17 Weird Ways to (Almost) Instantly Get Rid of a Zit

17 Weird Ways to (Almost) Instantly Get Rid of a Zit
Image: Robert Freeman/Corbis and Vladimir Gjorgiev/shutterstock

zit pimple
Robert Freeman/Corbis and Vladimir Gjorgiev/shutterstock

Few things can deflate confidence more than waking up with a big ol' honkin' zit. I know. The word is even gross. It's the ultimate killjoy. And the worst part of all is it's not like blemishes just magically disappear in an hour, even though they appear in a split second and out of nowhere! We have to live with them for a few days. And it sucks. Somehow zits always show up right before a big event, special occasion, or first date, right? How do they know?

But, fret not! The day (or evening) can still be salvaged, and the moneymaker is going to be a-okay and back to its beautiful self in no time.

There actually are a few ways to drastically reduce the life of a pimple -- to a day or possibly even ... wait for it ... an hour! Yes, we're being completely serious. It's possible. And it also doesn't mean we have to make a quick run to the local drugstore either. (Sometimes we don't even have time for that, because pimples like to pop up during the most inconvenient of times.) The best part is that all the goods are probably sitting right in our medicine cabinets or kitchen right now. Does it get any easier than that? We sure do love a quick fix. Plus, these methods are way better than spending money on some pimple cream with chemicals that you know nothing about.

From a dab of toothpaste to Aspirin that's been crushed up into a paste, here are 17 weird and underrated ways to banish a blemish (almost) instantly. Test them out, and thank us later.

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how to get rid of a pimple

  • Eye Drops


    Eye drops that "get the red out" of your peepers can actually do the same for zits. Put a few drops onto a Q-tip (or skin directly if you're agile) and dab. Bonus: The drops will also help dry the zit out.

  • Hot & Cold


    BIWA/Gallery Stock/Corbis


    I think I read this tip in Seventeen magazine when I was in junior high, but it works. First, take a hot (really hot) washcloth and press down on the affected area; then place an ice cube on skin. Alternate between hot and cold a few times and repeat the process once or twice more during the day. It significantly reduces the life of a pimple.

  • Toothpaste


    Try treating blemishes with toothpaste instead of the stinky, flaky creams sold at drugstores. Toothpaste has silica, which is a drying agent found in bags of beef jerky (I know, lovely), and it can help clear things up quicker than a traditional cream.

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  • Try a Natural Antihistamine

    Tim Hill/Corbis


    Antihistamines (you know, like Benadryl) reduce swelling, which is exactly what a zit is. Instead of ingesting something in pill-form, try applying a natural antihistamine, like basil, directly to the skin. Steam a few sprigs and then place over the affected area.

  • Aloe Vera



    If you ever got a sunburn when you were little, your mom probably loaded you up with aloe vera gel -- and with good reason; aloe has soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial properties. Dabbing a little bit of the green stuff onto a blemish a few times a day will help soothe the affected area without drying it out. Perfect. 

  • Tea Tree Oil


    Tea tree oil as an acne combatant is popular among the natural set. In fact, peruse any natural beauty section of any store and you're likely to see some sort of tea tree oil product. I've used it before with mixed results. Here's the key, though: Wipe it off. Dab a little bit onto your skin, leave on for 10-15 minutes and them wipe clean with a warm wash cloth. Otherwise, the oil can get trapped into your pores, further clogging them. 

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  • Garlic


    Isabel Eyre/Flickr

    If you skew towards the natural spectrum of things, you probably know about garlic being used to ward off oncoming colds because of its antioxidant properties. Garlic also has antifungal properties, as well, though, which is great for banishing pimples. Split a clove of garlic in half, rub on the affected area, leave on for about five minutes while you smell like an Italian restaurant, then wash off with warm water. 

  • Hydrogen Peroxide ... With a Twist


    Into the Gloss/YouTube

    One of the best beauty websites out there, Into the Gloss, has a whole arsenal of beauty tips and tricks, but perhaps their best one ever is "how to get rid of a pimple overnight." As you can see in the anti-zit video, a model rubs her skin with hydrogen peroxide until it foams (really), and then she dabs on a bit of trusty Mario Badescu drying lotion on top. Voila! Zit be gone!

  • Aspirin



    Aspirin isn't just for pounding headaches, they're for blemishes, too! Crush up one aspirin and mix a little water in to make a fine paste. Spread the paste over your zit, and look really cool while it dries. 

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  • Go for a Swim


    If you're lucky enough to live near a pool, going for a swim when you have a break-out can help clear things up. As we all know, chlorine is drying and can aid in drying out a pimple. Same goes for the salt water in the ocean. 

  • Get Steamy


    Another trick I learned years ago -- no clue where, but it works -- is to steam your face before washing it, as to open up your pores. If I ever have time for a steam, I, well, steam, and then wash really, really well with my cleanser, leaving the cleanser on my face for a few minutes like a mask before rinsing it off with cool water. I swear, it helps speed up the whole getting-rid-of-a-pimple process. 

  • Lemon


    Jorge Cardim/Flickr

    Odds are you have a lemon or some lemon juice in your house. You know you're not going to cook with it, so use it to dab on your face when it's looking less than fresh. Lemon is a natural astringent and it's acidity kills off lots of bacteria. Also, you'll smell awesome!

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  • Emergen-C


    Mike Mozart/Flickr

    Full disclosure, I can't say I have much scientific proof to back this up, but I can say that this works for me every. Single. Time. When my skin is looking kind of gross and like I'm about to break-out, I eat super healthy all day -- no sweets, lots of veggies -- and drink about 3 Emergen-C's. I swear, the next day, my skin looks fantastic. 

  • Rubbing Alcohol


    Nicole Fabian-Weber

    This is a great remedy if you don't want to be walking around your house with a glob of white cream on your face -- IE, if you're with your boyfriend or something? Dip a Q-tip into some rubbing alcohol and dab onto the spot a few times a day. Rubbing alcohol is very drying, so it really helps banish a yucky zit. 

  • Honey



    It sounds like kind of a strange remedy, being that it's so sticky, but some people swear by honey as a means to get rid of a blemish. Blot a small amount onto the area and leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. 

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  • Invest in an At-Home Laser


    At $250, the Baby Quasar Clear Rayz Anti Acne laser isn't cheap, but if you suffer from chronic acne, it may be worth the investment. The blue LED light kills bacteria on the skin while the red LED light "enters pores, encouraging healthy blood flow to oxygenate skin, heal blemishes and minimize inflammation." Some people on beauty boards swear by it, but again, it isn't cheap. 

  • Cortisone Shot


    Hero Images/Corbis

    If you wake up with a zit on the day of a big event, like a wedding, it's time to break out the big guns. Dermatologists can administer something called a cortisone shot, which makes zits disappear immediately (yes, immediately). Cortisone shots don't cost much and they don't hurt, so if you really want to get rid of a pimple, it's definitely worth it.

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