How To Hide A Cold Sore Using Makeup

There's nothing worse than waking up on the day of an important event and finding a large pimple on your face, unless it's thinking you have a pimple around your mouth and realizing it's actually a big juicy cold sore. Not only is it unsightly but it more than likely hurts.


Some people tend to get cold sores more than others. A cold sore is a product of the herpes simplex virus (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). It looks like a blister or even a cluster of blisters. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as fever blisters and are also known as herpes simplex labialis.

Cold sores spread through contact so it is possible to catch or spread them through kissing or using infected utensils, towels, or even used makeup. Close to 90% of people have experienced a form of herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, as per WebMD, and most of us were first exposed to the virus in childhood. Still, no one wants to leave a cold sore in plain sight.

How to get rid of cold sores

The good news is that cold sores typically go away on their own and they are not serious. However, you may experience other symptoms, especially if it's your first time contracting the virus. Additional symptoms include as sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fever, and swollen lymph nodes (via Mayo Clinic).


Once the virus is in your system, certain things may trigger cold sores to appear such as hormonal changes, sunburn, stress, fatigue, or fever (via Cleveland Clinic).

A cold sore may first start out as an itch or tingle that becomes a red blister. Within two or three days, the blister bursts and releases yellow or clear fluid. Then it will form a scab which may crack or even bleed as the skin repairs. It takes about a week or two for a cold sore to fully disappear.

They will go away faster if you apply cold sore cream as soon as you first notice them forming.

Makeup can hide a cold sore while it's healing

Sometimes you just don't have the time to wait out a cold sore. In these times, you can mask them with makeup. However, you shouldn't skip treating the cold sore first.

"I would recommend treating it before trying to cover it. You want to make sure it is dried out, then you can add a little bit of foundation or concealer to mute it out, followed by using a satin or gloss lip color on top," celebrity makeup artist Ashley Stewart told Glamour. "The worst thing you can do is wear a matte finish lip color over a cold sore." Stewart added that matte can appear to look caked on and also dry out your skin. She recommends a gloss or satin lip finish.


Besides lip products, you can also use concealer. Makeup artist Denise Gevaras told Everyday Health, "I would recommend using a highly concentrated heavy concealer." Gevaras advises using a tiny bit of creme concealer rather than liquid. If it's very red, you can add a yellow-based concealer to your regular one. First, use a very small dab of concealer that matches your skin tone and a slight dusting of powder. Then add a tiny dab of yellow-based concealer and again dust very lightly with powder.

The most important thing to remember is that cold sores are highly contagious so whenever you dab any brush or applicator into your makeup, make sure it's disposable or use a cotton swab and discard it immediately after use.