The first rule of popping spots? Don’t pop spots. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but dermatologists warn of the dangers of attacking pimples with not-so-clean hands and recommend that you either leave them well alone or attack them with a spot treatment.
So what problems can popping cause? Well, you can irritate the skin and cause permanent scarring, bacteria could attack the irritated area, your blemishes could get infected and cause a major drama, or your dirty fingers could create even more spots. Not ideal. But if you are going to pop your pimples, it’s important to do it the right way to avoid inflammation, infection and skin damage.
Opt for overnight
It’s a good idea to treat spots at night so that your skin has time to heal. If you’re having a shower or bath before bed, work on the spot right after – that way your skin will be soft and your pores will be open. If not, make sure you've washed your hands and face to prevent any dirt and bacteria from entering the pimple area, then remove all your makeup with a micellar water and finish with a gentle face wash like the NAOBAY Gel To Milk Cleanser. Next, grab a cloth or even a cotton pad, soak it in warm water and gently press on the affected area for a couple of minutes – this will soften the pores and make the whole zit-popping process easier.
Go for the superficial
It's not a rule we usually live by, but spots that superficial, aka closest to the surface like whiteheads or yellow pimples, are the ones to go for. Don't even think about attacking acne or cysts! Grab some clean tissues and wrap them around your index fingers, very gently pull the skin surrounding the pimple away from it and press the edges of the invader. Remember not to press in the middle of the pimple, but on the sides, as you want to extort the infection. If nothing comes out, try a different angle, and if it still doesn’t work, leave it. It’s not ready to go yet.
After-care is key
If all the grime comes out and is followed by a tiny bit of blood, it’s time to stop and restore your skin. Apply a spot treatment gel like the Anatomicals Zap Zap Zap Gets That Chap Spot Stick. The handy double-ended stick has a daytime and nighttime formula, both packed with bacteria-busting ingredients from tea tree oil to witch hazel. Remember, don’t over-scrub your face or use harsh retinoids and other acids for a few days while your skin is recovering and only ever touch your face with clean hands!