The breakout is here, it happened. There is no amount of resistance that will vanish it in an hour. So first surrender to the fact that a healing now needs to take place. It's going to take some time for body to move this through and resolve it. Take a deep breath, know this will pass, and step towards supporting your own body's healing process instead of fighting with it.
2. Do not pick.
I know, I know. Incredibly hard advice to take when you just want your breakouts to be gone NOW. But when has that really worked? Maybe your pimple is flatter, but now you're left with is a bloody, red mark that can't hold any makeup and takes days to scab over and heal. Now everyone knows we have a breakout! Test this out: don't touch your pimple. Just put a little cover up on and see what it's like to just wear your breakouts. See how much faster they heal on their own. If you never try, you'll never know just how much easier it is to wear a bump than it is to wear a red, open sore.
3. Spot treat.
If you're getting a new breakout, I recommend using my Clove Oil Spot Treatment right away and applying every hour as the new breakout emerges until it calms down. The Clove Oil is gentle so you can apply it liberally and it’s not overly drying like products with salicylic acid, sulfur, or benzoyl peroxide. It also helps support your immune system's own healing process.
4. Keep up your regular skincare regimen.
If you maintain a daily skincare routine with a morning exfoliant (i.e. Pure Mandelic Exfoliant) and a nighttime exfoliant (i.e. Acne Clearing Treatment). Increasing exfoliant use during a breakout can lead to over-drying and flaking of the skin, so just stick to your normal routine.
5. Eat as if you're healing a cold.
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition and responds to healing much faster when our immune system is in a good state. So treat your breakouts like a cold. Get rest, drink lots of water, and avoid things that would prolong or flare up sickness like alcohol, dairy, and added sugar. These things feed hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and breakouts. Much better to focus on eating whole fruit + green smoothies, dairy-free soups, and plant-rich meals.
6. Cover up with a non-comedogenic concealer.
The most important thing in healing a breakout is to not make it worse. When most of us pick at our breakouts, we tear skin and cause bleeding, which prolongs the healing time and also makes it difficult to apply makeup. If you’re new here, here is my comprehensive list of comedogenic ingredients to avoid.
Have you ever noticed how your skin looks more calm and less red in the morning? You're not imagining things (that’s why those I woke up like this photos can be super cute!). Rest is the time our body heals the most. It's our immune system that is working hard to rebalance acne infections. When we don't get enough rest, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced and healing will take longer. If you have a breakout, make sleep a priority and get close to 8 hours each night while healing.
In sum, hang in there, be vigilant in your health, and be patient. No pimple is permanent! By learning from your skin you can learn to be free from breakouts.
If you want a guide, I would love to help you. You can get my Clear Skin Kit which comes with a 40 page booklet on diet and lifestyle factors, coach 1-on-1 with me, or continue reading my blog and self experimenting. I lived with acne for more than 10 years and am free through consistent diet changes and understanding my body. You can do this, you're not broken, you're beautiful! Hang in there. You don't have to do this alone.
Elise May, CN + LE, is a holistic esthetician, acne nutritionist, and founder of Skin Nutritious. Since 2009, she has helped over 1,300 clients overcome acne with a unique blend of coaching, treatments, and holistic skincare.
Work with Elise.
• In San Francisco - book online here.
• Worldwide Clear Skin eConsults book here.