How to Get Rid of Pimples Overnight

If you’re wondering how to get rid of pimples overnight, we get it. We all know that dread of seeing or feeling a new zit—especially deep-seated cystic acne. If you’re like me, you’ll take any measure to obscure it from public view, from using concealer to straight-up canceling social plans. (Sometimes it’s that bad!) Luckily, though, there are a few ways to get ahead of these eruptions, and to help disappear the blemishes before they can wreak bigger havoc on your skin. (Which means you can spare yourself weeks or months of healing, depending on how embedded that thing is.) And often, all you need to pair these anti-acne products with is a solid 8 hours of sleep.

Here’s how to get rid of pimples overnight, with the right ingredients and products.

The Best Ingredients for Fighting Acne

Before we discuss the best types of pimple-fighting products, we need to go through the best ingredients for battling the buildup of sebum and dead cells. Here are the hero ingredients to keep top of mind.

1. Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid helps unclog pores by dissolving dead skin cells and mitigating continued oil production. It’s arguably the best remedy for adult acne as well as getting rid of blackheads, but in terms of overnight solutions, salicylic acid is a quick solution for nixing whiteheads too, without having to pop them. It’s a popular ingredient in many pimple patches, since salicylic acid can help quell those cystic blemishes from worsening.

2. Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a high-grade defense against acne, and is often found in cleansers and creams for severely acne-prone individuals. (It’s a topical cream that will be most effective for an overnight miracle.) Benzoyl kills the bacteria inside pores, in addition to drying out the oil excess. It can stain your towels, pillowcase, and clothes, so it’s best to stick with whites if you plan to use the product and touch your face to any textiles. Ask your dermatologist if an OTC option is suitable for you (versus a prescription-strength one).

3. Sulfur

Sulfur is similar to benzoyl peroxide in that it soaks up the gunk and calms skin in the meantime. It’s less damaging to your towels and pillowcases, too, although it does tend to dry out the skin just as much as benzoyl. (Though that’s kind of the point, since you’re only targeting the patch of skin that needs drying out.) As with any other spot treatment, apply it to a freshly cleansed face before using any other products—using a Q-tip to do so would be best, so as to not transfer any oils or germs from your finger.

The Best Products for Overnight Pimple Reduction

These are the best types of products for reducing a pimple overnight—many of which deploy the above ingredients in order to reduce the blemish.

1. Hydrocolloid dressing

This adhesive bandage is the same thing that people put on blisters to lessen the swelling. It simply absorbs the moisture from the area and calms any strain on the skin. It can minimize an angry pimple overnight and disappear its remnants in a couple days while preventing additional bacterial accumulation. So, while it won’t make your skin blemish-free overnight, it will reduce the pimple to a smooth, dried-out state, allowing you to apply a dab of spot concealer to the area, and go on living your life without anyone taking notice. You might see some “pimple patches” that deploy the same science (sans any additional ingredients) to dehydrate and deflate these spots.

Good Light hydrocolloid pimple patches

ZitSticka large surface area hydrocolloid patches

2. Ingredient-packed pimple patches

Many pimple patches deploy the above hydrocolloid science in order to quarantine the pimple and reduce swelling, but they add a not-so-secret ingredient like salicylic acid for added deflation. The ingredient is usually contained inside tiny microdarts (you won’t feel them), which allow for skin penetration.

Peace Out Skincare pimple patches with salicylic acid and Vitamin A

Artnatural tea tree pimple patches

3. Topical spot treatments

It’s usually not recommended that you pop your pimple, especially when you can dry it out from the outside. This is how spot treatments work: They take an active ingredient like benzoyl, salicylic acid, sulfur, and then dry out the oil from inside the clogged pore. You just dab the product directly onto the offended area and let it work; as for overnight remedies, this is best for smaller, less embedded blemishes. You can also use them proactively, if you think you might break out and want to just be sure. Some are easy to mix into your night cream or serum and apply uniformly all over the face.

ZO Skin Health acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide 10%

Murad acne spot treatment with salicylic acid

Mario Badescu acne drying lotion with sulfur and salicylic acid

The Body Shop tea tree oil nighttretion

Author Profile

Scott Baber
Scott Baber
Senior Managing editor

Manages incoming enquiries and advertising. Based in London and very sporty. Worked news and sports desks in local paper after graduating.


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