Easy as 1, 2, 3: The Three-Step Pimple Fix


By Emma John

What’s bulbous, yellow and full of sheeeet? No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump… Pimples! As much as these stressful little guys may make us want to run to Canada, they can now heal as speedily as their white heads often appear. It’s as simple as 1-2-3.

But first! To pop or not to pop? I have some mixed feelings here, grounded in personal experience. If a particular pimple is lying low, doing its thing, then let it be. Your prodding fingers will probably just irritate it more, you risk scarring your beautiful face, and if your angle is off, you may even push the infection deeper into your pore. Luckily, steps two and three in this article address below the surface breakouts. That said, if an aggressive pimple is on a rampage to break through, popping can help speed up the process. Use a warm compress or a facial steam to open up your pores and gently squeeze out any gunk. Immediately follow with the next three easy steps!

1. Gently rinse away any “debris” immediately with cold water. You want to get any bacteria left on site off of your face as quickly as possible.

2. Mix a small amount of baking soda with a few tiny drops of water until you have a thick paste. Dab this mixture on the pimple and leave as a mask for 5-10 minutes. Essentially, the alkaline baking soda is going to dry out whatever is in your pore. In fact, baking soda is so alkaline that it will totally dry out your skin, so try to limit its contact with your skin to small, concentrated locales and don’t make a habit of overexposing your skin to it. That said, some people use baking soda as a full face mask, not just spot treatment. Feel free to experiment with this if you have more than a handful of pimples that you’re healing, but again, it will dry out your face. I recommend following this full face mask with a natural oil moisturizer such as coconut, grapeseed, or jojoba oil.

3. Hold an ice cube to the swollen site for about 5 minutes to reduce swelling and redness.

And an optional fourth step: Dab a drop or two of tea tree oil directly on the zit to prevent future infection. Be forewarned that tea tree oil has a strong medicinal smell – some love it, some don’t – and that this smell is there for a reason: it is strong and powerful. So please use it with care.

Emma JohnEmma John is an artist, plant-lover, and skateboard designer. You can view her work at www.emmajohn.org and Instagram handle @ej88888.