Don’t let a dermatological disaster get you down. Here are a half-dozen ways to zap those zits fast!
Step 1: Don’t squeeze it! Resist the urge to squeeze a pimple. You might push bacteria further into your skin, causing an infection that could lead to scarring.
TIP: Keep tea tree oil or witch hazel in the house so that as soon as you feel a pimple starting to bloom, you can dab some on. Both have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that will help nip a zit in the bud.
Step 2: Give it an aspirin Woke up with a full-blown blemish? Crush an aspirin, mix it with a few drops of water, soak the tip of a cotton swab in it, and hold the swab against the zit for about 15 seconds. It won’t make the pimple disappear, but it can reduce redness.
TIP: Eye drops--the kind for bloodshot eyes--work too.
Step 3: Slap a paste on it Look in your cupboard: If you have lemon juice, instant oatmeal, honey, and an egg, you can make a paste out of a teaspoon of each and some of the egg white. Wash your face, smear the paste on the pimple, leave it on for 20 minutes, and rinse with warm water. This should further reduce the redness.
TIP: If you have hydrogen peroxide, dab some on the pimple first to disinfect it.
Step 4: Get some manuka honey Now that you’ve stopped the pimple in its tracks, it’s time to blast it off the face of … your face. Pick up some manuka honey at a health-food store, smear it on a bandage, and stick it on your pimple before bed. The zit will be far less noticeable by morning.
Step 5: Try toothpaste If you can't track down manuka honey, take some toothpaste--the paste kind, not the gel kind--and dab a pea-size amount on your pimple. When you wake up, the zit should be a shriveled shell of its former self. Take care not to spread it on the skin surrounding the pimple, or that will dry out, too.
TIP: Forget that movie that touted glass cleaner as a zit remedy. It doesn’t work.
Step 6: See the doctor If a gi-normous zit is threatening to ruin a big day and no home remedies have helped, visit a dermatologist, who can make it disappear--sometimes within hours--with a single injection of cortisone.
FACT: Though greasy foods are often blamed, acne is actually due in large part to genetics.