Not all pimples are alike. Which is why the one-size-fit-all treatment strategy doesn’t always work. We were recently chatting with celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau about an unconventional blemish-clearing method when she shared some pimple treatment insight that’s just too good not to pass along. Scroll through for her tips on treating every kind of pimple.
Rouleau says when you get a red, painful blemish (a papule), one of two things will happen: Either it will remain a papule, or most often “the infection inside the blemish will work its way up to the surface of the skin resulting in a whitehead.” This type of blemish is called a pustule. Her advice for treating these kinds of pimples is to choose and use your spot treatments wisely. “The best course of action is to not act the minute you feel it coming on; instead wait a day or two for the infection to appear on the surface. Waiting will allow you to effectively control the blemish without damaging the skin.” Once you can see the whitehead, gently extract the infection and apply a spot-drying treatment (we like Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Acne Treatment, $24). The treatment will make its way into the skin to stop the breakout at the source. “If you apply a drying treatment before the whitehead is on the surface, it will simply dry out the surface of the skin, keeping the infection trapped underneath for longer,” Rouleau says.
For nodules and cystic pimples (which Rouleau notes primarily occur in the chin and jawline areas for women), “it’s important to remember that cysts are like submarines; they are meant to stay under the skin. No matter what method you employ, cysts will never rise to the surface of the skin.” Which means absolutely no picking. No matter how tempting it is, just know picking will only make the inflamed area look worse. Your body will eventually reabsorb the infection, but it can take weeks. Rouleau says the best way to treat cysts and nodules is with her Anti-Cyst Treatment ($43). The combination of ethyl lactate and lactic acid will dissolve the infection and prevent future breakouts.
Have you been treating your breakouts the right way? Tell us what works for you below!