The dreaded pimple. It arrives at the worst possible moment, grows, reddens and is stubbornly hard to cover. We have all had pimples arriving just before big events, or just everyday when we really don’t want them. Although there is no magical cure for them (please tell me if there is!), there are different treatments you can use to help get rid of them. Not all of these may work for you, but hopefully one will.
Salicylic acid: helps clear out the dirt in pores and is anti-inflammatory. It is an acid exfoliator that removes dead skin cells that can clog pores. It has anti-inflammatory properties meaning it is one of the more gentle spot treatments that soothes while still removing layers of dead skin. However, it can still dry out the skin.
Benzoyl perixode: probably the most common ingredient in spot treatments. This will reduce inflammation and acts as an anti-bacterial agent. It kills the bacteria in the pimple quite quickly and helps open pores. However it can dry out the skin and has potential side effects of redness and itching. It is best used simply on the spots and not as an all over treatment.
Zinc: could be used as both a supplement if zinc deficient or topical spot treatment. Zinc is fundamental to cell growth and renewal hence important for clearer skin. It also aids in vitamin A absorption. As a spot treatment zinc reduces inflammation, redness and can reduce oil production.
Sulfur: works by unclogging pores and reducing inflammation. It is an antiseptic that is a lot less drying than salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. It draws out impurities and cleans out pores. Sulfur treatments can be used as a spot treatment or mask. They are a lot more gentle than other spot treatments.
Tea tree oil: commonly used as an anti-fungus and antiseptic for the skin. Tea tree oil fights bacteria that can cause acne. Because tea tree oil is very strong undiluted, it may be best to consult with a doctor or dilute the product first before applying directly to the skin or do a patch test beforehand.
Vitamin A: which can be found naturally in food (like carrots, sweet potato, liver, spinach and eggs) or as a supplement (but be sure to talk to a doctor before taking any supplements as most people would reach their daily vitamin A requirements naturally). Vitamin A is used in a variety of strong (usually prescribed) acne treatments. But getting your daily dose naturally or through supplements should help your skin as well. Vitamin A helps fight off acne making chemicals, reduces oil production and helps prevent dead cell build-up.
- Keeping it moisturised. I know most of the spot treatments above work by drawing out impurities and drying the skin, but this can often lead to weird flaky skin around the pimple, which makes it a lot harder to conceal with makeup. So make sure you still put moisturiser on the spots.
- If it is a big angry, swollen red pimple (nice image I know) ice or a cold compress can help to reduce the inflammation and make them less sore.
- Look out for alcohol in spot treatments. Alcohol will dry out the skin a lot but not open the pores, so if it is used in a spot treatment the actual product may not be making its way into the actual problem area.
- I know you’re going to hate me for saying this, but exercise and eat healthy. Oh I hate myself for saying it. But I personally find if I go too heavy on the chocolate or burgers and fries, I am more susceptible to getting pimples.
So I hope that has been helpful and you have found a spot treatment amongst those that will work for you. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite spot treatment is.
Thanks for reading, Christina xo