Hickey Healing 101

Most of us try our best to hookup without receiving (or giving— be polite,) a hickey… at least on our neck, anyway. But beside our efforts is the occasional glaring mark left behind. Whether it’s the fact that you have work the next day, have a meeting with your professor, or just don’t want to get sh*t from your friends, I’ve got you covered. Step 1: Ice that sh*t. It will feel like it’s not helping. Trust me, it will. Do this ASAP; as soon as your boo leaves, pull out the ice! Get an ice cube and massage the hickey with it in circles until it melts. The cold helps eliminate some redness and massaging the area helps stimulate and redistribute the blood that has risen to the surface. Maybe not right away, but this will dramatically help lighten your hickey.

Step 2: Scrub. I’ll be frank with you and say that your skin will get irritated when ‘healing’ your hickey. I have especially sensitive skin on my neck and sometimes getting into the hickey healing process leaves my skin red and irritated. In a way, it’s necessary. Don’t fret, it’s always calmed down in a couple hours. If that scares you, tread carefully and maybe just slap some foundation on the area. (Don’t worry, we’re getting to that part later.) But back to scrubbing. Girl, you gotta scruuub! Hickeys happen because blood is pulled to the surface of your skin in a concentrated area, almost like a bruise. Your job as a hickey healer is to help that blood break up, spread out, and redistribute. That’s where scrubbing comes in. You already helped this process along with the ice massage, but now it’s time to really get into it. If you have a Clarisonic or a Foreo cleansing brush, or something similar, these are THE BEST. They’re meant for facial skin, so they’re still pretty gentle but work great for scrubbing. If you don’t have anything like this on hand, a toothbrush will work, too. This will be a lot harsher on your skin because the bristles aren’t meant for your neck, but it definitely gets the job done. Just be careful if you decide to use a toothbrush. Now that you’ve got your tool, it’s time to get to work. First, put a small amount of gentle facial cleanser or soap on the area, just to limit some of the friction and irritation of the scrub. Now, all you have to do is make small circles, up and down motions, side to side movements, a figure eight— whatever works. Remember, all your trying to do is move that blood around. Apply a decent amount of pressure (almost like a massage,) but not so hard that you’re breaking any skin! Think of it as some waterproof mascara that just won’t wash off— you can’t walk around with raccoon eyes, but you certainly can’t walk around without any eyelashes, either. Balance is key.

Step 3: Moisturize to soothe. Once you’ve finished your scrub session, odds are your neck is RED. Treat your skin with some anti-redness toner or serum, (if you’ve got it on hand. I love The Ordinary’s Nianimicide 10% + Zinc 1% facial serum,) and follow with your usual moisturizer.

Step 4: Roll it out (Optional, yet necessary.) If you haven’t heard of jade rollers yet… get reading! Clearly, you’re a bit behind on the latest beauty necessities-- or sorry-- ahem, trends. THIS. IS. A. LIFESAVER. Take your jade roller, roll your entire neck. Do this with light pressure starting at the jawline, working down to your clavicle, this is where the lymphatic acid that creates puffiness and redness in your skin drains to. This stimulation and soothing effect of this rolling practice will work wonders for your hickey. Personally, I find this a vital step in hickey healing. A jade roller may seem a bit novelty or like a placebo effect, but scout’s honor, these things save lives. (You can get one on Amazon for about $9. That’s one lunch. Less than a tube of Glossier’s Balm Dot Com. Girl, INVEST.) It’s super soothing and easy to use, sometimes if I’m stressed (or without plans on a Saturday night,) I just sit in front of my mirror and jade roll my face for half an hour. Plus, if your lover ever leaves a mark, Miss Jade becomes the BFF that knows exactly what to do during your crisis.

Step 5: Good old concealer. Sometimes I’ll ice again or give my jade roller another shot, but after all is said and done, sometimes it comes down to makeup. (Or if you didn’t have time for steps one through four.)

Green concealer will be your saving grace if you’re in a tight spot. There are tons of color-correcting products on the market right now, so head to Ulta and take your pick. Currently, I’m using this green concealer from NYX. (It’s great for covering up acne, too.)

After applying your color corrector, apply your regular heavy-duty, I-have-a-cystic-pimple-on-my-forehead concealer on top of it. NARS’ Radiant Creamy Concealer is the only thing I’ve found that that covers EVERYTHING known to the skincare devils that plant pimples in our pores and slap purple stains under our eyes while we sleep (or drink too much). Seriously, 10/10, please bury me with a tube of this.

If needed, blend in your go-to foundation over it all to make it blend. Apply setting powder to make it stick.

Step 6: If all else fails…

Pull out your favorite turtleneck or go for a big-scarf-indoors look.

Hickeys can, do, and will happen to the best of us. They’re inconvenient and even a little embarrassing… but hey, remember in high school when you wore it like a badge of honor in the cafeteria? (Just me?) Next time, maybe save yourself the scrubbing and just ask your partner to kindly, not suck your neck.


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