How to Clear Acne Overnight

Medicated spot treatments can help zap individual zits.

Photo: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

The appearance of a volcanic zit the day before a big event doesn't have to send you screaming to the darkest recesses of your closet to hide until it goes away. Although it may not be possible to completely get rid of acne in a single night, you can certainly reduce the appearance of pimples and maybe even dry up that Mount Vesuvius that just erupted in the middle of your nose. Pay a visit to your pharmacy and revel in your acne treatment options, or channel your inner Martha Stewart and whip up a home remedy.


Wash your face with warm water and a salicylic acid exfoliating cleanser. Lather up the cleanser and massage it onto your face in a circular motion with your fingertips or a soft washcloth. Salicylic acid removes dead surface skin cells, allowing acne treatment to work more effectively.


Slather on a clay facial mask to help soak up excess oil and dry up existing zits. Look for a product containing bentonite, which is effective for sucking dirt and impurities out of your skin. Let the mask dry, until you look like a crumbling old Greek or Roman sculpture, then rinse it off with cool water.


Wipe off all traces of leftover clay with a cotton ball saturated in acne-fighting toner, such as one made with green tea or witch hazel. You can also use one of those handy medicated treatment pads that come in a jar. Isn't it fabulous living in a world of so many acne treatment options and so many delivery systems? What on earth did Laura Ingalls do when she got a zit? Suffered, apparently.


Dot an acne spot treatment onto individual pimples before you go to bed. If you want to go high-tech, look for one containing benzoyl peroxide with a silicone shield to keep it in place. If you want to kick it old-school or on the cheap, use calamine lotion or crush a few uncoated aspirin tablets and mix them with a few drops of honey and a few drops of water. The salicylates in aspirin are the same active ingredient found in salicylic acid acne products, but for a lot less money.


Set your alarm to wake you up in the middle of the night, so you can wash your face again and reapply spot treatment for an added boost. Hey, when it's important to be clean and clear, you do what you gotta do. Losing a few minutes' sleep is relatively mild on the "suffering for beauty" scale.

Things You'll Need


1.Clay or acne mask

3.Medicated toner

2.Salicylic acid cleanser

4.Acne spot treatment


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