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8 Things to NEVER Do to a Pimple

Skin-damaging mistakes and practices, plus an acne dark spot remover that can help repair scarring Written by: 100% PURE®

Dont Pop Pimples

Stop right now and put down your weapons – and by weapons, we mean your fingers. When it comes to skin care and our skin, we don't usually take risks. We stick to what works and treat our skin with careful consistency, in the hopes that it will return the favor. But when we have a breakout, we'll admit it's almost impossible to control our urge to pick!

Whether big or small, pimples are uncomfortable and make us totally self-conscious - like there’s a flashing, neon arrow following us around all week, pointing right at it. Well guess what? Using fingers or the wrong tools to pick at it will create an even BIGGER problem! Here's our list of the eight commandments of pimple care, plus do's and don'ts, and a nighttime acne dark spot remover to help get rid of those breakouts faster.

8 Things to NEVER Do to a Pimple

Consider these 8 grisly offenses the ‘sins’ of treating pimples - they’re damaging, painful, can cause scarring, and may even make your pimples worse.

Squeezing Too Hard

When we have a pimple and we squeeze, it's almost like we're attacking our skin. The pressure and the pinch can cause microscopic tears, redness, bruising and overall discomfort, creating even more damage than the pimple itself. So the harder you squeeze, the worse off your pimple will be! Ensure you're using gentle pressure with the padding of your fingers (no nails), and only popping when the pimple has come to a head. When a breakout is ready to be popped, the center of the pimple will go from red and inflamed to a slight peak with usually a white or lighter colored center. Treat your breakout with kid gloves (almost literally) and you'll better preserve the clarity of your skin.

Picking During Healing

We see this all the time. We've popped a pimple, it's starting to heal, and the edges of the previous breakout start to flake up. The texture is somewhat unsightly and we're tempted to just rip off that dead skin. Well it's not just dead skin - it's the protective barrier that’s helping to heal the breakout underneath the surface. Without it we're re-exposing the pimple we popped and possibly creating another (worse) breakout. Instead of picking, use fine exfoliants to gently clear away any dead skin that is ready to come off. This creates a polished edge and helps the pimple heal naturally overtime.

Smothering Inflammation with Makeup

So, we have a breakout and we're not feeling like we look our best. What's our first instinct? To add makeup. And then add more makeup. And then add more makeup on top of that. Instead of layering on concealer when you're trying to hide an unsightly bump try adding essential oils that help treat the problem itself. Dab on tea tree oil overnight which helps kill the bacteria that's causing the pimple. During the day treat your breakout with rose to fight redness and chamomile to soothe the discomfort. If you must wear makeup, go in with a clean lip brush and lightly dust around the edges of the pimple with foundation powder to slightly diffuse the discoloration.

Touching with Dirty Hands

When we realize we're breaking out, what's one of our first reactions? We generally touch and squeeze and pinch and further inflame the area. It's best practice for good skin care to avoid touching altogether. Most often even if our hands are clean, we're transferring some degree of bacteria to our face and that's the opposite of what we want to do to a breakout. If we must touch, it's best to use clean and sanitized hands when our skin is also clean and makeup-free. Go in with micellar water or a face wipe afterwards to be safe.

Derm Tools

Metal Popping Tools

Some of us may have heard of a social media famous doctor nicknamed Dr. Pimple Popper famous for wowing her audience with some pretty extreme pops. We can put on gloves and a white coat but we’re no doctor – it's best to leave the use of metal skin care tools to the professionals. It's easy to misuse them, exert too much pressure, and end up damaging our skin. Instead if you're popping a pimple, use Q-tips or cotton pads around the inflamed area to squeeze or dab on product. This results in less soreness and bruising and better shields against transferring bacteria to our skin.

Pinching with Dirty Fingernails

Piggybacking off of our last rule, we never want to pop our pimples or touch our pimples with our fingernails. Even for fingernails that we've recently cleaned, there's bacteria under there that we just can't see. It's best to keep the fingernails away from our inflamed skin as much as possible.

Hot Compress

Ah, the soothing feeling of a nice facial steam. We love doing this just before a scrub to get extra clean, radiant skin. When we have a breakout, we may think it wise to apply a hot compress to encourage the pimple to work itself out. Does this work? #nope This technique can irritate a bump worse and create even more inflammation on the area. It’s fine to apply a little heat to a pimple that’s ready to pop, but not before and certainly not after.

Drying Out a Spot

The use astringents or alcohols to dry out a pimple doesn't always help. For those with oily skin, this treatment can sometimes support more balanced skin but never by using alcohol and rather than an astringent, we’d advise a gentle toner no more often than once a week. For the rest of us using this harsh application, especially on a recent breakout, it can actually worsen the pimple itself. Inciting dryness can prevent the pimple from fully forming which means we can't pop it to get rid of it. It can also cause dryness and flaking on the surrounding skin which is never a good look.

Product for pimples Anti-Breakout Treatments & Acne Dark Spot Remover

If you’re breaking out, it is probably best to stick to a cleanser that you know works for your skin. Utilize a creamy cleanser that contains herb and floral essential oils as this is the gentlest and most natural way to refresh the skin. We recommend adding on our Anti-Acne Sheet Mask that contains rosemary and witch hazel to achieve gently balanced clearer skin.

For treating acne dark spots, you’ll want a little bit of vitamin C. The 100% PURE Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Riché PM Treatment does just the trick, with a powerhouse of vita C and retinol to brighten and even complexion.

As an additional acne dark spot remover for stubborn spots or deeper complexions, try our Dark Spot Remover serum. This vegan formula contains vitamin C, sake and aloe, all ingredients proven to assist in skin cell turnover and skin repair for rapidly improved skin.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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