How to Cover Up a Pimple

Young woman squeezing pimple in bathroom mirror, close-up
Whatever you do, do not squeeze your pimple. Lisa Pines / Photodisc / Getty Images

When it comes to covering up a pimple on your face with makeup, concealer won't work on its own. Instead, you should try this fool-proof layering system, outlined below.

When a person has a pimple on their face, they assume that their pimple is as large as Mount Everest. This is because not only can you feel a pimple growing without even touching it, but when you do touch it with the greasy pad of your finger, it's GINORMOUS.


Chances are, your pimple is largely unnoticeable. Anyways, how do you best cover up a pimple with makeup?

Concealer alone won't last on your pimple. It will wear off quite quickly. For blemishes and pimple coverage, we recommend applying foundation first or the concealer will be rubbed away in the foundation application. Also, you may find you don't need concealer if your foundation does a good job even-ing out your skin tone. Always choose a concealer that perfectly matches your skin.

6-step Layering System to Cover Up a Pimple

Here's how to cover up a pimple using this fool-proof layering system:

  1. Apply sunscreen, foundation or tinted sunscreen to your face as you normally would.
  2. Dot a thin coating of a liquid bandage over your pimple. Liquid bandages are great to keep on hand for cuts (and pimples). We recommend New Skin Liquid Bandage. Let it dry. This will protect your pimple as it heals. If you don't have a bottle on hand, no problem. Simply skip this step.
  1. Use a stiff makeup brush with a pointy, fine tip to dab on concealer. It's important to apply only to the red areas, not necessarily to the raised area. You can use the pad of your finger if you don't have a pointy stiff brush. This brush is great. It's worth the splurge because it gets into the tiniest of places.
  1. Set the concealer with a dusting of translucent powder.
  2. Dab on concealer again.
  3. If you find you overdid the concealer, use a tissue to gently buff the concealer away. If that doesn't work, moisten a Q-tip with makeup remover and gently apply to the pimple. Then re-cover the pimple with concealer.

We recommend keeping concealer in your purse for touch-ups during the day and do your best to never, ever pick the pimple or the scab that develops as the pimple dries out. 

So How to Make Pimples Go Away?

Almost everyone suffers from pimples at some point in their lives. Even adults suffer from acne: one in 5 women between the ages of 25 and 40 have adult acne. You can blame hormones for your pimples. Find out more in What Causes Acne and Pimples?

To spot treat your pimples, use a mix of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products. You can buy over-the-counter gels or pads. Simply apply one product first. Let it dry, then apply the other product over it. Learn more in this article: Best Treatment Options for Acne.

More on Pimples and Acne:

  • 8 Adult Acne Facts (Plus, How to Treat it)
  • Acne & Teens: How to Treat Pimples (& Cover Them Up)
  • Aspirin & Lemon Juice Mask for Acne
  • Why Do I Get ‘Back Acne’?
  • 5 Reasons Your Acne Isn't Going Away