Sooyoung may be winking, but her skin sure ain't "blind"! Image: Instagram
There are pimples, and then there are blind pimples. The difference is sort of like that between soldiers and snipers – blind pimples are absolutely killer.
So what are they, exactly? Well, the “blindness” of said spots refers to how they don’t come to a “head”; rather, these lumps lodge themselves deep within the skin, ballooning in pressure and becoming tender and hot as hell. In short, they’re without question the very worst kind of zit.
If you’re “lucky” enough to encounter one of these pea-sized monsters, here’s the one non-negotiable rule to follow: Never, ever squeeze. “Blind spots, or cystic acne, can linger for weeks, but under no circumstances should you attempt to extract them,” warns Nicolas Travis, Singapore founder of grooming label Allies of Skin. “You’ll only end up driving the abscess deeper into the skin, delaying the healing process and opening up new avenues of infection.” Scary stuff.
Think you might be developing a Big One but not sure what to do? In keeping with the critical nature of this crisis of the complexion, let’s get straight to it.
Pfft, these K-Pop stars and their humble-bragging. Image: Instagram
TIP #1. Flush out the enemy. First order of business: You need to lure the bugger out of its hidey-hole. Once you’ve detected a burgeoning blemish lurking just out of reach, head straight for a clay mask to draw the detritus to the skin’s surface for easy “popping”.
What to use? I’m all about Kate Somerville’s excellent new Eradikate Mask, an intriguing self-activating treatment that works itself into a fine froth on dry skin – no elbow grease required on your part.
The self-foaming suds ain’t spectacle for spectacle’s sake, either: The frothing action is said to sop up gunk and grease while driving the good stuff, which include micro-particles of antibacterial sulfur and a brew of botanical and honey extracts, deep into your pores.
TIP #2. Use charcoal for clear improvement. When it comes to blind acne, you’ll probably need to layer your masks strategically for maximum blemish-busting benefits. Do as I do and top up your antibacterial clay mask with a cool charcoal concoction, which is one of nature’s humble little miracles, really: Nothing quite beats charcoal at getting under the skin and clearing out the riff-raff clogging up your pores.
If you have a pimple that refuses to resolve itself into a pus-filled head for popping, try dabbing Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask directly onto the offending spot. The intercontinental buffet of Irish moor mud, Japanese hijiki black seaweed, volcanic ash and activated charcoal combine to pack a powerful pimple-purging punch. Bonus: The inky infusion is blacker than the blackest coal, making application an amusing opportunity for a #crazy mask selfie.
TIP #3. Proceed to pop – but only when the pimple’s ready. If all goes well, your masks should have siphoned the underlying pus and such to the surface to form a largish whitehead. When you’re able to see liquid pooling at the head of the zit, it’s good to go!
Here’s how. Using the pads of your index fingers or the wide end of an ace at-home tool like Sephora’s Blemish Extractor, press gently around the pimple’s periphery. Some popping pointers: Resist digging your nails into the flesh; and cease and desist if the head doesn’t pop after a few seconds (that just means it’s not as “ripe” as we want it to be.)
TIP #4. Mop up the gooey aftermath. Succeeded in bursting the blemish? Congrats, you’re well on your way to clear skin; just some final odds and ends to take care of. Using a cotton swab, whisk away the contents of the zit, then dab an antibacterial agent onto the oozing crater to inhibit infection.
Finish by patting a soothing salve all over your face; new K-Beauty kid on the block Heynature has a healing herbal hydrator that’s ace for alleviating the angry redness of post-acne skin.
And you’re done! Follow these steps and you should hit the spot, so to speak. If this works for you, do me a favour and bookmark this page for easy reference.
Even better, share this story with your beauty buddies; I’ll enjoy an extra pat on the head from my boss. Sending all of you good skin vibes, and sayonara, suckers!
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask, $107, is available at all Sephora stores. For more information, visit www.peterthomasroth.com.sg and follow Sephora Singapore on Facebook and Twitter.