Pimples always seem to surface at the worst of times, like right before a presentation, hot date or important event. While popping it may be the obvious solution (at first), you always end up regretting it. So next time your dermis is doomed with a dreaded pimple, kill it off with any one of these zit zappers. From celebrity-approved tricks to convenient home remedies, here’s the scoop on the best pimple treatments around.
We know it sounds strange to put garlic on a zit, but the stinky bulb actually has many antibacterial properties, making it the perfect pimple fighter. To use garlic as a spot treatment, smash a clove and rub the juice on the affected area. Be prepared to smell like garlic! For that reason, we advise doing this before bed unless you want to smell like garlic bread all day long.
Models are practically paid to have clear skin, but they’re no more immune to pimples than the average person. One model’s secret to zapping zits? According to Into the Gloss, model Suzanne Diaz uses hydrogen peroxide to kill off her pimples. Here’s how: dip a Q-tip in the hydrogen peroxide and rub it on your pimple until you see a white foam (but she warns not to rub too hard, or you’ll burn your skin). Then, apply Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and leave it on overnight.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties that many people rely on for gentle, soothing pimple relief. Keep this convenient Tea Tree Blemish Gel ($10) from The Body Shop in your purse to target that pesky pimple even when you’re on the go.
Salicylic acid, a common ingredient in acne products, exfoliates skin and decreases inflammation. It’s unique in that it also has a soothing, calming effect on skin. Look for acne spot treatments that contain salicylic acid for proven pimple-fighting powers.
While it sounds random, Aspirin is actually almost chemically identical to salicylic acid, making it the perfect pimple fighter. Crush the pill and mix it with a few drops of water to turn it into a paste. Apply it to your pimple, leave it on for a few hours, and rinse off.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Scarlett Johansson relies on apple cider vinegar for clear skin, hailing its natural acidity as a toner to balance pH levels. It’s also commonly used as a spot treatment for acne. Dab some on a cotton ball and rub on the affected area.
This trick has been around since our days of junior high. While toothpaste may not abolish your zit, it will likely help to dry it out. It’s also a great last-minute fix since everyone has some toothpaste laying around. Apply a dab of it to your pimple before bed and wipe it off with a wet cloth in the morning to (hopefully) reveal a smaller pimple.
Commonly found in skin care products, benzoyle peroxide is a bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria rather than just slowing down its growth. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 ($11) is hailed as one of the best benzoyl peroxide spot treatments on the market.
Witch hazel has been used as a home remedy to get rid of pimples for centuries. Today, it’s commonly found in skin care products. While it may not abolish your pesky pimple overnight, the natural astringent and anti-inflammatory has been said to help bring down pimples over time.