Q: I have a big day tomorrow and need to clear up a pimple, fast! How do I get rid of acne overnight?
A: Before bed, “Use a spot treatment containing a combination of sulfur and salicylic acid to kill the P. acnes bacteria and clean out the pores,” advises says Dr. Eric Schweiger, NYC dermatologist and founder of the Clear Clinic. After cleansing your face, use a Q-tip to apply a spot treatment directly to the pimple. We swear by Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17, mariobadescu.com), a cult favorite pink solution that contains colloidal sulfur and salicylic acid, plus calamine to soothe inflamed skin.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to squeeze. “It is tempting to pick and pop at a pimple, but performing what I call ‘bathroom surgery’ can lead to permanent scarring and further breakouts,” Dr. Schweiger says. Instead, brush up on your makeup skills to render the spot invisible: Here’s how to cover up a zit with concealer.
Read more: The Two Types of Acne and How to Treat Both