Why Do We Poke & Pop Our Pimples?

You know it’s bad – it’s both the worst and the most common of skin sins. Worse, it always leaves the skin blotchy and irritated. Just why do people pop their pimples?
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At the most basic level, we having a sneaking suspicion that the urge to poke and pop is purely instinctual: something doesn’t belong and it needs to be removed. For starters, we clean and scrub on a daily basis (or so we hope!) to get rid of the day’s dirt -- making popping seem no different.

Only it is. Popping damages the skin tissue and for some people, it becomes chronic, not unlike a lifelong addiction. There is a common belief that popping pimples shortens the lifespan of a breakout; this could not be further from the truth. Once you've inflicted this sort of damage to your skin, you've opened yourself up to a number of issues. The first is that you might rupture the follicle (pore) wall, thereby spreading infected matter and causing more breakouts. In addition, your skin must now heal from its injury, which very often takes much longer than simply waiting for breakouts to clear using the right acne treatments.

Our tip? Put that magnified mirror away. Here’s the thing: mirrors aren’t as accurate as we think they are. (Take Cher from Clueless, for example: she believed Polaroid cameras were much more reliable than mirrors.) Even in a regular mirror, we choose to see what we want to or think we see and often that means our “flaws” become more apparent. This looks a little crooked, that looks a little red, this zit is the size of my forehead, those blackheads are humongous! Sound familiar?

That’s your head speaking. When in the bathroom, do as Cher does and snap a picture. Post it on Instagram, even (tag us! Nothing makes us smile more than your beautiful complexions!). Resist the urge to put that photo through a filter and just look at your reflection for a moment. See? You’re really not as red as you think you are, and no, those blemishes aren’t as apparent (or horrific) as they seemed. That’s what’s really there. And that’s what people truly see.

The moral of the story? Smile, and that’s all the world will ever see.

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(image via)

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