DIY Beauty: hot facial compress for cystic acne treatment

hot facial compress
Someone passed me these facial herbal compresses recently. I’d tried them before, having bought a few when I was in Bangkok. They work great for facial massage and are best used as spot treatments for cystic acne. Although the compress does not get rid of the acne, it helps the skin clear out the pimple faster when used regularly enough.

Test the compress before using

These compresses are very easy to use. I think they can be microwaved but I prefer to soak them in hot water. In fact, the instructions is to leave the compress in hot water for 5 minutes before using it on your face. To ensure the compress is suitable, it’s best to test it on your neck before using the compress over your face. The temperature should be warm, but not uncomfortable to hold against your skin.

Use a small facial towel
Because I don’t have any acne, I can’t say if this works well. But I’ve read many reviews online that hot compress is great for acne. In fact, you don’t even need to get special facial compresses like these. You can even use a small facial towel. The key is to get it hot enough to press over your affected areas for a few minutes. You can follow on with a toner and your usual skincare products after that.

User’s review on using hot compress
Here’s what a reviewer on said about using hot compress:

After spending probably hundreds of dollars on acne medicine and suffering the pain and embarrassment of cysts, a warm-hot compress applied a few times a day has turned out to be the best remedy available. It softens and releases all of the sebum and pus (gross!) without damaging the skin like popping or picking at it would. I followed it up with some diluted tea tree oil to disinfect and overnight, my skin looks a million times better and is on the way to healing. Hallelujah.

Make your own facial compress
While a hot facial compress can be used on the entire face, I would recommend using it just as a spot treatment for acne. Using something too hot can actually dry up the skin. So these small, round facial compresses are ideal. You can probably devise your own using a muslin cloth or perhaps a clean sock, as many have been recommending online. Simply fill up the sock with some rice and microwave the bag.

The thing to note is that a hot compress will not prevent acne, nor will it heal the acne. However, it can reduce the inflammation and speed up the entire healing process. Have fun!



  1. Judith says:

    Too bad you don’t have acne, I really wanted to know if it worked for you.
    I just read that sentence back, not quite what I meant.
    I mean, great you don’t have acne. I’m hoping others with acne will comment on the effectiveness of this.
    Judith last post is: Wat is een serum en heb je er een nodig?

  2. Eco Beauty says:

    I used to do hot compress on my cystic acne when I was younger so they’ll ‘ripen’ faster then I could poke them with a sterilized needle lol
    Eco Beauty last post is: Review | Osmia Organics Spot Treatment Hits the Right Spot

  3. Sesame says:

    You can look up makeupalley for the reviews. Many who have tried have good things to say about using hot compress for acne.

  4. Sesame says:

    Yes, that’s what I read. It doesn’t get rid of the acne but it helps speed up the healing process.

  5. valerie says:

    Dear Sesame,
    I was just wondering do you happen to know any good places to buy glass bottles? I am moving into a phase of making my own beauty products and would like to store them however it’s hard looking for places in Singapore that sell glass bottles.
    Appreciate the help ? if you know of any places.
    Thank you!

  6. Sesame says:

    I know whoopeekiddies used to sell. Not sure about now.

  7. Abby says:

    I never tried these compresses, I always used an ice cube right on the spot. Also a drop of full strength tea tree oil (at night before bed). But the thing that cured my acne cysts was to completely stop drinking “diet” soda or eating anything with artificial sweeteners. I read about that in Ann Marie Colbin’s book, Food and Healing, and it completely worked for me.

  8. Sesame says:

    Yes, I think diary and sugary stuff are bit culprits for most people with acne issues.

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