How To *Properly* Pop a Pimple
It’s 7:44pm, and you’re meeting him at 8. You haven’t called your Uber. What’s going on here? You guessed it: code red skin-mergency. Your makeup isn’t helping; you’re feeling the burning desire to pop that sucker before its time to get drinks with hottie from the gym.
It doesn’t take a skin expert to tell you that popping your pimples is no-no. Unless you’re getting it done by an esthetician—the safest and most effective solution—popping your own pimples will likely cause scarring and can actually make your acne worse. When you try to force the bacteria and the oil out, you might be forcing it deeper into the skin and creating a larger pimple. By pressing on the pimple, you’re also introducing the bacteria and dirt on your finger, causing the pimple to become more inflamed. Even if you successfully pop that sucker, the bacteria and oil contained by the acne papule can spread and cause more acne. The more is not the merrier.
For those of you whom simply cannot resist indulging in a pimple popping party, here at Mirra we want to make sure you’re doing it in a way that will minimize damage. We’ve created a step-by-step guide for you to refer to when you decide that its time to go IN on your skin.
- Loosen up the dead skin on the top of your skin with a chemical exfoliator such as an AHA face mask. Other good options are over-the-counter medications such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These guys can effectively open up your pores if you are using them consistently for several weeks.
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Sanitize a needle pin with alcohol
- Coming in at an angle parallel to the skin, gently prick the top of the whitehead with the tip of the needle. You DON’T want to poke so deeply that you draw blood. The goal is to pierce the surface of the whitehead. This should not hurt—if it does this means that you are poking too deeply or the blemish is not ready to be extracted.
- If a pimple has “come to a head”—you’ll see a little white dot—it is much safer to pop than if it does not have a head. Pimples without heads are not to be messed with because they run deeper in the skin.
- Instead of squeezing the pimple with your fingers, use two cotton Q-tips to squeeze the pimple gently to get the insides out
- Wash your face!
- Follow up the process with an astringent (toner, exfoliating serum) to minimize the chance of breaking out post- extraction
AND NOW… tune in for some EXPERT ADVICE from legend Dr. Sandra Lee aka Dr. Pimple Popper!
“Know when to POP and know when to STOP.”
Dr. Lee says that if you’re gonna be a popper, you gotta also be a stopper. If the pimple has not popped after thirty seconds of squeezing, it’s time to call it quits. The Queen suggests setting an alarm on your phone because as we know, it’s easy to get carried away.
In addition to knowing when to stop popping, it is important to know WHAT you are popping—there is a difference between a cyst and a pimple. Dr. Lee says that if it’s a cyst or a mole, don’t even entertain the idea of throwing a popping party. Cysts are not to be squeezed because it will only lead to inflammation, infection and scarring.
Back So Soon?
Ever wonder why certain pimples always seem to pop up in the same exact spot where you saw them last? Dr. Lee explains that the pimple may have never completely resolved. Our changing hormone levels can trigger increased oil production and re-irritate the same pimple! If these recurring pimples are cystic, they are returning because they never formed a head to be extracted. In this case, the pore is clogged beneath your skin and will make a grand entrance on the surface of your skin when your body is producing more oil.