“Blemishes are more of an inflammation issue than a bacterial one, although many think it’s the other way around. It’s important to treat both and no picking, please!” says Caterina Marra, manager of the Tribeca Beauty Spa in New York City. In the meantime, there are plenty of avenues to disguising these imperfections. Let's see what the experts recommend.
Attack the inflammation
Picking, Marra says, "Can lead to an eruption beneath the skin, causing the infected area to increase by spreading the bacteria." But to reach the real problem, "Clean the area well with a cleanser that has a touch of either sulfur or glycolic acid. When the area is dry, apply a serum with a glycolic acid blend, such as iS Clinical Super Serum," says Marra. "Glycolic and copper are antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Once the serum is absorbed, apply a light moisturizer such as Cetaphil mixed with foundation and top it off with a powdered mineral makeup. Not only will the approach heal the blemish in a few days, it will hardly be noticeable."
Ice, ice, baby
"Holding an ice cube over blemishes for a few minutes will reduce the swelling and allow your concealer to go on smoothly," suggests Kevyn Aucoin of Stetson Creative. "Dab excess water dry (never rub), and apply concealer with a fine tipped brush."
Beauty Director Margot Grant of Elizabeth Grant says to go lighter, "To conceal, use a highlighting pencil or highlighting cream to bring the color of the blemish to a lighter shade; let dry; then, pick a thicker concealer the exact shade of your skin to apply to the blemish and about 1/2-inch surrounding it to blend it in; set with loose translucent powder on a big fluffy brush to avoid smearing and you're done!"
Edna Posada, beauty director and owner of Spa LaPosada in McAllen, Texas, says, "Tone down any blemish with some layers. For a blemish that is red, first use a yellow color corrector (oil-free) as a base. Next, apply an oil-free foundation either on the entire face or at least on the problem area(s). Then, put an oil-free concealer that matches your skin tone directly onto the blemish. As a final step, apply an oil-free powder to 'set' all the products for a finished, fantastic look!"
The perfect product
Sometimes shopping around for that perfect product is all you need. Aucoin says, "My favorite concealer is Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, which can be applied lighter or thicker depending on the severity of the blemish."
Samantha von Sperling, director of Polished Social Image Consultants, says, "Concealer palette #2 from Cinema Secrets will cover anything from pimples to surgical scars. It's amazing!"
Keep it natural
Gina Pieper, artistic director for Empire Beauty Schools says after using a concealer remain true to your skin color. "You want your makeup to look as natural as possible, so follow with a foundation that matches your jaw line perfectly. It is a common misconception that foundation one shade darker hides imperfections, when in actuality the color can look fake or like you are wearing too much makeup and worse than with out makeup! If, while applying the foundation, you remove the concealer from the blemish it's okay to reapply after applying foundation to any visible imperfections. Finish with a matte powder to keep the foundation in place, and bronzer to add a sun kissed glow." Get 100s more of our best beauty tips here>>
The power of distraction
Trinette Faint, owner of LoveHue.com and Love Hue Beauty tells ladies to draw attention away from the flaw, "If the blemish is on your forehead, for example, apply your makeup to enhance your lips and apply lightly around your eyes."
If you've got it, flaunt it
Makeup artist and licensed esthetician Kadi Dugan looks to the bright side, "If the blemish is not too big, you can always use a brown eye pencil and make it into a beauty mark."
How to camouflage a pimple
Pimples are not your friends. They leave marks on your face and ruin your day. The bad news: they are a fact of life. The good news: you can use makeup to cover them up when they occur. Check out this easy to follow tutorial teaching you how to cover your pimple with makeup.
More ways to banish blemishes