ZitSticka Chinelo Obiamalu KILLA
The Spot

How to Reduce Pimple Redness Overnight

by Hannah Burnstein


There are few things as frustrating as looking in the mirror and seeing a huge zit peering back. But when that zit is also redder than your worst sunburn—leading to both an irritated appearance and a general eyesore—it’s pretty easy for annoyance to take control. Don’t let it! Remember that having pimples is part of the human experience, and rest easy knowing that you can build your own breakout-busting arsenal to help make your pimples less red. 


What causes pimples? 

The first step to blocking breakouts is understanding what, exactly, is the cause of yours. It could be stress and hormones, either of which can increase skin’s oil production, leading to more pimples. If you think your period might be the culprit, we’ve formulated MOOD FOOD for hormone support and  a smoother menstrual cycle. Persistent breakouts could also be due to diet: inadequate hydration, fluctuating insulin levels, and maybe even whey protein may all be to blame. 

Or, breakouts crop up all the time thanks to good old-fashioned genetics, by way of one or both parents passing on a hormone condition that’s tied to blemish-prone skin or a strong inflammatory response to environmental aggressors. Really getting to the bottom of your breakouts might require consultation with a dermatologist—every case truly is different. 


Why is your pimple so red? 

If you have a huge, painful red pimple chilling on your face, chances are its anger is felt beyond just the epidermis, or the outermost layer of skin. In many cases, deep zits can cause irritation in the middle layer of skin, AKA the dermis, leading to a flustered outer appearance. This occurs when pores become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria entering the pores doesn’t do skin any favors either! All of these factors can make a blemish go from bad to even worse in just a few hours.  That’s not even to mention the redness that comes from touching a zit with your hands! Unfortunately, trying to pop deep breakouts doesn’t work because the contents are too deep to surface. Trying to open up these bad boys with your fingers also increases your chances of scarring and bacterial infections. It’s rough out here, we know! 


How to reduce pimple redness

1. Don’t touch your skin 

You’re not gonna like this, but rule number 1 for reducing pimple redness is—say it with me—no touching or picking at your skin! It is a surefire way to push the contents of a zit deeper into the skin. This doesn’t reduce pimple redness at all… It only makes it worse! Conversely, if ~zit goo~ does exit your pimple, you now have a red, raw wound on your face that has to scab over, which could create scarring in the long run. Best to just let it be, or cover it with a patch that’ll get the whole pimple gone faster than picking can. For surface-level pimples, the GOO GETTER extraction patch contains niacinamide and tea tree—both derm-loved for their redness-calming powers. For deeper pimple monstrosities, try KILLA, which also contains derm-backed soothers like niacinamide to get to the heart of any zit and reduce redness. 

2. Use gentle-yet-effective skincare  

Another way to make a pimple less red? Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Yep, gentle. None of those stripping face washes from the 90s! We recommend CUSHION CLEANSE because it contains high-performance botanicals alongside *mild* exfoliants to balance skin while still deep-cleaning your pores. Its superhero soother is bisabolol, a redness-reducing antimicrobial that’s actually derived from chamomile. 

3. SPF Year-Round! 365! No Days Off! 

Speaking of skincare, SPF is another chance to dial down the redness of one (or many) pimples. MEGASHADE is beloved by breakout-prone types because it contains Kakadu plum, colloidal oatmeal and, you guessed it, niacinamide. This trio works together to brighten skin, revive damaged skin and get rid of redness. 


How to use makeup to cover pimple redness

If you just can’t seem to kick pimple redness, fake it! There are many cosmetics on the market geared towards breakout-prone skin, but if you’re looking to tone down redness specifically, try using a green concealer before your normal, skin-toned makeup. Because green is the opposite color of red, the two cancel each other out, and the extra aggro color of your pimple is neutralized. Thanks, color theory! 


How to keep pimples away 

Just like reducing redness, keeping pimples at bay requires not popping the ones you already have. Think of all the things your hands have touched—do you really want that gunk wreaking havoc on your beautiful visage? But! You can touch your face when you’re washing it, which should be twice a day if you’re using a gentle cleanser like CUSHION CLEANSE. Make sure to (again!) use a gentle cleanser that contains calming ingredients, and rinse thoroughly. If you’re really keen on clearing your pimples, see a dermatologist: they’ll be able to give your skin a thorough examination and recommend personalized solutions. 


Still wondering how to get rid of deep, red pimples? Check out our battle plan here