Let's face it, nothing stops us in our tracks faster than a big red angry pimple - you can always count on one to rear its unsightly head before a big job interview or first date. Luckily, you can treat the problem area and reduce the acne flareup by following a few simple skin care do's and dont's, read on for the best ways to nix pimples - stat!
Do: Use an ice cube
Reduce redness and inflammation in the affected by applying an ice cube wrapped in a clean cloth or towel for up to five minutes. The cold temperature will also reduce any pain or swelling.
Do: Apply salicylic acid
We've waxed lyrical about the pros of acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid before and we're about to sing it's praises once more. It's the best pimple-busting ingredient around. A powerful exfoliant that penetrates deep into pores and eliminates blackhead and pimple-causing nasties. Applying a topical skin treatment containing salicylic will unclog and dry out problem pores - discover our favourites here.
Do: Reach for an Asprin
Aspirin contains salicylic acid (see above). It's one of the home remedies that dermatologists recommend, and it even helps reduce pain at the application site. To make an aspirin paste, crush an aspirin with a spoon and swirl it with a few drops of water, creating a paste. Then, apply it directly to the pimple.
Don't: Squeeze or pick your face
If you try to pop a pimple you will most likely cause trauma and spread the infection - this means you'll get more pimples. The other consequence of attacking a zit is acne scarring which is much harder to treat.
Don't: Just treat the area at the surface
Clear skin starts with a balanced diet. When we consume too much of something our body turns to it's largest organ - the skin -to expel what it can't process. Try keeping a food diary and track how your complexion changes to find out your trigger foods. Don't forget that sleep plays an important role in this too, a lack of sleep results in hormonal imbalances which wreak havoc with our skin.
Do: Reach for a toner
Forget everything you think you know about toner. The new wave of toners won't dry out your skin. Toner is best used after cleansing and before applying serums, moisturiser and SPF. Depending on the formula, toner also commonly contains acids (glycolic and salicylic) which remove stubborn dirt and dead skin cells.
Do: Use toothpaste
While this might have been your go-to in high school, does toothpaste still work as an acne-busting remedy for adults? Good news: it does.
Speaking to Huffington Post, Dr Neal Schultz explains, "toothpaste contains certain ingredients — baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, triclosan — that cause pimples to dry out." However, he added that "there are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments."