There are very few things related to your looks that are more frustrating than an unexpected pimple, especially when it occurs before and important event, a date or an interview. Pimples most commonly occur on the face but are also quite common on the neck, back, shoulders and cleavage.
They build when bacteria infect the oil glands of the skin. As a result of the infection, the skin gets filled with pus and forms an unattractive-looking swelling on the surface of the skin. Even though makeup can cover the pimple slightly and reduce the appearance of redness, this small bulge is impossible to hide, unless you stay at home and lock yourself up in a dark room.
Luckily, there are many simple ways to avoid pimples and to cure them fast when they show up without warning.
How to Avoid Pimples
Cleanse and Exfoliate
Your skin needs to breathe and you need to help it by performing a thorough cleanse twice a day. Wash your face with warm water and a gentle face cleansing product, then dab it with a clean towel. Try to use one towel only for your face so that you don’t spread any bacteria from your body on the most sensitive area of your skin.
If you wear makeup daily, remove it with micellar water and a cotton pad every evening. Remains of makeup clog the pores and can directly cause the formation of pimples.
Once or twice a week exfoliate the skin on your face and neck either with a home-made product or a peeling you can buy in a drugstore. Regular exfoliation not only removes dead skin cells and unclogs the pores, but also leaves the skin more fresh-looking and radiant.
Diet and Exercise
Your diet and level of activity directly affect the overall condition of your health, including your skin. Avoid excessively sugary or salty food, reduce the consumption of alcohol in and eat a lot of fresh and steamed vegetables. Whenever possible, choose organic products as they don’t contain harmful toxins or hormones that could accumulate in your body and have bad influence on your skin condition.
Drinking a lot of water and doing regular exercise will improve your blood circulation and will speed up the process of body cleansing. If you have a problem with acne, try exercising for an hour, 4 times a week and drinking up to two litres of water a day. You will be surprised at how the appearance of your skin will improve just with those two simple changes. Remember to shower straight after the workout in order to not let the sweat and dead skin cells clog the pores.
Hand Off the Face
Your hands are full of bacteria even if you wash them regularly. The more you touch your face, the more bacteria you transfer onto the skin. This is the simplest way to get a skin infection. For some people touching the face is an unconscious act and it’s usually them who complain most about their skin condition. Remember that whatever comes in contact with your face, like your makeup brushes or your phone has to be well disinfected regularly. Otherwise, you will be bringing the same bacteria to your face over and over again.
Also, tempting as it may seem, you must not pick at the pimples or try to pop them. The less your hands will be involved with the affected spot, the sooner it will disappear.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Pimples Fast
Even if you follow the facial care routine by the book, accidents may happen from time to time and it’s better to expect the unexpected. Make sure you get stocked in some of the products we describe below since they are very effective home remedies for pimples.
Tea Tree Oil
This popular ingredient of many skincare products has antibacterial properties and reduces the inflammation, redness and the swelling of the pimples fast. It is also great for drying out whiteheads and blackheads, but shouldn’t be used in excess by those who have dry skin. Apply it with a cotton ball to the affected area and leave it on for 15 minutes. In order to achieve an extra soothing effect, mix tea tree oil with a few drops of aloe vera gel or use the gel after you rinse off the first product.
Lemon juice may help dry up the pimples, but again, should be used with care be people with dry and sensitive skin. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice, dab a cotton ball in it and apply to the affected area. There is no need to rinse it off so once you have checked if your skin doesn’t get irritated by acidic lemon juice, you can apply it before bed time and let it work through the night.
You can get similar results by using orange. Wash your face with warm water to open the pores, cut an orange into pieces and use them one by one to dab the pimples. Make sure you only use one piece per spot in order to not spread the bacteria. Alternatively, you can squeeze the juice of one orange and apply it on your skin with a cotton bud. Leave the orange juice on for an hour and rinse it off. Since orange is abundant in vitamin C, it will not only have the antibacterial effect but also speed up the regeneration of your skin.
Low temperature tightens the skin pores and improves blood circulation, therefore applying ice on the infected area reduces redness, swelling and inflammation. Get a clean cloth and wrap an ice cube in it. Hold it on the pimple for a few seconds and repeat the process a few times. The swelling and redness should get reduced immediately.
Exposing your skin to steam opens and unclogs your pores, which you have probably noticed after a visit to the sauna. Regular use of a face steamer may greatly improve your skin condition and if you happen to be fighting with pimples, steam might be the answer. If you don’t have a special face steamer, simply pour some hot water into a bowl, place your face above it and cover your head and the bowl with a clean towel. For extra antibacterial results add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water. Let the steam work for 10 minutes and then rinse your face with lukewarm water.
If you want to additionally improve blood circulation in the skin, rinse it with very cold water or rub an ice cube slowly over the whole face. You will feel how the skin wakes up and gets an instant refreshment.
White toothpaste is a very effective and common home remedy for acne, used by many teenagers, who – more than anyone – know how troublesome pimples can be. If you have sensitive skin, apply only a small amount of toothpaste on the affected area and leave it on for 30 minutes. If you have normal to oily skin, you can leave the toothpaste on for the night, especially if you want to dry up a whitehead. After you rinse it off with warm water, you will notice that the swelling will have gone down.
Due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic is considered a natural antibiotic. You can use it both externally and internally, or carry out a two front attack for best results. Apart from eating garlic or garlic supplements, you can cut a garlic clove in half and rub it on the infected spots for 30 seconds and wait 5 minutes before you rinse the face. In some more severe cases, you can prepare a garlic paste by pressing two cloves of garlic and mixing it with a few drops of jojoba oil. Put the paste on the most inflamed pimples and leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse. Garlic will dry up the pimple and kill the bacteria while jojoba oil will prevent the skin from getting dry and will enhance its regeneration.
Honey and Cinnamon
If you prefer an antibacterial home remedy that doesn’t make you smell like Greek cuisine, try a mixture of cinnamon and honey. It’s very gentle on the skin but has strong antibacterial properties. Mix two tablespoons of organic honey with a teaspoon of cinnamon. Cleanse the face and dry it, then apply the paste onto the affected area. You can rinse it off after 30 minutes or leave it on for the night. Honey not only kills bacteria but also nourishes the skin and enhances the regeneration process. If possible, use Manuka honey. It may be more expensive than regular honey as it is produced only in the virgin forests of New Zealand, but the results you get are definitely worth the investment. Manuka honey is 100% organic and many doctors recommend eating a tablespoon of Manuka honey every day as a method of preventing various infections and inflammation.
Papain, the enzyme produced by papaya, has strong anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, makes this sweet fruit a great home remedy for pimples. Mashed papaya applied on your skin regulates the production of sebum and is recommended to anyone who struggles with oily skin or acne. Apply the mask on the face and leave it on for half an hour. Before you rinse it off, perform a gentle massage of the skin in order to remove the dead skin cells that papaya eliminates.
Tomatoes seem to be an underestimated product in the cosmetic industry, which is surprising when you take into consideration all the benefits they bring to your skin. Tomatoes prevent ageing, kill bacteria, strengthen the skin, shrink the pores, make the skin smoother and reduce the appearance of blemishes. If you want to make use of all these benefits, simply blend one tomato with a tablespoon of oats and apply the mask on your face. Leave it on for one hour and rinse off with lukewarm water.
We all know the benefits of drinking green tea. Surprisingly, not many people know that its properties help soothe the inflammation and reduce the spreading of bacteria on the skin. In order to treat pimples with green tea, soak the leaves in warm water for 5 minutes, strain them and apply on your face. Leave them on for 20 minutes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water. You can also prepare green tea, pour it into a spray bottle and use it as a healing spray on your skin before bedtime. If you suffer from acne or if pimples are a recurring problem of yours, after just one week of green tea treatment you will notice a visible reduction in redness and inflammation.
Thanks to its strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, baking soda is a common ingredient of many anti-acne creams. A very simple to prepare paste of soda and water can help you fight pimples, make your skin smoother and softer as well as absorb the excess of oil on your skin. Apply the paste on your face and let it do wonders for 30 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water, dry your face gently and apply a light moisturiser.
Basil oil has been proven to effectively kill bacteria, including some types that are resistant to antibiotics. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it reduces swelling and redness of pimples. You can prepare basil leaves infusion by boiling 10 leaves in a litre of water for 5 minutes. Cool the mixture down and use it to dab onto your skin with a cotton ball or to rinse your face. The infusion can be preserved in the fridge for up to 5 days so that you don’t have to prepare a new mixture every day. Use it before bedtime for 7-14 days and you will notice a significant improvement in the appearance of your skin.