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You have a special day or an event coming up. You do everything you can to make sure your skin is flawless nearing the date. To your dismay, you discover an angry, budding pimple on your face just the day before.

We’ve all been there and know how horrible it feels, and consequently how desperate we are for a good, effective, and most importantly quick way to get rid of pimples overnight.

Is it possible to get rid of pimples overnight?

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Can you get rid of zits overnight? The good news is yes… but there are certain conditions that you need to fulfil in order for that to happen. Read on for the most updated skincare tips and tricks that can get you a step closer to this goal.

Over-the-counter products to cure pimples overnight

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There are many anti-acne products that can help soothe pimples quickly, especially if we’re in the early stage of their appearance.

The ingredients that you can look out for:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Sulfur
  • Tree tree oil
  • Salicylic acid

These ingredients work by killing bacteria and drying up oil in the pore so that the pimple looks smaller by morning. Of these, salicylic acid is probably the first one you should try because it also has an exfoliating effect on skin, which helps drain pus from the pimple.

Here are some products that contain the above-mentioned ingredients you can try.

Pixi Zero Zit Blemish Solution

Pixi Zero Zit Blemish Solution

This lightweight blemish treatment contains salicylic acid and sulfur to help control sebum production while reducing swelling and redness.

Retails for S$36. Check the link below for latest promotions

Sephora

REN Clean Skincare Non-Drying Spot Treatment

REN Clean Skincare Non-Drying Spot Treatment

Targeting acne-causing bacteria and rebalancing healthy bacteria, this purifying spot solution calms irritation and speeds up recovery.

It can be used on bare skin or under makeup, and unlike a lot of spot treatments out there, promises a non-drying formula.

Retails for S$27. Click on link to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Made with a concentrated blend of salicylic acid and calamine, this fast-acting spot treatment heals and dries up zits with just one drop.

You’ll love that the gentle, non-irritating formula can help you achieve visible results overnight.

Retails for S$36. Click on the link to check for promotions.

Sephora

Eve Lom Dynaspot Spot Treatment

Eve Lom Dynaspot Spot Treatment

The ultimate SOS treatment for clearing spots fast, this contains tea tree oil and salicylic acid to soothe inflammation and reduce redness.

Its special ophthalmic nozzle also allows you to get a precise and hygienic application.

Retails for S$40. Click on the link to check for latest promotions.

LookFantastic

Besides these anti-acne skincare products, acne patches are another over-the-counter solution you can go for.

Acne patches are usually made of a special wound dressing called hydrocolloid gel, which absorbs pus and other fluids from open wounds, which are pimples are in essence.

Not all brands of acne patches are the same, so you’ll have to experiment and see which ones work the best for you. Some are more invisible on the skin, while others have better adherence and wouldn’t fall off as easily.

Some users have even reported that acne patches can decrease the size of ‘un-ripe’ pimples and heal them before they even get to the pustule stage.

You can wear an acne patch overnight in the hopes that it might go down by the next day (and it sometimes might).

If it doesn’t, you can still wear an acne patch on the following day as a way to conceal the zit, heal it gently, and protect it from airborne bacteria.

Looking for acne patches? Here are a few recommendations.

COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch

COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch

This cult-favourite product is loved by those with acne-prone skin.

Its patches attach snugly to the skin and is infused with Centella Asiatica to help soothe blemishes.

The patches also come in varied sizes to fit different types of zits.

Retails between S$7.90 and S$13 for a pack of 26 pieces. Click on the links to compare prices.

LookFantastic
Watsons

Nexcare Patch Thinner

Nexcare Patch Thinner

These patches are made with a water-based material that can absorb oil secretion, fluid, and pus like a sponge.

Its waterproof but breathable material aids in healing. You’ll also love that this particular version is thinner than regular patches, which makes it less obvious if you wear it out, even if you were to wear makeup over it.

Retails for S$8.20 for a pack of 30 pieces. Click on the links below to compare prices.

Guardian
Watsons

Acnes Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch

Acnes Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch

Clinically tested to help inhibit acne bacteria growth in 24 hours, these medical grade patches are only at 0.02cm, making them barely visible.

Its waterproof and sweatproof material helps it adhere better on skin while it absorbs pus and sebum to hasten acne recovery.

Retails for S$7.80. Click on the links below to compare prices.

Guardian
Watsons

Holika Holika AC MILD Red Spot Patch

Holika Holika AC MILD Red Spot Patch

These patches are saturated with bacteria-killing ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil and Salicylic Acid and are made for those with oily, sensitive skin.

The patches are also available in two sizes to fit different types of zits.

Retails for S$11. Click on the link below to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Finally, you can also get a hydrocortisone cream at a pharmacy. This is a quick fix for redness. Just take note not to use it for more than three days in a row and don’t apply too much of it or you may risk clogging your pores with it.

Medical treatments you can try

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If you absolutely need to get rid of a pimple before a very big day, it is possible to get some medical help.

A dermatologist can give you a cortisone injection to treat your zit in an instant. This is a steroid jab that reduces inflammation immediately.

However, these jabs can have some side-effects such as skin thinning and the risk of an identation at the spot you treated. What this means is that it is not intended as a regular treatment, but only as a I-really-need-to-get-this-fixed emergency treatment.

Home remedies that soothe zits overnight

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Toothpaste is one of the most common home remedies that is said to help soothe pimples overnight.

You probably already considered some of these home remedies you’ve read up about online. We’ve asked doctors about these popular overnight acne-curing hacks and here’s what they say about each of them.

  • Feminine wash: No. The pH of feminine washes may be too acidic for facial use and can cause irritation instead.
  • Ice cubes: Yes. The cold temperature can constrict blood vessels, which in turn reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Eyedrops: Maybe. Anti-redness eyedrops reduce the size of blood vessels but it only has a temporary effect. Prolong use of such treatment, however, can cause redness to worsen if not treated properly.
  • Honey: Maybe. It helps dry out pimples and have an anti-inflammatory effect. However, expecting it to work on reducing pimples overnight is probably a bit ambitious.
  • Asprin: Maybe. It has anti-inflammatory effect but will not be useful on cystic acne that is pus-filled. Also, you’ll need to check if you have any allergy towards asprin or painkillers within the same family of drugs before attempting this hack.
  • Toothpaste: Maybe. There are anti-bacterial ingredients and mattifying ingredients that you find in cosmetics products that may help. However, because of the other harsh ingredients found in it, it can cause irritation too. You can attempt it if you’re truly desperate but bear in mind the potential irritation it may cause.

Popping the pimple

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Are you surprised that this is even on the list?

Well, you should be because squeezing a zit is generally still a no-go in our book. However, this is a last resort if you really don’t wish to walk down the aisle with a giant pimple and you’ve exhausted all your options.

Not all pimples should be popped. If you’re looking at a cystic acne or one that’s lodged deep, deep within your skin, please leave it alone.

The only type of pimple you can attempt to pop are “pustules”. These are the ones that are red and inflamed with a circle of white pus in the centre and visible at the top.

If you’ve identified this type of pimple, here are what you can do to pop the pimple:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap – and don’t forget to wash underneath your fingernails.
  2. Use alcohol wipes or a cotton pad soaked with rubbing alcohol to wipe your pustule. This may sting a little!
  3. Use two fingers or two clean cotton buds to squeeze on either side of the pustule. Do not use your fingernails.
  4. Only use gentle pressure when you’re squeezing.

Another important note: if it doesn’t pop with gentle pressure, you should stop trying to pop it. Trying to pop a pimple that’s too deep in your skin can lead to scarring and further infection.

And we know we’ve mentioned it above, but we’re gonna repeat this: avoid squeezing with your fingernails because it can lead to inflammation and scarring.