It’s hump day! And I have a giant hump on my face! Yes, that’s my chin in the close-up pic with the giant zit. Well, I guess it’s not so giant anymore, it was swollen and “YUGE” yesterday, but it’s gone down pretty quickly thanks to a few easy tricks.
When I was a teenager, I had horrific acne. It was so bad, nothing over-the-counter worked, so I went to the doctor. I was prescribed oral tetracycline and topical erythromycin. I started taking better care of my skin, too, and it cleared up. Later on, I started taking birth control pills so I could eliminate that dreadful monthly “problem” so I could get prevent the migraines that came along with it. Lo and behold, I no longer had the acne problem, and didn’t have to take anything anymore.
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After having a stroke, my birth control was changed so there would be less risk, so the acne started coming back. Thanks to retinoids, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be, I just get an occasional hormonal breakout. And an occasional, single, ginormous zit! I used to pop these things way too early (shouldn’t pop them at all!), and make the problem worse.
If your pimple is really bad, you can always use a drying cream, but these can dry out the area way too much, which can lead to flaking, and yes, scarring. So, use this type of product as a last resort. You should also avoid anything with benzoyl peroxide for the same reason. This is a very old-school ingredient, and there are much better options, so I’m surprised at the number of brands that still use it (I’m looking at YOU, Proactiv!)
I prefer to use salicylic acid, which is a beta hydroxy acid, or BHA. BHAs are less irritating, but help exfoliate the skin, which helps prevent and get rid of these dreaded zits. Paula’s Choice makes a great BHA exfoliant that contains 2% salicylic acid (see this post), that you can use daily. Another thing I really like is the Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone, which is a spot treatment made with organic and natural ingredients, such as willow bark (natural salicylic acid), fruit juices, sugar cane, etc.
The Blemish Be Gone tube has a little roller ball, so if the skin isn’t broken, I just roll it right on. If my zit has erupted or “popped,” I’ll put the treatment on my finger, then the zit. It seems to form a light film over the zit, which will help keep away bacteria while treating it at the same time. The full-size tube is small enough to stash in my pocket, and I can apply several times a day. I’ve used it alone, and under makeup with no problems.
When they’re really painful, though, I feel the need to do something to ease it quickly. I alternate using a warm compress and ice. The warm compress can help draw the pimple to a head more quickly, and the ice helps reduce inflammation and pain. Just make sure not to put the ice directly on your skin, wrap it with a cloth first, or use an ice pack made for inflammation and pain.
Another thing I like is the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Solutions Travel Kit, which consists of four products to control acne/blemishes. Since I don’t have a huge regular problem with acne, the travel kit is perfect for me. If you saw our review of these kits, found here, you likely already know what a great value they are. I can switch to these products whenever I have a ginormous zit, and I don’t have to worry about a bunch of full-sized products going to waste when I won’t use them quickly enough.
It’s also important NOT to use harsh exfoliants- don’t use products with grains or particles of any sort as these will just aggravate the skin, and can make acne worse. Instead, use a light peel-type product, like the Juice Beauty GREEN APPLE Blemish Peel (included in the travel kit!) or MyChelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Pro Speed Peel (see our review here). If you still don’t have any luck, before you resort to popping or picking, see your dermatologist.
FYI, through the end of April, if you purchase the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Solutions Kit for $29.99 ($55.00 value), you get the full-size Blemish Be Gone spot treatment I mentioned for FREE! Just click the link below or on the banner (use code TravelBC) to take advantage of this generous offer!