8 Tricks For Getting Clearer Skin Overnight

by Erica Florentine

It can seem really difficult to find ways to clear up our skin when we're in the middle of a blemish attack. Honestly, skincare can be extremely annoying sometimes. This is even truer when our skin seems to be continually acting up. Of course, this bad behavior on our skin's part seems to always happen when we have a big date, or a wedding to attend, or a big bash to host. It's like our skin just knows. How many times have we begged and prayed for an overnight solution? Well, it's easier than one might imagine.

I suffered from bad acne in 7th and 8th grade, and once it passed, I was sure I’d be done with that torture forever. Alas, this was not the case. While I don’t have completely horrible breakouts these days like I once did, I definitely get patches of blemishes from time to time. Luckily along the way I’ve mastered some tricks to battling those pesky breakouts — and some of the tricks can even have those overnight results we desperately seek.

How did I learn to manage my skin, one might ask? For a short time following college I worked at a dermatologist’s office, and it was one of the greatest things I could have ever done for my skin (and now, yours!). I’d weasel my way into daily conversations with doctors to hoard away tips for mastering skincare. As I've mentioned, I definitely can’t say my skin doesn’t have flair ups here and there, but I can say I know how to manage them.

Here are eight tricks to help clear up your skin overnight, and to help keep your skin looking as young and vibrant as possible.

1. Always Wash Your Face Before Bedtime

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had a friend or family member tell me they don’t regularly wash their face before they go to sleep. They’re often the same people wondering why their skin is prone to breakouts. Admittedly, I’ve done this as well too on occasion, especially after a night out drinking (which is also usually when I’m wearing the most makeup, too — my poor pores!).

Washing your face before you go to sleep helps to unclog pores and dissolve this residue that has built up. It also helps remove excess oils. Not only is washing your face before bed beneficial for fighting acne, according to Marco Medrano, Beauty & Grooming Editor at, it can also keep your skin looking younger. Major bonus, if I do say so myself. If you’re someone who tends to jump into bed and is too lazy to get back up and wash your face, consider keeping face wipes on your nightstand.

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, $5.94, Amazon

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, $3.69, Amazon

2. Gently Exfoliate Your Skin

If you’re realizing you haven’t exfoliated your skin in a while (or maybe, a really, really long while), now is the time, girlfriend! According to dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, we should be exfoliating our skin about once or twice per week, depending on skin type and weather. In the warmer months, Dr. King says go ahead and exfoliate more, and in the winter months — when skin tends to be more dry — do so less often. The purpose of exfoliating is to scrub away that top layer of dead skin to expose the new, fresh skin underneath. To successfully exfoliate, try an exfoliating face scrub and work it across your skin lightly with a washcloth, or use an exfoliating face brush or sponge.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, $6.50, Amazon

ProX by Olay Facial Brush, $21.19, Amazon

3. Apply The Right Moisturizer

I always felt using moisturizer was an unnecessary step for skincare, especially given my skin has always leaned towards the oily side. However, dermatologists agree — moisturizer is key to vibrant skin. It can make your skin softer and more elastic, and will help with necessary hydration, ultimately helping to prevent and diminish breakouts. Oh, and make sure you choose a moisturizer that aligns to your skin type.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, $14, Amazon

4. Use Oatmeal To Make A Face Mask

Your face will feel incredible after using a refreshing, non-pore clogging face mask. There are many types of store-bought masks you might consider trying, but there are also some super simple ones you can make at home that yield great results. For instance, according to LIVESTRONG, oatmeal face masks are simple and effective, and can be made by preparing plain oatmeal and letting it cool to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, apply to your face and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse it with warm water. Another option? If you have baking soda readily available, mix it with water until it creates a paste, and cover your entire face with it. Once it dries, rinse it off with warm water.

Old Fashioned Quaker Oats, $2.68, Amazon

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, $4.95, Amazon

5. Reap The Benefits Of Aloe Vera

Aloe has so, so many benefits for our bodies, but did you ever know it’s great for squashing acne as well? According to, Aloe Vera has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, making it awesome for both clearing up pimples and helping to fade acne scars. Add a bit of Aloe Vera to your blemishes and leave it on for about an hour. Then wash it off with warm water, and you should see noticeable results.

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel, $8.45, Amazon

6. Try Toothpaste

Similarly to the Aloe Vera method, using toothpaste as a spot treatment can work wonders. I personally use this method all the time, and I promise — while it definitely stings a little when first applied — it works in drying up the blemish. Use a non-gel toothpaste, and apply to the spot before going to sleep. Keep it on overnight, and wash it off when you wake up before washing your face. While the blemish might not disappear completely, you should notice its appearance has shrunk, and you'll notice less redness.

Aquafresh Toothpaste, $6.49, Amazon

7. Steam Your Skin

To open and clear out your pores, you might be in need of a steaming sesh. Boil a pot of water and, once it’s done, remove from the stove and place your face over it, allowing the steam to hit your skin. It will feel instantly refreshing. The steam will open those clogged pores right up... goodbye guck!

Secura Nano Ionic Facial Steamer, $35, Amazon

8. Do Not Pick Or Pop — No Matter How Tempting

Have a few pimples that are really bugging you, and you want them gone ASAP? Well, popping and picking at them will not help your cause. In fact, according to Allure, this actually induces inflammation and scarring. Get this… it can also cause more acne. Instead, try some of the other tips above for safer, quicker and overall more effective results.

By using the tricks mentioned here you can combat your patchy breakouts in a hassle-free and speedy manner. Remember to continue to treat your skin right regularly, as well, to ensure less frequent and less serious breakouts — and to keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Images: Pexels (1); Pixabay (1); artbystevejohnson, thecampbells, katerha, armydre2008, slippyd, indi, orinrobertjohn/Flickr