I’ve recently linked my urges to pick at my skin to stress. It has a lot to do with the release. It’s really similar to bulimia--the act of getting it all out is really very gratifying and leaves you feeling relaxed if not a bit accomplished.
I’m fascinated by the whole thing--really! I’d like to write more on the subject. I don’t really understand why it’s so vehemently avoided in the beauty industry, other than everybody agreeing that it’s terrible--TERRIBLE--to do. Although my recent facials and also my recent KILLING IT at a white-blonde bleach job (another thing you’re supposed to leave to the pros), I’ve begun to rethink the whole thing. Kind of. I mean, there’s the right way to do it and lots of wrong ways, but are at-home extractions always. So. Wrong?
I was intrigued by Clean & Clear's marketing of an after-pop potion. (Although I can't find it online now. Was it even Clean & Clear? Does anybody know what I'm even talking about?) At least they’re acknowledging that MOST PEOPLE pick at their skin. Do you know how much R&D goes into a mass-marketed beauty product like that?! Don’t you people watch Shark Tank? They wouldn’t have made it unless they’d make BANK telling chicks, “Hey, we know you pop your zits. We don’t think you’re disgusting.”
We’ve gotten off track, back to ME. Before I left for Seattle (it’s awesome, thanks for wondering), I let myself get stressed out (a little light reading over in the xoJane comments section--WTF, by the way) and sat examining my face in my billion-x vanity mirror, picking and prodding. Legs, too; they’re super meth-y looking at the moment.
I don’t document these sessions, but I’m pretty sure I end up with maybe less, but more extreme pore cloggage when it’s all said and done. Case in point: the inflamed mounds on my chin, to the left of my nose, and now one that’s let its anger surface on the opposite side of my nose. Symmetry--like a butterfly!
I knew the entire time that I wasn’t going about it the right way. I didn’t cover my fingers with tissue and no, I don’t think I washed my hands either. Other tips to come, but this article is advocating not popping your zits, so we’ll get back to that.
When I was living in Austin, I grew my nails super-long out of my inherent tendency toward being a babe. It was so hot! I still think that long natural nails are the ultimate, but what’s really great about them is that they make picking at your pores suck.
Even if they’re super strong, they’ll bend slightly when pushed. Short nails just have better leverage for popping zits! Long nails WILL CUT YOU, too. They’re, like, tres animalistic; they’re made for destroying things. Like kitten claws. And no matter how adorable and sexy that kitten is bouncing around the grass chasing fireflies, it might scratch you and give you deadly blood poisoning, which just happened to a friend of a friend of a friend. For real!
I met this kitten yesterday, Gepetto. He’s not the cat with the blood poison disease, but he did bounce around the garden straight outta Bambi. He was totally black and ominous-looking but kind of just melted like an idiot when you picked him up. Like, how did it know that I wouldn’t kidnap it and take it away from it’s perfect FARM life in the middle of this NATIONAL PARK FOREST place? Or make kitten burgers out of it?
We didn’t eat the kitten, but I’m pretty sure these people killed and ate one of their goats before we got there. My dumb intern got the words “slaughter” and “sacrificed” mixed up on the way over and had me totally not down with the idea of going to play croquet all afternoon at some goat-sacrificing pagan compound in the middle of nowhere with ZERO phone reception. Really, they were just trying to BBQ some hella goat meat in sacrifice to their divine gut lords--nothing freakier.
My huge chin zit that’s been festering since Wednesday just started receding while we sat around the campfire. It was the first moment since it came into being that I was glad at my choice not to try and squeeze it open to relieve the pressure and hopefully end its life for always. Sure, that route might have worked, but crusty puss scabs are way grosser than a little, or in my case pretty big, bump.
Let’s face it, though: it’s “little” in the big scheme of things. Like, during an alien invasion, which according to political Canadian duder is already happening, you won’t even notice your zits. (Yes, I already tweeted this. Deal.)
Until that time, a big part of the reason I’ve been able to deal with my pissed-off pores is my having long, ladylike nails. As I go in for a closer face inspection, raising my fingers to prod around, I notice my nail length and realize that they have no business being near delicate facial skin and underground clog matter.
So, inspired by my recent at-home extraction failure, I’ll be leaving my nails long and my pores alone. If you struggle with compulsive pore-picking, I highly suggest making it hard for yourself by growing some long, sexy fingernails. It’s kind of a win-win.