As gross as it is, we’ve all been tempted to pop a pimple once or twice (or more). You know the feeling: Having a pesky zit that’s bright white and about to burst, practically begging you to pop it. Blackheads, whiteheads, you name it. But wait—before you do, there are some things you should know. It turns out that pimple popping can lead to some serious skin care woes, including even worse acne, scarring, and much, much more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about zit popping, including whether or not you should really be doing it yourself. Beyond that, we’re also sharing a few tips on how to adjust your skin care routine to help avoid having those pesky pimples come back.
WHAT IS PIMPLE POPPING?
You’ve likely scrolled past the disgusting yet somehow intriguing pimple popping videos on social media, and you’ve almost certainly been tempted to do it to your own face. Popping pimples is exactly what it sounds like: Squeezing a zit with your fingers until it bursts. We know, so gross! But you’d be lying if you said you hadn’t done it before, wouldn’t you? Sometimes, when pimples come to a head and turn white, it can be so incredibly tempting to touch them. But we’re here to tell you to keep your hands off your zits, as hard as it may be! What’s so bad about popping your own zits, you ask? We'll cover that next.
SHOULD YOU POP YOUR ZITS?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), squeezing your blemishes may seem simple enough, but it’s best left to a trained professional. When done incorrectly, popping zits could cause any of the following: a worsening of the acne, serious acne scarring, more painful pimples, and worse yet, an infection. This is because when you pop a pimple at home, you could wind up pushing the contents of the pimple deeper into your skin—even when you think you’re not. Instead, the much safer and smarter move is to see a trained, board-certified dermatologist, who will be able to extract your pimples with the proper technique and instruments. The Cleveland Clinic agrees, noting that although popping a pimple yourself might feel immediately gratifying, seeing your dermatologist is much safer for your skin in the long run. And if that wasn’t enough to convince you not to pop your zits, the Mayo Clinic also advises against touching or picking at problem pimples, as doing so could trigger more breakouts and, like we said, lead to an infection or scarring.
When you do see a dermatologist, they might extract pimples using sterile tools to get the gunk out of a blackhead or a whitehead. Or, for larger, cystic acne, a dermatologist might inject the pimple with a corticosteroid, which is known to speed up healing and reduce incidents of inflammation.
THE BEST SKIN CARE TIPS TO HELP KEEP PIMPLES AT BAY
Since the most tempting pimples to pop are blackheads and whiteheads, that’s what we’re going to be focusing on here. Thankfully, according to the AAD, blackheads and whiteheads are actually relatively easy to address, and you can typically use over-the-counter products to do so. Try adopting a simple skin care routine with products formulated to clear pores to keep pimples at bay.
1. EXFOLIATE TO UNCLOG PORES
Is exfoliating not a part of your regular skin care routine? That could be your mistake. While it’s true you won’t want to be overly harsh with your skin, especially if you’re dealing with breakouts, the right face scrub can be beneficial when it comes to keeping pores from becoming clogged. Try the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub, which provides deep yet gentle exfoliation to visibly unclog pores and reveal purified skin.
2. REMOVE DIRT AND IMPURITIES
In addition to exfoliating a few times a week (or as often as is best for your skin type), you should be cleansing your complexion with a mild facial cleanser every morning and evening. No skipping days! We recommend trying the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser, which is formulated to help remove everyday impurities (dirt, oil, dead skin cells) from the surface of the skin.
3. PRACTICE PAMPERING YOUR SKIN
Last but certainly not least, adding a detox face mask into your weekly skin care routine can also help keep your skin looking healthy. Once or twice a week, treat yourself to a clay face mask, like the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Face Mask, which is formulated with purifying charcoal. All it takes is ten minutes, and we promise your skin will thank you for it. Besides, you’ve definitely earned a few minutes of self-care!
If all of this still wasn’t enough to convince you to lay off popping your pimples, this next article might. Click through to our article, Can You Get Rid of Acne Scars?, for all the details.
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