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How To Heal A Pimple: From DIY To Professional Treatments

Here's your ultimate guide to getting rid of pimples.
PHOTO: istockphoto
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We'll make this short and sweet: We rounded up all the things you need to do to heal a pimple. And when we say everything, we mean every. single. thing. From the best acne-fighting skincare products to the professional treatments you can try, they're all here. Read on to find out the steps in healing a pimple.

(Ed's note: Please remember that it's normal to have acne, and it's your choice how you want to address it. Let's always aim for healthy skin, not "perfect, smooth skin." Also, it's highly recommended to see a dermatologist before trying out products.)

How to Heal A Pimple

CLEANSER + TONER

Let's start with learning the basics. Clear skin starts with clean skin! Check out the best cleansers and toners that can unclog pores and heal pimples.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Acne Foam Cleanser

It's a cult favorite for good reason! This cleanser effectively removes dirt and oil, and it has antibacterial ingredients that treat existing pimples and prevent acne from coming back. 

Neutrogena Deep Clean Acne Foam Cleanser



Neutrogena Deep Clean Acne Foam Cleanser 100g, P252 Watsons

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Bio-Science Bio-Water Sensitive pH Foamy Cleanser

If you have both sensitive and acne-prone skin, this facial wash is for you! Treat and prevent breakouts with this gentle cleanser enriched with plant extracts that help accelerate the skin renewal process. You won't have to worry about experiencing painful pimples because this has Bio-Water that will soothe them in no time.

Bio-Science Bio-Water Foamy Cleanser for Sensitive Skin



Bio-Science Bio-Water Sensitive pH Foamy Cleanser, P399, Lazada

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Beach Born Healing Toner

Made with witch hazel, this toner is guaranteed to heal stubborn pimples without irritating the skin. In fact, a Cosmo Girl claimed it healed her blemishes overnight! It also has aloe and lavender that work together to calm angry red zits. 

Beach Born Healing Toner, P280, BeachBorn.ph.

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SNAILWHITE Glow Potion AHA-BHA Toner

This affordable AF toner has all the ingredients necessary for clear smooth skin: AHA, BHA, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. Use every night to slowly reveal a healthier complexion.

SNAILWHITE Glow Potion AHA-BHA Toner



SNAILWHITE Glow Potion AHA-BHA Toner, P395, Watsons

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VMV Superskin 3 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner for Oily Skin

A clarifying toner that deep cleans the face while restoring the skin's elasticity and brightness. Monolaurin controls acne and provides a mattified appearance. This exfoliating toner is recommended for those with ultra-sensitive skin.

VMV Superskin 3 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner for Oily Skin, P1,100, VMV Hypoallergenics

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COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

This toner has AHA that exfoliates the skin's surface and melts whiteheads + blackheads, while the BHA content, on the other hand, heals pimples. I personally swear by this because it's one of the toners that has helped maintain my blemish-prone complexion.

COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, P680, Lazada

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SERUM

Serums have a high concentration of ingredients that will help address skin concerns. Choose one with salicylic acid or centella asiatica to help treat breakouts and control oil.

Luxe Organix Cica Rescue Calming Serum

If you're going for a mild acne-fighting serum, check out this one from Luxe Organix. It has cica which can help soothe inflammation, aka angry zits and redness. This is recommended if you're already using a toner or cleanser with salicylic acid.

Fix damaged skin barrier: Luxe Organix Cica Rescue Calming Serum



Luxe Organix Cica Rescue Calming Serum 30ml, P499, Watsons

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Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore-Refining Serum

This serum doubles as a toner, so it's perfect if you want to simplify your skincare routine. It contains soothing plant extracts plus skin-brightening niacinamide

Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore-Refining Toner Serum

Fenty Skin Fat Water Pore-Refining Serum 150ml, P1,690, Sephora

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SPOT TREATMENT

These are the MUCH better alternatives to squeezing zits. Apply these DIY treatments on the affected area every night to bid stubborn pimples goodbye! 

Benzac Benzoyl Peroxide

Dab this dermatologist-approved gel treatment on the lesion to kill bacteria and heal the pimple. You can see results in three to five days.

Benzac Benzoyl Peroxide Spots Treatment gel
Watsons

Benzac Gel, P350 to P850, depending on the benzoyl peroxide concentration, Watsons

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Celeteque Acne Spot Corrector Gel

This spot solution has AHA and BHA which dry up the blemish fast with minimal scarring. Dab this on the spot after you wash your face and let it dry before layering other skincare products.

Celeteque Acne Spot Corrector Gel, P169/5ml, Watsons

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Mario Badescu Drying Solution

The cult-favorite contains the trifecta of pimple-healing ingredients: Salicylic acid to exfoliate and treat zits, calamine to soothe the redness, and sulfur to draw the impurities out of the pores.

Mario Badescu Drying Solution, P1,280, Rustan's

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COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

This sticker can heal blemishes in no time! And because it's clear, you can wear it at work or school without looking weird. I used this on a super big (and angry pimple) before, and it helped flatten and heal it in a few days. Check out the complete review here.

Makeup for acne: COSRX AC Collection Acne Patch



COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch, P200, BeautyMNL

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Foreo Espada

Turn to technology for intensive DIY care. Powered by blue LED light, this dries out the acne/pimple without leaving an indentation or dark mark. Use it twice a day for best results. When you use this, it feels like you're in the clinic having your zit ~zapped~. It's my go-to tool since I prefer to stay at home than go out and drop by a facial clinic. Nothing beats laser facials, though!

Foreo Espada, P8,270,  Sephora

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MOISTURIZER

Oily skin needs a hydrating product, more than an occlusive moisturizer that seals in the moisture. Using the right product helps prevents excess sebum production, therefore reducing the chances of getting pimples. (READ: Ask A Dermatologist: Is There A Difference Between 'Moisturizing' And 'Hydrating' Products?)

Centellian 24 Madeca Cream Centella Power Boosting Formula

This moisturizer has Centella Asiatica (cica), an ingredient that strengthens the skin barrier and treats acne. Beauty vlogger Raiza Contawi swears by this product. According to her extensive anti-acne skincare vlog, this improved her bumpy, acne-prone skin. A Cosmo Girl also raved about it here.

Centellian 24 Madeca Cream Centella Power Boosting Formula 50m
Centellian 24



Centellian 24 Madeca Cream Centella Power Boosting Formula 50ml, P1,250, Lazada

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COSRX Centella Blemish Cream

Here's another moisturizer with Centella Asiatica. This promises to soothe pimples while properly hydrating your complexion. I sometimes use this as a spot treatment cream for a zit that is in its last stages of healing.

COSRx Centella Blemish Cream



COSRX Centella Blemish Cream, P1,000, Go Bloom And Glow

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Dear Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream

As its name suggests, this moisturizer soothes existing pimples and prevents further inflammation. It never feels heavy on the skin and has cica extract so you're guaranteed it won't aggravate sebum production.

Dear Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, P1,620, Lazada

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ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream

This moisturizer has hyaluronic acid that keeps the skin soft and plump, plus it helps restore the skin's elasticity. Its genius formulation harnesses the healing, soothing, brightening properties of Centella Asiatica, Licorice, Betaine, Chamomile, Rosemary, and Houttuynia Cordata. You'll love this cream because it doesn't feel sticky and it's quick-absorbing!

Best moisturizer for oily skin: ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream



ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream 100ML, P799, Seek Space 

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EXFOLIATE

A weekly application of an exfoliating product will help your dreams of scoring blemish-free skin become a reality.

Pixi Glow Peel Pads

A reliable at-home peel that employs glycolic acid as its main exfoliating ingredient. This melts whiteheads, unclogs pores, and micro-peels layers of dead skin cells. While this may sting a little during the application, this formula just needs to be rinsed with water right after its "curing" time of seven minutes.

Pixi Glow Peel Pads, P1,590, Lazada

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Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine

This exfoliating toning pad uses Lactic Acid, a milder type of AHA, to smoothen out your skin's texture and to dissolve debris inside the pores. It also has resveratrol that pumps in antioxidants which makes your complexion appear youthful and glowing.

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Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze -Wine, P1,295, Lazada

Wishful Yo Detox Face and Body Enzyme Scrub

I've missed going to facials, and this exfoliating product gives that satisfaction of a deep clean: It's both a physical and chemical exfoliator! It's an enzyme-enriched scrub (It has pineapple enzyme + AHA and BHA) that can melt whiteheads and blackheads, plus dry out pimples.

Wishful Yo Detox Face and Body Enzyme Scrub
Sephora



Wishful Yo Detox Face and Body Enzyme Scrub, P2,340, Sephora

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Neostrata Lotion Plus

A potent treatment trusted by dermatologists, apply a thin layer of this cream on areas where acne is abundant. Wait for it to get fully absorbed before layering a soothing gel-based moistiurizer.

Neostrata Lotion Plus, P2,380. dermatological clinics

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BTW, here are just some of my favorite pimple-treating products:

My pimple fighting products
Ira Nopuente

PROFESSIONAL

When your pimples or acne seem to be too much to handle, it's time to hand it to the professionals for proper care. This way, they can recommend the best treatments for your case, and you can count that your skin will get better.

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Anti-acne facials

Dermatological clinics offer anti-acne facials that unclog pores, heal existing pimples, and control sebum production. Price ranges from P900 to P3,000, depending on the clinic.

TCA Peel

Trichloroacetic (TCA) peel is a less drastic, superficial type of chemical peel. It has no downtime—you don't need to go into hiding for days because your face is peeling. It just stings a little during the application, and your skin will look a bit reddish after the session, that's all. This treatment aims to make fine lines and acne marks disappear, and is usually an add-on to an anti-acne facial. Expect to shell out P300 and up for this.

KI Injections

We consider this treatment as fast, reliable, emergency treatment for huge pimples or cystic acne: The doctor injects a low-dose steroid solution to the spot to kill the infection and reduce its size. This costs around P150 to P250 per spot. TL;DR: This is so much better and safer than popping the zit on your own!

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