-it pimple? Before you refuse to leave the house, plaster it with concealer, or style your hair in some obscure way in an attempt to hide it, try these simple tips and tricks. Click through the gallery for the ultimate guide to what to do when you’re freaking out about a breakout, from DIY remedies to expert tips on how to stop spots in their tracks.
Stop the Squeezing
“Popping a pimple is best left to the pros. Trying to squeeze a spot on your own is a big mistake. It pushes bacteria deeper into skin and helps it spread to other areas of your face, causing more pimples to pop up. It can also leave you with scarring or pigmentation. Bottom line is popping and squeezing zits is actually damaging to your skin,” Natasha Bennett, Operations Manager at Dubai’s Dermalase Clinic tells Savoir Flair. So next time you’re tempted to give your spot a good squeeze – STOP! You’ll just make it worse and cause more breakouts.
Zinc for Zits
Want to zap zits? Then add zinc to your diet. As nutritionist Caroline Bienert tells us, “The mineral zinc is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin and is also required for proper immune-system function. Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs.”
If you’re at home and in a pimple pickle, it could be that the solution to your problem is hiding in one of your cupboards. Read on for the DIY home remedies to combat breakouts.
“I’m a big fan of bicarbonate of soda. It quickly dries up pimples and isn’t harmful, even to delicate or young skins,” says Bennett. Mix bicarbonate of soda with water to create a paste and either use as a topical treatment on blemishes (for as long as possible) or wash your entire face with it to help clear skin.
Toothpaste works wonders as an overnight spot treatment. If you sense a pimple coming on, dab a paste-based toothpaste (not a gel-based one) onto the area. This helps dry it out whilst you sleep.
With pimples come swollen lumps and bumps, which are not only sore, but also unsightly. Ice is amazing for numbing the pain and reducing swelling, but be sure to wrap it in a cloth or tea-towel before pressing onto skin or it will burn.
When life gives you lemons, use them on pimples. Citric acid helps fight acne-forming bacteria and rids skin of excess oils. Simply soak a Q-tip in freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply it topically to blemishes.
Anti-inflammatory Aspirin, when crushed and mixed with a teaspoon of honey, can help calm stressed, spotty skin, reduce swelling, and reduce the size of spots.
We all know that sugary foods are bad for our teeth, health, and waistlines, but they also wreak havoc on skin. High glycemic index (GI) foods (sweets, processed snacks like cookies and chips, and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta) spike our insulin levels and disrupt our hormones, which makes the body produce more sebum. More sebum means oilier skin, which means blocked pores and more breakouts. So next time you’re ordering your morning coffee, skip the sugar – you’re sweet enough already.
“Make sure you clean your face morning and evening with a cleanser that gently exfoliates whilst removing oil and dirt from skin. When bacteria live on skin, they worsen lesions and give you more pimples,” advises Dr. Shadan Naji from the Obagi Medispa. Click through to discover some of the best blemish-busting products available.
Try Clinique’s ‘Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam’ to gently rid skin of dirt and excess oils. It unclogs pores and instantly leaves skin looking clearer, without drying it out, whilst soothing and calming red complexions.
Clinique ‘Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam’, AED 140/SAR 143, Paris Gallery, The Dubai Mall
Sonia Merlo, Regional Makeup Trainer at Clarins Middle East, recommends the Clarins ‘Blemish Control’; “It dries out, purifies, and helps eliminate pimples whilst reducing redness and tightening pores. To absorb excess sebum that causes spots, exfoliate once a week and use a purifying mask on the affected areas, such as the Clarins ‘Pure and Radiant Mask’. It absorbs excess oil, impurities, and dead skin cells to reduce breakouts.”
Clarins ‘Blemish Control’, AED 115/SAR 117, The Dubai Mall
Clarins ‘Pure and Radiant Mask’, AED 155/SAR 158, The Dubai Mall
It’s not just our faces that need cleansing; it’s everything our faces touch! According to Bennett, you must “change your pillow covers often, clean your makeup brushes or sponges regularly, and clean your mobile phone daily. The bacteria resting on these items can easily be transferred onto your freshly cleansed face.”
Just like we spring-clean our homes every year, so should we treat our skin to a deep-clean treatment. Incorporating extraction, steaming, cleansing, and a mask, the Obagi ‘Deep Cleansing Facial’ is just what you need. Click here to read our full review of the treatment.