It’s natural to go into panic mode when you wake up in the morning and are forced to say “good morning” to a big, red zit planted in the center of your face. The last thing you need on a busy day is the added burden of having to treat and conceal a pimple (wasn’t clear and flawless skin one of the benefits of growing older?).
Before you swing open your medicine cabinet and begin applying everything and anything to your zit in the hopes of making it vanish in seconds, Dr. Nancy Samolitis, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles and owner of Facile, says there are a few ingredients that may be tempting to apply, but can actually do more harm than good to your skin.
“A lot of ingredients in acne products are fantastic, but can be damaging when used excessively,” Samolitis says. “When a pimple surfaces, some people try to aggressively ‘dry it out’ with things like alcohol, sulfur-based products, benzoyl peroxide, and retinols. When these products are overused, they can actually cause more inflammation, redness, and scabbing which can lead to scarring and discoloration. Most active ingredients in acne treatment products should not be used more than twice a day and usually take weeks or months to see optimal improvement.”
Slow but steady and thoughtful skincare wins the race (and the prize of radiant and healthy-looking skin) and the best way to deal with an inflamed pimple before a big meeting may simply be to rely on your trusty concealer and a green color corrector that can zap the red out of your skin. Or, if you have a few extra minutes to spare, swing by your doctor’s for the ultimate quick-fix pimple remedy.
“A cortisone shot or quick laser zap at the dermatologist’s office is your best bet for clearing up a pimple more quickly and safely,” Samolitis says.
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