Oh pustules, how I loathe thee! They are categorized as inflammatory pimples. A pustule occurs when the bacteria from the dead skin cells and oils in your pores attract other strains of bacteria. The bacteria feeds on it, reproduces, and eventually causes inflammation. I know, barf. Pustules are different from other types of inflammatory acne because they have a white or yellow center filled with pus. The white or yellow center is actually your immune cells trying to fight the infection.
It’s very easy to get scarring from pimples like this. Seeing a white or yellow center makes you want to pop it. Unfortunately, if it’s not ready to come out, this can push the bacteria down further and make the infection even worse. Not to mention you’ll get a deep pitted scar afterwards.
Pustules can be difficult to treat, especially when they are painful. If you have access to a dermatologist or esthetician, they can help you extract them. If you are like me and need to be a little more DIY, I have a few recommendations that will help get rid of them with minimal to no scarring.
I have yet to use this mask but I’ve only heard amazing things about it. This clay mask is meant to clear and soothe acne-prone skin. It contains Moroccan lava clay, kaolin clay, bentonite clay, and centella asiatica extract. You can use it as a spot treatment as well. I imagine it’s very soothing to the inflammation, helps draw out the bacteria, and heal the skin quickly. Check it out on Soko Glam’s website.
I’ve mentioned this toner multiple times. I think it’s perfectly gentle for pustules. It’s made with 70% tea tree leaf water, which is perfect for those who have irritated or sensitive skin. It removes makeup, dirt, and fights acne with a low pH of 6. This toner has minimal ingredients, including tea tree leaf oil.
Tea tree can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but this toner barely has a scent. It leaves my skin hydrated and provides great antibacterial properties. It’s a great price, but only has 6.76 oz. I always wish there was more every time I finish it, but I’ll keep repurchasing because my skin loves it.
Salicylic acid is great for fighting deep, inflamed acne like pustules. It dives deep into pores to kill bacteria. You can use this affordable yet effective serum as a spot treatment. It can also be used all over the face to help prevent breakouts. I found it to be really effecti in gradually shrinking inflamed pimples over time. Find this on The Ordinary’s website.
I recently reviewed this very special powder in my Mario Badescu post. It contains talc, kaolin clay, zinc oxide, and sulfur. You simply tap out some product like a setting powder, dab some onto the fluff (that’s what I call it) and pat into the skin. I just apply this to the infected areas after I moisturize. All of the components work to kill bacteria.
I noticed the very next day that my breakouts were significantly reduced and less angry. It helps dry out the pustule, shrink the inflamed area, and kill bacteria. If you really want to get rid of a pimple, throw on a pimple patch after using this powder. This has worked wonders for me. You can find it at Ulta or on Mario Badescu’s website.
These are my go to pimple patches that I always recommend. They are my first form of defense for extracting pus and bacteria without harming the skin. These Missha patches even include hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil. You can apply this right after using a treatment like 100% pure tea tree oil, the Dr. Oracle Peeling sticks, or the aforementioned special healing powder. I also frequently apply these during the day if I’m going to be home, or don’t care who sees me.
When you remove these, the white or yellow center usually comes right out. It’s kind of gross, but super satisfying. Once you remove a patch, follow up with your skincare routine and apply your spot treatment to kill any remaining bacteria. Sometimes the bacteria may not come all the way out and that’s okay. I just repeat the same steps the next time I do my routine. Eventually it will come out or be pulled out enough to extract. You can purchase these from Soko Glam or Amazon.
Pustules are painful and ugly, but we are lucky to live in an innovative skincare era that provides us with a plethora of effective treatments. Have you tried any of these products? Are there other products you use to heal your pustules? Let me know below!