Just woke up with a whopper zit on your face? Love that for you. Maybe you’re used to having a sneaky pimple pop up every now and then, or maybe this is your first run-in with the oily goblin for a few years. Either way, the unwanted arrival will likely have you scrambling for a solution, wondering how to get rid of pimples overnight.
Look, we’ve all been there. Finding a pimple is not an issue reserved for the teenagers amongst us. Almost all of us will encounter the dreaded adult pimple situation in our professional lives, with an estimated 85 per cent grappling with acne concerns over their lifetime. Regardless of whether you have a big business meeting, a new job interview or a solid Tinder date lined up, rocking in with a monster zit is never a good look. Aside from making you appear less than desirable, it can be a major confidence-killer. There’s nothing worse than trying to make a good impression when all you can think about is the throbbing, red, pus-filled spot on your forehead. So, if you’re wondering how to get rid of acne, we want to do you a solid and give you the goods.
What Causes Pimples?
Before you work on treating your pimples, it pays to know what causes the unsightly spots. From a medical perspective, acne is caused when the pores in your skin become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This is a particularly troublesome issue as each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland. These glands are responsible for producing an oily substance known as sebum, which has a habit of clogging your pores. When this happens, it significantly increases the growth of a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes of P. acnes.
The redness that invariably follows the arrival of acne comes from your white blood cells attacking the P. acnes, which leads to skin inflammation. While there are many different levels of severity when it comes to acne, the symptoms are generally universal. These include;
- Whiteheads – A type of acne that forms when dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria become trapped within one of your pores.
- Blackheads – These are a type of acne that appears as a result of clogged hair follicles.
- Pimples – A small pustule or papule formed when sebaceous glands become clogged and infected.
How to Get Rid of Pimples
Even if you’ve got the knowledge on your side, you can still wind up with a rather angry looking zit on your face. Time to address that with this guide on how to get rid of pimples.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
We’ve long been spruiking the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but there’s more to this little gem that meets the eye. Made by fermenting apple cider, this liquid can help to fight bacteria growth. Most importantly, apple cider vinegar contains a number of organic acids that have been shown to kill P. Acnes, in particular, succinic acid. This acid works to suppress inflammation, reducing scarring.
For those wondering how to get rid of pimples with apple cider vinegar, it’s not quite as simple as drinking a few glasses each day. In this instance, you should;
- Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water.
- Using a cotton ball, gently apply the mixture to the impacted area.
- Sit for 20 seconds, before rinsing with water.
- Pat dry.
2. Spot Treat With Tea Tree Oil
While it may seem like a bit of an old wives’ tale, spot treating your pimples with tea tree oil is actually a great way to tackle your acne issues. Used in small doses, this antimicrobial ingredient will neutralise bacteria and fight irritation through its anti-inflammatory qualities. Even better, you can put tea tree oil onto pimples at any stage in the lifecycle, even if they have just popped on their own.
If you are wondering how to get rid of pimples overnight, this one will get the ball rolling, but it’s unlikely to be an instantaneous solution. Instead, you should consider adding tea-tree oil to your weekly grooming routine.
3. Aloe Vera
It definitely pays to moisturise when it comes to getting rid of pimples, and aloe vera is a great addition. The tropical plant’s leaves produce a clear gel that is often added to lotions, creams and ointments, so it’s no surprise this one is a good option for your skincare needs. For those wondering how to get rid of blackheads and pimples with aloe vera, it’s quite simple. By applying the gel to the impacted area, you can reduce inflammation, however, the treatment also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, two commonly used ingredients in acne healing.
4. Zinc Supplements
We all know that zinc is an important nutrient that we should add to our diet, but this essential ingredient can also help us to fight acne and pimple growth. Zinc supplements are important for cell growth, hormone production, metabolism and immune function. Adding these supplements to your daily routine is a massive boost to your health and skincare regime. According to a PubMed Central study, people who suffer from acne have significantly lower levels of zinc in their systems than those with clear skin.
In fact, a further study found that of 48 acne patients given oral zinc supplements three times a day, 38 experienced a reduction of acne by up to 100 per cent in eight weeks.
5. Exfoliate Regularly
Yeah we know, this one is a given, but it pays to remind the masses. By exfoliating, you remove the top layer of dead skin cells. This is important as the production of whiteheads regularly comes from the pores being clogged by dead skin, increasing redness and inflammation. By scrubbing the area and removing the dead skin, you are left with a more pure, albeit unprotected skin. For this reason, exfoliating is a great treatment to begin your journey with. Without that top layer, other treatments, such as tea tree oil will penetrate deeper and more effectively.
6. Honey and Cinnamon Mask
While it sounds simply delicious, the old honey and cinnamon mask is a great way to get rid of pimples quickly. Both ingredients are excellent sources of antioxidants, also working to fight bacteria and inflammation. At the moment, there isn’t a whole lot of science to support the honey and cinnamon mask as a fully-backed answer for how to get rid of pimples overnight, but the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial principles suggest it may play a contributing factor.
7. Cut Dairy Intake
Another controversial one, dairy could be a reason why your pimples are acne is flaring up. If you want to know not only how to get rid of pimples overnight, but also why they are here in the first place, drinking too much milk might be a cause. Dairy products expose you to hormonal changes, which as we know, can lead to inflammation and increased sebaceous gland activity.
8. Follow a Low Glycemic Diet
While a number of medical practitioners may tell you that there is no relationship between food and acne, recent evidence is proving that there may be certain factors that play a role. Most notably, your insulin and glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar. High glycemic index foods, such as those with significant sugar quantities can increase the likelihood of pimples and acne.
Some great low-GI foods that you should add into your diet include;
9. Witch Hazel
Scarier than it sounds, witch hazel is a mixture extracted from the bark and leaves of the North American with hazel shrub, Hamamelis virginiana. Like green tea, this specific treatment contains tannins, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory values.
10. Fish Oil Supplement
Many of us may already have added a fish oil supplement to our daily diet for overall health, but the omega-3 based additive is great for skincare as well. The oily fat supplement can help to manage oil production, maintain hydration and stop acne production. This comes through the two types of acids found in mega-3 fats; eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Both of these acids have been shown to decrease inflammatory factors.
While you can increase your omega-3 intake through supplements, eating more salmon, sardines, walnuts and chia seeds can also help.
11. Green Tea
Another treatment that is high in antioxidants, green tea works to help get rid of inflammation. This can be a major benefit for those suffering with acne as it will allow you to reduce redness and potentially decrease the prevalence of pimple-production.
Further, the major antioxidant in green tea has been shown to reduce sebum production, fight inflammation and inhibit the growths of P. Acnes. Drinking green tea can be a great option, but you can also purchase topical creams that offer green tea infusions.
12. Reduce Stress
Sounds easier than it is, but reducing your stress will play a big role of cutting down your pimple problem. High-stress levels can wreak havoc on your hormones, opening up the possibility for pimples. Ever been nervous or anxious about a big work event, only to wake up with a big zit on your face? It’s not a sad coincidence, chances are the two are more closely linked than you would think.
According to a PubMed Central study, stress was found to slow wound healing by up to 40 per cent, with acne lesions likely to suffer the same consequence. If you want to know how to get rid of pimples easily and without treatment, crack out the candles and tune out from technology. Try some mindfulness activities and get started with meditation.
13. Exercise Regularly
Turns out exercise is good for you, who would’ve thought? Regular exercise promotes healthy blood circulation, which helps to nourish the skin cells. This is important as it helps to regulate your hormones and prevent the stimulation of the sebaceous glands. Further, studies have shown that working out, whether it be through cardiovascular or strength training can reduce stress and anxiety.
Make sure you hit the 30 minutes of daily exercise, but also be careful to wash your face after each workout. Extra sweat can move dirt into your pores increasing the likelihood of pimple production.
These previous treatments work on a basic level and will help to cover up your current pimple predicament, but it won’t be a solution for everyone. Sadly, some people suffer from more severe and pimple concerns that apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil simply won’t fix. In this instance, it is advised that you visit your doctor or dermatologist, who will explain if one of the following treatments is suitable for you.
14. Hydrocolloid Dressing
If you haven’t heard of a hydrocolloid dressing before, don’t stress, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. This small adhesive bandage is the same thing people put on blisters to lessen the swelling. Put simply, the dressing absorbs the moisture from around the affected area, calming the strain on the skin. This often works to mitigate the growth and pressure of the zit, making it a great answer for the age-old question, how to get rid of pimples overnight.
15. Spot Treatments
It’s generally not advised to pop your pimples, so the best way to tackle the zit issue is through a spot treatment. These work by drying the area from the outside. The three main spot treatments that you will receive from your dermatologist include;
- Benzoyl peroxide – This spot treatment kills the bacteria in the pore, whilst also drying it out. Be wary though, as it is a peroxide, it will absolutely destroy your sheets.
- Salicylic acid – While very similar to benzoyl peroxide, this treatment is less likely to stain your sheets. Salicylic acid works by drying the skin and extracting the dirt from the pore.
- Sulfur – Sulfur treatments are super easy to find and generally quite inexpensive, making them a great way to get rid of pimples. Look for one with an easy applicator so you don’t get those grubby little hands involved in the process.
16. Medicinal Treatments
If your acne is quite severe, the answer to your ‘how to get rid of pimples’ question may be a trip into the surgery or pharmacy. These medical treatments can be tricky and expensive, so be warned.
- Intralesional injection – This injection of diluted cortisone medication can be distributed straight into the cyst, providing instant relief for your throbbing acne issues. For bigger pimples, this process could take upwards of 24-36 hours.
- Roaccutane – This treatment belongs to a group of medicines called retinoids, which are similar to vitamin A. These work by reducing the amount of sebum made by glands in your skin, reducing bacteria and inflammation and opening clogged pores.
You might not want to accept it, but sometimes the simplest solution is best. If you’ve tried everything on our list of ‘how to get rid of pimples overnight’ and still haven’t had any success, it might be worth dipping into the makeup cabinet. A small amount of concealer, matched to your skin complexion can easily hide a small blemish or zit.
Common Mistakes for How to Get Rid of Pimples
While we all want to know how to get rid of pimples overnight, there are also a few things you can do to limit the production of acne in the process. Despite what you may think, these are the things you should avoid.
- Touch your face – The bacteria on your hands is easily transferred, so touching your face is a big no-no.
- Get too much sun – While extra sun can dry out a pimple, which may help you to overcome the issue in the short term, it will give you more problems down the track. Frequent sun exposure can dry out the skin, which can increase oil production and clog your pores.
- Don’t pop them – As tempting as it may be, popping pimples may cause bleeding, scarring or infection.
- Use toothpaste – While some people swear by the home remedy, toothpaste is not a great treatment for pimple. In most cases, the application will irritate the skin, which may cause further issues.
Does toothpaste remove pimples?
While some people swear by the home remedy, toothpaste is not a great treatment for pimple. In most cases, the application will irritate the skin, which may cause further issues.
What causes pimples?
Pimples develop when your sebaceous glands become clogged and infected. This can lead to swollen, pus-filled lesions, better known as pimples. An increase in hormone production can increase the activity in your sebaceous glands causing more pimples or acne.
How do you get rid of pimple scars?
While most pimple scars will fade and disappear with time, other more-serious scars will require treatment. Most commonly, medical professionals may recommend alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. AHAs are a mild form of acid that scrapes away the outer layer of skin to reveal fresh, new skin underneath.