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When we’re growing up, we often hear that we’ll stop getting pimples after puberty. Well, the truth is most of us aren’t that lucky. No matter how closely we stick to our skincare regimen, we still have to deal with pimples now and then. If you’re reading this, you might even be dealing with a pimple right now, and you just want it to go away as soon as possible! Not to worry; read on for the best ways to get rid of pimples fast.
First things first: DO NOT pop it. We’re all guilty of this, and popping pimples can feel oddly satisfying sometimes, right? Too bad. Don’t do it.
Dermatologists say popping a zit can actually spread bacteria to surrounding tissue, which might just cause more zits. You also run the risk of getting scars or marks. Keep your fingers away from your pimples!
And while we’re talking about what not to do, try not to get stressed out about your pimples (even if you've got a big event coming up). Stress can actually make your acne worse.
Do use a spot treatment. Look for an acne medicine that contains a go-to ingredient, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Both are highly effective at treating pimples quickly, and at reducing redness and inflammation. Some concealers even contain these ingredients, so you can cover up your pimple while treating it. They are among the science-backed ways to fight acne.
Salicylic acid clears pores by dissolving surface impurities, like dirt and dead skin. Benzoyl peroxide, meanwhile, penetrates the pimple and kills bacteria. You could also try a pimple treatment with sulfur, which helps clear acne and prevents it from coming back (but be warned that sulfur has a pungent smell!).
Want to speed up your healing time? Try combining your acne medicine with aloe vera gel. Aloe vera contains a ton of ingredients that have proven helpful in fighting pimples, and it can help reduce bacteria and inflammation. Simply pick up a bottle of aloe vera gel (but make sure it’s pure aloe), and either mix it into your medicine or apply on top of it.
Side effects of acne medicines can include drier skin than usual, especially on sensitive skin, so make sure you’re moisturizing as well.
If you’re worried about the side effects of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulfur, use tea tree oil instead. It also fights bacteria and reduces inflammation, and studies have shown that it’s as effective as benzoyl peroxide at eliminating pimples.
Take note that tea tree oil is very strong and can cause redness or irritation if you apply it directly to your skin. You'll want to dilute it by combining one part of tea tree oil with nine parts of water. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture, and then apply it to your pimple.
Some different essential oils, like lavender, rose or cinnamon, might also help fight acne-causing bacteria. Just follow the same formula as you would with tea tree oil: combine nine parts water with one part oil, and apply the solution to your face with a cotton swab; then you're on your way to getting rid of pimples fast.
Other home remedies, while not scientifically proven, might also help you treat your acne. For starters, you can try using apple cider vinegar. It’s become a popular natural way to treat acne, and you probably have some in your cupboard right now. Although there isn’t a lot of research on its ability to get rid of pimples, apple cider vinegar has been proven to help with killing bacteria.
Just like essential oils, you don’t want to apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin. Dilute it with water, dip a cotton ball in it, and then dab it on your pimples.
Green tea is another helpful home remedy that you might already have on hand. It is packed with antioxidants that have been proven to reduce inflammation and fight the production of sebum, an oil that can cause acne.
Steep green tea in boiling water for a few minutes, let it cool, and then either spritz it onto your face or apply it with a cotton ball. You can store leftover green tea in the refrigerator and apply it a couple times a day.
You can also place an ice cube, wrapped in a cloth, against your skin. Doing this might help reduce the swelling. It can also help with redness, and provide temporary relief from painful zits.
One more natural remedy to get rid of pimples fast that you’ve probably seen everywhere: coconut oil. It seems like these days, everyone is using coconut oil as a solution for something. And it might be an effective acne treatment, too. Its main ingredient is lauric acid, an effective antibacterial solution.
Once you get rid of your pimple, you might want to know how to keep acne at bay. The answer to that: get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and wash your face regularly.
Sleep promotes healing, and it will naturally relieve acne-related stress. So make sure you’re getting 7 to 8 hours per night. Exercise is also an excellent stress reliever, and it removes dead skin by sending oxygen to your skin cells.
Additionally, changing your diet might help you get rid of pimples fast. That means less sugar, caffeine, and fried or processed foods, and more green vegetables, fiber, and omega-3 foods (like fish or eggs).
And, of course, if you want to keep acne away, you need to wash your face regularly and exfoliate to remove dead skin.
Try some different solutions out, and find the one that gets rid of your pimples the fastest. There are many different ways to get great skin. Remember, you probably won’t be able to get rid of a pimple in ten minutes. But be patient, and don’t stress too much.
Another reminder: everyone’s skin is different, so an acne remedy that works beautifully for your friend might not work as well for you. But if you experiment acne medicine and home remedies, you’ll find the perfect solution.
Best of luck conquering your pimples—and hopefully you don’t wake up the morning of graduation with a huge one on your nose, like I did. That definitely was unlucky.