Got a love bite that you need to get rid of ASAP? Don’t fret—here’s everything you need to do.
We’ve all been there. Waking up after a steamy night with your partner, dragging yourself into the bathroom (probably with your makeup still on), looking in the mirror, only to be confronted with the extremely visible aftermath of your bedroom rodeo—and now you’re here, desperate for solutions to make it disappear. First off, congrats! There’s nothing to be ashamed about having a love bite, but it does make things quite awkward in certain situations, especially ones involving your parents or bosses. But don’t worry, let’s sort out your little predicament.
Assuming this is most likely an emergency, I’ll be straight with you: No, you cannot get rid of hickeys in minutes, or even in a day. Like any types of bruises, hickeys can last anywhere from two days to two weeks—though, it really depends on how harsh it was done (so I’m hoping you didn’t stumble into bed with a blood sucking demon). Good news is, there are ways to speed up the process—and I’ll take you through every step. In fact, I’ve tested these methods myself over the course of three days to see if they actually work with results provided ahead. So let’s get into it!
Once you’re done doing the deed, grab an ice pack or a cold spoon as soon as you can and firmly press it over the affected area for 10 minutes—do this a few times a day throughout the first two days. A cold compress will help slow down your blood flow from spreading under your skin, although it should be done while it’s still fairly fresh to get the best results. It definitely won’t magically disappear, but a cold compress does help a lot with keeping the swelling down.
After two days of a cold compress, a warm compress comes next. Soak a clean towel in warm water and apply it over your hickey, then gently massage the area in a circular motion from the center outwards to stimulate blood flow and speed up the fading process. The key is to be gentle and ensure that your warm compress is nowhere near boiling hot as applying too much pressure or heat can very much make it worse. Do this for 10 minutes several times a day.
Apply aloe vera, vitamin C and K
For the next few days, these three items will be your best friends until the bruising subsides. Here’s why:
Aloe vera: A natural remedy packed with countless health benefits, aloe vera can help with anything from sunburns to healing wounds. The anti-inflammatory and cooling properties of aloe vera gel can keep your hickey from swelling up any further and accelerate the healing process. Apply a thin layer of aloe vera cream or gel on your hickey at least twice per day until completely healed.
Vitamin C: One of the holy grails for all things skin-related, vitamin C works wonders for treating wounds, reducing redness, and repairing damaged capillaries—all while improving your skin’s health and creating a smoother complexion. If you have a bottle of vitamin C serum in your skincare stash, apply it on the bruised area daily. Consuming foods that are rich with vitamin C will also help, such as oranges, kiwis, and strawberries.
Vitamin K: If there’s anything we need to treat bruises, it’s vitamin K. Not only does it soothe inflammation, but it also plays a significant role in reducing the severity of bruises and accelerating the healing process. Vitamin K is found in vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens and brown rice, so you might want to order a salad for your next meal to speed up the recovery of your love bite. Alternatively, you may also find vitamin K creams and serums at your nearest pharmacy.
Apply arnica cream
Arnica cream is a plant-based remedy that has been used for centuries to decrease inflammation, as well as relieve sores and bruises. You can find arnica creams or gels over the counter at your nearest pharmacy. To treat your hickey, apply it once a day until the bruising fades.
After three days of doing everything above, here’s what I’m left with:
Starting with a cold compress, I firmly pressed an ice cube on the hickey for 10 minutes three times a day (morning, noon and night) for two days while going about my daily routine as usual. After 48 hours, I did the same with a warm towel for a day. Throughout all three days, I applied a generous layer of aloe vera gel and vitamin C serum over the area twice a day—once in the morning and at night. For vitamin K, I had salad bowls for breakfast and supper for two days. And because I was only able to get my hands on arnica cream on the third and final day, I applied it once at night before bed.
As you can see, the hickey is very much still there—though, I’d say there’s a slight improvement. The redness has definitely gone down, and I’m left with a brownish mark, which is still visible. So…
When desperate times call for desperate measures:
Conceal it with makeup
Of course, there’s always makeup to save the day—but don’t just slather on a glob of foundation and hope it disappears, treat your love bite like it’s acne. Grab your best concealer and apply a thin layer on the bruise, then use colour correcting concealers to even out your skin tone. Use a green-tinted concealer to hide red and purple bruises, orange if it’s black and blue, then use purple once your hickey is almost completely healed with green and yellow tones. Once you’re satisfied with the results, finish off with setting powder and setting spray then you’re good to go!
READ: How to cover acne and scarring with makeup on all skin tones, according to Keke Palmer and pro makeup artist
Cover it with a bandage or relief patches
We’d recommend wearing a turtleneck or a scarf, but considering the Malaysian weather, it might just make you look even more suspicious—and very sweaty. Plus, applying makeup does take up a lot of time, which can be a hassle when you’re on a rush. So, just slap on a bandage or a neck relief patch for a quicker and much more reliable alternative. And if someone asks what happened? Well, get creative!
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