It’s never my first recommendation, but sometimes the temptation to pick a pimple is overwhelming. And I understand… sometimes those guys just scream to be squeezed! I have a list of rules that must be followed should you succumb to the urge to pick.
- Start with steamed skin. Usually after a shower is best. Steam softens the skin and allows the debris to come out more easily.
- Use an enzyme mask before. Enzymes also soften the skin, making the extraction process easier. One to try? The Murad Vitalic Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask is a great option.
- Only pick the most obvious whiteheads, with the infection right at the surface. If you’re going for a blackhead, only go for those that at the surface and opened.
- Wrap your clean fingers in tissues. Never use your nails. Use gentle pressure. Don’t force it if it doesn’t give immediately. Wait a few days and try again.
- Cleanse the area and sanitize it with a salicylic acid spot treatment, like Sircuit Skin Fixzit. You can even apply ice for a few minutes to reduce the inflammation.
- Use a sulfur mask to kill bacteria and help the pores contract. You can even leave it on the spot overnight. One of my all time favorites for this is Peter Thomas Roth Sulfur Cooling Masque. I do this to reduce blemishes when I first notice them too, so I don’t ever get to the point where I have to extract them.
- Leave it alone. This is the point where not picking becomes very important. If you repeatedly pick at a blemish, you slow down the healing process, and ultimately you can cause long-term scarring.
Ideally, we will never get to the point where something screams at us to be picked. But it happens to all of us, and using these precautions can prevent the long-term collagen damage that occurs when we’ve overpicked. Also remember that sometimes the best way to control your urge to pick is to take one giant step away from the magnifying mirror. [Tweet this!]