So, you feel like you’ve got a giant zit somewhere on your face. But when you ran to look in the mirror, there was nothing there. We’ve all been there—that’s the reality of subterranean cystic zits. And while we’ve all probably made the dreaded decision to try to get our hands on a zit like this, we’ve also learned that it’s the worst thing for your skin. However, more often than not, those deep, often throbbing pimples won’t come to the surface with manipulation, meaning the only thing you’ll get out of squeezing is a lot of redness and a long recovery time. This ultimately begs the question: How can you prevent zits from forming? To find out, we spoke with three board-certified dermatologists for their top tips. Keep scrolling to remember them all.
Clean your skin:
If you notice feel a pimple coming on, the last thing you want to do is cause it to break out even more. Dermatologists say to keep your skin as clean as possible when trying to stop a zit in its tracks. She explains that this tip will not only help prevent breakouts, but also reduce the duration and severity of breakout episodes. So, if you notice zits forming, you’ll want to make sure you’re cleaning your skin properly. Remember, it’s never too late to start! With that in mind, she recommends using a cleanser formulated with glycolic, salicylic, and/or lactic acids, which she says will not only help clear skin, but also unclog pores will also be kept free of cellular debris.
Wear a new and clean face mask:
With the ongoing mask mandate, our faces can become a breeding ground for bacteria, Ulster says. Masques (mask-induced acne) can not only cause breakouts on the surface, but can also lead to zits that form in the deeper layers of the skin. This is because dead skin cells, surface bacteria and sweat are trapped inside the mask as well as its fibers. So if you’re a frequent wearer, you could be inadvertently exposing your skin to acne-causing bacteria. In other words, as simple as it is, Ulster says always reach for a new, clean mask. Best Smelling Shampoo
Avoid touching your face constantly:
It’s not just about trying to avoid popping a pimple — it’s about not touching your face at all. After all, despite almost always hand sanitizer these days, bacteria still lives on your fingers and hands, and touching your face is the fastest way to accidentally transfer it. But, while we’re on the subject of touching, just in case you’re not totally convinced not to try your hand at popping. It’s never a good idea to pop a pimple, especially if the pimple hasn’t popped yet. Since a pimple has no channels that connect it directly to the surface of the skin, sebum, dead skin cells and debris trapped within the skin cannot yet be successfully removed. As a result, trying to lift and pop can force the debris to swell beneath the surface, potentially leading to infection, not to mention permanent scarring. So, once again, hands off!
Cysts are known for their throbbing and swollen nature — even when no head is visible. And it’s because of these uncomfortable side effects that people try to take matters into their own hands by popping. Instead, Green recommends applying a warm compress, which can encourage the pores to open up, which will relieve some of the pressure. If you prefer cooler temperatures, though, Ulster says applying ice can also help relieve the pain and irritation associated with angry, sub-surface acne.
Treat affected area:
Treating the acne spot in the area where you can feel the acne breakouts is a great way to get an acne breakout before it gets to the head. Dermatologists says, Acne Spot Treatment, formulated with 5% benzoyl peroxide to treat any blemishes before breakouts get out of control. Can be managed. Dermatologists also recommend benzoyl peroxide-based spot treatments. The Human Acne Spot Treatment Gel is a great, quick fix when you feel a pimple starting to form,” she says. This clear gel penetrates deep into the skin, killing acne-causing bacteria with benzoyl peroxide and calming redness with antioxidant-rich botanicals. Pimple patches are a great way to stop pimples in their tracks and heal them overnight, dermatologists recommend ZitSticka™, which packs its patches with ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide to reduce pores can quickly clear up and reduce redness. I also like that they offer different patches to target different types of pimples. The Killa™ kit is perfect for early-stage and deep zits, and includes self-dissolving patches as well as pre-soaked towels to help clear acne faster.
Treat with Vitamin A/ Retinol:
One of the best ways to prevent zits from forming is to treat the skin regularly and prevent them before you notice them. Retinol is always great because it unclogs pores, explains Dr. Jaliman. Vitamin A derivatives help increase the rate of cell turnover, which rids your skin of dead cells that often clog pores and cause pimples.
Zits look unsightly, they feel just as bad, and they have the ability to reflect on a good date, photo, or mirror. But that stops with our two-step guide to zap a zit in its tracks. For those times when you feel one coming on — you know, when it’s just starting to build, and you get that panic-inducing feeling that things could get ugly.