Spot check

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

You’re going out and naturally, you’ve got the spot from hell. What to do? Take some expert advice…

Disguise it

Another thing you can do if really in a pinch is to try an old make‐up artist trick. If the blemish is in an area that you could get away with it, apply foundation and then colour the spot over with a soft brown eye pencil. This makes it look like a beauty mark and then you can simply leave it alone. Great for occasions when slightly heavier make‐up is acceptable, or when nobody really knows you!

Gently does it

It’s hard to leave spots alone, but we really should. If you are going to play with a blemish, be gentle. The more you squeeze, the more likely you are to cause damage. Try to use a spot product for a few nights, or apply a mask in that one area before going to bed.

One of the most annoying things about spots is that they always seem to appear when you really want to look your best. Never fear. Make‐up and skincare expert John Gustafson has a few ideas on how to zap those zits.

Watch the video below from Dr. Gemma Newman for more information on how to get rid of a spot

Pick it!

Right. There are two schools of thought here. One says to simply leave spots alone until they go away. The other school of thought says that by clearing out the infection quickly you can allow the skin to get on with the process of healing without anything spreading under the skin. I guess I feel that both have their place.

If it looks like the blemish will clear, I will let it. If there is an obvious infection, I want it to go away before it has an opportunity to become unsightly. So if you have made your mind up, and you are going to do it, let’s see if we can make it easier on the skin itself.

Get the area ready. Take a face flannel that has been soaked in fairly hot water and place it on the blemish for as long as you can. Keep doing this over and over for at least five minutes. This will soften the skin and loosen the opening of the blocked pore. Put gentle pressure with your fingers, not your nails, on either side of the blemish until it breaks open. Now stop. Don’t squeeze the life out of it until you draw blood, which is what most of us do. Instead, put a blob of a deep cleansing mask onto the blemish and allow that to pull the infection out. When the mask is dry around the outside, and wet in the middle, wipe it away and repeat the process, putting more of the mask on.

By doing this you will draw out any fluid without bringing all of the blood to the surface and leaving a massive red mark. It will also help to stop the open blemish from getting re‐infected. Once done, use a bit of an anti‐bacterial zit zapper to help reduce the risk of re‐infection.

You may find that if it was a blocked pore, by softening the skin with warm water, the “plug” comes out really easily. If you have to struggle, stop. You will only make a mess. This should be an easy operation. If it is not, the blemish was not ready or it was too deep. Use common sense and good judgment; after all, you shouldn’t be doing this in the first place!

Cover it

If you can cover the blemish, do. Apply your foundation and then go back with a concealer and a small brush. By using a brush you will have control and will be less likely to draw more attention to the spot.  If the blemish has been opened, you are going to find that it will weep and make covering difficult. Again, that is why the mask is helpful.

The mask will often seal the spot and allow you to get the mark covered. But it is going to be a trade‐off. Keep your eye on the area or you will find there is a big gooey mess the first time you get a chance to look in a mirror. It is always best to try to get rid of a spot in the evening if possible.

If the blemish is raised and visible, keep your cover‐up job to a minimum. Crusting it over with huge amounts of concealer is not really going to fool anyone, is it? Use your judgment; sometimes a little coverage to blend it down is much better than trying to cover it up.

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