You’re picking pimples and you know you shouldn’t. I know you know this, but it’s hard to stop. You know that it’s causing scars and marks, but still, you can’t stop.
You need to resist the temptation because picking pimples isn’t helping your skin.
I’ve learned this the hard way, picking and squeezing pimples is NOT going to make pimples heal any faster than leaving them alone. In fact, not only are you hurting and potentially scarring your skin, but you’re delaying the healing and spreading bacteria all over your face that could cause more blemishes and breakouts.
Picking is BAD.
I was guilty of picking my face for years. I used to have regular sessions in front of my mirror squeezing at every blackhead and pimple until my skin was bruised and bleeding. I felt powerless to stop, that is until I figured out what triggers me to pick at my skin, and how I could stop.
Checkout today’s video and blog post on how I stopped picking pimples, blackheads and clogged pores. It’s been over a decade since I stopped picking, and my skin is scar-free because of it.
How To Stop Picking Pimples
Use a soothing spot treatment
Have you ever applied a spot treatment and then picked pimples right after? Probably not.
Most people use a spot treatment after they picked pimples, not before.
And that’s why I believe you get results from using spot treatments, it helps you stop touching your face, and keeps you from picking at your pimples and breakouts!
Next time you want to pick your pimples, apply a spot treatment instead.
And the trick is using the right spot treatment. I don’t recommend using strong medicated spot treatments, especially those containing benzoyl peroxide. They’re just too harsh and irritating, and they can dry your skin out so much they leave behind permanent marks and scars.
Instead, I recommend using a soothing spot treatment that is nourishing or anti-inflammatory. This will help your skin heal, and at the same time prevent you from touching and picking pimples.
Here’s a few spot treatments you can try:
Dab a tiny amount of facial oil on your pimples. For many people, dabbing oil on pimples helps them heal much faster, sometimes even over night. For best results, choose an oil you know is compatible with your skin like jojoba oil, squalane oil, or rose hip seed oil. After you’ve washed your face, gently dab a tiny amount on your pimples, and leave them be.
You can use a facial oil as a spot treatment once or twice a day.
ESSENTIAL OILS (NEAT OR A PROFESSIONAL BLEND)
Some essential oils like Tea Tree Oil can help speed up the healing of pimples because they are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory (see my blog post on how to use Tea Tree Oil for acne).
You can also try essential oil blends. Two pure essential oil blends I recommend are Living Libations Zippity DewDab or DewDab. These are potent. Zippity DewDab is formulated to treat pimples and blemishes, DewDab is formulated to fade hyperpigmentation and acne scars. I actually find DewDab to be as effective for spot treating, and really good for stubborn cystic pimples. It dually works to fade acne marks and scars, evens skin tone, and clarifies the skin.
If you choose to use essential oils or blends, best to use it only once a day, preferably at night.
SOOTHING & CLARIFYING SPOT TREATMENT
Almost all mainstream spot treatments are formulated to dry out pimples which can damage and irritate your skin, sometimes even cause discolouration and scarring. For this reason, I don’t recommend using medicated spot treatments containing benzoyl peroxide.
If you want something strong and effective without making your skin red and raw, try spot treatments containing sulfur or salicylic acid. This will help dissolve and breakup the sebum and debris that’s clogging pores while calming swelling and inflammation. Depending on the formula, this can be a lot less harsh than benzoyl peroxide, but still effective. Indie Lee Banish Solution is a good one, it’s made with colloidal sulfur, salicylic acid, clay, and it has zinc to soothe the skin.
And don’t underestimate gentler options. Sometimes if you have sensitive skin, any strong spot treatment no matter what it’s made with just irritates blemishes more. If that’s the situation, I recommend Indie Lee Overnight Banish Gel which conditions and softens the skin as it clarifies, or Banish Stick which are formulated to soothe redness and dryness while treating spots.
If the spot treatment you are using is formulated to soothe redness or nourish your skin, you can use it up to two times a day.
For best results using a spot treatment:
- Apply on clean skin after you’ve washed your face
- Only use one spot treatment
- NEVER layer spot treatments or use more than one spot treatment at a time
- After applying a spot treatment, leave your skin alone. Don’t touch your skin because that will prevent the spot treatment from working
- If a spot treatment makes your skin dry, red, or irritated, stops using it
Don’t get too close to the mirror
Have you ever notice that if you go really close to a mirror it automatically makes you want to pick blackheads and pimples?
There’s really no need to get that close to a mirror and if you’re trying to stop picking your face, you’ve got to put some space between you and the mirror.
Starting now, make it a habit to stay at least 1 to 2 feet (at least 1/2 meter) away from all mirrors. It doesn’t mean you have to avoid mirrors, just don’t get so close.
If you’re wondering what to do about when you want to apply makeup? Well, that could be the exception. I don’t know many people who pick or squeeze their pimples at the same time they’re applying makeup (usually you pick pimples before). So go ahead and use the mirror close up for makeup, but that’s it.
And if you have a magnifying mirror, and it tempts you to pick, put it away for a few months until you break the habit.
Heal your pimples faster with anti-inflammatory foods
We get impatient with our pimples and want to squeeze them in hopes that they will go away faster. I know this because I used to suffer from the worst cystic acne that would take months to get rid of (some pimples I’d have on my face for over 6 months at a time).
My diet at the time was horrendous. I lived off of coffee, sugar, processed foods, and a lot of dairy products. No wonder my skin was so bad and pimples would just sit on my face forever.
It was only when I started improving my diet by cutting out the junk and processed food, and replacing it with a lot of anti-inflammatory foods did the pimples start to heal so much faster. And when I say “faster”, I’m not talking a week or two for pimples to heal and disappear, but days. Some pimples and spots would disappear over night.
The foods that made the most difference in my skin were vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. Also, reducing anything that would stress or irritate my skin (like sugar and caffeine), helped tremendously too.
Another game changer for me has been drinking water infused with fresh mint (learn more about how mint water or spearmint tea can help acne.
Eating a healthy diet makes such a difference in your skin. And you will see, the better your skin gets, the less you’ll want to mess with it. Picking pimples is not worth the scars and marks it leaves behind.
And if you do have scars and marks from previously picking pimples, check out this blog post and video on how to fade acne scars with exfoliation.
Yes … benzoyl peroxide is evil! I used acne.org’s regimen products for a very short time and their big thing is benzoyl peroxide (and a very high percentage to boot). I stopped using it shortly after I started because it was literally burning my face. As a result, I immediately developed rosacea and a while later I developed seborrheic dermatitis as well. I’ve been suffering for about 7 years now and have never been able to reverse the problems. Oh, if only I could turn back the clock and had known better!!! I’ve read that benzoyl peroxide is actually banned in some countries.
What a nightmare Sheri, I’m sorry you went through that. I totally agree benzoyl peroxide is the worst. And unfortunately a lot of those acne systems contain it and are just too strong. A long time ago I tried the ProActive system and that too burn my skin, plus it discolour all my towels and clothes! Every time I washed my face if a few drops of water splashed on my clothes or towel it would bleach the fabric. If it could do that to the fabric, imagine what it was doing to my face.