Don’t make the mistake of covering up your zit with caked on concealer — the key to covering up blemishes is all in the treatment. Here are 8 genius ways to treat and cover up every type of pimple, plus the best products to use to zap those zits into oblivion!
Your step-by-step guide to a clear, blemish-free complexion.
1. Allow your skin to heal correctly
As soon as a dreaded zit rears its head, it’s all too easy to reach for the make-up bag in a desperate attempt to cover it up. Whilst piling on foundation and concealer can work as a quick fix, putting too much make-up on top of spots can actually do more harm than good. Firstly, it can actually make your blemish look more obvious. Secondly — and more importantly — it slows down its healing time. Putting more make-up on top of a blemish also means you could run the risk of more breakouts in and around the affected area.
Most women make this common skincare mistake, but it’s not enough to just cover them up and hope they’ll disappear. Even more so if you’ve popped your pimple — you need to allow enough time for the skin to heal properly, and that means treating the skin under the make-up before you start piling on the foundation. That way, your spots will heal much quicker.
Before you even think about reaching for your concealer, try Avène’s Cleance Comedomed Anti-Blemish Concentrate fast-acting formula. This treatment is a fab way to help heal, repair and banish blemishes and blackheads. For the best results, use twice a day underneath a moisturiser.
2. Prep your skin with the right cleanser and toner
Try and stay away from anything that’s going to strip your skin of essential oils. This will help your skin to repair itself naturally. This usually includes ingredients like alcohol in toners, so check your ingredients before you use. Look for something that will remove unwanted oils and debris, but still keep the essential hydration you need for a healthy and clear complexion.
Try one of these toners:
Choose an anti-bacterial cleanser that’s formulated to battle acne. Here are our top picks.
Avène Antirougeurs Clean Soothing Cleansing Lotion — use a cotton pad or work onto dry face and remove with water
Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar
3. Choose the right concealer and apply it properly!
Concealers can work wonders on covering up spots, but there’s an art form to getting the application right! We love Ere Perez Arnica Concealers.
- Don’t go too light as your skin can look almost grey on the area that you’ve tried to patch up.
- Stick to your undertone either pink/cool, neutral/natural or olive/yellow — when choosing your concealer always bear that in mind so it looks as seamless as possible.
- Don’t go for a heavy concealer. Stick to something that’s going to give you coverage, but that is not too heavy — this causes the area to look dry and flaky! Not the look we’re trying to achieve. Stick to a medium coverage with a natural to semi-matte finish.
- Build it. Start light with your concealer brush or your ring finger, using only a small amount, and keep adding more until you’ve reached your desired look. If you put too much on at first it’s harder to work over the imperfection, and it can make the spot look worse than it actually is.
4. Choose a colour corrector to treat cystic acne
Suffer with red, painful bumps? These are called cystic acne, which is essentially acne that’s lodged deep into your pores. They’re quite difficult to cover up with concealer — in fact, if you put too much concealer on top of them, they can actually look more noticeable. The best way to treat this kind of blemish is with a colour corrector. This is your secret weapon to covering up really red pimples or dark acne scars. Green shades tend to work for red, inflamed blemishes — green counteracts the harsh red tone of your pimple — but yellow works too. And if you have dark spots, opt for a peach shade.
Less is more with colour colour correctors — start with a small amount of product and slowly build up until you achieve the perfect coverage. Then finish with a small application of foundation to blend.
5. How to cover up redness/scars
Ere Perez concealers are our beauty expert Maizie's go-to cover-up for redness and scarring. This is because they come packed with natural arnica, an anti-inflammatory that works to calm any redness and inflamed skin, as well as helping your skin heal naturally.
This creamy formula offers full coverage without caking, leaving an even-toned, natural finish.
Maizie recommends using Ere Perez Eco Vegan Lip Conceal Brush to apply. You’ll get a a flawless finish and it’s way more hygienic!
6. What do to if you've popped your pimple
If you have a spot, touching your face as little as possible is definitely the way to go! We wouldn’t really recommend popping pimples, as this can actually aggravate your skin further and make the spot even worse. Having said that, we know how hard it can be to avoid squeezing that giant whitehead right in the middle of your forehead!
So, if you’ve popped a pimple and it looks worse than when you started, don’t fret! Here’s what to do.
Keep it clean — wash your hands before and after, and try to use a tissue when squeezing. Pop a little bit of anti-acne treatment (that can be a serum or moisturiser, just anything to keep it clean and disinfected).
Top tip! Finish by putting a little bit of toothpaste on this will help to keep it clean and dry it out making it easier for you to complete your normal skincare and make-up routine.
7. Don't use dirty make-up tools
Make-up and oils build up on brushes and sponges, making them a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria build-up can cause breakouts and skin infections, like styes. Make sure you clean your brushes at least twice a week using a gentle baby shampoo — especially your foundation brush. Cetaphil Baby Gentle Shampoo is super gentle, making it perfect for real or synthetic brushes.
You can also try using the MILLA face Matt Brush Cleaner. This cleaner works hard to remove all make-up and debris residue, keeping your brushes and your face completely clean.Shop Now
You should also wash your pillow cases often and disinfect your phone at least once a day using anti-bacterial wipes.
8. Make sure you’re moisturising enough
Even if you don’t have a pimple, moisturising should always be your first step before applying make-up, as it helps to provide a smooth base for foundation and concealer. It'll also help avoid looking like you piled too much product on. Spots have a tendency to dry out and cause flaky skin once they start to heal, so apply a little more moisturiser than normal to the affected area to keep your skin hydrated and to stop it from drying out further. Here are some of Maizie’s go-to moisturisers for acne-prone skin.
Benzac Daily Facial Moisturiser
Loved our advice on how to treat pimples? We've got plenty more women's health and beauty advice on our Health & Wellness Edit, guaranteed to give your body a well-deserved boost. Suffer with breakouts? Here are 6 of the best acne products to try. Keep getting thrush? Here's why...