Just like so many people all over the world, I was taught to be respectful, brush my teeth and never, ever, EVER pop a pimple. Ever. Well, that last one was a skin care myth many of us have accepted without struggle or in this case research. Until recently, I thought popping a pimple was something skin care newbies would do, I was quite snooty about it too ‘look at her just popping pimples, she has no clue’ – 2013 me was quite judgmental.
In my snooty haze, I came across Paula Begoun’s expert team explaining the virtues of pimple popping. According to the team, ‘if it is done in the right way, popping a pimple will reduce inflammation, scarring and healing time. Correct pimple popping means no over squeezing, picking, puncturing, or anything else that can cause serious scabs.’
I was overjoyed, primarily because I have no patience for zits that are just screaming to be burst sitting on my face. I bet you don’t have that particular strain of patience either – so, if you do not have cystic acne and the pimple has an obvious whitehead, right below is the process to correctly pop it. Please remember to be gentle, the entire point of this procedure is to remove the whitehead without creating a scab or damaging the surrounding skin.
How to Pop a Pimple
- Buy a comedone extractor. It really does exist and here’s how it looks. Don’t use tweezers, fingers or any other substitutes. You will regret it. Here are numerous options on the Amazon page.
- After receiving your purchase, dash home and cleanse your face with a gentle water-soluble cleanser using tepid water to increase the skin’s ability to heal.
- With the cleanser lightly massage (DO NOT SCRUB) skin with a clean, soft, wet microfiber face cloth to remove dead skin cells. This makes extracting the pimple easier.
- Dry your skin gently. Squeezing wet skin makes it more vulnerable to tearing and creating a scab, which can cause scarring.
- Take the comedone extractor and center the opening over the pimple. Very gently push the comedone extractor down on the whitehead and move it across the pimple. That should release the contents.
- If necessary, repeat only once or twice. No more. Overdoing it will cause scabs and risk scarring.
- After your gentle extraction, you must follow up with a 2.5% or 5% benzoyl peroxide product and/or a 1% or 2% salicylic acid (BHA) product which will reduce inflammation, disinfect and prevent further breakouts. Product options are at the end of the post.
- If you popped the pimple at night, you obviously would not need to conceal (ha!) the evidence with makeup. During the day, however, makeup definitely helps to make the blemish less obvious. Read this to see how.
See, you can pop a pimple. You just need to know how! This is a handy post when dealing with that time of the month when hormonal acne has a mind of its own. Wouldn’t you agree?