Oil buildup happens. And even though we know that we’re not supposed to pick at blemishes, it’s nearly impossible to resist going in—especially when they’ve surfaced. So rather than preach about why you shouldn’t do it, we’re going to give you some handy pointers on how to properly do it (and minimize the potential for scarring). Annet King, an aesthetician and VP of global education for Elemis, shows the way.
What you need: Two clean tissues and a steady hand.
What you do: After washing your face, wrap your two pointer fingers in tissue. Position them on either side of the spot and gently pull the skin away from the site before applying gentle pressure down into your face. (Don’t just haphazardly press the two sides together.)
Can’t I just use some Q-tips? Although Q-tips are also hygienic, they don’t give you as much control as your own two hands do. But never go straight in with your fingers. The tissue creates a soft barrier between your skin and your fingernails (which often have dirt and bacteria trapped underneath them), so there’s less risk for contamination.
So why do I have to stretch the skin out beforehand? Pulling the skin out and away from the spot before squeezing in ensures that you’re getting all of the surrounding oil out. OK, now wipe the area with a clarifying toner and keep your hands off for the remainder of the night.