We’ve heard a few “over-the-hill” jokes about wrinkles mixing with pimples, but adult acne is no laughing matter. And most acne remedies formulated for teenagers are too harsh or ineffective for the occasional adult blemish (since mature faces have drier skin than young folk). Here are some gentler home remedies to zap that zit…
Whiteners do the work: Dab the blemish with regular (non-gel) toothpaste…or lemon juice. Leave it on overnight to dry out the eruption. (We recommend you do all your dabbing with a cotton ball or Q-tip to keep hand bacteria off your face.)
Get the red out: Zap the pimple with an eyedrop solution for bloodshot eyes—dab it on throughout the day to make the pimple less noticeable as it heals. Eyedrops contain the capillary constrictor tetrahydrozoline, which makes redness disappear.
Dab on a pasty rub: Make a paste using equal amounts of cornstarch and rubbing alcohol—one-half teaspoon of each should be enough—and put it on the pimple to dry it out (usually overnight).
Bacteria bashers: Apple cider vinegar dabbed on with a cotton ball several times during the day will also dry out an oily pimple and should make it disappear within a day or so. Caution: Even a small amount of vinegar can irritate sensitive skin, so if any additional redness appears, discontinue immediately.
Honey can also help (OK, you can use your fingertips here since this is sticky business). Spread a thin layer of honey on your pimple(s), avoiding the eye area. Leave on for five minutes, rinse off with water, then clean your face as usual. Do this every day if you are pimple prone.
Thanks to Bernard Noe, ND, naturopathic physician in private practice in Montpelier, Vermont, and Laurie Steelsmith, ND, author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health, for help with these tips.