In Hollywood, pop-up pimples are serious business. Flawless complexions are so prized that celebs keep their trusted skin gurus on speed-dial. But just because the paparazzi aren’t knocking down our doors doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get the VIP treatment too. That’s why we’re sharing these Tinseltown acne-fighting secrets from our exclusive chats with celebrity skincare experts. Keep scrolling for seven elite skin-savers’ tips on handling breakouts STAT.
dr. harold lancer, dermatologist to the stars
1. Keep your hands off your face. “Avoid touching your face to minimize spreading bacteria to other parts of the face and stick to a consistent skincare regimen with products containing salicylic acid,” recommends Lancer.
2. Apply a dab of retinol before bed. “Spot treat with a product that contains exfoliating AHAs, BHAs, or retinol. You can also use benzoyl peroxide, but that can be very drying and cause the skin to be irritated,” says Lancer. “I recommend my patients dab a little of the Lancer Skincare Caviar Lime Acid Peel ($90) on the affected area before bed. It contains 10 percent glycolic acid and retinol to exfoliate and accelerate cell turnover, as well as brightening phytic acid to help minimize any redness and post-acne hyperpigmentation.”
Dayle breault aka goddess of skin, celebrity facialist
3. Ice it. “My best tip is, ‘Ice, baby, ICE!'” says Breault. “Acne bacteria hates cold… Run, do not walk, to the fridge, drive-thru, or Starbucks, and get your hands on a piece of ice. Lay it on the lesion, do not push, and wait until it hurts from the cold… Once it’s freezing, then remove [the ice], wait until it warms, and do it again, until you see the swelling coming down. Then, the acne bacteria will be killed and the swelling and redness relieved.” (Photo via Deb Lindsey/Getty)
4. Apply a warm compress. “If it’s too late and the whitehead has formed, break out (no pun intended) the heat,” instructs Breault. “Gently press a warm compress onto the lesion, and once it’s heated up, bring it over a facial bone — i.e. the chin, jawline, cheekbone, or forehead. Then, with clean, tissue-wrapped fingers, gently spread the skin surrounding it and push down and under to release the pressure and bacteria.” (Photo via Getty)
LING CHAN, CELEBRITY ESTHETICIAN
5. Fight back with oxygen. “The number one product I recommend for clients to minimize breakouts as quickly as possible is Ling Skincare Oxygen Plasma Potion ($90),” says Chan. “Oxygen will help with anti-bacterial function, reducing inflammation, and rejuvenating skin rapidly.”
6. Heat up some green tea. “An at-home suggestion to make pimples heal rapidly is to apply a warm green tea bag on the pimple. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants to reverse [the blemish’s] inflammation and size,” says Chan. “Plus, a green tea bag will not further irritate the pimple, but will help reduce the inflammation and sebum production which lead to the formation of acne.” (Photo via Unkel/Getty)
joanna vargas, celebrity facialist
7. Bust out the yogurt. “A quick fix for a pimple is to dab a bit of yogurt on it. The lactic acid, along with the probiotics, will calm and heal it fast,” says Vargas. “I also have my clients dab a bit of my Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask ($75) on the offending pimple and leave it on overnight. It usually disappears immediately.”
8. Whip up a face mask. “Believe it or not, it’s very easy to use kitchen ingredients on the face. I like to make a mask using half a cup of yogurt, half a cup of mashed strawberry, and a quarter cup of honey,” Vargas says. (Photo via Red Point/Getty)
renee rouleau, celebrity facialist
9. Ditch the drying spot treatments. “Most people have a variety of zit-zapping spot treatments in their bathroom. They tend to apply these products generously the moment a blemish pops up, hoping to dry it out and eliminate it quickly. This may come as a major surprise, but most spot treatments actually make the blemish last longer when used in this way,” says Rouleau. “The best solution is to leave the blemish alone. Let nature do its thing without applying a drying spot treatment. I also always recommend my Renée Rouleau Zit Care Kit ($153) to clients.”
10. Soak and extract. “When the infection comes to the surface appearing as a whitehead, you can apply a warm, damp washcloth to it for two minutes to soften the skin and to make extraction easier,” instructs Rouleau. “Next, wrap your finger in tissue and gently squeeze the whitehead twice. If you have a sterile lancet, you can pierce the blemish to get it out more easily. If it doesn’t come out in one or two tries, it means it wasn’t ready.” (Photo via Getty)
sunday riley, biochemist and skincare line founder
11. Reach for a sulfur mask. “Apply a warm washcloth to clean skin and then apply a thick layer of Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Mask ($55) for 30 minutes,” says Riley. “The warm washcloth softens skin, while also loosening the dirt and debris that are trapped under the surface. After removing Saturn, apply an ice pack to particularly swollen blemishes.”
12. Scoop up the Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Treatment. “If you’re experiencing a particularly large cystic outbreak… try a dab of Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($105) for 5-10 minutes, remove with a warm washcloth, and follow with Saturn as a spot treatment for 15-30 minutes,” Riley says.
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