The Right Way to Pop a Pimple

We’re all guilty of picking at our skin and popping a pimple from time to time. If, and only if, you have a pimple that has fully come to a head and is “ripe,” (this doesn’t happen with blackheads), is it okay to remove the whitehead, as long as you follow these instructions.

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Make a cup of chamomile tea and let it cool. While it’s cooling, celebrity aesthetician Julia March says to prep your skin by washing with a gel cleanser or one that contains salicylic acid. “You can use more of a natural cleanser, too, that contains white willow bark extract like Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Purifying Gel Cleanser ($10)."


Soak a cotton ball in the tea and hold it over the pimple. “The tea should be warm, not hot,” says March. “Repeat this step with a new cotton ball, making sure not to double dip.” Soak the spot for about two minutes.


Wrap a tissue around your fingers and position them away from the center of the blemish (more toward the healthy skin). Gently—that’s the key here—push upward. “Don’t force it or you will damage your skin,” says March. Press up no more than three times, each time moving further away from the inflamed spot.


Once the pus has been expelled, take a clean cotton ball and soak it in the tea, wiping the area clean. Soak the cotton ball on the pimple for about a minute, again always using a new cotton ball and never double dipping.


Apply a colloidal silver antibiotic treatment like Jack Black Mr. Fix It ($20) or Curad Silver Solution ($7). “This will help the blemish heal faster,” says March.