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Acne Dos and Don'ts: How To Remove Pimples Safely

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Giann Floresca · Updated Mar 14, 2023

Acne Dos and Don'ts: How To Remove Pimples Safely

Acne is inflammation in the skin caused by the build-up of bacteria in the sebaceous glands due to overproduction in sebum or blockage of dirt or dead skin cells. It can be unsightly, so a lot of people want to know how to remove pimples overnight. Unfortunately, you can’t; however, there are ways to speed up the process.

Acne Dos and Don’ts

The key to preventing and deal with acne is proper skin care. Here are some acne tips and tricks that everyone can follow:

Keep your hair, hands, and face clean

since acne is a skin condition that stems from excess oil and dirt, keeping your hands clean as much as possible will greatly reduce the chances of getting acne or worsening an existing breakout. Washing your face, hair, and hands regularly also removes excess oil and any possible bacteria that affect your skin. Avoid products like hand lotions, hair gel, and oil-based cosmetics because they can block the pores and cause breakouts. Instead, use water-based facial products that are specifically for people with acne.

Keep it neat

Because dirty or oily hair is a common cause of acne, keeping your locks neat is a must. People with long hair or bangs should tie their hair and keep it away from their face. Cutting it short is another good option, especially for people with naturally oily hair. Likewise, men may want to shave off any facial hair to prevent acne, as long facial hair can trap dirt.

Stay dry

If you worked up a sweat after working out or on a particularly hot day, you may want to wipe it off or shower if you can. This is because sweat can become very sticky and trap dirt, oil, and even bacteria. These three are the main causes of acne.

Likewise, it’s best to avoid tight-fitting clothes that can trap sweat. This includes headbands, as these are constantly in contact with your face and forehead. Similarly, wristbands are also not great for preventing acne because you’ll likely use them to wipe the sweat off of your face.

No picking, popping, rubbing, or scratching

Inflammation and acne often go hand in hand. Because of this, it’s best to avoid agitating your skin or treating it roughly. This includes rubbing intensely with a towel, scratching your skin, and picking or popping blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples. These can further inflame the sebaceous glands, worsen the blockage, and make it harder to remove pimples. Additionally, popping pimples can lead to acne scars.

Change regularly

keeping yourself clean isn’t always enough; you have to make sure that you change your clothes, towels, bedsheets, and pillowcases regularly. This is because clothes, bedsheets, blankets, and pillowcases are in constant contact with your body. That means that any dirt, dead skin, loose hair, or bacteria that are stuck on those fabrics can transfer to your skin and cause a breakout.

Be sure to change your sheets and towels once a week (or earlier if needed), and to change your clothes regularly.

Skincare Products for Acne

While there’s no way to safely remove pimples overnight, these tips can accelerate the natural healing process of pimples or even prevent.

If you’re experiencing a really bad case of acne, don’t despair. While not overnight cures, these skincare ingredients can help you manage your breakout quickly. Be sure to consult your dermatologist before applying new products to your skin.

Benzoyl peroxide. This is the most common type of acne cleanser on the market. It clears up the pores and removes blockages like dead skin cells and dirt while simultaneously killing acne-causing bacteria. Use this with caution, however, as too much benzoyl peroxide can irritate the skin, causing even more acne.

Sulfur. This can clear excess oil and unclog pores. Unfortunately, it can also cause dryness. Be sure to stay hydrated and moisturized.

Alpha hydroxy acid. This is an acid that can remove dead skin cells and encourage newer, healthier skin growth.

Salicylic acid. This can prevent skin from clogging up. It is often used in acne-specific lotions.

Pimple patches. These can’t actually prevent or remove acne, but it can prevent an already popped pimple or lesion from getting worse by keeping the lesion moisturized. This is a temporary fix for accidents or emergency situations.

When to seek professional help

It’s best to consult your dermatologist before using any new skincare products. Similarly, if your acne does not disappear after 6 to 8 weeks of proper skincare, consult your doctor. They may prescribe different medications or ointments.

Key Takeaway

While there’s safe method to remove pimples overnight, there are ways to prevent and/or manage breakouts. These include keeping your hair away from your face, maintaining proper hygiene, and regularly changing your clothes, towels, and bed sheets. Consult your dermatologist if your acne persists or worsens. 

Learn more about Skin Health here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Martha Juco, MD


Written by Giann Floresca · Updated Mar 14, 2023

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