The Best Way to Conceal a Pimple

Updated June 17, 2014.

Want to know how to conceal pimples? Although we all know less is best when it comes to makeup for acne-prone skin, there are times when you feel the need to conceal your breakouts. A few simple makeup tricks can help minimize the look of your acne while you’re waiting for it to heal.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Twenty minutes or less

Here’s How:

  1. Start with a cleansed face. Thoroughly cleanse your face to remove excess oil, and apply a light moisturizing lotion. Moisturizing helps diminish the look of dryness or peeling that sometimes occurs with acne treatments.

  2. Apply your base makeup. If desired, apply your liquid or cream-to-powder based makeup now. Put on your base makeup using light strokes to avoid irritating breakouts. If you use mineral makeup, apply it at step 5.

  3. Apply a green concealer to any red breakouts. Here’s a little color theory 101: Opposite from red on the color wheel is green, which means red and green cancel each other out. Dab green concealer (available wherever makeup is sold) on breakouts to tone down the angry red color. Do not rub; rather, pat gently with your finger or clean makeup sponge to blend. The green color should be blended out thoroughly.

  4. Apply concealer in your skin tone. Dot concealer over any areas covered by the green concealer. Concealers in pots or tubes give better coverage than stick-type concealer. Pat gently to blend.

    Choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, or one that is just slightly darker. Darker colors recede, making larger breakouts appear smaller.

  5. Lightly dust entire face with powder. Translucent, or loose powder sets the concealer and gives the skin a matte appearance without adding extra color to the face. They also help absorb oil throughout the day. Mineral makeup can be used in place of translucent powder, if preferred.


  1. For more staying power and better coverage, let the concealer set for five to 10 seconds after application and before blending.
  2. Be certain to thoroughly remove all makeup you’ve applied before going to bed for the night.
  3. Don’t just settle for covering up blemishes. Start on an acne treatment to help heal them too. If over-the-counter treatments aren’t working, see a dermatologist for help.

What You Need:

  • Makeup sponge or applicator
  • Liquid or cream-to-powder makeup
  • Green-based concealer liquid or cream
  • Concealer cream in your skin tone
  • Translucent or loose powder in your skin tone