Pimples and blackheads

12:00AM, Jan 1 2007

Zit patrol

Q. I don't have heaps of zits, but when I cover them they look even worse. How can I cover them like they do in magazines? Help!


A. To camouflage your zits like a make-up artist, dip a fresh cotton bud into your concealer or foundation and dot directly onto the spot. Leave for a few seconds then dot again and blend in. Use a fresh cotton bud every day, so you don't spread any bacteria.

Pimple home remedy

Q. No I'm not a pimple popper, but I have pimples and I just can't get rid of them. I feel that brand name lotions and stuff just don't work so how can I make a home remedy for my pimple problem — one that will actually work?


A. Pimples are actually hormonal during puberty so sometimes no matter what you put on them, they keep on popping up. An at-home remedy would be something natural like Tea Tree or Lavender Oil (just a dab directly onto spots with a cotton bud) or witch hazel as a toner, but you'll probably find the same results as you are finding with skincare products. Since they're hormonal and internal, oral antibiotics can sometimes help (by killing the pimple causing bacteria), or the oral contraceptive pill (which regulates your hormones). These are things to talk to your doctor about.

Blackhead-fest on my nose!

Q. I get so many blackheads on my nose. I've tried those pore strips but they only take one or two out each time and my face is virtually swarming with blackheads. I can't stand it anymore. Please help! Grace.


A. Time to take a different approach. Instead of stripping your skin with pore strips each week, try this: cover your head with a towel and steam your face over a bowl of boiling water, hold your head about 20cm away from the bowl. Steam for five to 10 minutes. Then using an exfoliating scrub, gently scrub your nose. Do this once a week — no more! This won't remove blackheads instantly but you will have less after a few weeks, or try a clay mask. Masks will help dislodge blackheads and draw out the impurities in your pores — try using a mask once a week.

Emergency pimple cover up

Q. If the skin on top of a pimple is broken, how else can you cover it besides concealer or foundation? Kate.


A. You could use a tinted blemish cream that heals zits whilst covering them. Clearasil, Young Solution and Clarins make tinted ones. Otherwise you could wait until the pimple stops oozing and then dab your concealer or foundation on top.

Pimple dilemma

Q. I get the biggest pimples and it's not funny. My mum said that they will go away but they never do! What can I do?


A. Pimples are hormonal, and during puberty it's inevitable that they will keep on popping up — sometimes until your late 20s. It depends on your genetic make-up. A pimple cycle usually lasts between five and seven days, so it's best to let big ones run their course rather than squeeze them and have another one pop up in the same spot at a later date. Try over-the-counter creams like Clearasil and Clean & Clear or natural pimple antiseptics like Tea Tree or Lavender Oil. If these are not working when dabbed directly onto each spot (not slathered all over), try visiting your doctor. They can prescribe stronger solutions to swipe on your skin, antibiotics to help kill the bacteria that contributes to pimples or even the oral contraceptive pill which can regulate your hormone levels and so clear up spots.

Pimple control

Q. How can you prevent pimples from coming up? Is there some cream that helps pimples from appearing?


A. Pimples are sparked by your hormones. So, the problem is basically internal. It is a combination of your oil glands producing excess oil, skin layers exfoliating too slowly, normal skin bacteria multiplying, dirt and grime. Pimple creams can help dry zits out on the surface and exfoliate your skin to reduce pore clogging. You should try over-the-counter skincare and pimple creams like Ten-O-Six, Clean & Clear, Clearasil and Young Solution. Natural remedies include Tea Tree Oil, lavender essential oil and witch hazel.

Allergic reaction?

Q. I have miniature pimples on my forehead. I don't really know what they are. They're not red but are noticeable. I use cleanser, toner and moisturiser daily and use a scrub on my face about twice a week. What can I do to get rid of them? Also, is there anything I can do to make freckles lighter?


A. These bumps under the skin could be a reaction to an ingredient in a skincare product you are using or a food allergy. They could also be from over-cleaning or over-exfoliating your face. Use a scrub only once a week and find a gentle one. Sometimes, using products with too many different active ingredients can cause a reaction like this. Stick with products from the same skincare range and just use the basic stuff. You can fade freckles with whitening creams — try Clinique or H20 products.

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