Sometimes you can feel them coming, sometimes they sneak up from you, but no matter how or when they show up, they’re sure to bother you all day.
We’re talking about stubborn pimples!
Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in the morning and seeing a new pimple, especially after taking special care of your skin and drinking plenty of water.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably obsess over your new, unwelcome friend all day.
The good news is you don’t have to apply a whole-face clay mask or wash your face and ruin your makeup in order to get rid of them.
Acne spot treatments and patches are one of the most popular skincare trends of 2020.
Pimple patches, roll on spot treatments, and DIY formulas are easy to whip up from home to heal pimples and send them packing.
I already nailed down my skincare routine – why do I still have acne?!
Acne is the most common skin conditionin the United States, and over 85% of Americans reported to have had it at some point in their lives.
About half of the people who have moderate to severe acne continue to get acne in their 20s and 30s – and some even experience it well into their forties.
It’s extremely common, but no less annoying whenever it happens.
Even if you have already found your perfect skincare routine, you can’t always account for how your diet, stress levels, and body chemistry will play out for your skincare.
Every pore on your body, and we have about 5 million of them, is actually an opening to a hair follicle.
Our pores produce sebum, or oil, to nourish the hair follicles while keeping the skin hydrated and smooth.
Pores are the “root” of pimples – when they become clogged, bacteria starts to grow, and with it, a pimple forms.
Some of the things that influence your sebum levels and overall skin clarity are outside of the realms of what we can control.
For instance, your hormones can influence how much oil your skin produces, and your hormones can be affected by your menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Your diet also has a lot to do with how clear your skin is as well!
Consuming dairy products, for example, has been found to increase your risk of acne.
Certain medications might also cause acne as a side effect.
What type of acne do I have?
There are many different types of acne and levels of severity.
At the most basic level, there is noninflammatory and inflammatory.
Common whiteheads and blackheads fall into the noninflammatory category, whereas inflammatory acne includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
Typically, spot treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide are effective at treating and healing whiteheads, papules, and blackheads.
These are the types of acne that are most likely to pop up solo or with a couple of other pimples around your face.
To treat nodules and cysts, which penetrate deeply into the skin, you’ll need the help of a dermatologist.
If you still have acne despite having your skincare routine down, keeping stress levels low, and regulating your hormone levels, (first off, how?!) there are a couple unexpected but fairly common things that might be causing pimples to appear.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it sends your cortisol levels skyrocketing!
If you’re sleeping on dirty pillowcases that absorb and hold oil, you’re setting yourself up for sad skin.
When you wash your pillowcases and sheets, try to use a simple, organic detergent free of overpowering artificial scents so that it doesn’t irritate your skin.
Beauty sleep is powerful if you have the proper place to rest your head.
The reason we share all of this is to make it known that acne is not 100% avoidable, no matter what you do!
Treating it, however, is totally in your hands and people are finding pretty creative ways to do it!
Rise of the Pimple Patch
One of the biggest skincare trends of 2020 was the pimple patch.
Pimple patches have been used in k-beauty for a while and are just beginning to find their way into western skincare.
The pimple patch’s pseudonym, “the zit sticker” is exactly what it sounds like!
Rather than a solution that you dab as a spot treatment to stubborn pimples, pimple patches are like little stickers with potent acne-fighting ingredients in the “adhesive”.
Some patches are made to blend seamlessly with your skin so you’d never know they were there, but others do the opposite.
Because acne is so common among all skin types and ages, a lot of people are saying “so what?!” and “bedazzling” their acne spots with colorful pimple patches.
One brand even makes rainbowandholographiczit stickers to match your personal style.
Because why not?
The most common ingredients used on the “sticky side” of these zit stickers are hydrocolloid and salicylic acid.
Hydrocolloid helps to decrease the size of your pimple and absorb excess oils while salicylic acid works as a gentle exfoliant to unclog pores.
Micro-darts, which are teeny tiny “needles” that painlessly penetrate the top layer of the skin, are also used to help acne combatants into the skin.
The downside to patches is that not everybody wants to flaunt their blemishes.
Some patches are more inconspicuous but still noticeable.
They can also get pretty pricey and have a finite amount of uses.
Some brands are upwards of $30 for ~12 patches.
Hopefully, you don’t need more than 12 before you have to re-order!
For those of you who want to target pimples with fast-acting formulas, there are simple DIY spot treatments you can apply so your skin is public-ready by the next morning!
DIY Acne Spot Treatments
You may have noticed from our other blogs that we are big into the DIY route!
There are lots of natural store-bought ingredients that can help to heal the skin and achieve rave-worthy benefits.
They can help you get by when you’re in between products or are looking for a cost-effective way to experiment with skincare.
These DIY acne spot treatments are perfect for when you’re in a pinch and need to get rid of a pesky pimple fast.
Before you apply any of these home remedies, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any allergies or bad reactions to the ingredients before you apply them.
Otherwise, they can make a mountain out of the molehill you were trying to cover in the first place!
Secondly, don’t try to pop the pimple before you apply your treatment!
Popping pimples is always ill advised because it usually results in more irritation, inflammation, and bacteria than there was in the first place.
We know it’s hard, but try to keep your hands busy working on another project so they stay away from your face!
Lastly, these ingredients are best applied to clean and dry skin, but if you’re out and about, they can be applied to the pimple directly without breaking out the cleanser.
Some of these DIY treatments are great for on the go!
You can buy empty glass roller bottlesand fill them with your favorite oil-based acne spot treatments to easily and concisely treat blemishes.
Or, you can use cotton swabs or your finger to apply!
1. Tea Tree Oil Treatment
Tea tree oil is one of the most effective essential oils for treating acne.
It is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral and helps to rid your skin of pesky pimples by fighting off bacteria and decreasing inflammation.
Tea tree essential oil is very potent so its most beneficial side-kick is h2o!
Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 8 parts water and mix, then apply with a cotton swab to the site.
You can repeat this a couple of times throughout the day to speed up the healing process, but make sure to pair it with your favorite moisturizer so you don’t dry your skin out!
2. Green Tea Ice Cubes
This DIY recipe is easy to make in advance so you can grab it to treat the first signs of a pimple, and it uses a super common ingredient – green tea!
Green tea is a wonderful source of antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
It can also help with inflammation and bacteria.
The ice will help to soothe irritation and constrict blood vessels to help with redness.
This DIY is pretty straightforward – just brew enough organic green tea to fill an ice cube tray.
Once the tea is cool enough, move it to the freezer to freeze so you can grab it the next time a painful or red pimple appears.
3. Honey Spot Treatment
Honey makes for a great face mask or overnight acne spot treatment.
Raw honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which help to gently reduce inflammation.
Just dab it on and let it be!
4. Aloe Vera to the rescue
Aloe vera has many benefits for the skin.
It’s also thin and clear, making it a great, more inconspicuous treatment for blemishes.
No one will be able to see if you’ve got a little aloe vera spot on your skin over a zoom meeting!
Apply aloe vera gel harvested straight from the plant or use a pure aloe vera gel free of additives throughout the day or before you go to bed to help soothe irritated skin and make pimples disappear!
5. Destressing and De-puffing Lavender Treatment
This treatment takes a proactive and reactive approach to treating acne.
Not only does lavender essential oil quickly rid the skin of harmful bacteria (we’re talking 5 minutes fast), it helps reduce one of the biggest causes of acne – stress.
Lavender is used in aromatherapy to alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress – all of which can cause your skin to be out of whack!
Just like tea tree oil, however, it needs to be diluted before you put it on your skin.
Try a 1 to 8 ratio of lavender to water and apply with a cotton ball or fill up your roller bottle and give it a good shake to target acne.
Our Favorite Spot Treatments
Imagine you have an exciting night out or a big meeting that you’ve been preparing for.
You’re feeling confident and ready to go, but all your worries caused you to get a pimple.
It can be distracting and make you feel off your game.
If your pimples are especially stubborn and don’t budge after a DIY treatment, try a product containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
When it comes to crunch time, we at Skincare by Alana have found the perfect acne spot treatments to rid your skin of pimples fast.
Here are some of our favorites:
1) Rhonda Allison Blemish Serum: This is one of our most popular and highly rated spot treatments – just check out the reviews! This serum contains acne-combatting salicylic acid, witch hazel, and tea tree oil which all work hand in hand to decrease inflammation for acne-prone skin. It comes in a small 10 oz. bottle making it great for on-the-go application or it can also be used all over your face and body to prevent acne from ever appearing.
2) Skin Script Blemish Spot Treatment: Skin Script’s spot treatment has everything you could want in a fast-acting acne fighter. It uses both salicylic acid and glycolic acid to deeply penetrate and gently exfoliate the skin, unclogging your pores and banishing blemishes.
3) Organic Skin Care Herbal Clay Spot Treatment: This treatment is like a clay facial for your acne and blemishes. It’s thick but smooth and can be used on pimples, cold sores, and small lesions. Clay is especially great at soothing any burning, inflammation, itchiness, or other irritation. Plus, look how simple and straightforward that ingredient list is!
4) Dermaquest DermaClear Spot Treatment: Dermaquest has done it again with this acne-healing gel! It comes in a small bottle with an applicator wand so it’s easy to toss in your makeup bag and apply throughout the day. You’ll hardly even notice it’s on, but you’ll be sure to notice once your pimple is gone!
5) Bioelements Breakout Control Serum: We love a multi-purpose product! This serum is gentle enough to use every day alongside your favorite cleansers to prevent acne and add vibrancy to your skin. It also comes in handy once you’ve already formed a pimple by incorporating soothing and pure aloe vera gel into your routine! Apply all over or save it for problem spots, either way, you’re sure to love it.
Rock a patch, use a treatment or do a face mask the night before, or squeeze in a natural remedy throughout the day to decrease the pain and appearance of your blemishes.
Treating acne is part of looking out for the health of your skin, but don’t let it ruin your day.
Acne is normal.
Listen to the signals your body is giving you, whether it be to decrease your stress or stop eating as much sugar, to have happier skin and a happier day!