There’s nothing wrong with a little love bite in the heat of the moment — but having someone else notice it in public? That is a different story. After all, your private life deserves to stay private. First off: what is a hickey exactly? A hickey is a red or purple mark on the skin (usually the neck, shoulders, or chest) created from intense suction. The suction from your partner’s mouth (or bite marks) breaks small blood vessels beneath the surface, forming a bruise.
Hickeys change color through the healing process. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Insider, “They start out purple, then go to pink, then green, then yellow, then fade completely.” Most hickeys completely disappear within a couple of weeks.
Next: how do you get rid of a hickey overnight? The answer isn’t so simple.
How To Get Rid of a Hickey Overnight (Practically)
You can aid healing time by applying an ice pack immediately following and over the first couple of days of receiving the hickey. Wrap the ice pack in a paper towel and hold it against the hickey for 10 minutes intervals throughout the day. Expert esthetician and founder of Facial Lounge Amber Rose suggests using a cold spoon on the area and investing in a high-quality concealer.
Another golden ingredient in getting rid of a hickey overnight is arnica. Arnica is a flower native to Europe used medicinally applied topically for centuries to treat muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds and injuries, such as sprains and bruises. Arnica tablets are also available but in very diluted concentrations. Pure arnica taken orally in high doses can cause severe reactions, so we recommend contacting a medical professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Applying aloe vera and vitamin E can speed healing, too. Some concealers even contain vitamin E and can pull double duty — healing your hickey while concealing it.
While many turn to the internet to Google hickey cures, beware of the toothbrush hack, which claims to boost circulation and break apart the hickey by dispersing blood beneath the skin’s surface. Instead, this harsh scrubbing will irritate your hickey further. The same goes for essential oils like peppermint, which can increase blood flow but are also likely to cause a rash or dermatitis, worsening your hickey. Instead, put your trust in less invasive methods.
One internet hack to get rid of hickeys instantly that seems to be working for the kids out there who try has, of course, been seen by millions on TikTok. It involves a metal whisk and 5 minutes of your time. The key to any trick working is to get to the hickey as soon as possible, with time to sleep it off ideally. The longer it sits, the harder it will take any of these tricks to work.
@mads.larocque Guys I am so happy rn! Lifesaver!! #fyp #foryou #hickeyremoval #remedy ♬ original sound – Madissonlarocque
How to Cover Up a Hickey
The healing period is pretty inevitable, and sometimes getting rid of hickeys overnight just isn’t going to happen. But there are some hacks so that no one will be able to tell at all.
Concealer: Plenty of makeup for men exists — and it’s perfect for this purpose. While you can choose a concealer that matches your skin tone, you can also opt for color-correcting shades. Yellow concealer can hide a purple bruise, whereas a green concealer will conceal redness.
Turtlenecks and collared shirts: These will both effectively hide the evidence. Rock a turtleneck or high collared sweater in the cooler months and a lightweight, collared shirt buttoned to the top in warmer seasons.
Bandage: There are plenty of excuses you can make up for a minor neck injury. Perhaps a shaving incident, or maybe you got an allergic reaction. With this solution, you’ll need to find a bandaid big enough to cover the area — and stick to your story.
1. Boiron Arnicare Gel
While you’ll want to avoid peppermint oil, there’s another holistic product you can put on your hickey: arnica. Arnica provides fast results in topical forms, like this non-greasy pain relief gel. It works wonders on bruise discoloration and swelling but can also relieve pain and stiffness all over your body, making it a versatile product beyond hickeys. One buyer says, “My 85-year-old mother-in-law fell and sustained a black eye. She applied Arnicare to the area, and after two days, it was practically gone!”
2. ICEWRAPS 4″ Round Reusable Gel Ice Packs
BETTER THAN A DIY COMPRESS
Applying a cold compress to the site of a hickey is a good idea because it helps reduce the swelling. The cooler temperature around the bruise site slows the blood from collecting at the site. However, it’s important to note that the cold method is best practiced soon after infliction. For easy application and versatility of use, try one of these IceWraps Reusable Gel Packs.
After applying a cold compress for two days, switch over to warmer options and treatments to increase blood flow. From this point, the aim is no longer to prevent the hickey but to heal it.
3. Seven Minerals Aloe Vera
BEST FOR PAINFUL HICKEYS
It’s easy to get a little carried away when you’re caught up in a hickey-giving moment. This might lead to a rather painful outcome. When this is the case, it’s definitely worth applying a treatment to help alleviate some of the pain associated with a deep hickey. This Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel is made in the USA with the highest quality ingredients. It uses aloe vera and a 100% natural thickener seaweed extract to give you a gel you can apply to your skin for fast-absorbing recovery and relief without any stickiness. It’s excellent for bruising and other skin conditions, including sunburn, cuts, rashes and stings.
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4. Visine Redness Relief Drops
BEST QUICK FIX
As long as your hickey doesn’t have any open cuts, you can apply a couple of drops of Visine eye drops to your hickey. A stoner hack in making eyes clear for years, this helpful product can be just effective in making your hickeys invisible. These redness-relieving eye drops work to constrict blood vessels, reducing the intensity of a bruise. While they can reduce redness and appearance, they won’t remove the bruise completely. You can apply once or twice a day until the hickey has faded.
5. Hims Blur Stick
MOST AFFORDABLE CONCEALER
Alex Rodriguez recently launched a concealer collection with Hims discreetly packaged in a gray tube. It conceals everything from razor burn to acne, including making hickeys practically invisible. Just pat it on with your fingers, and you’re good to go. Along with HD coverage, the Blur Stick uses jojoba seed oil and aloe extract to soothe that hickey while keeping it hydrated. There are eight shades available, and for under $20, you can’t get a better quick fix — a must-have for tired mornings when you need to hide dark circles.
6. OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk
BEST METAL WHISK
Have trouble finding your skin tone or want to try a couple of shades to be safe? Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer comes in an extensive range of colors and goes on with an easy-to-apply wand. It’s completely waterproof and can even hide the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines without settling or looking obvious. For a more youthful appearance and precise color match, consider this non-irritating concealer.
7. Nordstrom Washable Merino Wool Turtleneck
MOST FASHIONABLE SOLUTION
If people can’t see the bright red hickey on your neck, they’ll never know it’s there. And if you’re going to hide your night of passion, you might as well do it with style. This lightweight merino wool turtleneck is machine-washable and can be worn on its own on a breezy summer night or layered with a jacket during the chilly months. The look is timeless, classic and totally inconspicuous.