The BIG Fight
I found myself quite curious and a little disturbed about this new beauty trend that seems to be just everywhere… pimple popping?
Yup, it’s a phenomenon that is apparently both appalling and appealing with a touch of addiction thrown in for good measure. Enter “Pimple Popping” into your search engine and you will be amazed by the sheer volume of videos, some even advertising pops to relaxing music! So being naturally curious I watched some to see if it really was “all that”. If I am being honest, there was a grotesque fascination initially however except for a few poor people with terrible cystic acne, the bulk of the content was the removal of blackheads and whiteheads. There were some different removal techniques using suction and extractors, but the most common technique seems to involve stabbing the blackhead with something sharp and then squeezing.
So, this pimple popping phenomenon is not really ground breaking, I think most teenagers at some point have stabbed and squeezed. After all a blackhead is not really a pimple it is essentially a small, dark bump or comedone that appears on the skin, often on the face and neck. Comedones occur when the pores in the skin become plugged or clogged with dead skin cells and an oily, protective substance known as sebum. The top of the blackhead, which is visible on the surface of the skin, has a dark colour caused by the dead skin cells in the open pore reacting with oxygen in the air and turning black, forming a blackhead.
Age and hormonal changes are an important factor in the formation of blackheads. Whilst they are most common during puberty, when the change in hormone levels triggers a spike in sebum production, they can appear at any age. The causes are varied from blocking or covering pores with cosmetics and clothing, heavy sweating, shaving and other activities that open the hair follicles, high humidity, even stress can contribute to blackheads. Your best defence is a good offence, a robust cleansing regimen and cosmetic products suited to your skin type will protect against the damage that stab and squeeze can cause.
The golden rules to banishing blackheads
1. A daily cleansing routine for your skin type. Oily skin can get worse with over stimulating and scrubbing which can result in excess sebum production, so look for a purifying and mattifying cleanser that will remove excess oil and pore-clogging impurities. (Justine Oil Control range). Normal Combination Skin is tricky as the cleanser needs to be moisturising for dry areas but purifying and mattifying on the T-zone. (Dailycare Balancing Range). Dry skin is very delicate with small pores, so the correct cleanser should be nourishing and gentle to maintain moisture levels. (Dailycare Hydrating Range)
2. Always use an exfoliator specifically formulated for your skin type. Use a product that is formulated with natural exfoliants such as fruit pips and kernels to protect the environment. Gently massage in a circular motion and be sure to rotate your hands outwards from the centre of your face. Focus on the nose and forehead, as these areas of the face are particularly prone to sebum, or oil, production. Lastly, don’t over-do it, over-scrubbing can do more harm than good. (Justine Fortigrain Facial Scrub)
3. Always use non-comedogenic cosmetic products that do not clog pores, keep the pores clear and open and reduce the build-up of dead skin and never go to bed with your makeup on!
5. To dry your skin after cleansing, dab don’t rub to ensure any loose surface cells or debris is removed.
The Justine range of cleansers is perfect for picking a fight with blackheads and there is a cleanser to suit every skin type. My personal favourite is a little unorthodox, I am completely addicted to the FortiGrain Cleansing Oil. This product is a rich yet lightweight oil that is formulated with botanical oils including rice bran and sesame seed which are rich in vitamins, so it conditions as it cleanses. As a cleanser it is applied directly to dry skin and rinsed off with warm water, but it can even be used as a make up remover when used with a cotton ball. Since switching to an oil cleanser for winter my skin is smoother, more radiant and stays moisturised. There is not a blackhead or blemish in sight unless I decide to tune in for some “popping” action.