Pimple picking, were all guilty of it.
Because let’s face it zits suck. I know, but it’s almost like a rite of passage, see zit and pick at it.
But unless you want permanent pigmentation or scarring, you may want to stop that pimple picking in it’s tracks.
Why Picking your Pimples is a Big No
Chronic picking can injure the skin, spreading bacteria and possibly causing scars.
Scraping your skin with your nails is an easy way for all of those nasty germs to get into the skin, causing infection.
Picking causes inflammation which cause post inflammatory hyper pigmentation, darkening the skin in the area of the pimple. Your best bet is to treat your pimple with a spot treatment.
Alpha hydroxy acids or benzyl peroxide are often used as a spot treatment, to flush out debris in the follicle, but I’m not a big fan, long term these ingredients can be to harsh and undermine the integrity of the protective barrier, causing more problems.
Try looking for a formula containing vitamin A such as retinol sleep complex instead, this clever vitamin is often referred to as the normalising vitamin, as it gently slows the flow of oil to the skin,helping to return your skin to a healthy balance.
Pop don’t Pick
But what if you just can’t resist, how do you damage control that post pick? Well your going to have to treat your pimple popping like a surgical procedure:
- Cut your nails short, making sure your hands are super clean
- Next take two tissues and wrap them around your index fingers
- Gently press down on the pimple until it pops, if nothing is happening GIVE IT UP, trying to force that pimple can lead to pigmentation or scarring
- Now you have caused trauma to the skin you need to treat it with some TLC, dab on natural antiseptics like propolis or tea tree to compound the area
Anatomy of a Pimple
In order to treat your pimple successfully, you really need to understand it’s anatomy. Bothersome overactive oil glands, can cause a build up of sticky skin cells and oil, which clump together in the bottom of a follicle.
In the beauty industry, we refer to this clumping as micro-comedo, which are the beginning of acne lesions.
Because these sneaky little comedones reside under the skin, they can’t be seen by the naked eye so we tend to ignore them; but bubbling below the surface is the start of the pimple, as more dead cell build up and oil build up in the follicle.
Blackheads: If this follicle opening dilates during this build up, the sebum on the surface oxidises and darkens causing a blackhead.
White heads: If the follicle does not dilate, the sebum cannot oxidises and instead becomes a closed comedone.
When Pimples Become Acne
Now at the bottom of all of our follicles these tiny P.acnes bacteria reside.
It’s normal for this bacteria to be here, they are always dividing and making new bacteria, in a healthy follicle they are constantly being killed by oxygen.
When the oxygen is blocked from the follicle, because of the oil and cellular build, it makes the perfect breeding ground for P.acnes, which bubble away below the surface, causing inflammation and infection.
P.acnes get really busy breaking down sebum into simple fatty acids, a nutritious food source for the bacteria; the more they do this the more the follicle becomes inflamed with bacteria, dead skin cells and sebum
The follicle gets so full to the seams it bursts open, all of which takes place in the dermis the living layer of the skin, which is full of blood vessels.
In this blood are our lovely immune cells; when the follicle wall breaks down the blood rushes to the follicle and floods it, along with these immune cells that are there to try to fight the bacteria.
During this fight many white blood cells and bacteria are killed, the dead white blood cells pile up in the follicle along with fluids and debris and form a pustule, which is recognised by that white head that you just want to squeeze.
Pus is actually just a build up of dead skin cells.
So hopefully I’ve convinced you not to pick or pop those pimples, instead treat your skin with the care it deserves, with gentle formulas containing intelligent ingredients, that are antibacterial, anti inflammatory and healing.
Equilibrium balancing gel, is a great example of a moisturiser that has been formulated to prevent the spread of bacteria in the follicular wall.
The gel base is hydrating without clogging the pores, offering the much needed protection that an oily skin requires, helping to bring your skin back to a state of balance, so it can begin to gently heal itself naturally, returning your skin to a healthy state.