6 Overnight Acne Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Have you ever wondered what acne hacks can help you get rid of a pimple overnight? Well, I have tried all of them—and am here to tell you what works.

I have struggled with acne for years. Since I was in middle school, I have been run time and time again through the acne gauntlet. What started as visits from bacterial comedones eventually matured into cystic pimples that lasted longer, were painful, and often left a scar. Being desperate to fight the infections, I would try everything I could find on the internet from toothpaste to harsh masks, to damaging physical exfoliants and I found that the more I did to try and prevent or cure the acne, the worse it would get.

When I entered my career in the beauty space, I studied esthetics and cosmetic chemistry to try and understand what was happening to my skin and with hopes of eventually being able to help others with theirs. While I have learned a lot about skincare and have been able to drastically improve the appearance of my skin and the frequency of acne, breakouts are still inevitable.

This article will not be discussing how to improve acneic skin altogether. Below I will cover the acne hacks that can reduce an active breakout or active pimple overnight.

The Ice Cube Hack

This pimple solution is probably the simplest and most straightforward of them all—ice it! This is a completely natural, safe, and effective way to get rid of an active breakout. If you are struggling with noninflammatory acne or open comedones (blackheads) this will not be an effective method but will work wonders for any other active pimple. Ice works by constricting blood vessels and thus, reducing blood flow to the spot. This will reduce its prominence in size, color and also help with the pain you’re experiencing.

I have found the ice method to significantly reduce the appearance of a breakout to the point that a tragedy in the morning could be hardly noticeable in the afternoon.

How to use: As soon as you feel inflammation forming (whether it be under the surface or a fully emerged whitehead) wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and apply it to the spot for 1 to 5 minutes. You can repeat this process throughout the day, every couple of hours if needed. Important: make sure your skin is completely clean before applying the ice, otherwise it can worsen the infection.

Hydrocortisone Cream For Acne

This acne hack is one I had never heard of until recently. And honestly, it works so well it’s hard to believe that not many people are talking about it. My dermatologist recently recommended this as a quick solution to a pesky pimple.

Hydrocortisone cream is often marketed as an anti-itch cream that is used to treat eczema, insect bites, rashes, and allergies. However, what I didn’t know is that, is an anti-inflammatory steroid that can do wonders for an inflamed zit or breakout.

When I first tried this, I woke up one morning with multiple pimples on the side of my face—they were inflamed and painful. Before hurrying to slap some benzol peroxide on there, like I usually do, I decided to try the hydrocortisone cream instead. I put it generously all over the breakout and within hours the redness had subsided, the inflammation had decreased and the pain had gone away. At that point, I was a believer. I have turned back to this cream time and time again with consistently promising results.

How to use: Apply directly to the affected area as soon as inflammation begins. Again, be sure your skin is clean. You can re-apply throughout the day if needed and put it on before going to bed. If you have inflammation all over your face or have sensitive, irritated skin, mix a drop of the hydrocortisone cream with your moisturizer and apply it all over your face. This should be about 1 part hydrocortisone to 3 parts moisturizer.

Green Tea Pimple Compress

Who knew that a typical household item could double serve as a skincare remedy? Unlike most hacks you can find on the internet, this pimple treatment has science behind it. According to healthline.com, green tea has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties that make it effective at treating acne. It also has micronutrients known as ECGC that have been proven to improve acne and oily skin.

How to use: Run the green tea bag under room-temperature water. Then pat dry with a towel or let the water ring out so it’s not dripping wet. Once it’s damp, hold the tea bag directly to the pimple or breakout area for 10 minutes or so. There are also green tea masks available that offer other skin benefits.

Don’t touch it!

This one isn’t so much of an acne hack as it is a reminder. I am as guilty as anyone of picking at a pimple as soon as it emerges. I will admit, it’s grossly satisfying to pop a zit. It is genuinely hard for me to leave my face alone once it’s breaking out, I even pick at the pimples without even realizing I am doing it

When you touch your face, especially when it’s breaking out, you will spread the bacteria which can cause more comedones to form. If you pop a pimple, it can burst the cell membrane and spill debris into the dermis, which will cause even more acne to start to develop. In addition, any trauma to the blemish can cause it to bleed, scab and scar.

In order for the pimple or breakout to resolve itself, you need to leave it alone. You’re welcome.

Magic Hydrocolloid Patches

Hydrocolloid patches are not something I knew existed until about two years ago. These patches are truly a magical product that I wish I had found sooner. They are clear stickers that you stick on top of your pimple and in the morning, it will be nearly completely healed—no joke.

First, they help with the above point by preventing you from picking or touching the infection. They also keep the pimple moist which promotes healthy, rapid healing. However, the real magic occurs because of the hydrocolloid formula which attracts water molecules to it. If you put this on before you go to bed, you will wake up to a now-white patch that is filled with all of the pus and debris that were previously on the blemish. It’s even more satisfying than popping the pimple and far more effective.

How to use: Apply the patch directly on top of the lesion before bed, remove in the morning and viola! You will be amazed. Because the patches are clear (at first) you can even wear them during the day or apply makeup on top so the healing can occur underneath.


The garlic acne hack seemed a bit too out there for me when I first heard it. When I tried it, however, I was converted. As it turns out, garlic has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that make it great for treating blemishes. The vitamins it contains have also been shown to help treat acneic lesions.

How to use: By ingesting garlic regularly, you can help prevent breakouts and keep your skin clear. However, for overnight treatments, you can apply it directly to the skin. Blend a garlic clove so all of the juices are released. Apply the blended clove directly to the affected area and leave on for up to 5 minutes and then rinse off.

bulb of garlic and scattered cloves of garlic in peel on gray table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

For more acne tips, check out Wearefeel‘s article where I also share more advice on how to fight acne.

Disclaimer: While this post is not sponsored in any way (I chose and paid for any of the products or services featured), I do make a small commission on some of the affiliate links above. If you chose to purchase any of the items through the links, I appreciate your support in that way!

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