Let’s get one thing straight: Acne is one of the most common skin conditions. There’s no reason to hide out in your room when a blemish rears its ugly head. Even though we all have it, we can’t resist desperately trying to cover it up, especially on a date. And spending the night out can cause some slight anxiety when you don’t have your usual methods of pimple-destruction on hand. You’re hardly alone in your desire to pretend you are part of the small percentage of adults free of acne. Still, there’s no reason it has to keep you from accepting an invite to snuggle up to your boo.
For makeup wearers, the biggest challenge with taking your pimple on a sleepover is sleeping in your foundation, which clogs pores and can lead to more acne. Regardless of your cosmetics, washing your face every night is essential, particularly for those of us with sensitive skin. And luckily, wherever you lay your head down, you’re almost certain to find some handy kitchen products to ensure you’ll wake up with clean, revitalized skin.
Whether you need to reduce inflammation, soothe your stressed out skin, or just need a deep cleanse before you catch some z’s, these items are just as handy as they are effective. Note: Some of these natural remedies are only for desperate times, and using them regularly could cause irritation down the line; we’ll let you know when that’s the case.
Apple Cider Vinegar
When your trusty astringent is a subway or car ride away, apple cider vinegar can be a powerful agent to help control oil. Not only that, but it can also help restore balance to your skin’s pH level, which keeps it from becoming too oily or too dry, and reduce inflammation. Once your face is clean, use a cotton ball to apply ACV to your face. For those new to ACV skincare or those with sensitive skin, dilute with water to avoid irritation (and we recommend avoiding using straight ACV on the regular). Either way, you can sleep easy knowing that apple cider vinegar is working its magic.
For acne-prone skin, raw honey makes a great cleanser. Honey, particularly manuka honey, has anti-inflammatory as well as natural antibacterial properties that are incredibly soothing on stressed out skin. It won’t take off makeup, but it will definitely clean your face without causing dryness. Experienced DIYers can even add a pinch of nutmeg (half teaspoon per ounce of honey) to create an exfoliating paste that will calm and soothe your skin. Before applying honey to your face, do a test patch on the inside of your elbow to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your new favorite acne mask.
Perhaps you started your evening with a clear face, only to feel the beginnings of a pimple starting to blossom. Or maybe the pimple you covered with foundation is starting to get angry and irritated. Lucky for you, bananas are an excellent spot treatment. While evidence of this remains anecdotal, it’s still one of my fave ways to reduce inflammation from zits and cysts. Take a banana peel to makeup-free skin, and gently rub the affected area. This not only dries the pimple, but also soothes the inflammation.
Don’t be embarrassed if you end up with egg on your face at the end of the night: You may be waking up with stronger skin. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are filled with vitamins A, D, and E that reduce the appearance of pores and inflammation and improve elasticity. Help yourself to your partner’s eggs, and apply an egg-white mask on makeup-free skin. Let it dry on your face before rinsing with lukewarm water.
A quick way to bring down the size of a zit is to apply an ice cube to the affected area. The ice constricts blood vessels, which reduces painful inflammation while stimulating circulation. Apply the ice with the help of a washcloth or paper towel, and gently apply pressure. If you love the results, you can get creative at your own place and infuse your ice cubes with antioxidants like green tea.
You may be concerned about putting oil on oily skin, and you certainly have a right to be skeptical. Even though there is strong anecdotal evidence that oil cleansing is an effective remedy for acne-prone skin, the real reason it makes this list is because olive oil can remove stubborn makeup. Soak up the oil in a cotton ball to take off that all-day wear mascara. If you’re wary about clogging your pores, whip up a concoction of three parts olive oil and one part witch hazel to remove foundation. Oh, and give your partner some praise if the oil they purchase is unrefined and organic.
Cleaning your face with the same thing you use to remove grease from your pots and pans may seem aggressive, but don’t get it twisted — baking soda has been exfoliating acne-prone skin for ages. Since it has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be an effective cleanser when you don’t have your usual products on hand. Even though some celebrities claim to use baking soda daily, sodium bicarbonate isn’t ideal for everyday use due to its alkalinity and abrasive nature.