Cold sores: You know them, you don’t love them. These pimple-like blisters are undeniably not the prettiest, and it doesn’t help that they’re usually located right by your lips. While it’s true they’ll go away with a little time, and your skin will look as good as new, it’s fair if you don’t want a cold sore to take a toll on your beauty look. We know how to cover up a cold sore is a common concern, and we’re here to help. With the help of the right products, you can hide a cold sore when needed. Below, get a full lesson on how to cover up cold sores with makeup.
WHAT IS A COLD SORE?
Before we talk about how to cover a cold sore, it’s a good idea to go over what one is in the first place. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) defines a cold sore as a small blister that typically develops on the lip or around the mouth. Cold sores are a result of the herpes simplex virus. Per the AAD, cold sores are pretty common—more than half of Americans between 14 and 49 carry the virus that results in cold sores.
HOW TO TREAT A COLD SORE
If you think you have a cold sore, head to the dermatologist, as they can often diagnose a cold sore just by looking at it, per the AAD. As far as treatment goes, there are a couple of factors, which your dermatologist will recommend based on your circumstances. The AAD states treatment typically involves oral or topical antiviral medication, pain medication, and sunscreen. If you don’t have the chance to head to the dermatologist right away, there are some dermatologist-recommended at-home options to help care for a cold sore. This includes non-prescription antiviral cold sore medicine, gently applying pressure with an ice cube, and applying petroleum jelly to the affected area.
HOW TO COVER UP A COLD SORE
With that background knowledge in mind, let’s talk about how to cover up a cold sore that’s almost finished healing—with the help of makeup, of course. The Cleveland Clinic states that you can apply non-medicated cosmetics over the affected area. Beyond that, when it comes to using makeup on cold sores, there are a few tips we think you should keep in mind.
TIP #1: DONT APPLY MAKEUP IMMEDIATELY
While it may be okay to use makeup on cold sores, you won’t want to do so at the first sight of one. When they’re new, they’re typically open, and not only will your makeup not really stick (kind of like trying to apply foundation over a pimple you’ve just popped), but you don’t want anything getting into the cold sore. Wait until the cold score has scabbed over. In the meantime, you can always cover up a cold sore with a small bandage.
TIP #2. USE FULL-COVERAGE PRODUCTS
It makes perfect sense that in order to keep your cold sore hidden, you’ll want to turn to makeup products that have full-coverage formulas. Depending on where your cold sore is located, consider using the following.
If your cold sore is on your lip…look for a pigmented liquid lipstick. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Les Macarons Scented Liquid Lipstick, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Les Chocolats Scented Liquid Lipstick, and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick all have full-coverage, long-wear matte formulas that’ll do the job.
If your cold sore is on around your mouth…look for a full-coverage foundation or concealer. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation.
TIP #3. APPLY PROPERLY
The Cleveland Clinic notes that in order to prevent spreading the infection, they recommend using an applicator, like a cotton swab, to apply any cosmetics to the affected area. You’ll want this applicator to be disposable or something you can clean after every use. This means don’t apply lipstick directly from the tube; pick up a small amount of product on a disposable wand or a makeup brush you plan to clean immediately after use, then apply. And the same goes for concealer or any other makeup product!
TIP #4. USE A SETTING SPRAY
Of course, you wouldn’t want your effort to perfectly cover and disguise your cold sore to go to waste, right? We thought not. To ensure your makeup stays in place throughout the day and night, seal in your makeup look with a few spritzes of a setting spray. Mist on the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray as the last step in your routine.
TIP #5. REMOVE WITH CARE
At the end of the night, you’ll want to remove your makeup and give your cold sore some time to breathe! You can do so using a micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types. To help avoid spreading the infection, try not to wipe a cotton pad all over your face—including your cold sore—to remove makeup. Instead, dip a clean cotton swab into your micellar water (and don’t double-dip with the same swab) to remove makeup on the affected area.