Alright, so you swiped right on pretty much the hottest person you’ve ever seen in your entire life. And I’m not talking about just any hot person. I’m talking the whole package. Great face and a great bio to match. And don’t even get me started on the witty banter over text. You get the picture. This person very well could be your soulmate, and your date is tonight. Well, now it’s actually only two short hours away and you could not be more excited. Just one slight issue. You have a zit the size of Mount Vesuvius brewing on your face. WTF are you supposed to?
We asked Dr. Mitalee Christman, a Harvard-educated dermatologist, exactly how to deal with any and all blemishes that may show up on your face just hours before your date.
So these are the white or flesh colored tiny lil’ bumps. And unless you’re a whitehead expert, you should leave these babies alone. A traumatized whitehead is going to look way worse than one you don’t play with. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally hopeless. “Consider an invisible hydrocolloid acne patch if the whitehead is large, and feel free to cover with an acne-friendly makeup range like Clinique Acne Solutions,” Dr. Christman suggests.
“These are whiteheads that have an opening,” she tells us. “The air oxidizes them giving them a black appearance. Consider pore strips but know that these are only a temporary fix.” In other words, the pore strips may help you out right before the date, but don’t bank on them getting rid of your blackheads forever.
For both blackheads and whiteheads, Dr. Christman recommends talking to your doctor about starting a retinoid cream that will treat both blemishes at the source. The whole process can take about two months to work through. Unfortunately, that won’t be quick enough for this particular date. But it could be a good note for the future.
If you’ve got a classic red pimple, Dr. Christman strongly advises against picking at it. Instead, she recommends using the same patch you may use for a whitehead. “A hydrocolloid patch can blanch out the redness and keep you from picking at it,” she says. “Wear it overnight before your date.” If it’s too late to wear it the night before, don’t fret. “I have some patients who rock their invisible patch during the day too,” she reassures us. And, finally, if the patch isn’t for you, she recommends putting “a touch of benzoyl peroxide cream” on the troubled area to help it resolve within about eight hours. While there’s no product she can think of that will truly get rid of your pimple within two hours, there’s one she believes can get pretty dang close. “I have to mention the Glossier zit stick — it has benzoyl peroxide 5 percent, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil,” she says. “I have yet to try it myself, but the company claims it can reduce a pimple significantly in three hours. Definitely worth a try.”
“If your pimple is a painful bump under your skin, call your dermatologist or check Zocdoc for a same-day appointment for a cortisone injection into the acne cyst,” says Dr. Christman. “This will ease the pain and flatten the area in a few hours. Celebrities do this all the time before events.” If booking a last-minute appointment with a dermatologist is out of the question, Dr. Christman has an alternative suggestion. “Wrap a hand towel around an ice cube and apply it to your pimple, 20 seconds at a time, for a couple minutes. That should bring it down a bit temporarily.”