DON'T PICK THAT PIMPLE!!!! Geez louise, how many times have you heard that? It feels gigantic, it's red, it's sore, and it's white tip feels like a lighthouse guiding everyone's stares to it. Not the kind of attention we want! We all know that we aren't going ANYWHERE, not school, not work or anywhere until that thing has been picked, pinched and squeezed unmercilessly.
There is a right way and a wrong way to pick a pimple. Yes, it's ok to pick a pimple if you do it the right way. Shocking, I know, it goes against what everyone tells you, yet . . . here I am saying, it's ok!
Picking the wrong way, (pushing, pinching, squeezing till it pops) pushes the infection into the surrounding tissue, only to causing more problems. Yes, you may get some of it out, but trust me, it's not all gone!!!
So gather up your Proper Picking Tools: 90% Alcohol, needle or lancet, gentle cleanser, tissue, benzoyl peroxide (optional, but a really good idea, BP will kill the bacteria that remains in the pore) and concealer (optional).
Proper Pimple Picking Instructions:
NEVER pick a pimple that looks like illustration #3 above! IT IS NOT READY!!!
1. First park yourself in front of a mirror and a sink!
2. "Sterilize" the needle if you are using one. You can hold it over
flame, or let it soak in 90% alcohol (the kind you get in the Health and Beauty aisle), for 10 minutes.
3. Wash your hands & the pimple. Yes, really, take the time to do it.
4. Make an "opening" in the white (infection) part of the pimple.
Insert needle & wiggle it to make an opening.
5. Wrap tissue around your fingers and GENTLY PRESS in a circle
to EASE the infection out.
6. Gently wipe away the infection (pus). Wash the area with a gentle
fragrance free cleanser. Pat dry, then spot treat with Benzoyl Peroxide.
remember BP bleaches fabric, so wash your hands right away!
7. Finish with a concealer (one that matches your skin tone).
There! You did it! Don't get crazy and do every pimple, only the ones that are "ready"! Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble.
My last message is: Do you want to be cute in 10 years? Don't mess up your face with a bad picking job now. (I know you'll be cute anyway, but you will wish you hadn't over aggressively picked!) Read my post How Not To Pick A Pimple, to give you some incentive not to pick!
Take care of your birthday suit,
One of my very first make-up clients as a brand new esthetician was a 29 year old bride with a bright red dot on the tip of her nose, that I had a terrible time covering up. Whatever I did, it would show through, unless I really caked on the cover-up.
She wasn’t born with the red dot, she got it at age 12 when her mother attempted (out of love:-) ) to pick a pimple on the end of her nose. 15 years later, she has a permanent reminder. It was the size of a pencil lead, and my client had a “whatever” attitude about it. She had learned to live with it.
That’s reason #1. Cause you just don’t know how it will turn out.
Reason #2 is: When you push down on the pimple, (especially if it is red, sore, infected), you’ve now pushed that infection into the surrounding skin tissue, and like bunnies, there’s a good chance they will mulitply! Kind of defeats the purpose huh.
And reason # 3: Occasionally, I have clients that pick and pick and pick and eventually, they can’t stop break the habit without a HUGE effort. The habit gets obsessive and their skin pays a huge price! The pimples take on a very flat reddened, appearance. When I see that, I know “H0uston we have a problem.”
I know pimples can be aggravating, embarrassing, painful, and affect self esteem. But the reality is, If you pick wrong, you can get bad results that make the problem worse!
There is a right way (in another post) and a wrong way. Please, please, please respect yourself enough to learn the right way!
As Always . . .
Take care of your birthday suit, Lisa
The Acne Detective
Lights up, client enters stage right: She walked into my room, I motioned her to sit. This wasn’t Madelines* first visit, but this visit was different. She was desperate, I could see it in her eyes. Sitting on the table, I looked at her, an attractive young woman in her 30s, a professional in need of answers. She pointed to her mouth, yes there it was, the first clue.
Odd, I thought, her past included a course of Accutane*, a drug strong enough to K.O. acne like a prize fighter.
Something was hinky, not kosher. I continued with my questions, watching and listening, looking for more clues and bam, there it was.
She was chewing gum, like her life depended on it. She was pulling it like taffy, her teeth holding on one end, her fingers on the other, mopping up around her mouth, then pushing it back in. She kept repeating this, only interrupting it to answer my probing questions.
I was on to something. I continued to push for answers:
“What kind of gum is that?“
“Peppermint” she answered, seemingly surprised the inquiry had taken a turn.
“How many sticks a day are you chewing?” I persisted
“About 30” she answered
“How long have you been chewing 30 sticks a day? And why”
“For about a month, cause I quit smoking”
Eureka! I thought. Case Closed!
I gave this doll my recommendations and told her to come back in a month.
Client exits stage right. Lights dim.
4 weeks later “Madeline” (not her real name of course) returned, the breakout area clearing nicely, and she was thrilled!
The culprit aggravating the acne, was the peppermint in the gum, and the frequency it was exposed to that area.
Peppermint is classified as a “counter irritant”. It’s part of the menthol family, and when applied to skin it irritates it, causing an increase in blood flow, heating up that area. (that’s how “BenGay” and other analgesic type lotions work to soothe sore muscles)
Heat is an acne aggravator. Repeatedly aggravating an area prone to acne will increase breakouts.
So my recommendations were, to find a “non menthol” flavored gum to chew, and start using her over the counter acne products consistently to clear the area. And viola! It cleared AND she didn’t start smoking again!
“Mint” is found in alot of skincare products, because it gives a “cool tingly” sensation. It gives the product a feeling that “it’s working”, when it could really be aggravating.
Look for it in, lip balms and acne products, and avoid them if you are breaking out.
Remember, take care of your Birthday Suit sweetheart, it’s the only one you’ve got!
Lisa the acne detective
P.S. *Accutane is a VERY powerful drug (controlled substance) that is a form of Vitamin A, which will shrink the size of the skins oil glands, in turn reducing or eliminating acne. It should be considered only if acne is severe, and other treatments haven’t worked.
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Bare Bliss Waxing Spa
1020 East Saginaw St
Lansing, MI. 48906
By Appointment Only
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