Attack of the temporary killer tomato face!
October 11, 2012 10:29 AM   Subscribe

My face is a mess thanks to prednisone. Tips on covering up/reducing the zits as best as possible, pre-job interview?

I'm not a terribly vain person, but my face is a mess lately thanks to taking prednisone for a long time (thanks Crohn's!). I'm at the end of my prednisone taper now and I know my face will clear up at least SOMEWHAT again soon, but I have a job interview tomorrow and I'd like to try to calm things down just a little bit.

Yes, I know that any place that would make a hiring decision based on facial redness is one I should avoid. But I'd like to at least look a LEEEETLE bit less bumpy/red, for my own edification at least.

I'm seeing aspirin/honey masks - maybe tonight? I rarely wear makeup other than some powder. I'll be trying to artfully apply it tomorrow, but I'm not one to go to drag pancake makeup to cover stuff. A lot of the other questions are about long-term acne issues and routines - I already have a decent skin care regime, but this is beyond my control.

Other tips? Tricks?
posted by stefnet to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I found using a self-tanner on my face helped cover up some of my light reddish acne scaring. Not sure if you'd want to experiment with one of those so close to the interview, though. In your case, I might head to the Clinique counter and see if they can recommend a liquid foundation. You could always mix it with moisturizer to make the coverage a little less thick.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:33 AM on October 11, 2012

The Clearasil 4 hour formula usually does a good job in reducing the big, cystic bumps into something that looks less like a soon-to-erupt volcano, at least on me. As for coverage, I've heard great things about Dermablend, but I can't vouch for its pancakeness or lack thereof.
posted by Addlepated at 10:36 AM on October 11, 2012

Arcona and Alba products have been godsends. Alba is a lot less expensive, but Arcona's acne specific stuff really gives my skin a good kick in the ass so to speak when I need extra help. I also feel like the Magic White Ice product from the Arcona line has improved my skin's texture overall since I started using it. My acne comes from food allergies, medicine, and hormones so I feel you on the antibiotics and other stuff front.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2012

Ah, sorry, I didn't realize you we're looking for next-24-hours stuff. Laura Mercier may have what you seek. Could you get yourself to a Nordstrom counter and persuade a salesperson to make you up for your interview?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:41 AM on October 11, 2012

I would use something gentle like a mineral foundation to avoid further skin upset. Some people like Bare Minerals, but personally I find it too chalky (it has a lot of talc in it, so no surprise) and prefer the one from L'Oreal. Bonus! It's cheap!

You can use that to just even out your skin tone without putting in a lot of effort. If you feel like you need more, maybe get some concealer too? I am currently a fan of the Revlon photoready stick concealer. It's really thick (but not oily/greasy). Get it two shades lighter than you think you need.

I wouldn't even bother with any sort of skin care approach for this. The honey and aspirin masks are great for long-term skincare but I've never found them to be a quick fix.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:47 AM on October 11, 2012

I know MAC has a rep for pancake-face but they have a liquid concealer called Select Cover-Up that I swear by (it comes in a little paint-type tube). The coverage is somewhere in between a foundation and concealer and the texture is really good--I can use a lot of it without it looking too cakey--it looks dewey without looking greasy (and because of that, it comes off more easily than a cream concealer, but I usually set it with a light mineral powder and as long as I'm touching my face a bunch, it stays on all day with no problem). I apply it with a sponge and think it looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Definitely worth checking out if you're already headed to the make-up counter.

I suggest a good concealer rather than any kind of mask because while I don't know about the sensitivity of your skin, more often than not masks (especially ones I haven't tried before) have irritated my skin and made things worse. I would vote for a "band-aid"- vs. "treatment"-type solution under your current circumstances.
posted by lovableiago at 10:50 AM on October 11, 2012

Oops, as long as I'm *not* touching my face a bunch.
posted by lovableiago at 10:57 AM on October 11, 2012

When I'm having a hormonal acne skin emergency, I take a steady dose of ibuprofen (2 pills every 4 -6 hours) for the day & night before the event I'm going to- it seems to cut back on the acne redness and inflammation. This is obviously not a viable long term solution but if I'm in a bind and need a fast, short term fix, ibuprofen has helped me. IANAD; YMMV and of course don't take it if it will interact with any of your current medications or exacerbate your Crohn's (Tylenol might also work, but I haven't tried it).

As far as non-medication solutions, I've also noticed that drinking a ton of plain green tea and taking fish oil supplements calms down my skin (I suspect they work as natural anti-inflammatories), but I don't know if their effects would show in 24 hours.
posted by castlebravo at 11:14 AM on October 11, 2012

I just started using tumeric facial masks for medication-related acne, with really impressive results. Even after the first use, I saw a reduction in the size and redness of zits and had noticeable fading of old breakouts. You can look on makeupalley for recipes, but they're usually some combo of tumeric, honey, yogurt, and olive or nut oil. You'll want to have baking soda or another light exfoliant on hand, so the mask doesn't leave your skin yellow.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:24 AM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Laura Mercier concealer -- great coverage, and very natural looking. Sephora carries it -- I would bet one of their eager sales assistants would be happy to help you find the right combo for your coloring and to show you how to blend it. This palette includes a little bit of everything, but there are some other options.
posted by scody at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2012

I just watched an interesting video on makeup artist Lisa Eldridge's website for covering up blemishes using a full-coverage concealer. The model says that it doesn't feel like she's wearing a ton of makeup.
posted by sillymama at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2012

Sephora carries it -- I would bet one of their eager sales assistants would be happy to help you find the right combo for your coloring and to show you how to blend it.

Whatever product(s) you end up using, I strongly suggest you pick one that it is available at a Sephora or whatever nice department store is near you. The make-up counter assistants can then match your skin color and show you how to blend it in. If the interview is tomorrow, I think this will be more efficient, and save you the trouble of trial and error.

I know you say you don't want "pancake makeup," but today's concealers and foundations are really quite light, and as I said, the salesperson can show you how to put it on. I don't know if any acne masques/meds are going to be that effective over night.
posted by bluefly at 12:19 PM on October 11, 2012

Last month I began taking Citalopram and it's absolutely wreaking havoc on my face. In desperation I went to Sephora and asked for a really amazing concealer. The assistant showed me Benefit's boi-ing concealer, and when I saw the effect after she applied it to half my face, I bought it, no questions asked. It's honestly amazing, and a little seems to go a long way.

I feel I should note that I do already own Laura Mercier's concealer and it wasn't doing enough of the job for me.
posted by alynnk at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2012

Using a few drops of Visine allergy eye drops on the blemish will usually help with some of the inflammation. It has to be allergy drops.
posted by tamitang at 1:13 PM on October 11, 2012

If this comment isn't helpful, please just ignore it.

But I'd suggest you resist your instincts here to try to fix the problem, and instead ignore it. If you spend the next 24 hours traipsing around to makeup consultants and trying out skin treatments, you are quite likely going to end up looking worse than you otherwise would, and you are definitely going to walk into your interview thinking about the condition of your skin.

The reality is, you could make it a lot worse, and you're unlikely to achieve anything better than a tiny improvement. I don't think it's worth it. I think you'd probably be better off to focus your attention elsewhere. Better to turn up with bad skin and a great attitude, rather than bad skin that's rough, inflamed and stinging from recent treatments, and/or caked in makeup, feeling self-conscious about your efforts to improve it.

Like I said, if this isn't helpful just ignore it. I don't mean it as "moral" advice -- just practical. 24 hours before your interview is not the time to experiment, and doing it IMO is likely to dramatically increase your anxiety and self-consciousness. (Or at least, it would for me. If I'm projecting, just ignore me.)
posted by Susan PG at 1:22 PM on October 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thanks everyone! And Susan PG, your comment is very helpful!

Unfortunately, time and location keep me from searching out a lot of the suggestions of everyone, but I think I'll condense everyone's answers down to: "don't do anything crazy right before an interview."

I'm putting some honey and aloe on tonight for a bit to soothe and then I will do my usual skin routine in the morning. I do have some mineral makeup powder that I occasionally wear that does a decent job of coverage. I figure I'll make sure my face is appropriately "blotted" right before the interview with a fresh powder dusting and then let my dazzling skills and personality go to town.
posted by stefnet at 6:23 PM on October 11, 2012

Taking an NSAID might temporarily bring down the redness.
posted by whoaali at 5:03 AM on October 12, 2012

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