It’s also best to try not to eat spicy, acidic, or irritating foods or drinks (which sadly, does include coffee.) “These may burn if they come in contact with the affected area,” says Dr. Camp.
How to hide a cold sore with makeup
While it might not necessarily treat the cold sore, applying makeup to the infected area can help conceal it if you need to go out. That said, if you can keep from doing so, it’s not a bad idea to hold off. “My first recommendation when it comes to covering cold sores is try to avoid it if you can,” says makeup artist Emily Amick. “But I understand that sometimes in life you just have to cover them up!” Dr. Garshick and Dr. Camp agree, so don’t worry: It is OK to cover up cold sores with concealer.
Apply with a disposable applicator.
Both Dr. Camp and Amick reiterate the importance of disposable applicators when applying makeup to cold sores. “When using any product, please never contaminate it by double dipping a brush, wand or finger into the concealer after touching the cold sore,” says Amick. “Use a disposable Q-tip or clean finger, and decant the product you need onto the back of your clean hand.”
Amick also suggests applying a hydrocolloid patch to the clean, dry blemish prior to adding makeup. “This will help keep the area safe,” she says.
Prime with color-correcting products.
According to Dr. Garshick, it’s best to use color-correcting products that incorporate a green-tint to help camouflage redness, and Dr. Camp says the same. “After reducing the redness, you can apply a concealer that matches your skin tone and then set with finishing powder,” says Dr. Camp, who prefers Make Up For Ever’s Color Correcting Primer and LANCÔME Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Corrector for the job.
Dr. Garshick also points to green-tinted primers—especially those that hydrate as well. “One example is the Hero Rescue Balm +Red Correct, which has green encapsulated pigment and panthenol to reduce the appearance of redness and soothe the skin,” she says.
Opt for full-coverage, hydrating concealers.
As for makeup artist-approved concealers? “An absolute favorite for covering any mark or blemish is Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer,” says Amick. The tiniest bit goes such a long way, and the texture isn’t too drying like some waxier cream concealers can be. Another great option is Make Up For Ever Full Coverage concealer, which has a similar effect.”
For something on the more hydrating side, Dr. Garshick recommends Dermablend’s Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer. “It contains glycerin to hydrate the skin while still providing cosmetic coverage,” she says.
What to avoid when you have a cold sore
“When you have a cold sore, you should avoid touching the cold sore, which can cause spread of the virus to other areas of your body,” says Dr. Mudgil. “You should also avoid direct contact with others, which may include kissing, sharing straws, and sharing lip balms.”