It was the week before I was set to officiate my first wedding and my normally clear face was suddenly breaking out. A little background on my skin: it's pretty great. I was diagnosed with psoriasis at age 12 and since have been fortunate enough to get a handle on it and only have flare-ups when my anxiety is really bad. I never really understood when people would panic over a blemish or talk about cystic acne, I was genuinely #blessed when it came to my skin. Anyway, now that you hate me and my perfect skin, it's obvious that I was unprepared when two little pimples decided to come hang out under the bottom left side of my lip. Oh, you know, just a mere five days before my flight to my best friend's wedding.
I stared at my skin and panicked. Stared some more and then decided to send a panicking video to every beauty editor I've worked with. I sent three separate beauty editors various videos of me whining about my usually perfect skin that had decided to act up ahead of one of the most important skin days of the year for me. One laughed, one felt sorry for me, and the other sympathized. But all three had the same advice: Do NOT under any circumstances pop it!
You see, as I learned, once you pop the pimple it's a wound and what happens to wounds? Well, they need time to heal and scab and be kind of gross, which is why after you spend 10 minutes attacking your face, the next day it's darker and surrounded by flakey skin that even the best concealer can't help. Your pimple popping will lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and dark spots are almost impossible to get rid of fast. MarieClaire.com Beauty Editor Maya Allen had the most detailed rules for dealing with my rude visitors and for her I am so grateful because her tips actually worked! She sent four response videos to my one panic video that forever changed my life.
Your Pimple-Be-Gone Routine
Step 1: Wash your face. Obvious, but there are genuinely so many germs hiding in your pores (especially living in NYC), so start with a fresh face. I love GlamGlow's Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser because it removes all the oil from my face without making my skin feel dry or tight.
Step 2: After running a washcloth under warm water for 30 seconds, apply it directly on top of your pimple. The heat will open your pores, relax your skin, and also feel so good when pimples are painful. Emma Hardie's cleansing cloths are great because one side is microfiber to help remove product and the other is muslin to help provide a deep cleanse.
Step 3: Use a clay mask on the pimple. You can apply the clay mask all over if you want, but I decided to spot-treat my skin instead to focus on the area I was struggling with the most: my pimples. I was honestly a little scared to do a full mask and cause my skin to freak out more, so I dabbed the masks directly on top of my pimples.
Step 4: Go over pimples with a toner. I had never used a toner before this, but I had a GlamGlow toner and used that to go over my pimples. I felt like this helped clean my skin and remove any oils that may have lingered or may be adding to my pimples.
Step 5: Use a dark spot corrector. No matter what, you will have a bit of a dark spot, so a corrector helps minimize even the faintest mark. Okay, honestly, I am so mad I haven't been using a corrector because it helps remove dark spots significantly faster and I just had it sitting in my apartment.
Step 6: Seriously, do not touch it! I promise if you practice a little self-control (and maybe spend less time in front of a mirror), a few days later you will be fine! The pimples will go away and you'll be good to go.
In case you're thinking that you can follow some of these steps and skip a few others, I'm here to tell you, you cannot! I found out firsthand what happens when you don't follow the routine step-by-step. Basically, I did great with my first two pimples and two days later a new friend arrived in the middle of my eyebrows. Upon getting out of the shower about to start my pimple-be-gone routine I patted my face and the whitehead was so sensitive it popped. The damage had been done. The day of the wedding, I had zero traces of the two original pimples, but could see a dark spot and dry patch where the eyebrow pimple had once lived. Obviously dark spot corrector helped, but as I mentioned it's now a wound that will take time to heal. Below I've included the items I used during Pimplegate—good luck, and remember: Don't pop!