Spot popping; you shouldn’t do it. You know that, your entire family and friends have told you that…. but they’ve been there for weeks, these little lumps that are slowly getting bigger and becoming the only thing that you can look at in the mirror. One of them is pulsating so much that you swear it could actually be alive. It could probably legally qualify for its own birth certificate, that’s how big this demonic lump in the middle of your forehead is. And they’ve got personalities, the little fuckers, deviant personalities that like to spoil your big events and completely ignore your attentive skin regimen.
This is the method that I’ve learnt through personal experience and scrolling through the web in desperation 5 days before a night out; my 6 step advice for you if you can’t help but squeeze the nightmare spot that’s been bugging you all week:
1. Cleanse your face thoroughly with warm water to get rid of bacteria on the skin and to open up your pores (which will make it easier to remove the fluid inside of the blocked pore).
2. ALWAYS use a cotton wool pad instead of your lovely sharp fingernails which will damage your skin and leave you with a bigger wound. Collecting the contents of the spot (gross, I know) on a cotton pad will also minimise the risk of the bacteria spreading to other pores. I usually separate my pad down the middle and then fold each side over so that they are smaller and easier to work with but still provide cushioning for your fingers. During the squeezing process swap the cotton pads when needed to try and keep everything as clean as possible.
3. Gently press around the culprit, if its ready to come out it will. Continue to press and slowly move your fingers closer together until the fluid runs clear and the plug is completely removed. There may be some bleeding but this is to be expected. It’s really important to make sure that there is nothing left beneath the skin because otherwise you will end up with something even more unsightly that is likely to become infected or return as a larger spot.
4. Use another cotton wool pad (your trusty friend in this procedure) to apply a cleansing liquid in order to clean the area and remove any blood that would cause a larger scab to form. I always use my Superdrug Tea Tree Cleanser & Toner (£3.29) because tea tree oil helps to kill bacteria.
5. Apply some Sudocrem. Yes, that creamy product most commonly applied to baby’s bottoms; I’m asking you to rub it across your face. Sudocrem is an amazing antiseptic product that is perfect for healing the skin and will form a protective barrier (almost like a scab) to stop your spot from becoming infected. My family will often see me wandering around the house with blotches of this stuff dotted across my forehead. This will usually dissolve into the skin or wipe away when you are sleeping but I try to leave it there throughout the night. Remember to be gentle when cleansing your face to remove your make-up at the end of the next day (you don’t want to be opening up the wound again) and put on some more Sudocrem in the evening if needed. Once the scab has fully formed and your skin has started to heal then stop applying the Sudocrem as it can be quite drying and you don’t want to dry out the skin around the scab too much.
6. Make sure to keep your face (including the scab) moisturised and do NOT attempt to pick off the scab before its ready. It may be tempting to pick away the problem but if the skin underneath hasn’t healed properly then you are extremely likely to get scarring. I made this mistake on holiday last summer and was left with unsightly white patches that took weeks to heal. When the skin is healed the scab will come off naturally, until then you can apply a good concealer during the day to hide it (I would advise a fairly moisturising one so it doesn’t settle into the dry patches) but just make sure to dab the make-up off of the scab at the end of the day rather than rubbing it in order to minimize the risk of accidentally scrubbing it off.
This healing process will usually take around 3-5 days and works for me so much better than just attacking the spot with my fingers. Whilst I don’t advise you to go popping every single spot that you may have, if you do choose to do it then I hope that this method will help you to minimize skin damage and to heal as quickly as possible.