9 Waysto Hide and Cover a Hickey

As someone with ultra sensitive skin that bruises a little too easily, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve wasted many hours of my life trying sketchy hacks and complicated DIYs for getting rid of a hickey fast. I mean, concealing that shit with a turtleneck works just fine in the dead of winter—but WTF do you do when it’s hot as hell and you aren’t down to show it off? Welp, after learning some not-so-fun lessons along the way (turns out scraping your hickey with a penny makes it, uh, 100 times worse; and slathering it with peppermint oil is a true recipe for irritation), I’ve picked up some pretty genius methods over the years, including a few dermatologist-approved hacks that work wonders.

The most important thing to know is that getting rid of a hickey is a process. Remember: Hickeys are bruises, and there’s no magical cream or serum that’ll heal them overnight. What you can do, though, is remain calm and follow these nine steps to a T. I promise you’ll notice a difference. And fast.

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1. Apply a cold compress or spoon

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Alright, before you do anything, grab a clean spoon and throw it in your freezer for eight to ten minutes. Then, while your hickey is ideally relatively fresh, firmly rub the cold spoon on top of the affected area. It might feel kinda uncomfy, but even derms agree that you should trust the process. “The cold will help minimize the blood seeping out of the vessels into the skin,” says dermatologist Doris Day, MD, adding that you’ll want to repeat this a few times throughout the day to keep swelling down.


2. Load up on fresh pineapple

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Next up, run to the grocery store and grab some fresh pineapple. “Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that really helps with bruising,” says dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at Yale. Don’t worry, you won’t need to slather a slice of pineapple on your hickey or anything like that. Simply eating or drinking it will help you get your enzyme fix. “Eating fresh pineapple, if possible, is most effective,” says Dr. Gohara.


3. Eat plenty of vitamin K–rich foods

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Hot tip: Vitamin K—which is found in foods like broccoli, kale, spinach, and brown rice—helps your body absorb clots of pooled blood, like your hickey. So down a salad or throw some kale in your smoothie to speed up the recovery of your hickey. You can also apply vitamin K topically, BTW, and these creams and serums are a great place to start:


4. Try an arnica cream or serum

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PSA: Even though your friend’s sister’s cousin might swear by essential oils, Dr. Gohara says they aren’t really your best option for getting rid of hickeys—especially if you’ve got sensitive skin. “Essential oils are more likely to cause dermatitis. They may increase blood flow, but who wants a hickey and a huge rash too?” she explains.

There is an exception though. “Arnica is a flowering herb that’s been used for bruising for thousands of years,” says Dr. Gohara. The healing powers of arnica are chalked up to one of its main components, helenalin, which Dr. Gohara says is an anti-inflammatory that helps calm your body’s natural swelling response. Try treating your hickey with a topical arnica cream once a day until the swelling and bruising subsides.


5. Moisturize with aloe vera

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Fun fact: Aloe vera is way more than just a slimy plant that feels wonderful on sunburns. Thanks to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, a thin layer of aloe vera cream or gel can keep your hickey from swelling up. Just keep in mind that applying aloe vera to your hickey twice a day isn’t going to make it magically disappear—it is a bruise, after all—but it’ll definitely help speed up the healing time (which can take anywhere from two days to two weeks, BTW).


6. Massage with a banana peel

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Okay, this is going to sound a little bizarre, but banana peels are actually the unsung hero of the hickey-fighting game, since they’re loaded with skin-soothing antioxidants and vitamins. Remove the peel from a ripe banana and gently rub it all over that hickey of yours. Again, it’s not going to totally erase it, but it’ll help it heal way faster (and, like, less painfully).

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7. Apply a warm compress

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Sooooo, it’s been four days since you got your hickey and it’s still there—welp, it’s officially time to bring some heat into the equation, which will allow new blood to circulate throughout the area, helping it heal faster. Just wet a washcloth with warm water and firmly hold it on the bruised area for about five minutes (and since you definitely don’t want to burn your skin, remember that warm > hot).


8. Try a vitamin C cream

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There’s a good chance vitamin C is already in your skincare routine. The crazy-effective ingredient helps boost your skin’s collagen production (aka what keeps your skin looking soft and healthy), which is kinda important when you’re trying to heal a hickey. Again, don’t expect any miracles, but applying a vitamin C cream to the affected area during the healing process is a smart move.


9. Promote circulation with a toothbrush

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Would this really be a hickey survival guide if I didn’t at least mention the toothbrush method? Here’s the gist: Using a toothbrush with super-soft bristles (you don’t want anything to tear or peel your skin!), gently move the brush over your hickey to simulate blood circulation. You’ll want to move the bristles in different directions to make sure the clotted blood has room to spread, repeating the process for five to 10 minutes. It won’t feel great, and definitely don’t press too hard, but try repeating it every day while your hickey fades.


The final word

There ya have it: Now you’re equipped with the best, no–B.S. tricks for getting rid of a hickey. Just remember, though, that while these DIY solutions will definitely speed up the healing time of your hickey, they unfortunately won’t make ’em disappear overnight. But if you walk through these steps, you can expect your hickey to heal noticeably faster—and that, my friends, is what I call a win.

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