5 Ways to Shrink an Under-the-Skin Mega Zit in 5 Minutes

Natasha Burton
popping a pimple


We’re all been there: One morning, you wake up and find a full-on situation that has erupted right under the surface of your skin. It’s hard and hurts to the touch…so, basically, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done. Except maybe call in sick to work.

Not so fast. Sure, under-the-skin mega zits can be pretty frustrating, but they don’t have to ruin your day. We consulted the experts for their top tips on shrinking those suckers in just five short minutes.

 1. Ice it.

Rosie Johnston, celebrity makeup artist and founder of By Rosie Jane, says that the number one way to reduce a blemish is to apply ice for one or two minutes. “The cold pressure can reduce swelling and actually freezes skin pores, removing dirt and oil build-up.” Do this, then apply concealer right after.

2. Dab on apple cider vinegar.

If ice alone doesn’t do the trick, there are a couple other options you can try before throwing the ice on once again. According to Cecilia Wong, founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare, apple cider vinegar “kills bacteria and neutralizes the pH level of the skin, making it less alkaline, which makes it harder for bacteria to survive.” Use a cotton pad to apply the liquid onto the zit to encourage it to smooth down.

MORE: Ingredients Your Acne Cream Must Have – And the Ones It Shouldn’t

3. Give it some vitamins.

Another great home remedy Wong suggests is mixing a pinch of Vitamin C powder with two drops of water and dabbing the concoction onto the blemish. “A powerful antioxidant, it helps to reduce inflammation by strengthening the capillary linings of the skin,” she explains.

 4. Use the right acne fighter.

According to Andy Bosselman, founder of Arithmetic, known acne treatment benzoyl peroxide is your best bet for shrinking an under-the-skin zit. But keep in mind that this ingredient can be irritant if you overdo it. “Look for a lower dosage product and keep skin hydrated,” he advises.

5. Apply aloe. 

“Apply aloe vera leaf gel onto the blemish,” Wong suggests. “Ultra cooling, it works to reduce inflammation and redness.” When you go to bed, apply another round to help the zit heal overnight.