It’s 2019; I’m bright-eyed, my yoga mat has never seen so much use and I am feeling fiiiiiiine. Then it happens. UK winter weather happens. It goes from mild and damp to bleak, dry and cold and my face freaks out. It’s dry, tight and itchy, my pores are the size of the dinner plates, and I do what any sane person would do. I scrub those pores and slather on my moisturiser, only to wake up with Mount Etna on my chin, and a new contender for the heavyweight title on my nose. This one was so beastly, I could only liken it to the super volcano that’s just waiting under Yellowstone, waiting for the day it can erupt and end the world. The cause of my woes you ask? Blind pimples.
If you’ve been lucky enough to never be exposed to or had a blind pimple, they differ to other acne in that they form deep under the skin near the nerves, they are very tender to the touch and don’t have a traditional head that most pimples have. The thing they do have in common is that they are formed by the same things, i.e. clogged pores (from over moisturising in my case), overproduction of sebum etc.
Normally I would have panicked because I have a hen party in two weeks and as historically my BP’s like to dig their grimy little claws into my face as long as possible; I had visions of me rocking up with my +1’s and being banished to live under a bridge until they clear, which is silly because I have a tried and tested fool-proof plan to banish blind pimples in as little as three days. I just needed to stop staring at them and do something about it!
So, if you are looking for a way to get shot of your own blind pimples quickly, here is my five-step method for clearing them. Please note this only works because I have learnt not to pick at them. I have a recurring area I picked and squeezed so hard once it is now scarred so when you do see a blind pimple emerge:
- Don’t pick it! This is really important and the first thing to remember with blind pimples. When it’s red, shiny and angry without a head, squeezing is going to do more harm than good. Trust me, I learnt this the hard way!
- While it’s forming, treat it with an ice cube. Take a clean flannel/cloth, wrap the cube and apply to the area. I normally give it a good 5 minutes, break for 10 minutes and reapply for another 5, I normally repeat this three times, so three x 5-minute applications of the ice. For me, this helps reduce the immediate inflammation and swelling so it isn’t as painful.
- Steams and Swears: Having a shower or steaming the face will help open up the pores and encourage your pimples to come to a head. After steaming/showering, I take another clean cloth and dip it in not quite boiling water and apply to the affected area. Swearing and clawing at the air normally follow as said pimple is still a bit sore but please take care not to burn yourself! Wait for the cloth to cool and repeat 2-3 times. Still, no squeezing allowed.
- Cover Up and Sleep on it: After drying I like to use a Hydrocolloid Acne Plaster on the pimple and leave it overnight and let it do its thang. The ones I use are available here and they are instrumental in helping get rid of them, and I only found them last year! When I woke up this time I had the mutha of all whiteheads on my chin and I had a very slight red bump on my nose that wasn’t painful anymore.
- Where camps are divided: Once you had a head on a blind pimple it is easy to just pop it, clean it and call it a day, you have vanquished the monster. If you are gentle and you are thorough in cleaning it, then go for it, it is entirely up to you. Personally, I don’t pop them; if I see a head I leave it well alone and just pop another acne plaster on it and go about my day. They are kinda gross to look at but I find the plasters do a pretty good job of making them blend into your face. When I come back to it, after work, for example, I remove the plaster which nearly always ends up in the head popping so I gently clean it as the pus/goop/nastiness inside makes it way out. No pawing or picking just leave it. Once it’s fully dried out and normally flaking a little I apply Tropic Skincare’s Tamanu Balm to the area to promote healing and help prevent scarring.
So what would normally be 7-10 days of volcanic woe are all done and dusted in over in a long weekend!
I’m currently overhauling my entire skincare regime, trying to make better plastic-free, happier-skin-making, environmentally better choices, so watch this space! Follow my Instagram for updates and the #skincareIRL on the blog for more.
Please note, I’m not a medical professional or a Dermatologist these are just the ways I have managed them. If in doubt consult your GP!