We know you do it. You know you do it. As a matter of fact, everyone does it even if we know we shouldn't. Popping a pimple or as we like to call them, blemishes. We are going to go there this week because we have had quite a few interesting calls and consultations and in the spirit of health and beauty we're going to guide you to do this correctly if you must and we know some of you must! Professionally we encourage you to refrain from performing your own extractions and leaving that to the experts, but we're realists and we want you to protect yourself with educational insight.
I can spot (no pun intended) a skin picker from a mile away. I see young women sometimes and just want to hold their hand and comfort them because I can tell by their faces that they are going through such a difficult time suffering from chronic acne. It is a confidence stealer and often very brilliant and keen women are the last to speak up in a classroom or in a meeting because they just don't feel like drawing attention to themselves or their faces. This happens to young men too, but for some reason we don't talk about it as much although the psychological effects for men are just as traumatic. (If you are a Mom reading this please take into account that there is a growing need for us to teach healthy skincare to boys and men as well. My nephew who is only thirteen has had several lessons in skincare and just gawk at the gorgeous male beauty editor, Phillip Picardi and you'll be newly convinced to making skincare for your young boys as imperative as their high tech video games are to them.) Chronic acne is a clue that something is not quite right within your body. Depression, high levels of stress, hormonal imbalances can trigger acne as well as food related triggers. Some people have difficulty tolerating certain foods or highly saturated fat diets and now there has even been a connection between dairy and cystic acne. It's a hard process to figure out, but once you do it's a giant step forward to good skin health. I myself have realized that dairy can cause terrible skin for me and a combination of milk and bread will wreak havoc on my skin. I have switched to drinking nut milks and using a coconut milk creamer in my coffee. I have not cut out milk entirely because what kind of Spanish woman would I be without a decent flan indulgence once in a while? I still eat high quality yogurt full of probiotics and use organic half and half for Sunday brunch recipes. I have learned to curb my dairy intake and very carefully consume very little. It's hard to completely eliminate some foods, however it is critical for some people to get to a state of wellness to eliminate their acne caused by food triggers. Now, back to the skin pickers...
When we pick our skin we are indeed causing damage to the already inflamed and stressed out tissue. Most of the time skin pickers are also spreading bacteria around the face and causing more acne flareups. If you're going to pop a whitehead and we know you will, please take the very important measure of doing so with a properly cleansed face.
Step 1: Steam your skin to draw out dirt, toxins, bacteria and make softening skin a bit easier.
Step 2: Use a clay based mask (Bio Active Purifying Mask is excellent for this and bonus it contains manuka honey to help kill bacteria as well) to treat the infected area, allow the mask to set and rinse off the area with warm water.
Step 3: If you have latex gloves, put them on! Otherwise, use tissue to wrap around your index fingers. NEVER use your fingernails or bare fingers to do this or you're likely to contribute a different strain of bacteria that lives under your fingernails to your blemishes. I asked around and was told that Q-tips the 'Precision' kind are best to use because they are tightly wound and most represent a professional medical swab. This sounds like the most sterile option.
Step 4: "Using one q-tip as the steady use the other to apply
pressure in a c shape into the tissue. It's kind of a scoop and roll
maneuver. The end of the roll should be where the head of the breakout
is.If the white head is
ready to go it should easily pop and pus will be released. You may
extract until pus has ceased but don't keep stabbing at it until nothing
but blood and plasma is oozing out. Please stop at that point." Says licensed esthetician Alexis Danielle and green beauty blogger who also advises not to attempt this on cystic acne or red and inflamed acne. Alexis has seen and heard it all and she also recommends not to use needles to prick a whitehead either as I saw Dr. Oz do once and nearly fainted when he proceeded to also rip the tissue with a needle in an upward motion after pricking the inflamed area. An absolute NO-NO! Can you imagine the damage and scarring this will cause? Dr. Oz needs to read my wordy email about this.
Step 5: After the area has stopped oozing blood or fluid wipe with a little hydrogen peroxide and use a spot treatment directly on the traumatized skin.
We highly advise that you allow your skin to breath and not to apply makeup immediately after an extraction. Your skin will be tender and raw after forcing it to detox the bacteria, sebum, and clogging dead white cells that accumulated causing your whitehead. It's best to leave it alone at this point. On the rare occasion that I have a whitehead (yes, even beauty mavens with their own skincare lines have a blemish pop up once in a while) I simply treat it with manuka honey and barbary fig seed oil. The honey is therapeutic and contains high levels of hydrogen peroxide which is antiseptic and the barbary fig seed oil contains loads of Vitamin E, zinc, and amino acids helping to heal, rebuild collagen, and promote new cell growth. It is why it's perfect to help with the healing of acne scars or hyperpigmentation. Most of the time when I do this over night I wake up to the whitehead having pushed through on its own and the medicinal properties of the manuka honey taken effect to sterilize the area. If I don't have time to do this I simply dab our Bio Active Purifying Mask as a spot treatment and it works wonderfully also!
If you're one of the many people suffering from severe acne, going to a very developed dermatologist who also takes into account your diet, mental wellbeing, and stress as contributing factors for your acne can be a huge help to isolating the cause and taking the steps toward treatment. There are some amazing dermatologists out there that don't just offer prescriptions as a solution and will help you get to the root of the problem. A licensed esthetician can also be beneficial to you, but find one that believes in natural skincare as a treatment to your acne. Cetaphil, my darlings is not a viable option when your skin has gone beserk and it is loaded with skin criminals just waiting to harm you further. We want you to be the most confident person possible and feel pure happiness when you look into a mirror and see healthy skin that you know is possible or that you've worked hard to achieve. Not all of us are so lucky to never have had a blemish and we need to learn how to get there without causing more problems with all the chemical based "problem solver" miracle acne creams on the market. Most of the times those product create new ones like dry skin, and the stripping of your natural oils which ironically enough causes your skin to be even oilier. Simple, simple, simple is what we believe in at La Bella Figura because your skin deserves the best nutrients and we believe the best active nutrients are found in natural materials. There is a reason that plants, trees, and flowers have been on earth since the beginning and we turn our trust in nature's miracles to cure us.