This week I got a chance to talk with the queen of pus Dr. Pimple Popper Sandra Lee, who confessed she's been peeping some of your amateur popping videos. And guess what? You're not a licensed dermatologist.
Fortunately, that doesn't mean that every pimple needs to see a doctor. Dr. Lee gave us the exclusive on six simple tips if you must bust at home.
1. Stay clean and sober.
Dr. Lee is watching you make mistakes. She told us she sees "people doing it with no gloves."
Just in their bathroom or their living room. I don't think that its necessarily a mistake, per se, but obviously the most important thing is cleanliness. A lot of the time people are drunk doing it, or they just don't have clean hands. They're not using gloves they're using paper towels to wipe away debris.
2. Pick your moment before your face.
Don't go to the zits, let them come to you.
Apply warm compresses and be patient with it, it will come to a head. And that's when you want to take a sterile needle and nick the surface. Use some gentle pressure on the area around it to try to express the pus.
3. "Know when to stop."
Don't pick too much. It's hard to keep your hands off it if you have a nice ripe pimple ready to pop, certainly, but know when to stop. Don't gouge your skin deeply, because that's when you risk infection and scarring.
4. Prep those blackheads.
The best time to extract blackheads is after a shower or a steam because it's looser, it softens up, it's more moist, it's easier to extract.
What comes next is straight out of the Pimple Popper textbook: use a comedone extractor instead of your fingers.
I use a Schamberg type comedone extractor and I don't really scrape against the skin, I push down and apply a pressure circumferentially around the area.
5. If you have a cyst, go pro.
"I don't recommend people remove [cysts] themselves." she told us.
But, obviously when you're wasted and popping you're gonna do what you're gonna do, so just remember to finish the job.
They have to remove the cyst entirely if they want it to not come back. They're probably much more prone infection and things like that.
6. Remember that we are all special snowflakes.
There is no one way to good skin health.
We all have a different skin type. Your regimen is not necessarily the same as your friend's or even other people in your family. Don't feel like you have to moisturize if your skin doesn't need moisturization, or that you have to use a toner because everybody says you have to use a toner.
But seriously, everyone should wear sunscreen.