There's just something about that vanity mirror that allows even the tiniest little blemishes to appear huge. Whoever invented it, must have been employed by the beauty industry and known that that mirror by itself could sell thousands of pounds worth of beauty products.
What are blemishes?
If you have oily skin, I bet you have (at least at one stage) had either enlarged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, spots or some combination of all of those. Because oily skin unfortunately goes hand in hand with these unwelcome guests.
Most of what we consider blemishes are caused by bacteria and sebum.
- Too much sebum for your pores to handle? Enlarged pores.
- Sebum that can't seem to make up its mind over whether it wants to stay in or wants out and is now making friends with oxygen? Blackheads.
- Sebum that is increasing under your skin with no way to get out? Whiteheads.
- Sebum and bacteria that are both increasing under your skin with no way to get out and are causing inflammation? Spots.
While none of us wants to have blemishes on our face, sometimes they do appear, for what can sometimes feel like no reason at all. And unfortunately when inspected from a close distance, most of these blemishes look irresistible. Just a little squeeze, just this once...
Yep, I've been there too. It's always just one, but before you know it your skin looks like someone swabbed you in the face with a chicken pox mitt. So you just turn down the lights and hope no one notices in the dim light.
Well, here's the thing. They won't stop before you stop. They being the blemishes.
How to stop them?
Getting blemish-free skin is obviously not as simple as pulling those fingers away from your skin, but it is a great start. Seriously. Because the fact that your skin is erupting, means that it is already fighting some pretty serious internal beasts. (The factors that cause our skin issues are almost all internal, although they can be treated both internally and externally).
So you adding to those beasts through your dirty (sorry, but most likely true) fingers? It is not helping. It may look like it is in the moment - that glorious feeling of finally getting that blackhead out is really something, I know. But the bacteria in your fingers, on the skin around the affected area, and in the sebum itself are now free to roam all over that open wound and make things a lot worse. Multiply this by the number of blemishes you squeeze in one binge and your skin is going to be rallying a battalion to get rid of those baddies. And there you go. Skin that is very red and probably worse than before and certainly more sore than it was.
So how to stop squeezing? Here's what helps.
- Hide that vanity - place all magnifying mirrors at least 1 meter away (e.g. with a sink in between you and the mirror) so that you can't see in super-sized detail. No one stands that close to you anyway
- As soon as you take your makeup off, immediately start your skincare routine so that any popping action will be thwarted by the fear of wiping off all that precious skincare
- Wash your face in dimmed lighting if possible, so that your skin looks better and the temptation to attack is lower
Because the sooner you stop, the sooner your skin will start to heal, and the lower your urge to squeeze will be. You just need to put those wheels in motion.