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Hero Cosmetics: The 3 Stages of a Pimple (and How to Deal with Each)

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This guest post is courtesy of Hero Cosmetics, one of our favorite acne care brands. You’ve probably heard of their Mighty Patch, which is much loved by beauty editors and thousands of Amazon reviewers. Just like Sundaily, Hero is committed to skin health – with products that visibly tackle breakouts while healing your skin for the long term. Here, they lend their expertise so we can all understand the lifecycle of a pimple and how to treat it at each stage.

Contrary to popular belief, pimples don’t just appear out of nowhere and they aren’t gone once the pus has disappeared. The lifecycle of a pimple can begin weeks – sometimes even months – before it’s visible. Read on to find out what actually happens before a pimple surfaces, what to do when it’s ready to pop, and how to get your pre-pimple glow back in no time.

Stage 1: It's coming (early-stage or blind pimple)

Even if you don’t know it by name, you know this phase of the pimple lifecycle all too well. You can feel it coming, and it kind of hurts, but it hasn’t quite reared its ugly head yet.

Blind pimple, hidden pimple, early-stage pimple, under-the-skin pimple. Whatever you want to call it, acne has developed under the skin’s surface and has not yet come to a “head.” In this stage, pimples are “unpoppable,” can be painful to the touch and often appear red from inflammation of the surrounding skin.

They are caused by the usual acne culprits: hormonal fluctuations, overproduction of sebum (your skin’s oily secretion), and pores that are clogged with dead skin cells, excess sebum and C. acnes bacteria. While all pores naturally contain C. acnes, a problem arises when it combines with too much sebum and/or dead skin cells and oxygen can no longer flow in and out of the pore.

The good news is that the majority of blind pimples will eventually emerge and heal on their own. The bad news is that it can take weeks to months for that to happen.

How to stop a pimple in its tracks

At this early stage, a little cover up would probably do the trick of concealing the bump. But why conceal if you can heal instead?

If you use Micropoint for Blemishes in the very early stage of a pimple, it’s possible to completely heal the pimple before an infection or whitehead even forms. The Micropoint for Blemishes acne patch has 173 Micropoints made of hyaluronic acid molded to work like microneedles. It dissolves powerful ingredients (such salicylic acid) straight to the source of an under-the-skin pimple to speed up the pimple’s journey. Because really, who wants to wait around forever for the arrival of a hidden pimple?

Stage 2: The pimple has emerged (whitehead or pustule)

As white blood cells attempt to fight the pimple, they die and accumulate, creating a whitehead or a pustule. Whiteheads are small, pus-filled pimples covered with a thin layer of skin that appears as a white bump. Pustules are bulging patches of skin filled with pus (basically what you picture when you think of the word “pimple”). Whether it’s tame and tiny or angry and huge, this pimple has arrived at your doorstep (AKA the surface of your skin) and looks like it’s ready to pop.

How to get rid of a visible pimple ASAP

Resist the urge to pop! If you pop the pimple, you risk prolonging the breakout and causing long-term scars. Popping spreads the bacteria deeper in the pore and causes additional inflammation. Instead, stick on a hydrocolloid pimple patch, which can suck up all of the pus and gunk in just hours.

Hydrocolloid is not an ingredient slapped on a sticker to make an acne patch, but a material that actually becomes the adhesive itself. It is made of gel-forming agents, such as pectin, gelatin or sodium carboxymethylcellulose, which adhere to your skin to provide insulation and a moist, healing environment. Originally developed to treat wounds, the agents in hydrocolloid actively absorb fluids and pus without drying the surrounding skin.

We recommend Mighty Patch Original (for overnight elimination), Invisible+ (ultra-thin for daytime treatment, yes even out in public) or Surface (for those large-area breakouts), so you can tackle your unwanted visitor without missing a beat. 

Stage 3: The aftermath (post-pimple healing)

Thankfully, the pimple is gone. And even though the pus has cleared, your skin has a long way to go before it returns to its former glory. We’re talking about redness, inflammation and dry, scaly patches. While healthy skin cells will eventually replace the mark left behind by a pimple, it can take weeks for that to happen.

How to heal post-pimple skin

Although some people see no trace of the breakout, most need a little more time (and care) for skin to return to its normal pigmentation-less, tone, texture and moisture levels. Look for skincare products with ingredients that help to replenish, repair and restore the surface of your skin, such as panthenol, beta-glucan and oligopeptides.

When you want to kick your comeback into hyperspeed, Rescue Balm can help relieve post-pimple skin and speed up the healing process. We recommend using it daily for 2-3 days to heal and balance lingering skin challenges and bring your skin back to healthy.

Of course, not every pimple takes the same exact journey through all the same stages of acne. Papules or cysts, two types of blemishes that never turn into whiteheads, may require a visit to the dermatologist, who can treat the breakouts with cortisone injections, prescription topical formulas or oral medications.

Achieve your healthiest skin

At Hero Cosmetics, we believe that healthy skin is a journey, not a destination.

Everyone deserves their best skin, and they can get there by taking one positive step after another. It’s not something that happens overnight, and it isn’t just about getting rid of acne. Achieving your healthiest skin also involves making sure it’s clean, hydrated, and protected from UV rays and free radicals (and Sundaily gummies can help with that last aspect). By adding Sundaily to your skincare routine, you can protect and repair your skin from the inside out. Their tasty gummies are packed with antioxidants to support your skin in the fight against free radicals and other stressors.

In time, you’ll gain control of and confidence in your skin health journey – from start to finish.

If acne is holding you back from your healthiest skin, check us out to learn all about the gentle ingredients, transparent product details and clinically high standards that drive our holistic approach to acne care.

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