A pimple forms when dirt gets trapped in our pores. In order to keep the germs and bacteria contained, our body creates a pimple to hold it all in and heal the area. While the urge may be strong to pop the pimple, do your best to resist. When you pop your pimple, you are essentially letting all of the pus and bacteria drain onto your face, clogging more pores in the process. You also run the risk of pushing the dirt down further into your pores, which can prolong the pimple, or at worst, result in scarring.
Ice it down
Pimples are inflamed and tender areas of your skin. And, just like a swollen ankle, ice is one of the best ways to get the swelling down. To help minimize the appearance of your pimple, wash you face, wrap an ice cube in a thin towel and apply to the affected area. Hold it there for approximately one minute and wait five minutes before re-applying.
Apply benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
Certain ingredients can help you take control of your blemishes, reduce inflammation and help kill bacteria. What are these wonder ingredients? Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide works by killing bacteria inside the pore. Use it as a spot treatment and look for products containing at least 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide. Products usually go up to 10 percent, but start with smaller amounts to avoid irritation.
Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) which is considered a powerful exfoliant. It helps remove dead skin cells inside the pore and reduces inflammation in the process. Because it helps remove dead skin cells, this ingredient is also helpful for getting rid of blackheads. Look for a formulation containing .05 to 1 percent salicylic acid for mild blemishes. Only use a product with 2 percent salicylic acid if you have more severe acne.
Tea tree oil, a natural aid
Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and it can be used to treat a wide variety of skin ailments. Because of its ability to kill bacteria, it is especially helpful for treating acne and breakouts. Wash your face and use a cotton pad to apply the tea tree oil directly to your breakout. Leave it on and repeat again in the evening.
Clay masks as spot treatments
Face masks give your face an added boost when you need it most, but they can also be used as spot treatments for stubborn pimples. The clay will help clear out your pores by drawing out excess oil and bacteria. Look for masks containing bentonite and sulfur as they help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Added bonus: the clay helps smooth and add moisture back into your skin.
Whip out the aspirin
It may sound strange, but aspirin isn’t only for your headaches. The medicine has anti-inflammatory properties that can also work on your zits. All you need to do is crush one to three aspirins, mix with water (approximately 2 parts water to 1part aspirin) and mix until it forms a paste. Apply the paste directly to your pimple and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before removing it. Be careful not to leave it along for much longer as the aspirin can be absorbed into your bloodstream.