Switch to Afrikaans

How to conceal a cold sore

Hide this blemish so that you can put your best face forward
cold sore

Cold sores are an embarrassing problem that many people suffer from. While they often break out when people have a cold or flu, they can also be caused by stress or unhealthy lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, once they pop up they can be quite unsightly and it can take a while (and a lot of topical ointment) for them to disappear.

Not to worry, though. Here’s how you can use makeup to cover these blemishes until they subside:

Note that it’s best to avoid applying cosmetics to a weeping, blistered sore because makeup might not only prevent it from healing but also draw more attention to the area. Once it’s on the mend, however, makeup can be used safely to reduce its appearance and conceal any redness.

Related: 7 warning signs your lips are giving you

If the area is very red, use a green concealer to counteract this. Make sure that you apply it using a light, dabbing motion and that you use a disposable makeup sponge, as you don’t want those germs to spread! Apply some setting powder over the concealer to keep it in place.

The best foundation to use when covering a cold sore is one that has a creamy rather than liquid texture. Creamy foundation is more concentrated and pigmented and will also stay in place more easily and for a lot longer.

It should be applied by dotting it on your face to blend without disturbing the concealer underneath. Use a disposable makeup sponge or a clean finger for this to keep the area, and the rest of your face, hygienic.

It’s important that you never dip a sponge or brush that has been on a cold sore back into your concealer or foundation, as this can cause bad bacteria to spread. As long as you handle your cold sore with care, treat it accordingly and use products wisely to conceal it, there is no reason why a fever blister should keep you from facing the world with confidence.

PHOTO: iStock/simarik


Fight colds and flu

Four one-minute stress fixes

Colour correctors: Which colours for which problem?

Like this?
to our Free Good Housekeeping Newsletter
What smoking does to your skin

Smoking is a harmful habit that affects not only your health but also your looks