How to pop your zits the right way

OK, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: Popping pimples is a bad habit. It can lead to major scarring, so if you can resist the urge and artfully pile on the cover-up, you should definitely do what you can to leave the bump in tact. But when you've got a big one basically taking over your face, it can be hard to leave it alone. Here's how to do it right:

1. Make sure your zit is ready

Don’t pop unless you can see (eww) the pus at the tip of the pimple. If you go at it before hand, you’re leaving yourself open to infection and an ever bigger bump that’ll hang around for ages.

2. Wash your hands 

Removing any dirt or bacteria from your hands is crucial—otherwise, you can leave yourself open to infection. Cleansing the area around the zit with an alcohol pad or hydrogen peroxide is also a good call.

3. Heat things up

Use a warm washcloth to gently prep your zit. Applying a small amount of heat relaxes the pore and softens the pus contained in the pimple—that way, the extraction will be as painless as possible. 

4. Avoid finger-to-pimple contact

Grab a tissue to ensure that your nails don’t damage your skin. With the tissue as a barrier, gently squeeze your pimple with the pads of your fingers, not your nails, until it pops. Push out all of the pus. See a red dot or clear liquid when you pull the tissue away? That pimple is officially popped, so leave it alone.

Note: If your pimple isn’t bursting easily, leave it alone. Putting more force on the surrounding skin could cause blood vessels close to the surface to pop. Not pretty. 

5. Treat the spot

Now that your zit has been popped, it’s time to show it some love. Once you’re finished, clean the area again with a bit of rubbing alcohol or a cleansing pad, then top with an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin or a spot treatment. Do not cover with moisturizer or makeup until the popped skin has dried up and healed.

What are your skincare secrets? Are you a popper? Let us know in the comments.  

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by Mallory Walker | 2/1/2016