So, You Popped a Pimple — Here’s What to Do Next and How to Heal It
Popping a pimple is like a cardinal sin of skin care. But if we’re being honest, we all give into temptation and pick and prod from time to time, especially now that we’ve been spending way too much time at home with access to a mirror. Sure it’s satisfying in the moment, but as soon as the deed is done, you’re going to need to do some damage control to heal the red, angry spot that you’re left with and prevent it from turning into a scar.
Why You Should Never Pop Your Pimples
By picking at your skin, you risk cross contamination of bacteria (think about how many germs are on your hands and underneath your fingernails), possible infection, as well as the potential for visible scarring. What’s more, popping pimples may even push some of the contents of the clogged pore deeper into the skin, which can increase inflammation and lead to more breakouts.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your pimples under control, reach for an acne spot treatment. These formulas contain acne-fighting ingredients that can help reduce the appearance of blemishes over time. They may not work overnight, but they can be incredibly effective with continued use.
How to Heal a Popped Pimple
The area around your blemish may appear irritated immediately after you pick at it, but there are ways to speed up the healing process. Before you panic, follow these steps:
STEP 1: Cleanse Your Skin
When the skin around the blemish is broken, it could be more susceptible to unwanted bacteria. Cleanse your skin immediately and every morning and night afterwards to ensure that you’re removing surface debris, dirt and makeup before it has a chance to clog your pores. Just be sure that your cleanser is a gentle one considering that your skin is still healing.
STEP 2: Apply a Spot Treatment
“I recommend drying your pimple out with a spot salicylic acid product,” advises Dr. Akhavan. Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are both powerful acne-fighting ingredients that can be found in a wide variety of skin-care products. It works as a chemical exfoliator to remove the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. As with your cleanser, choose a gentle, soothing formula that won’t cause further irritation. We like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Acne Spot Treatment.
STEP 3: Moisturize
Even if you have oily, acne-prone skin, you should still be using a hydrating moisturizer daily. Spot treatments and acne-fighting cleansers have a tendency to be drying. To ensure that you replenish any lost moisture, you’re going to want to grab a moisturizer or cream that works with your skin type. If you need recommendations, we rounded up the best non-comedogenic moisturizers for acne-prone skin.
STEP 4: Leave It Alone
After you apply your spot treatment, keep your hands away from your face and allow your skin to heal on its own. Avoid touching your pimples with your fingers as much as possible. By touching the blemish, you’re only inviting more bacteria in to potentially irritate the area even further. Applying a pimple patch is a great way to keep the area clean and your hands off.
STEP 5: Skip the Makeup
While it may be tempting to cover up the offending area with concealer and foundation right away, it’s best to keep the area clean and hydrated. If you can, wait to put on your makeup. Once your skin has recovered, you can help camouflage its appearance by reaching for a high-coverage concealer like the Dermablend Cover Care Full Coverage Concealer.