One of the reasons I became addicted to testing facial products and treatments is because I suffered from adult acne for a loooong time. There was a stage in my life when I'd be battling 5+ facial pimples on any given day (even more during that time of the month). After spending thousands of dollars on products and treatments and countless hours perusing the dark corners of skincare blogs, Ifinally found the solution -- this app called Facetune. Kidding! In reality, my journey to clear skin was not simple or linear, but I developed an effective treatment process along the way. So next time you get a zit -- we all get them -- don't freak out. We've got this!
#1 Diagnose Your Blemish
- Cysts are those annoying, painful bumps that hang out under the surface of the skin for days or weeks until your body reabsorbs them. They typically appear around your chin and jawline, and like a submarine, they are meant to stay deep, down under.
- Pustules (why do they have to come up with names that are almost too gross to type?) are bumps that quickly force their way to the surface of your skin, begging to get popped. They show off their contents; you can usually see the white fluid in the bump, surrounded by red skin.
- Blackheads or whiteheads are non-inflammatory acne. With this type of pimple, there is generally no swelling or redness, just clogged pores.
#2 Treat It Accordingly
- Cysts: Remember, these types of blemishes will never rise to the surface of the skin, no matter how hard you pick or pop. The fastest way to get a cyst to disappear is to visit your trusted dermatologist for a cortisone shot within the first day or two, which will reduce the size and pain of the cyst within hours. For an at-home remedy, I've found applying a clay or sulfur product as an overnight spot treatment to be very effective. Try this Peter Thomas Roth mask or this organic Swedish treatment.
- Pustules: Do NOT go crazy with immediately applying drying products. If you apply a drying treatment before the whitehead has reached the surface, it will trap the infection, causing the zit to last longer. Instead, give it a day or two to allow the infection to get ready for extraction. When ready, wash your hands, prep with a warm washcloth for two minutes, wrap your fingers in tissue paper and gently squeeze down around the zit to extract. The key word here is gently. Fluid should easily work its way out in one or two tries. Anything more than that means it isn't ready. Post-squeeze, dab on something soothing to kill any remaining bacteria while helping heal the skin, such as anti-inflammatory witch hazel or antimicrobial tea tree oil.
- Blackheads/whiteheads: Focus on chemical exfoliation with AHAs. TheseDr. Dennis Gross Daily Peels are a godsend and probably the second most important beauty product I'd bring with me if stranded on a deserted island (sunscreen being #1, duh).