This is probably going to be the most read article on Fem, and before we go any further, let's clarify one thing. By no means do we recommend doing extractions in the comfort of your home! We don't want to advertise this. A safer form of getting rid of zits is to apply salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil directly to the spot. You can repeat this process for a couple of days until the spot dries out. However, we are aware that popping pimples is a very popular hobby for many people. If it wasn't, Dr. Pimple Popper wouldn't have over 5 million subscribers. We're are such self-destructive creatures. We squeeze and pop pimples despite being well aware of the consequences - scarring, pigmentation, redness, and inflammation. Most of the time it gets worse the second we touch our skin, but still, we dive headfirst through the wall, in other words, nails through the skin. And we usually like to do it in completely wrong places. In an elevator with a huge mirror and horrible lighting that shows all our faults, 5 minutes before the meeting. Is there any better way? The answer is: yes! Of course! There are a more appropriate time and place to take care of your face. For example, at home, after our skin has gone through intense preparations and softening.
We do not use nail tips, especially if they're long. Save that for picking your nose. The chance of skin damage with long, sharp nails is much greater than if you squeeze the pimple with your finger pad or side edge of the nail. Before digging in wrap your fingers with toilet paper, tissue or use rubber gloves. Reasons? Padding and hygiene (there are many bacteria behind the nail that contribute to inflammation). If the paper gets torn or dirty, replace it immediately. One of the most important rules is this one. Squeeze the pimple maximum three times, from three different directions. If the third one is not the lucky one, move along and get your fingers away from the zit. Only squeeze the pimples and blackheads that are already on their way out. This means that they have a white cap, that the pore is visibly enlarged and calls for liberation. Do not touch cysts and papules! For the sake of this debate let's also mention that the skin should be cleansed, without any makeup and your hands should be super clean.
Three days before, prepare your pores with acid exfoliation, preferably in the form of a stronger acid mask, which is washed off after ten minutes. This will pull stuff out of your pores and make it softer, easier to extract. It's best to do this just after your menstruation when your skin is less sensitive and the amount pimples at its largest. This also effectively prepares you for the increased production of sebum post-ovulation. This way, PMS will be easier to bear because pores will be less clogged, resulting in fewer pimples. Also, make sure you have all the tools you need before the extraction process. Good timing is key. You will need face cleanser, tonic, clean towel, extractor (optional), moisturizer and oil (optional for those with normal, mixed or dry skin).
Choose a day like Friday, when you have two days to heal your wounds before going in public again. In the evening, wash your face thoroughly, do a double-cleanse, tone with your existing toner (if you don't have one, choose one without alcohol as alcohol dries the skin), and take a quick hot shower. The skin that has been previously cleaned and massaged for a couple of minutes will remain nicely soft from the steam in the shower. Before you leave the shower, soak the pre-set clean towel with warm water and place it on your face for three minutes. Tell Siri to set you a timer. Warm water will provide maximum softening of the skin and consequently easier extraction. After three minutes, the most fun part begins. Destroying pimples. Be fast and efficient! Just wash your hands again with soap, wrap your fingers in toilet paper and go to work. You can also use an extraction tool, but place it in boiling water before use. Those with a heavy hand are not advised to use this. As said above, the pimple has pressed a maximum of three times, if it does not come out, leave it alone. Also, be careful not to apply pressure directly to the tip of the pimple, but the edge, slightly away from the center and into depth. The move should look as if two friends (your fingers) were digging a tree (pimple) from each side. They should dig around the tree, away from the trunk and go down as they would want to get the roots of the tree as well. When you finish digging, wash your skin with water, re-tone and prepare it for the next step...
In this step, the most important thing is to start with plenty of moisturizing. Bring out your hyaluronic acid, moisturizing sheet masks, overnight masks and, after all, oil (if your skin tolerates it). Start with hyaluronic acid or a sheet mask. Massage the rest into the skin. You can continue with a moisturizing overnight mask or oil. Massage again intensively. At least 5 minutes to really help the skin absorb the products. If you do not have the aforementioned things at hand, then you can also use a larger amount of your usual moisturizer, with which you repeat the procedure described above. The skin should not be dry at any time! Go to bed with so much product on your skin that in the morning you will have to swap out your pillow cover because of product residue. Moisturizing will help in healing faster and reduce the chance of scarring. Moisturize the skin thoroughly for two days after the extraction. Good luck!
Photo credit: Glossier