Getting pimples is a normal, every day skin condition that affects us at one time or another. They can be painful, look unsightly and well, they can be just plain embarrassing.
But, what exactly is a pimple? “Pimples are caused by overactive sebaceous glands and an over production of skin cells blocking the pore,” says Suzie Hoitink, founder of Clear Complexions. “Bacteria loves this kind of environment and reproduces within the blocked pore causing an infection. The result is a painful ‘white head’ or cystic pimple.”
There are a slew of blemish-banishing products out there but which method is really best? The first thing that might come to mind is getting out your fingers and going in for the squeeze. “Do not do that,” says Hoitink. “Don’t pick – as hard as it is. You will only damage the surrounding tissue, creating a bigger injury and inflaming the pimple more,” she says.
So, what’s the best way to treat angry blemishes? Hoitink recommends applying a small drop of a Benzoyl Peroxide product (like Danné Montague King Benzoyl Peroxide Lotion, $80.50, 1800 222 342). “This will calm the pimple as well as kill the bacteria, decreasing the inflammation.”
But, what if you’ve woken up the morning of an important event like a wedding or job interview? “If it’s red and inflamed, holding ice on it can calm it down,” says Hoitink. Then, apply a green blemish-treating concealer (like Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment, $35) to counteract any redness that may be left over.
Hoitink says a drop of Murine Clear Eyes Drops ($7.99, from chemists) can also help. “It sounds bizarre but it can work as it constricts the blood vessels,” she says. “Also, try Bepanthen Ointment ($4.99, also from chemists) – it’s a nappy rash cream, which can be very soothing on an angry blemish.”
Still, when it comes to pimples, prevention is preferred. While every skin is different, as a general rule, Hoitink recommends using a product containing Vitamin B3 (like O Cosmedics B3 Plus, $119, 02 2 9712 8188)- this will control oil and decrease inflammation. “And, use a BHA (beta hydroxyl acid) or an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or scrub (like Priori Advanced AHA Invigorating Scrub, $90) once to twice a week to gently clean out pores and keep the skin more acidic,” advises Hoitink. This will help prevent bacteria from setting up camp as big bad blemishes.