How to Cover Up a Pimple Fast

July 20, 2017
Kate Marin
By: Kate Marin | by L'Oréal
How to Cover Up a Pimple Fast

Feel a breakout coming on? Don’t cancel your plans just yet! We’re sharing a few dermatologist-approved tips to make covering up pimples fast and easy.

We all know the dreaded feeling of a soon-to-be pimple. Once the pesky thing finally surfaces, all hell breaks loose while you frantically try to determine how to kick the blemish to the curb without causing unwanted scarring. If you’re in a pinch, your best efforts at dealing with your pimple is to just cover it up from the public eye. That way you can still go about your day-to-day routine while you wait for the breakout to heal properly (which, unfortunately, will take some time). To discover the best ways to disguise a pesky pimple in a pinch, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman. Read on for her recommendations, and take detailed notes! 


It’s never a good idea to pop a pimple—no matter how tempting it may be to do so. Why? Because popping pimples or picking at breakouts can lead to infections and long-term scarring. That said, pimples do sometimes “pop” on their own when we cleanse our faces or towel off, leaving the area feeling sensitive and vulnerable to the elements. If this happens to you, Dr. Engelman suggests applying a spot treatment onto the blemish first and then following with makeup. It’s important to first protect your freshly-popped pimple with a layer of spot treatment—boasting acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid—prior to dabbing on your concealer. 


When it comes to makeup, Dr. Engelman suggests reaching for a concealer that is packaged in a squeezable tube or a dropper rather than one in a pot to avoid spreading germs. Since our fingers are vehicles for germs and bacteria, choosing a concealer that avoids the use of fingers altogether is your best bet. “Use thin layers of concealer, gently tapping concealer on the pimple to cover it,” she says.

It’s important to be gentle when applying concealer to avoid any further irritation. If you plan on using a concealer brush, it must be clean. Dr. Engelman explains that as long as your brushes are clean before you use them, covering up a pimple with a brush won’t do it more harm. However, using dirty brushes can cause bacteria and germs to enter the breakout, causing further irritation or worse, an infection.


Once your pimple is properly concealed, it’s best to keep your hands away from the area. Just because you’ve disguised the pimple doesn’t mean it’s no longer vulnerable to bacteria. So, hands off!

Need a few tips on how to stop picking at your skin? Read our tips for how to keep your hands off your face once and for all, here!


Products formulated for acne-prone skin can be drying, so it’s important to keep your skin hydrated regularly while applying these products. At the end of the day, be sure to thoroughly wash your face and remove any last bit of concealer placed on or around the breakout. Follow up with a hydrating lotion or gel, and dab a bit more spot treatment on your breakout before heading to bed if the use instructions advise you to.

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