Overnight, topical pimple preventing product?
March 24, 2009 7:03 AM   Subscribe

I've been getting breakouts recently on my forehead (from newly acquired bangs) and on my chin (from sleeping on my stomach, hence resting half of my face on a pillow).

Can anyone suggest something topical I could use before I go to sleep at night that might prevent the blemishes from forming?
posted by patientpatient to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Proactiv solution works well if your skin is oily or normal (some friends with sensitive or dry skin found it a little harsh, though). I don't use all three steps every single day, sometimes just one or two steps as my skin seems to need it. The little "refining mask" it comes with works really well for me as a good spot treatment. If you decide to try Proactiv, try smoothing a very thin layer of the refining mask on your forehead & chin, then sleeping with it on all night. My skin cleared up a LOT when I started using Proactiv, and I know a couple of women who make their living on television who swear by it, too.

Oh, and wash your pillowcases a lot (or get some new ones and rotate them in there so you sleep on a clean one every couple nights at least), have a clean towel just for your face, don't touch your face unless your hands are squeaky clean, and maybe pin your bangs back when you sleep.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:19 AM on March 24, 2009

Like Pseudostrabismus says, you might try buying more pillowcases and switching them out every night. They won't add much bulk to your normal clothes washing, and pillowcases are maybe $2 each for the very basic ones at a big box retailer.

I'm not an acne expert, but I have had good luck with Murad. I got a tiny sample of the Acne Spot Treatment from Sephora, and it's lasted me for MONTHS. It reduces the healing time from 4-5 days to 1-2 days for me. They have some preventative treatments that might help you out.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:21 AM on March 24, 2009

Wear a headband to bed to keep hair from out of your face.
posted by anniecat at 7:32 AM on March 24, 2009

Argh, I mean, "Wear a headband to bed, so you'll keep your hair out of your face."
posted by anniecat at 7:33 AM on March 24, 2009

Headband is a good idea. Three cheers for headbands!

Differin is the closest thing to a silver bullet for zits. It's expensive as hell but it works.
posted by abirae at 7:48 AM on March 24, 2009

Sleeping with it a bit cooler than usually helps me a lot (as well as the very good "keep the pillowcases super clean" suggestion).
posted by shownomercy at 8:00 AM on March 24, 2009

Differin didn't work for me. I second pseudostrabismus's benzoyl peroxide suggestion (Proactiv, that is; I use a different brand but that doesn't matter much): just be aware that it will bleach your pillowcase and towels, and possibly even your bangs if you color your hair.
posted by halogen at 8:02 AM on March 24, 2009

Yes, changing the pillowcase every other day, and flipping it over to the "fresh" side on other days, made a big difference for me. Also, make an effort to never, ever touch your face except when washing - for me, resting my chin on my hand was a sure-fire route to a massive breakout.

In terms of products, I found Daniel Kern works really well. It's similar to Proactiv in that it's a "system" with cleanser and benzoyl peroxide treatment. What I like better about Daniel Kern is that for comparable quality it's really inexpensive, and it's available in large pump-action bottles -- so I'm never tempted to skimp on the benzoyl peroxide. (It's important to use BP all over your face to prevent future breakouts, and since it's 2.5% it's not too irritating like the drugstore 10% stuff.)

Oh, and Kern is the founder of Acne.org, which is a useful resource.
posted by CruiseSavvy at 8:04 AM on March 24, 2009

If prescription medications are an option, I've personally had a lot of success with Benzaclin (which is a combination of benzoyl peroxide and the antibiotic clindamycin). I find it not only much, much less drying/irritating than benzoyl peroxide on its own, but also far more effective.
posted by LittleKnitting at 9:28 AM on March 24, 2009

DDF's Glycolic acid gel is fabulous at providing just enough exfoliation to keep zits from forming (at least for me). And I love Murad's spot treatment (use both at night, and wash your face in the a.m. since makeup doesn't sit well on either).

Ditto on changing pillowcases often, too!
posted by mdiskin at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2009

I found Differin to be extremely harsh on my skin. I agree with everyone else about using a clean pillowcase. My dermatologist recommended a cleanser called Purpose (can find it at Target or any other retailer) that I've found really helps. Also use a light oil-free moisturizer if you're not because it'll help keep your skin from drying out too much.
posted by whatideserve at 10:35 AM on March 24, 2009

Nth-ing the clean pillowcase, and if you use fabric softener (particularly liquid), stopping might help. Not using conditioner or other hair products on your bangs, if that's an option, can help, too.
posted by magicbus at 1:49 PM on March 24, 2009

I developed acne when I was in my mid-twenties. I find that twice-daily applications of Neutrogena On The Spot keeps even deep, painful pimples from forming. It's benzoyl peroxide but it's a weaker solution, so it's not hard on my skin.
posted by workerant at 2:00 PM on March 24, 2009

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