Want to minimize the redness that comes with acne as fast as possible? We’ve been there, too, and have a few “instant-relief” hacks up our sleeve that can help. Here’s your quick and easy guide to soothing skin and toning down acne redness (quite literally) on the spot.


Hack 1: Calm Skin with Soothing Ingredients


A pimple is red because it’s irritated, so it stands to reason that anything you can do to soothe skin is going to help visibly minimize the redness.


Our trick? Spot-treat the area with salicylic acid, which has research proving that its soothing, anti-redness properties can help the pimple go down. Then follow up with a formula that features skin-calming extracts such as oat, willow herb, and licorice, all found in our CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum. This combination can bring instant redness relief.


Hack 2: Get the Red Out with Visine®


Really short on time? Saturate a cotton swab with Visine or other “redness-relieving” eye drops (not artificial tears or eye drops for dry eyes) and hold the swab on the affected area for 30 seconds or so. It’s an off-label, temporary solution, but anecdotal evidence shows that it works for some people (including a few of our Paula’s Choice staffers who swear by it when they’re in a pinch). If you already have Visine® or something similar at home, it’s worth a try!


Hack 3: Color Correct and Conceal


Last, but not least, try neutralizing reddened blemishes with a green color corrector product, like Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid. You’ll need to top it off with a medium-coverage concealer for a natural skin tone effect, but together, this duo can cancel the red right out.


Above all else, make sure you treat your skin as gently as possible, by using fragrance- and irritant-free products that won’t make redness worse.


Looking for more than a quick fix? Get our expert advice on the best way to get rid of acne blemishes in our article here.


References for this information:

Phytotherapy Research, February 2014, pages 159–166
Filoterapia, October 2013, pages 160–184

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 2008, pages 170–176