How To Use Spot Treatment Safely: 6 Tips & Tricks
Preventing acne is all well and good, but you can’t always prevent pimples from popping up from time to time. When the inevitable occurs, it’s good to use dedicated acne spot treatment products. These effective creams include several drying compounds and astringent ingredients to neutralize pimples before they spread or pop.
But to make sure they work as well as possible, you need to know how to use spot treatment safely. These are powerful products that can cause irritation or skin dryness if they are applied improperly, especially if you accidentally spread the spot treatment cream around your facial skin.
Today, let’s break down six tips and tricks you can use when applying an acne spot treatment. By the end, you'll know how to tackle acne pimples when they appear.
Do the “Dab Test”
To safely use an acne spot treatment, always begin with the dab test. The dab test should be applied whenever you use a new skincare product, whether an acne spot treatment cream, serum, moisturizer, or anything else.
The dab test has you dab a very small amount of a new skincare product, such as an anti-aging cream, onto your cheek. Then you wait for five minutes to make sure that your skin doesn’t have a negative reaction to it. The dab test prevents you from rubbing a reactive product all over your skin and experiencing some uncomfortable side effects.
If you perform the dab test for a new acne spot treatment cream and nothing happens, you can feel free to use it on your acne pimples and blemishes.
Wash Your Skin First
The next big tip is important whenever you are applying a topical skincare treatment. You should wash your face with lukewarm water without using any soap, which can strip away healthy facial oils and otherwise irritate your skin.
In fact, it’s a good idea to go through your entire skincare routine before using a spot treatment. That means:
- Washing your face with lukewarm water
- Using a cleanser on your pores
- Potentially using a toner depending on your preferences
- Exfoliating product twice per week
- Using a facial serum
- Then rounding everything off with a quality moisturizer
Acne spot treatment products should be used last so that your skin gets all the vitamins, minerals, and cleansing of your regular skincare routine. Once the rest of your skin is taken care of, you can spot-treat acne pimples you see.
By washing your skin, you’ll also clear dirt and debris away from the pores surrounding your acne trouble spots. This, in turn, will prevent your acne from sticking around or spreading as you treat your current pimples.
Rub in Gentle, Concentric Circles
When applying your spot treatment, you should do so by rubbing it into your skin using gentle, concentric circles. Gentle circular motions are ideal because they rub a product into your skin without irritating it.
This is, of course, very important when spot treating acne pimples, which can be sensitive or uncomfortable. For the best results, try to rub a little bit of the spot treatment product into the skin just beyond your acne pimples or trouble spot.
If the acne pimple is about to expand, it may be halted by the ingredients in your chosen spot treatment.
Apply Gel or Cream to Finger First
Apply a little bit of gel or cream to your finger first and let it warm up for even better results. By warming up your chosen spot treatment, it will be absorbed more quickly by your skin, and it will feel nicer as you rub it in. You can hold a tube or container of an acne cream and let it warm up. About 30 seconds should do the trick.
It’s usually much more uncomfortable to apply a cold spot treatment or cream to your skin, even after a good skincare routine. This tip will make things a little more comfortable for you without necessarily impacting the spot treatment’s results or efficacy.
Wash Your Hands After Use
After applying your chosen acne spot treatment, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. A small amount of residue could remain on your fingertips or fingers after rubbing it into your trouble spots. If you touch your face or, even worse, rub near your eye, you could cause serious irritation or sensitivity by accident.
Wash your hands with soap and water, then pat them dry with a towel. That way, you won’t dry out the skin of your hands but will prevent yourself from rubbing your chosen spot treatment in somewhere it should never reach.
Maintain a Good Skin Care Routine Regardless
Lastly, be sure to maintain a top-tier, holistic skincare routine even while using an acne spot treatment product. Acne spot treatment products are very effective in their areas, but they can’t replace a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer trio.
On top of that, a good skincare routine helps prevent acne outbreaks in the future. Spot treatments are only good after you’ve seen acne pimples crop up. If you want to prevent future pimples from being a problem, you’ll need to maintain a great skincare routine that:
- Cleanses your pores
- Removes dead skin cells, which can pile up in your pores and lead to pimple formation
- Provides your skin with vitamins and minerals to ensure skin regeneration and cell turnover
- Moisturizes your skin to prevent it from feeling dry or irritated and to prevent excess sebum (which can also lead to acne outbreaks)
You’ll be best off doing your skincare routine before applying any acne spot treatment product. Your acne spot treatment should be the last part of your routine before bed. You’ll only need to wait about five minutes for the treatment to work before you can lie down on the pillow without problems.
The right spot treatment routine can do wonders for your acne outbreaks and overall skin health. Remember to keep these tips in mind the next time you use a spot treatment product, and you’ll feel comfortable and confident throughout the process.
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How to test skin care products | AAD.org
Management of acne - PMC | NCBI