If you follow me on Snapchat, you saw the red pimple that was trying to wriggle it's way onto my face one day before my trip (and if you didn't, you are in luck because you can see them all on the AES Youtube Channel. I wasn't surprised, pimples have a way of coming right when you want them least. Lucky for me and you, there are a few steps you can take to calm those unwanted pimples so you can get on and enjoy your trip:
1. Ice: What do you do when you sprain your ankle and it gets all big and swollen? You ice it to help bring the inflammation down. Well the same inflammatory process is happening when you get those big inflamed pimples and applying direct ice for 2-5 minutes after cleansing morning and night will do the same. I always bring my silicone popsicle molds with me because apparently, people aren't as obsessed with ice as we are in the U.S. If you don't have one, you can find them for cheap on Amazon. As soon as I get to the hotel, I fill that thing up, put a towel bib under my chin, and put the ice part directly on my face if I even think I feel a pimple coming.
2. Spot treat: The BP Cream is usually a part of the evening regimen but when you have an inflamed zit, an extra application in the morning can help calm symptoms of inflammation like redness and swelling. Apply a thin layer after your serum in the morning and let it sit for as long as possible before applying your moisturizer to avoid decreasing the effectiveness of the benzoyl peroxide. You can see the red bump that was forming on my upper lip in the first video snap the day before my trip. It hadn't quite formed a pimple yet but I just knew it was coming (as us people with acne always do!) because it started feeling itchy and sore, classic signs of inflammation. I iced it multiple times that day, did an extra application of BP Cream in the morning, and you can in the video on the way to the airport that the redness and swelling had already gone down by the next day.
3. Be consistent with your regimen: Sticking to your regimen after you've spent all day sightseeing or drinking or partying or whatever it is that you fancy doing when you travel is rough. The cleansing, then the icing, then the Aqua Gel, then the drying before the BP Cream, I know I know. BUT just because you have taken a vacation doesn't mean your retention hyperkeratosis has and the serum keep those dead skin cells from accumulating in the follicle and causing future pimples. So if you really really really can't deal with doing your entire regimen one night, at least slap on the serum before bed to keep those comedones from forming. If it's too late and you can already feel something forming but still can't find the motivation to do your whole regimen, apply the serum to help move that seed up and the BP cream too to keep it from blowing up and becoming inflamed.
4. Don't touch it: If this post was called, "How to make a zit bigger and more noticeable", picking/touching/helping/whatever other terms you may use to excuse yourself would be at the top of the list. Please believe me when I say that a few days of pimple is better than a few days of picked nastiness so leave it alone and let the products do their thing. If you are a compulsive picker and your hands can't help but roam onto your face, follow the three foot rule (or the 1 meter rule if you are not American) and stay at least three feet away from the mirror at all times. Don't worry, it's still close enough that you will see if your lipstick is on your forehead.
5. Practice acceptance: After you have taken what steps you can to help the pimple heal, accept it, remind yourself that that nobody notices your acne as much as you do (literally, repeat it to yourself throughout the day like a mantra), and try to enjoy yourself. Seriously, this is the most important step on this list and also the hardest but we can't heal the physical effects of acne without healing the psychological ones too. And if it feels impossible to stop obsessing about your acne today, that is okay too. Focusing on the good things is a practice so don't beat yourself up if you can't help but well, beat yourself up. As I tell my clients, just do your best and be as kind to yourself as you would be to your favorite person :)