I can't be alone in admitting that one of my favorite pastimes is sitting in front of my magnifying vanity mirror and staring deeply into each and every pore for something worth popping. The obsession began when I was a teenager and grew with fervor as I watched YouTube videos of experts extracting the grossest of things . . . I agree it's gross, but it's seriously addicting.
But all of this came to a halt when I started getting professional facials. Esthetician after esthetician warned me about the havoc I was wreaking on my precious skin by putting two fingers together and pressing. They said that because I was still in my 20s, I was lucky enough to have time to reverse some of the damage I had already caused, but that if I kept this habit up, I'd wind up scarred and hyperpigmented to the max.
There are a few reasons picking is a problem. Not only does it cause the inflammation to become worse and spread the acne elsewhere on your skin, but you also damage the skin around the pimple when you try to pop it, explains Bella Schneider, celebrity facialist and founder of LaBelle Day Spas & Salons.
Picking your face can also cause discoloration or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. While these darker areas eventually go away, they can take a long time to heal if you're not treating them properly. Already picked and need a remedy? Here, we asked top skin experts to share their best-kept secrets for caring for the side effects of overpicking.