Pimples on the face can ruin your self-confidence, not to mention they get in the way of a flawless makeup base. And the worst part is, it’s not just our faces that are susceptible to breakouts. We’ve already filled you in on bacne, but did you know you can get pimples on your nose, lips and even in your ears? Yep, pimples are the worst.
What causes pimples on the face?
Pimples are complicated beasts, but put simply, “Pimples are usually caused by excess sebum being produced by the sebaceous glands that gets trapped in the pores by dry dead skin cells,” says Sue Dann, National Skin Care Training Manager for OmniDerm. Stress, hormones, diet and a lax skin care routine can all exacerbate the issue.
How to get rid of pimples on your face
For pimples on the face, treatment options are varied. There are preventative steps you should be taking to avoid them in the first place (keeping skin clean and free from excess oil is essential), and there are treatment products that can help heal them when they pop up (ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are ace at this).
Dann advises using skin care that won’t strip the skin because this only triggers the skin’s natural reaction of producing even more oil or sebum. “Lightweight oil-based skin care allows the skin to normalise and balance to its healthy level of sebum production,” she explains. She also note it’s essential to avoid touching and picking the pimples as this will further spread the bacteria.
An absolute must is to use a face wash for acne. But the key is to not reach for ones that are all about drying the skin out, but rather you should be opting for less-aggressive products that take a gentler approach to cleansing. Try Dr Spiller Herbal Cleansing Lotion - its soap-free formula purifies and balances the skin's pH level.
Clay masks are an excellent once-a-week addition to your skin care routine as they help draw out oil from the skin and soak up bacteria from the surface to leave skin clean and clear. A great face mask for acne, which Gigi Hadid also swears by, is Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask. It uses Spanish clay which is gentle on skin so you won’t experience that tight, dry feeling you get from so many other clays.
How to get rid of a pimple in your ear
Despite being made up of mainly cartilage and a small amount of fat, the ears still have hair follicles and oil glands just like the face, says Head of Education and Research and Development for DMK Australia, Debbie Dickson. Which means? They are not immune to the odd pimple. Dann notes that unhygienic earplugs and headphones that cause excess sweating are both potential causes, as is a build-up of dead skin cells in the area. If you are experiencing any breakouts around the ear, you can use your regular acne products to clean the area - just keep them out of your ear canal. We recommend adding a few drops of micellar water to a Q-tip and using it to clean your ears, especially if you applied sunscreen to the area earlier in the day (some formulas can clog pores if not effectively removed).
How to pop a pimple in your ear: Chances are you may be able to feel a pimple in your ear, but you won’t be able to see it. Rather than pick or squeeze blindly (big no-nos), the only safe way to pop a pimple in your ear is the let a dermatologist do it. If you don’t want to spend the money, try treating it with a spot treatment instead - it may help to disappear the pimple overnight. Just don’t put any products inside the ear canal - if that’s where your breakout is, you’ll need to seek help from a pro.
How to get rid of a pimple on your lip
Ah, the price we sometimes have to pay to look good. The border of your lips is another area where there are a high number of oil glands and there’s a good chance your makeup could be behind your breakout. Consider switching to an oil-free foundation and stop overdrawing your lips. “Congestion, mainly blackheads, around the lips, is most likely caused by the lip liner and lipstick that is being used,” says Dickson. She recommends changing brands to one that is not as heavy or reactive with the skin. “DMK Cosmetics have healing and antibacterial properties that make them great for acne and congested skin,” she adds. To ease spots on your lips, use an ice cube to reduce the swelling. This also constricts oil glands in your skin, which flushes out oil and bacteria from the infected pore.
How to get rid of pimples on your neck
“Breakouts that occur under the chin and on the neck are linked to the digestive system and our adrenal and hormonal levels,” says Dickson. That would explain why you most commonly get plagued with these types of breakouts around that time of month, as well as during pregnancy or pre- and post-menopause. Dickson advises that through a clean diet, improved digestive health and by reducing stress, these breakouts can be managed. She also recommends taking supplements like Regul8 Digestive Tune-Up to tackle the issue from the inside out.
How to get rid of pimples on your forehead
If you find your breakouts are consistently appearing on your forehead, there’s a good chance the problem is an easy fix. Your hair, especially if you have a fringe, is likely to blame. The natural oils in your hair, as well as trapped sweat, are common culprits. As are hair products that transfer onto the skin and block pores. To fix these causes, pin your fringe out of the way on hot days and “Try changing the hair products you use to something less heavy that uses an alternative to an oil base,” says Dickson. She also warns that a deeper issue may be behind your pimples in this area. “Breakouts on the forehead can be linked to the bladder and digestive system and can signal that you need to consume more plain water and manage a clean, healthy diet of wholefoods, as well as reducing your sugar, refined carbohydrates and dairy intake.”
How to get rid of a pimple in your nose
We’ve all experienced a glaringly big pimple on our nose before, but inside your nostrils? It can happen. And you can bet they’ll be extra painful given how sensitive this area is. For the most part, getting a pimple in your nose is sheer bad luck, so instead of worrying about preventative measures (no we do not recommend you cleanse the inside of your nose!), just pop on a spot treatment as and when needed. If it doesn’t get better, there’s a chance it’s not actually a pimple - it might be folliculitis, which is where a hair follicle becomes infected by staph bacteria, causing the area to swell. Folliculitis can look like a pimple with either a white or red head. An antiseptic cream like Savlon should clear it up.
How to pop a pimple in your nose: Now you know our stance on popping pimples. You most definitely shouldn’t do it. *Especially* when it’s inside your nose. Some veins in your nose lead to your brain and you really don’t want to risk infecting them.
How to get rid of a pimple on your tongue
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse. If you’re wondering how on earth a pimple even form inside your mouth, the good news is it can’t. Those bumps on your tongue aren’t actually pimples, they’re lie bumps - or transient lingual papillitis (TLP). Try rinsing your mouth out with salt water and using mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth - they should go away within a day or two. And above all, don’t squeeze them.
Thinking about trying some home remedies to treat your breakouts? You might want to read what this expert had to say about Shanina Shaik’s unusual DIY spot treatment.
For a foundation that won’t make your acne-prone skin worse, shop our list of faves. Plus, the Internet claims *this* Australian body cream works wonders as a clearing lotion on cystic acne - and we've got the before and after photos to prove it.
How do you keep pimples at bay? Share with us your favourite acne-fighting products.
Main image credit: Getty
Chelsea is BEAUTYcrew’s Contributing Editor. She has a sweet spot for anything that claims to make skin glow and won’t leave the house without a slick of mascara. Chelsea has 10 years of experience as a beauty editor and her words can be found on BEAUTYcrew, Women’s Health, Daily Addict, The Joye and Primped.