How to Heal a Popped Blemish—Overnight

How to Heal A Popped Blemish Overnight

Courtesy of Waimea Body Essentials

In the world of beauty, it’s considered extremely taboo to squeeze, pinch, pick or pop a zit. Estheticians tell you it scars your face. Dermatologists remind you that it spreads bacteria. Your mom scolds you that it’ll only cause a big, bloody mess.

And yet, when I have a pus-filled bump on my face, not picking it is about as likely as me ever becoming an Olympic gymnast (my third-grade dream).

I have certainly learned my lesson (those estheticians, derms and moms are right) and I know that the less I pick my face, the fewer blemishes I’ll get and the more warm, fuzzy feelings I’ll have towards my skin. Plus, I have far fewer zits to worry about in general, thanks to my more consistent and skin-healing morning routine.

But sometimes a blemish gets the best of me. I stress pop blackheads and if there’s a whitehead on my face, there’s no way I’m going to let it erupt on its own (I. Just. Can’t. I used to pop my brother and sister’s zits, for Pete’s sake. But don’t worry—I always used a tissue and was very gentle. I think.). I’ve experimented for years with ways to soothe and calm just-squeezed skin, and I can’t believe it took me until now to discover the best overnight skin-fixer.

A drop of lavender essential oil on a just-popped blemish, covered with a Band-aid, heals said blemish overnight.

Ever picked a zit only to be crestfallen the next morning when you realize that you didn’t get all the infection out (despite marginally mutilating your face in the process)? Lavender+Band-aid solves this. It kills the bacteria you didn’t fully squeeze, eliminating the additional pus.

Ever been a little too harsh on your skin only to wake up with a giant scab that’s impossible to cover up with concealer? Lavender+Band-aid soothes your skin and helps heal it faster so you can avoid huge, dark scabs (you might end up with a small one, especially if the popping process got bloody, but lavender will calm that huge mess into a little, concealable spot).

I’ve now been doing this for a few months and I can’t believe the results. I’ve had practically no scarring from my intermittent zit popping, and I have really temperamental, sensitive skin that bruises and injures easily. Every time I use lavender+a Band-aid overnight (it’s now only about once a month, because I try my very best not to pick my skin), I wake up to find healed, calm skin. Barely any remnants of my attack and very little scabbing.

Two disclaimers here:

1. I don’t recommend popping all the zits on your face, all the time. Try to mess with it as little as possible. If you feel you have to pick something, use clean fingers, covered with tissues to prevent the spread of bacteria, and be gentle with your skin. If nothing will come out, just let it be—don’t over-pop. You’ll be mad at yourself later.

2. Lavender is one of only a few EOs that you can put on your skin undiluted. Other EOs can cause damage if not mitigated in a carrier oil, so don’t go putting a ton of other EOs with helpful properties on your face. And don’t put more than two drops on a blemish before covering it with a bandage.

Have you tried this on a blemish? What other overnight healing tricks work for you?

21 Responses to “How to Heal a Popped Blemish—Overnight”
  1. Brianna says:

    I’m completely intrigued by this – never heard of it, but will definitely try! I luckily don’t get many pimples at all, but when I occasionally do, it is one of those that seems to take forever to go away.

    Usually if I get a pimple, I will dab extra Pai rosehip oil on the spot, which does a really great job, but I’m going to try to remember this to see how it compares.

  2. Ali says:

    Great post – I have gotten so much better at not popping but every once in a while a bad combo of stress and a particularly irksome pimple get to me and I pick. I can absolutely relate to the whole mutilating your face and waking up to the disappointment of STILL not having “gotten it all out”!

    Do you use any particular kind of bandaid on your face?

  3. susan says:

    Very guilty of this, though a lot better than I used to be.

    I use Living Libations Dew Dab and wow! I’ll never be without it. Undiluted cape chamomile, rose otto, cypress,
    frankincense, immortelle and lavender. I was initially very wary of using undiluted oils but I’ve only experienced good things with this blend. REALLY good things. I have virtually no acne scars now and I really had a lot. I’d gone through 2 bottles of yuli cell perfecto and that helped but not like this has.

    I rarely use a full drop, because I usually don’t need to and I think less is best with something this potent. The dropper is also a bit hard to control. Instead, I give the bottle a shake with the lid half unscrewed and just use what ends up around the opening.

    I’ve come to believe that the quality of essential oils I’m using is extremely important. The oils I get from Floracopeia and Living Libations are worlds better than anything I’d used before and I now use and benefit from them daily. I also find a lot of integrity with both companies and I’m very happy to support them. I’m sounding like a commercial but I feel strongly about this. High quality essential oils have changed my life whereas what’s available from most companies does nothing (or worse) for me and I now completely avoid anything from a source I don’t trust.

    No band-aid though. Think it would bug me.

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m curious – WHY the bandaid?

  5. Jennifer says:

    I am really working to be more gentle, not mess with my skin and generally have more faith in the healing process. But, I am right there with the “I.Just.Can’t” feelings. Some are so hard to leave alone. And, this habit is worse for me whenever I am feeling anxious or stressed. I appreciate the healing tips. If anyone has any tips on how they have learned to Just Let it Be….I’d love to hear that too!

  6. Megan says:

    Agreed – white heads are unsightly and just begging to be removed. I wish I could let them go (and sometimes I can!), but for the most part, I get rid of them.

    And then I am all about undiluted lavender oil on blemishes! (I actually just wrote a blog post on the topic! Great minds, right?) It’s pretty much a miracle worker. I actually recently started using Province Apothecary Clear Skin, which is a fantastic mixture of undiluted essential oils (including lavender) and works wonderfully to prevent blemishes. I just mix a few drops into my serum and apply it twice a day. It’s a much better alternative to benzoyl peroxide.

    Like Susan said, high quality essential oils really are an effective treatment option. Just be patient!

  7. Steph says:

    I have used lavender on blemishes before but not with a bandaid; is that the secret perhaps?? Do you think this would work on previously picked blemishes (oh what an appealing topic lol) Must try.

  8. therese says:

    i am a big fan of using Melaleuca oil (tea tree) on pimples. It dries them up over night. I even carry a small vial of it in my purse for when i really want to squeeze it. A better solution for me. I hadn’t thought of the Lavender for a little extra kick. I will have to try it.
    It is really important to splurge on your essential oils and get pure therapeutic grade oils. They are stronger so you should do a test for sensitivity first but the pure has no added impurities.
    Frankincense is great for removing scars and age spots. Love Odacite’s oils too. Valerie is amazing. You feel you just went to a spa when you use hers.
    I have to agree band aids do seem to dry things out. Don’t know why but they do.

  9. Caroline says:

    Usually I save popping til just before I wash my face then swab some toner on picked spots. I’ll try the lavender though, it is good for so many things

  10. Zerlyn says:

    Most of the time, I just leave the spots alone. However, sometimes I cannot help myself and definitely guilty of popping them, using a sharp needle (sterilized, of course) to get the root of it, instead of the surface pop, and then squeeze it out. I do put a drop of Osmia spot treatment. So far, that is working for me. I would have to remember to try the lavender oil.

    I do have couple of white heads. That, I can let that sit there, because I know, no matter what I do, it just won’t come out, and I will have a red, bruised spot. I pretty much leave it on its own. What I notice is that after a couple months, it does rise to the surface, and it come out by itself. So, I am playing waiting game.

    I also learn not to look at mirror that much. Not knowing how it looks and forget about it is quite liberating.

  11. I’ve been guilty of picking my blemishes before, but have been trying to improve myself. I’ll have to give this tip a try!

  12. Laura says:

    Great post! I’ve been using Lavender as a spot treatment for a few months and have had fantastic results. Have you tried Veriditas? Just curious since they’re also in MN. I use their Rose Regenerative oil on blemishes that have begun to heal, I’ve noticed that it also helps reduce redness and scarring.

  13. Nicolle says:

    Hello all! so many of you had great comments and I’m reassured that I’m not the only one who can’t not pick… It seems the biggest question was about the Band-aid. I use it to seal in the lavender oil, to ensure it doesn’t rub off on my pillow and to get the most potency. Lavender can also be used to treat burns and cuts and a “lavender pack” (covering the wound with a bandage after putting on the oil) is more effective because it keeps all that anti-bacterial, healing goodness right on the popped blemish. Cause that what a picked zit is, right – a wound? :)

    @Laura I haven’t tried Veriditas. I’ll have to check it out!

    In general, for killing blemishes before they come to a head, I rely on Osmia’s Spot Treatment. I actually don’t go anywhere without it.

    I’m a little sensitive to tea tree, so I avoid it neat. That’s why I love lavender! And it’s worked better for me, without drying out my skin.

    The Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel is also great – but it’s a little too drying for my face. I use it on just-shaved skin or on ingrown hairs. So lovely.

    My “let it be” secret is similar to Zerlyn: I just don’t look that closely in the mirror anymore! Haha. I mean, my skin has thankfully cleared up a lot due to my change in skincare routine and avoidance of too many oils, but I still get spots, and I just ignore and douse in Osmia’s Spot Treatment, until there’s a whitehead. Then lavender is my savior!

  14. Jaime says:

    I would be careful if your bandaid is plastic and not all not all cotton. I learned this lesson the hard way. I put diluted lavender oil over a cut on my finger and the oil melted the plastic and the bandaid fused to my finger. It was not pretty to remove :(

  15. Sara says:

    I have been experimenting with essential oils for blemishes for quite some time (I’m 28 and still get them too!) But just like Nicolle says, the less you pick, the less blemishes you have, so I too don’t look too close in the mirror or I end up picking and look like a scary person…don’t judge. Frankincense really is a phenomenal all-purpose oil but expensive, so I have had good luck with Elemi, which is from the same plant family for a lot less $ (Anne Marie uses it in some of her formulas). Recently, I have been experimenting with Thyme oil for a spot treatment (sparingly!), although it does burn slightly bc it is so potent (you are supposed to use a carrier oil but my acne is stubborn!), it doesn’t dry out my face oddly enough and I have sensitive combination skin. Hooray!

    Also, when you just cannot not pick, try a comedone extractor from target, sephora etc. They are worth the investment and keeps scarring to a minimum because you can’t dig with your nails and it applies even pressure to the blemish. This is a desert island tool.

  16. Samantha says:

    Are there any other good EO alternatives someone would recommend for this type of treatment? I absolutely cannot stand lavender :/

  17. RobinW says:

    I love love love lavender and lavender oil. But you seriously might want to reconsider using ANY EO neat.

  18. Abi says:

    It was just this morning I popped an annoying pimple at work and the only thing I had on hand was a can of lavender spray in my car – which i sprayed onto my finger and dabbed on the spot. I had read it was antibacterial so figured it would be good enough. What a funny coincidence I see this now! And a relief to know it’s a legitimate pimple option.
    So far it seems to have done the trick so I’ll have to try it again on the next one.
    PS Popping pimples (despite advice otherwise) is totally normal. How can anyone resist the temptation of popping a big juicy white head is beyond me!

  19. Amy says:

    I’m so glad you mention this! I adore the tea tree and lavender acne spot treatment from White and Elm. I put it on a blemish and it even keeps my cystic acne at bay. If it’s really persistent acne , then I will treat it during the day as well.

  20. pseudonym says:

    I cannot BELIEVE how well this worked! I had two acne cysts on my face opened and drained two weeks ago, and they seemed ‘stuck’ at a red, oozy and raw scab stage no matter what products I used on them. They were impossible to cover with makeup successfully, even when I applied it frequently throughout the day.

    I have read elsewhere that lavender oil can make acne worse for some people and induce irritation. I have very sensitive skin that reacts poorly to most products and even rewards me with a contact dermatitis rash from time to time, so I was VERY hesitant to give this a try. I’m so glad I decided to try it.

    My two popped cysts didn’t clear overnight, but they healed significantly the first night and almost fully in just two nights. I’ve had no reactions or side effects to the lavendar oil, it has removed all swelling, itchyness, heat, tenderness.

    After the first night I had clean, flat, dry scabs and minimal redness on both cysts. Makeup covered these easily. After the second night the scabs were half the size, clean, flat and dry. Again makeup covered them well. After the third night, one of the scabs had fallen off leaving a smooth pink spot to cover with makeup. The other scab is barely there, I expect it too will fall off soon.

    The lavender oil tingled a bit (in a very pleasant almost ticklish way) when I first applied it to each cyst. But after that, all itchiness, heat, redness and awareness vanished. Not once since starting the lavender oil did I touch or pick at the scabs, in fact I completely forgot I had them until I went to freshen my makeup. Not touching them is also a big plus toward healing.

    Thank you so much for posting this quick and easy treatment. I’ll definitely be using lavender oil again.

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