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Beauty Question: Can I pop my own zits?

Posted Oct 17 2008 6:10pm

K writes:

Hi Jolie! I love your blog. I have a question - why can’t I pop my pimples? When I get facials, they pop them and it doesn’t scar, unlike when I try it. Thanks! 

Hi K.!Technically, you’re not supposed to pop your own zits—it’s true that it does very easily lead to scarring, hyperpigmentation, bleeding, and unnecessary face-touching, mirror-staring and “Why didn’t I just leave it alone?!” moaning. The truth, however, is that (shh) it  is  possible to pop your own blemishes, just like you’ve always suspected. Now, I’m not saying it’s recommended, and when done improperly, you could wreck some serious havoc on your complexion. But let’s be real here. You want to do it. You’re going to do it. So, at least do it right. First of all, never squeeze cysts—go for the white suckers just under the skin that are  begging  to be put out of their misery. Remove all makeup and wash your face and hands, to get rid of bacteria that might get into the open skin and cause an infection. (Optional steps: apply a warm washcloth to the skin for a few minutes, or sterilize a tiny needle with boiling water and rubbing alcohol and prick the surface of the skin ever so slightly. Personally, I never, ever go the needle route—I know people who have gotten infections this way. But I feel the need to mention that, if you are going to do it, then for the love God, sterilize it and be gentle.) Next take two cotton swabs or pieces of gauze and very (very!) gently press around the pimple until the white stuff surfaces and comes out, or when you see clear fluid. Don’t press too hard—and never until you bleed!—because you could force the bacteria further into your skin, which will just cause a bigger, badder pimple down the road. (As for me, if I’m going somewhere soon after my minor bathroom-sink surgery, I dab on a tiny bit of Hydrocortisone cream, to help the irritation and redness go down faster, then follow with a dab of medicated concealer.)

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