Don’t overcleanse (stripping skin of all its oils only induces it to produce more), and exfoliate daily (or as often as your skin can tolerate) to keep dead skin cells from clumping together and clogging pores.
You should beware this surprise pimple-promoter: popular vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements containing iodine, sometimes listed as potassium iodine. Iodine triggers angry red breakouts in many people, especially those who are acne-prone to begin with.
If your foundation causes pimples or blackheads, the product is probably too heavy (too-heavy moisturizers or cleansers may compound this problem). Look for foundations labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic.
Gently reduce inflammation of a pimple by dipping a clean washcloth into ice water and holding it against the skin for five minutes. Don’t squeeze!
Here’s how you can help a pimple to heal faster:
Soothe with a cool compress.
Dab on a bit of tea tree oil with a cotton swab
Use a clay mask as a pre-bedtime spot treatment, or apply a thin layer of a 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide product.
If you get blackheads or breakouts after a day at the beach, gently remove every trace of your sunscreen. Waterproof formulas may be comedogenic, so after cleansing, apply a clay mask for five minutes to clean out pores; remove it gently with a soft, damp washcloth.
When all else fails, camouflage!
If you don’t have time to heal a zit, you can at least hide it.
Apply a 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide lotion; blot; let dry.
Apply a sheer oil-free foundation; let dry. (Try stick or pot formula, which is slightly drier than the tube type but offers more coverage.)
With a tiny makeup brush — a detail brush or lip brush — dot on creamy concealer. Use a yellow-based shade (to cut the redness) that’s close to your skin tone, and a clean lip brush for the most precise coverage. Pat with your pinkie.
Blot with a tissue.
To set, press on a touch of loose powder with a sponge or puff; brush off excess.