Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
We all have awoken to find a red, swollen pimple marring our beautiful complexion, on occasion. Most often, pain accompanies its sudden appearance. There's no need to dig out last year's Halloween mask and hide for the next few days. A few simple home remedies can reduce inflammation, redness, swelling and pain literally overnight. With the exception of tea-tree oil, these remedies may dry out the inflamed area. But hey, no pain no gain right? That is, unless you have extremely sensitive skin or allergic reactions. If this is you, skip the toothpaste and aspirin remedies and try one of the more natural, less abrasive treatments.
Clean Teeth and Face
Toothpaste isn't just for preventing cavities! Toothpastes containing hydrogen peroxide or baking soda provide quick fixes for painful pimples. Peroxide and baking soda kill bacteria that causes pimples and reduce redness and swelling. Most toothpastes contain a form of alcohol or menthol that dries the pimple up quickly, pulling impurities out. Wash and dry your face thoroughly before applying the toothpaste. Dab the toothpaste on, ensuring the pimple is entirely covered in a thick layer. Leave the toothpaste on overnight and wash your face with a gentle soap in the morning.
Combining 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of white or apple-cider vinegar creates a paste to knock out that pesky pimple. Baking soda lowers the pH balance of the skin, which is normally higher in acidity where pimples are present and is a mild exfoliant to remove dirt and other debris. Vinegar is an antiseptic, drawing out impurities and removing bacteria. This pimple paste reaps the benefits of both ingredients, reducing redness and swelling, which causes the pain. Dab the paste directly to the pimple, ensuring all redness is covered. Sleep in the paste overnight and wash your face in the morning as normal.
Pimple Pain Relievers
Aspirin is no longer isolated for pain relief. When applied topically, aspirin reduces irritation and inflammation to reduce the pimple (and the pain, of course!). Aspirin contains forms of beta-hydroxy acid, a common ingredient in acne medications because of its ability to reduce and prevent breakouts. On a clean surface, use a butter knife to crush an aspirin or two into powder. Add a few drops of olive oil until a thick paste is formed. Olive oil contains vitamin E, which soothes and conditions the irritated, painful skin. Cover the pimple in a layer of the aspirin paste and leave on overnight. Remove with a gentle face wash.
Tea-Tree Oil Remedy
Tea-tree oil is organic and works wonders for the skin. As an antibacterial oil, it destroys bacteria to eliminate infections, especially painful, inflamed pimples. Tea-tree oil is a natural moisturizer, quickly absorbed by the skin without causing excessive greasiness. With a cotton ball, pat on a generous amount of tea-tree oil directly onto the pimple up to three times a day. Do not rinse off. For quicker results, break a cotton ball into a smaller piece about the size of the pimple in question, and soak in tea-tree oil. Place the cotton ball on top of the pimple and cover with a band-aid to hold it in place. Leave on overnight and remove in the morning.