Pimple Popping 101
Is it bad to pop a pimple? The question has been floating around for ages, with all sorts of different answers and opinions. No matter what, the reality is that few and far between can actually resist the deep urge to pop that pimple. Instead of writing a long plea begging you to resist the temptation (which really, you should) and either let it run it's natural course, or have a professional take care of it for you, we figure that since most cannot keep their hands away from blemishes, we may as well offer some safer* ways to go about taking care of it on your own. We took it upon ourselves to look at what other professionals and skin care experts have to say about popping a pimple.
*Key word: "safer", since you really should just see a professional.
What's so wrong about it, anyway?
It isn't the extraction of the pimple that is wrong. Extractions are done by estheticians everyday. The problem is the way the extraction is done at home. When a pimple is popped incorrectly, there are many problems that can arise.
- The bacteria and debris held inside the pimple can splash and/or spread into your pores, thus creating more pimples.
- You can push the bacteria further and deeper into your skin.
- You can embed even more bacteria into the blemish from your fingers.
How do you safely pop a pimple?
If you insist on doing it yourself, there are some general guidelines to follow to ensure minimal chances of spreading bacteria or causing scarring.
- Do not pop it until it's ready! You'll know when it's ready when there is a firm white head. If you try to pop it and it's difficult for anything to extract, stop. It isn't ready yet.
- Wash your face and hands, including under your finger nails, before you start.
- Don't use your finger nails! Instead, sterilize a needle by using a lighter. Then swab on some rubbing alcohol to the needle, your fingers, and your pre-popped pimple. Wrap your fingers in some tissue to avoid direct contact from your hands to your skin.
- Come at the pimple in a parallel direction from the side, rather than head on, and only hit the white portion. This will reduce the pain.
- Finish by swabbing your pimple with alcohol once more. Heads up- it will sting a bit!
- Avoid direct contact with the sun, and make sure to cover up with sunscreen. Failing to do so will increase your chances of scarring.
What is the best, safest possible way to take care of a pimple?
There are few ways you can go about taking care of a pimple, without the risks involved in popping it yourself.
- Wait it out. We know, we know. No one wants to do that. But a pimple's life typically only lasts 3-7 days. So if you can, wait. You can cover it with noncomedogenic makeup, which is makeup that won't clog your pores.
- You can try a more natural method of breaking down the build up inside your pimple by holding a warm compress to it twice a day, for 10 minutes at a time.
- Spot treat it with a product designed for unexpected breakouts. See our product suggestions below!
- Have an esthetician take care of it professionally. Estheticians use proper tools and methods of extracting that are safe and efficient.
What products can I use to help keep my skin clear?
If you struggle with constant acne: We love the Clear Skin line from Eminence Organics. Pick up full-sized products for your complete skincare regimen at our spa, or grab the starter kit for mini versions of these amazing products to get a taste of whether it's for you!
If you are still fighting acne in your adult age: For aging skin that's still fighting those blemishes, we recommended SkinCeuticals' Blemish + Age Defense corrective serum. This product is formulated specifically for your skin and blemish type, as it fights to not only reduce sebum and help with breakouts, but also helps prevent further signs of aging.
If you wake up with the occasional pimple: For skin that isn't constantly fighting acne, we recommended Eminence Organics' Clear Skin Targeted Treatment. This formula is meant to spot-treat your sudden breakout in the quickest amount of time.