How to Fix a Breakout on Your Face

by Tarah Damask ; Updated September 28, 2017

Ginnifer Goodwin sports a breakout-free complexion at the 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Whether you fell asleep in your makeup a few nights too many, are experiencing nature's not-so-friendly hormonal side effects, or have realized your usual skin care routine is just not working out; you have a wide variety of options when it's time to fix a breakout on your face. While spot-treatment is certainly a main component of clearing up an existing blemish, consider the more long-term facets of your daily routine that will clear up current spots while preventing future problems.

Gently wash your face with a facial cleanser containing the active ingredient salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help clean skin, gently exfoliate, unclog pores and prevent new breakouts. Wash your face twice a day, especially before going to bed to remove makeup and dirt while sleeping.

Spot treat your breakout by applying an acne-fighting spot treatment product to the blemish or blemishes only. Choose a product with an active ingredient that dries out the blemish, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil.

Apply a spot-treatment sealer if you plan on wearing makeup, so your foundation does not build up or appear unsightly on blemishes. Select a spot-treatment concealer if you choose to conceal the blemishes with or without the addition of foundation.


  • Avoid wearing makeup, moisturizer or any product when working out; as pores try to cleanse themselves out, the product on the surface of your face may result in clogged pores and breakouts. Clean your face immediately after working out to help manage existing breakouts and prevent future blemishes.

Photo Credits

  • Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

About the Author

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.