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33 Ways To Help Get Rid Of A Pimple In A Hurry

We are going to make acne wish it had never been BORN with these solutions. No, but seriously, please go away forever.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1. Stop pimples in their tracks as soon as you *spot* them with some drying lotion. Just a drop overnight can kill 👏 that 👏 zit, even if it's not a whitehead yet.

Promising review: "After I stopped nursing my daughter, I started breaking out and it was just getting worse as the months went on. I noticed that I was not only getting annoying red spots and whiteheads, but I was also getting cystic, painful acne in other places too. I wasn't eating any different or unhealthy so I decided to look for a different topical treatment as I was already using a benzoyl peroxide product. I stumbled across this with great reviews, and it was the best decision! I have engagement photos tomorrow and I can say for the first time in about two years I am completely breakout free! This product is so easy to use and is great for overnight use — by the time I wake up in the morning the product has disappeared on my face along with my acne. The first night I used it my breakouts were either completely gone or half the size! Now a week later I have woken up with no breakouts and I am ecstatic!" —Megan S.

Get it from Amazon for $10.11.

2. Apply a cold compress (like an ice pack) directly on the zit until it comes to a head. It's quick, easy, and at the very least diminishes swelling and irritation.

Dundee Productions

Please don't be like Gary (shoutout to loyal Veep fans). You'll want a hard ice pack like these ($2+ on Amazon), because — speaking from experience — the soft ones melt wayyyy to fast. And then you have a puddle on your chin.

3. Neutralize your breakout's appearance with the proper color-correcting concealer (green = bye bye red zit). Memorizing what shade best counteracts your ~situation~ will help you hit the cancel button on that pimple très vite.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Check out more makeup tricks everyone should know!

This color-correcting palette ($20 on Tarte) corrects discolorations, conceals pimples, contours, and brightens — all in this one color wheel! Each shade addresses a skin concern (i.e. orange counteracts dark under eyes) so you can conquer whatever the morning throws at you.

4. Fear not in the ~face~ of either cystic acne. This Aztec Secret Indian healing clay has helped at least 13,128 Amazon five-star reviewers get it under control. I kid you not, I'm convinced this isn't a mask, it's a vacuum for your pores (no matter how deep they go).

I'm honestly not even sure how there are still people left on this Earth who have yet to buy this. By the way this works best with apple cider vinegar! Want more proof? Read our full breakdown!

Promising review: "Wow. Just wow. I had no expectations for this product since I've been dealing with cystic acne since I was a teenager (I'm 24 now), so I went into this purchase not expecting much. As many others have said, I previously tried absolutely everything on the market to cure my acne. I have very sensitive, reactive skin and have never seen any real improvement. After reading all the crazy reviews about this product, I figured I would give it a try, not expecting much. However, I have been blown away by the long-term results of using this mask. I mix it with apple cider vinegar and apply it several times a week when my skin is really bad, and it has never done anything negative to my skin – no irritation, no dryness, nothing. It always destroys every single pimple that emerges. It does bring underlying pimples to a head, and that can be a little disturbing at first, but it is so worth it for the end result. I was considering taking Accutane, a very strong and dangerous medicine to finally cure my acne for good, and this product has made me completely reconsider." —Heather E.

Get them from Amazon: Aztec Healing Clay for $8.30 and apple cider vinegar for $8.57.

5. Name your zit (and not in an endearing way). Identifying what kind of breakout you're experiencing can help you choose the most effective solution STAT — most products specialize in one kind!

Check out more from Birchbox for your full guide to identifying acne! Need suggestions? We've got your ~covered~:

Salicylic-acid-based products are best for inflammatory and comedonal acne (aka whiteheads, blackheads, and red bumps). Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($29 on Birchbox) unclogs pores and removes dead skin cells to both get to the root of pimples and leave you with a brighter complexion. Tl;dr: gently exfoliating with salicylic acid easily brings breakouts to a head.

Zinc-and-sulfur-based products work well for treating cystic or nodule acne (aka deep infections that don't come to a head). Malin and Goetz nighttime acne treatment ($22 on Birchbox) works overnight to help minimize pimples and calm oily skin — both factors that those of us with hormonal acne are all too familiar with.

6. Slap on a pimple patch faster than you can say pop. These remove the pus (blech) overnight so you can avoid scarring, picking, and any of the other lovely benefits of a usually longer-lasting breakout.

Seriously, these hydrocolloid helpers summon bacteria and debris from deep under those zits so by the time you remove it, le zit is le gone. Learn all about these bad boys from a BuzzFeeder's closer look!

Promising review: "Absolutely amazing! They come in three different sizes, so you can conquer any zit, no matter how large or small. They are close to clear, so they blend in well with my skin. I'll put one on a painful, irritated, head-less pimple in the morning, go about my day (no one has called me out for wearing them, which means either they haven't noticed or they're afraid to say anything), and by the evening all the yuck has been sucked out onto the patch. It's disgusting, but SO COOL! When I take the patch off, it looks like the pimple was photoshopped right off my face. ZAP! Leaving the patch on all day also keeps me from picking, which prevents nasty scars and making the zit worse." —Lindsay & Eddie

Get it from Amazon for $4.97.

7. Confront your pimple ~head on~ by gently draining it with a warm washcloth (aka a much safer version of popping). After a few minutes you'll be able to slide the whitehead off with the cloth. No energy. No scabbing. Continue your day unphased.

Check out even more from The Beauty Department for how to get rid of whiteheads without scarring!

If it doesn't work the first time, just repeat holding down the warm washcloth a few more times. As long as it's not a cystic pimple, this will work! Besides, what are you doing today? You'll be on that couch all day. And don't forget to treat it after with some topical acne cream ($4.99 on Amazon) so the bacteria doesn't spread!

8. Conquer tough cystic acne once and for all with a TreeActiv acne spot treatment specifically designed to target such breakouts. It drastically reduces inflammation and fights infection so you're not stuck with your new friend for the usual forever-long period.

Its formula contains bentonite clay (to draw out toxins, eliminate zits, and calm irritated skin), pink grapefruit essential oil (to reduce inflammation and swelling), vitamin C (to produce repairing collagen), witch hazel (to clear away excess sebum and balance oil), peppermint and spearmint water (to kill bacteria within pores and decrease excess oil production and scarring), tea tree water and essential oil (to moisturize and tone), lemon essential oil (to exfoliate away dead skin cells), and aloe vera (to promote the production of vitamins E and C for healthier skin). SO YEA IT DOES A LOT.

Promising review: "Nothing has cured or even helped my cystic acne except for this product! It immediately started working the first night. I have spent hundreds of dollars with dermatologists on chemical scripts with no success. You must try this!" —Jo Lynn Courtney-Johnson

Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

9. Match your skin concern to the proper face mask — most aren't a one-fits-all solution. By narrowing down choices with a mask recommendation quiz, you can most likely skip any trial-and-error and successfully treat that damn breakout.

Getty Images

Take this "Tell Us Your Skin Problems And We'll Recommend A Face Mask" quiz to find your match!

10. Control excess oil (which might be causing your breakout in the first place) with The Ordinary peeling solution. It's basically a ten minute exfoliating facial that kicks shiny T-zones — and all its bumpy cohabitants — to the curb fast.

Jame Jackson / As/Is

Its ingredients like glycolic, salicylic, and citric acid dramatically exfoliate your skin so you get pro-like peel results without the redness or hefty bill. Check out a BuzzFeeder's full review for why she now swears by this!

Get it from The Ordinary for $7.20 or Amazon for $13.20.

11. Eliminate blackheads from your nose with a TonyMoly scrub stick. Its blend of marine plant extracts, black mud, and charcoal quickly extract clogged pores faster than strips, so those little black bumps really are out of sight, out of mind.

Use it right after washing your face while your skin is still wet!

Get it from Amazon for $12.50 or Urban Outfitters for $13.

12. Nourish your skin by applying a powerful vitamin C serum with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to reduce pores and breakouts, target discoloration, and make your overall complexion ~brighter~. And, yes, its benefits show faster than you can think of a rhyme for orange.

Check out our full breakdown of this wildly popular serum (hello, 7,228 five-star reviews and counting) to learn alll about it!

Promising review: "This product saved my skin. I seldom write reviews, but just had to review this product. I’ve been struggling with acne for YEARS. I have very acne-prone skin. I get a new pimple almost every day and it seemed like there was never a time I didn’t have a pimple on my face. I’ve tried all different types of moisturizers and cleansers. Nothing worked. However I bought this serum on a whim. Omg. Guys. Literally my face stopped flaring within three days. I was PIMPLE-FREE FOR MORE THAN 48 hours (a new record). My blemishes have faded DRASTICALLY and I have no more active breakouts. This hasn’t happened in years. I truly and honestly think it is due to this product." —Brandon

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in two sizes).

13. Fret not if your popped pimple won't stop, well, oozing and you need to GO. A dab of NYX waterproof eyeshadow primer before your regular concealer will halt leaking and ensure that your coverup stays in place all darn day.

This stuff is designed to hold everything in place no matter WHAT (esp. during hot and humid days) thanks to its waterproof formula, so you can depend on it to keep your pimple dry and ~under wraps~.

Another good trick is using deodorant ($5.22 on Amazon)! Check out other unexpected beauty hacks you'll wish you'd known about sooner!

Promising review: "This is a phenomenal product, especially for your money. I first tried this product on a day that was an emotional disaster. I cried the whole entire day and my eyes were puffy and swollen. The only places that my eyeshadow moved was in the inner corners where your eyes produce the most oil and fluids. The rest of the eyeshadow never moved in 24 hours until I used a makeup remover. I can't believe this product stayed as well as it did through that whole ordeal. I wear this product daily and it continues to be amazing." —Alaina J. =^_^=

Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

14. Target hard-to-reach breakouts (ah, bacne) with a Neutrogena body wash that's loaded with salicylic acid, vitamin C, and grapefruit for a one-and-done solution to clearing your skin all over.

Did I mention it smells fantastic? IT DOES.

Promising review: "This is the ONLY body wash I have ever used, and I have been using it for the past 10 years. I am obsessed with it! I used to break out ALL the time (in my twenties) on my chest, which is super embarrassing, especially in the summer. I started using this and my body cleared up within the week. I literally never break out anywhere on my body anymore. I seriously think this is a miracle in a bottle! I don't know what I would do without it." —Janelle h.

Get it from Amazon for $5.56.

15. Load up on skin-loving food like salmon and kale (yeah) to work on clearing your complexion from the inside out. Good news: you're having dark chocolate for dessert. So no this solution isn't exactly immediate, but it sure freaking helps.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Check out a full list of delicious foods you should eat for better skin!

Get a 24-pack of dark chocolate Kit Kats from Amazon for $21.36.

16. Unclog pores and bring acne to a head within just a few minutes with a powerful facial mister. If you've ever gotten a pro facial you know this is their first step — it's relaxing, efficient, and has you saying "gotcha" to that pesky zit before it knows what hit it.

This baby helps soften your skin's surface and remove dead skin, dirt, oil and makeup remnant. Plus it dramatically clears out your pores and leaves your complexion feeling dewy and smooth. Tl;dr: it's a major detox for clogged skin.

Promising review: "This thing is amazing. I have acne and I use this almost every morning. It makes any whiteheads I have ooze out without me having to dig into my face. Plus it makes my skin feel so much better." —Adam R.

Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in two sizes).

17. Calm broken-out skin from top to the bottom with nothing more than a bar of an Herbivore bamboo charcoal soap bar. Its powerful (yet gentle) formula draws out toxins from deep within your pores and exfoliates oily skin so blemishes are shown the door in the time it takes you to shower.

Plus it's vegan and cruelty-free!

Promising review: "I have had acne since I was nine. Now I'm 30. Since using this soap beginning six months ago, I have not had one new zit. It's absolutely amazing! The scent is fine and the bar lasts a long time. Also, any other other treatments, ie. exfoliation, seem to last longer since I've been using this. I love Herbivore!" —loladior

Get it from Sephora for $12 or a similar product from Amazon for $4.19.

18. Heal breakouts ASAP by applying some Clean & Clear spot treatment before bed. It's an old school solution, but it WORKS thanks to its 2% salicylic acid acne medication that'll dramatically reduce swelling, redness, and size while you're asleep.

Who hasn't gone to bed at least once without a million white dots on their face?

Promising review: "I recently donated my hair and wanted to grow it out fast, so I decided to start taking a biotin product. Unfortunately, they did not mention anywhere that if you have acne-prone skin, it may cause a major breakout. I was left with a horrible breakout and needed something to clear it up fast. Not only does this not dry out your skin, but it helps make zits disappear fast. I saw a noticeable difference every morning when I woke up. After two weeks, my face looked back to normal with minimal scarring! I'm so grateful to have found this product." —Jake

Get it from Amazon for $5.58.

19. Use a concealer brush to swipe both green and regular concealer over le zit. The bristles are more accurate than your finger, and creates a ~photoshopped~ effect in just a dab or two.

Check out more from The Beauty Department for how to cover a zit!

This concealer brush duo ($4.49 on Amazon) works as a team to cover and blend any spots or areas for a totally smooth complexion. First, use the detail concealer brush to target any discoloration (hello dark under-eyes) and spots (goodbye le pimple). Then, blend your concealer and foundation together with the airbrush concealer brush for a natural-looking finish!

Get them from Amazon: concealer brush duo for $4.49, NYX green concealer for $10.16, and regular Maybelline concealer for $5.03.

20. Zone in on clogged pores and blackheads with a precise Dr. Oracle peeling stick. They're essentially cotton swabs loaded with acne-fighting acids to get rid of breakouts, so they work almost as fast as it takes to apply them (aka no time at all).

They're packed with lactic acid to gently lift dead skin cells while glycolic acid exfoliates and resurfaces skin. Plus a blend of tea tree extract, lemon extract, and bamboo extract to naturally exfoliate without irritating sensitive skin.

Promising review: "I was a little nervous to try this product because it seemed like it could be harsh. I was incredibly amazed when it wasn’t at all harsh on my skin and it helped my blackheads and whiteheads on my chin (problem area) overnight! The texture of my chin has been really off as well (dry patches, yet blackheads and whiteheads) and it immediately rectified that. I was super pleased with this purchase and will definitely be buying it again." —Julia A.

Get a 10-pack from Soko Glam for $24.

21. Take a thorough skin care quiz from trusted beauty sites like Sephora or Soko Glam that'll combine your skin concerns (acne, pores, dullness, etc.), product preferences (cleaners, moisturizers, etc.), and age range to a fitting recommendation. That way you can address breakouts quickly and effectively without guessing at solutions.


Take Sephora's Skin Care Quiz or Soko Glam's Skin Type Quiz for recommendations catered just for you!

22. Battle painful blemishes with just a drop of The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil that'll make sure clearer, matte skin is at your *fingertips* faster than you can even consider picking.

Instagram: @thebodyshop

It contains 15% tea tree oil concentrate to target breakouts and reduce redness FAST. And it's 100% vegan!

Promising review: "I have sensitive skin so I break out A LOT. I used this product and overnight all of my acne/pimples decreased in size — within a week all my acne went down. I'm glad that this product helped my acne." —anonymous

Get it from Amazon for $9.03.

23. Disguise unwelcome surprises (I did not know Mt. Everest could move onto my chin?) with nothing more than some Tarte full-coverage foundation. Its cult-fave Amazonian clay formula provides a matte finish, oil control, and lasts all darn day (12 hours to be exact) without creasing or caking. Plus, it actually helps balance your complexion long-term.

Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

Did I mention it's available in ~40~ shades?! It's basically a one-step solution to subtly masking even giant zits. It's oil-free, vegan, and super creamy to make it easy to blend! AND has SPF 15 to protect you from the sun. Check out a BuzzFeeder's full review (#1) on why this is her go-to!

Promising review: "I have combination skin and am easily prone to breakouts. This product has good coverage, but is not too heavy on my skin so it doesn’t clog my pores. I have been using it for approximately three years and I’m very happy with this foundation, so much so that I’ve recommended and gifted it to friends and family. Keep it up Tarte!" —Frances P

Get it from Tarte, Sephora or Ulta for $39 (available in 40 shades).

24. Fight stubborn breakouts with a powerful Clearasil one-minute mask specifically designed to battle the toughest of pimples. If you get all-over breakouts, this is great because it's like masking with one big fast-acting spot treatment.

You can use it as a face wash or as a mask! Its exfoliating beads remove oil and bacteria to help keep pores unblocked, while salicylic acid thoroughly treats your pimples.

Promising review: "This is an awesome product! I use it as a mask to see results which are GREAT! Just leave it on for one minute and then rinse. I have VERY oily skin, so I am definitely prone to a lot of breakouts especially around the time of my period. I have noticed a dramatic decrease in acne size and redness going down when I use this as a mask, and some of my acne scars are disappearing! I'm very happy with that!" —SilverBrumby

Get it from Amazon for $7.31.

25. Discover which oil works best with your skin. Adding an all-natural oil to your routine is great, because they quickly target specific problems — like jojoba oil, which tackles breakouts by neutralizing the pH levels of your skin.

Loryn Brantz for BuzzFeed

Check out how a BuzzFeeder who fought breakouts all her life was able to get rid of acne with natural oils!

Get jojoba oil from Amazon for $9.99.

OR! These inexpensive facial oils ($8.64+ on Amazon) come in six formulas for different goals (i.e. rose argan oil to restore an even texture and tone and Marula oil to reduce redness and chapped skin) and are super easy to apply thanks to their helpful pumps.

26. Treat acne anywhere from your face to your back with some Neutrogena cleansing pads before going to sleep. They contain maximum-strength salicylic acid acne medicine to bring breakouts to a halt right away. Chest acne? Not 👏 on 👏 our 👏 watch.

Plus they're oil-free so they won't clog your pores AND won't over-dry your skin! They should be the last step of your routine to remove pore-clogging oil, dirt, and makeup at night (that stuff is still leftover after washing your face)!

Promising review: "Well, isn't this stuff neat? Little, thin pads soaked in some pungent miracle fluid. I've only used this two times and there's such a dramatic difference. The size, redness and quantity of my acne is reduced. My skin is super soft. I have super sensitive skin, but haven't experienced any irritation." —RaiderRush

Get it from Amazon for $6.97.

27. Continue your day worry-free about cystic breakouts showing by wearing Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream as your choice of makeup. It's great at concealing, feels weightless, and is specifically designed to eliminate shine and minimize pores.

Sarah Wainschel / BuzzFeed

It lasts up to a whopping ~12 hours~, features SPF 40 (IMPORTANT), controls oil, and doesn't cause breakouts — even on sensitive skin. Plus, it feels super lightweight! Check out a BuzzFeeder's full review (#7 and pictured above) on how this works great on her cystic acne!

Promising review: "I have acne-prone skin and it feels horrible to layer on foundation to cover it up, because it clogs pores and looks unnatural. Clinique BB Cream covers up imperfections while also protecting your skin from the sun. It acts like a foundation but feels amazing without clogging your pores. I completely recommend it, I love it!" —alecurb

Get it from Sephora for $39 (available in five shades) or Ulta for $39 (available in two shades).

28. Clear away multiple concerns at once with a fast-acting Innisfree volcanic pore clay mask. It tightens pores, removes sebum, and exfoliates dead skin cells. Basically if you want to tell oily, breakout-prone skin to get lost, this is your new BFF.

Plus it enhances your skin tone and provides cooling effects so you're soothed AF even mid-breakout.

Promising review: "I love a good mask. Especially one that's ok to leave on a blemish overnight. I read a lot about this one and saw it on many a beauty list. My skin flip flops between totally fine and flaring up on my chin. I was fine as a teen, had some mild acne in my early 20s, cleared up except for hormonal, and now in my 30's... you never really know. The past couple weeks I've had a lot of clogged pores. A little of everything: blackheads, cystic, and whiteheads. I've used this on two pimples so far since I got it. The first one was just a red mark, little bump that I was afraid of...what would it become? I used this overnight and it was pretty much gone by the next day. I've used it as an all-over mask, and then I saw another one. I put this on it overnight and it had come to a head by morning! Wahoo! I love it. The price is not outrageous and it's not overly drying to my dry, combo skin. A little goes a long way, but I'd buy it again in a heartbeat!" —H.F.

Get it from Amazon for $13.80.

29. Soothe irritated skin and kill acne-causing bacteria at the same time with a Cocokind tumeric spot treatment. Not only is it super easy to use, but you need only wear it for 20 minutes for it to effectively reduce redness.

Its all-natural formula contains five fast-acting, organic ingredients: sunflower oil, beeswax, ginger root, tea tree oil, and turmeric. This is also great for treating uneven pigment!

Promising review: "This treatment works like a charm! I have struggled with pigmentation and breakouts, and have been trying product after product. I've noticed an evenness with my skin tone and texture for the first time since I started using this regularly! It minimizes bumps and breakouts almost instantly! I've recommended this to all my friends who love it just as much!" —fpSaraNJ

Get it from Free People for $8.99.

30. Clear your complexion even if in a major rush with this Bioré charcoal one-minute mask. The thermal properties (it's self-heating when combined with water) pull impurities from deep within pores so blackheads are gone before you have time to panic.

Promising review: "This is the best deep-cleaning pore product I have ever used on my face! I have used all types of products at every level of price point, and this is by far the best one I’ve used with the most consistent results. As someone who is obsessed with skin care and studies their pores in a magnifying mirror, I absolutely endorse this face mask! I also have sensitive, fair, combination skin and haven’t had any problems with irritation, dryness or redness. I believe this product helps with blackhead removal and the occasional breakouts I experience. I wear full coverage makeup, and the mask definitely helps me deep-clean my pores and prevents the cystic acne type of blemishes I usually get when I don’t properly wash my face." —Kimberly

Get it from Amazon for $5.82.

31. Chug water throughout the day (eight glasses, people) to flush out daily toxins and actually help your skin clear up faster. Need some motivation? A fruit-infuser water bottle may do the trick.


It's dishwasher-safe, shatter-proof, and leak-proof! Win, win, win. Check out a BuzzFeeder's closer look at this baby.

Promising review: "I love my water bottle! It helps keep me motivated to drink something healthy when I can flavor it to change it up!" —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $14.95 (available in five colors).

32. Get precise when fighting blemishes with an E.l.f. roll-on spot gel that's loaded with salicylic acid, witch hazel, camphor, tea tree, green tea, and aloe to calm swelling, reduce redness, and heal pimples. I guess good things do come in small packages.

AND it's cruelty-free and vegan!

Promising review: "I bought this product a couple weeks ago and just happened to have a pimple when it arrived. Within a day of putting this on, it was almost gone! I even ordered more for my friends! I love this so much!" —Cstu

Get it from E.l.f. cosmetics for $2.

33. Turn to a pro for tougher, all-over breakouts. A professional facial will thoroughly extract each and every pimple and pore, plus soothe and treat irritated skin so that the next few months are like a ~clean slate~.

Getty Images

Why get facials, you ask? A good, professional aesthetician will analyze your skin type and choose treatments that best address what you need — so if you have irritated skin, they'll know how to calm it down. BUT if you have cystic acne, consider talking to a derm about the possibility of getting a corisone shot (a common treatment to deflate painful, cystic pimples).

Check out all the available spa deals near you on Groupon for a professional facial!

Let this be you in the morning no longer — REMAIN CALM.


The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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