We’re all guilty of it. When you see a spot staring back at you, it’s near impossible to resist the urge to squeeze the life out of it. If you absolutely must then at least read through these tips given to us by skincare specialist, Jocelyn Petroni, on how to go about properly beheading a blemish.
With over a decade of experience under her belt, Jocelyn is a master of blemish control 101. Here she schools us in genius tips and tricks on how to not only fight blemishes from the get-go, but also how to avoid them all together.
Step One: Get to Know Your Skin…like Intimately
Getting to know your skin on a personal level can save you from a lot of heartache later on. “Get to know what contributes to your skin breaking out - whether that’s what you’re eating, if it’s that time of the month, your stress levels, or whatever,” she explains. “There are lots of different types of blemishes - blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, and every spot is extracted differently and every person's skin requires us to extract them differently, so it’s really getting to a technique that’s right for you. Unfortunately it’s a lot of trial and error before you figure it out”.
Step Two: Remember to Hydrate
If your skin is dehydrated it can be very hard to extract blemishes. “When the skin is hydrated all that hard oil is actually going to be able to slide out easier then if it’s dehydrated. ,” explains Jocelyn. “A good steam and adding warmth to the pores helps softens everything so the oil will come out a lot easier. After a shower is a perfect time to check in with your black heads and blemishes.”
Step Three: Prep before you Pop
“Be sure to prep, even before the pimple comes up into the skin. When you start to feel a “niggle” smooth a small amount of spot gel on the breakout prone areas, that can help to clean out the pores before the pimple even starts to show."
Step Four: Time it
“The prime time to extract is actually when the pimple itself is just starting to heal,” says Jocelyn. “Pimples develop in the skin, and get bigger to the point where you can see and feel them. We all want to squeeze it, but if you squeeze a pimple while it’s still growing, or white, you’re just going to exacerbate that growing phase. Whereas if you can squeeze it when it’s just passed its peak, and it’s actually in the healing phase, you will stimulate the healing phase rather than stimulate the growing phase,” she says, adding that it’s hard to tell when that is, so it's still safer to avoid popping them all together. “While it’s in that phase of growing and the stimulating phase, I would just been using a spot gel [we recommend something that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide] or tea tree oil neat.”
Step Five: It’s all in the Technique
“I would say it’s okay to squeeze a pimple so long as you have clean skin, tissue wrapped fingers and you apply pressure to either side of the blemish and push towards the spot, so it’s actually the pressure from your fingers that’s penetrating the pimple, rather than your fingers or nails causing damage to your skin. The pressure itself will extract out the dirt, rather than your fingers or nails digging into the skin and causing potential scaring. It’s also important to only squeeze once, and if nothing comes out just leave it. You’re more likely to do more damage attacking it again, than if you just leave it alone.
Step Six: Clean and Clear
“Afterwards wiping with just a toner is fine, or some sort of antiseptic. I would recommend tea tree oil. Tea tree is one of the few essential oils that can just go neat on the skin; so you can put some tea tree onto a cotton tip and then put it neat on the skin.” As far as clearing treatments? Jocelyn likes the newest line for breakouts by Ultaceuticals. It contains the key ingredient is salicylic acid, which is oil soluble, meaning it can penetrate into the pore and help to break down the blockage. If you have squeezed and there’s a red mark, Jocelyn recommends using topical vitamin E cream.
Story by Melinda Nanovsky.