Despite our best judgment, we’ve all popped a pimples when we know we shouldn’t have. If you’re heading out the door, the next step is often to try to cover up any irritation with makeup,  but is this leaving the skin worse off?

A board-certified dermatologist weighs in on if you can wear makeup over a popped pimple.

Right after you’ve picked at your face, you’ve probably found yourself asking the age-old question: Can I put makeup on a freshly-popped pimple? Your mind is telling you no but your concealer — and the desire to cover the mess you just made — is saying yes.  We’ve all been there.

First things first: Know that popping pimples is never an ideal solution to getting rid of blemishes. Pimples should heal on their own to reduce the risk of infection and permanent scarring. Once the damage is done, however, there’s no turning back, so here’s what to do.


The good news, is that you can put makeup on a freshly-popped pimple — after taking a few precautionary measures first, that is. The dermatologist advises to first cover the area with a spot treatment — to help protect your open pimple from cosmetics. For added protection, apply moisturizer to create a layer of defense between your skin and your makeup. Look for a hydrating formula with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help keep future breakouts under control. By applying a layer of spot treatment and moisturizer before concealer, you can help reduce irritation and discomfort.


Now that your popped pimple is protected with a layer of spot treatment, it’s time to move on to concealer.  We suggest using a concealer that comes in a squeezable tube or dropper rather than one in a pot or stick to help keep unwanted bacteria at bay. Because our fingers make a great home for germs, we recommend applying your concealer of choice with a brush or the applicator it’s packaged with. When applying concealer, we suggest using a dabbing motion to add thin layers of product to the blemish and being as gentle as possible.


After spot-treating and concealing your blemish, the best thing you can do is to leave it alone. Keeping your hands off your face can aid the healing process and reduce the likelihood of long-term scarring.


Cleansing the skin is crucial to maintaining a clear complexion. Be sure to wash your face thoroughly morning and night, especially if you’ve applied concealer earlier in the day. Before heading to bed, follow up with another layer of spot treatment as tolerated to help your pimple heal while you sleep and as always, be sure to keep your skin moisturized. Some spot treatments can be drying, so keep an eye on the skin surrounding your breakout. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published