We’ve all been there – you wake up one morning and discover that a pimple has appeared on your face, and the temptation to squeeze it is very, very real. You might think that it’ll help it go down or make it easier to cover up with makeup, but according to one expert, it’s actually the worst thing you can do.

Sam Cinkir, CEO of hair and skin specialists Este Medical Group, has given us the low down on exactly why you should avoid popping your pimples – and the results are probably not what you were expecting. From scabbing and scarring to increasing infections, there are all sorts of issues that can arise from picking at or squeezing your spots, but thankfully there are also plenty of alternative solutions to make them less visible, too.

Skincare expert explains why squeezing your spots can actually be doing more harm than good

First things first, why exactly is it so bad to squeeze them? Sam said: “Squeezing spots can be very tempting as a short-term fix, especially if it’s in a particularly prominent place such as the nose or if it is visibly filled with pus. But it is strongly advised not to do this as it can make the problem worse and cause damage to the skin and tissue.”

He added: “This can lead to more widespread infection, increased inflammation, acne scars and cysts and to even bigger spots than were there in the first place.” Spots typically form when you get excessive amounts of dead skin cells, bacteria or sebum building up which then become trapped in a pore.

The result is a raised red bump that often has a white head on it, indicating it has filled up with pus. By squeezing a spot, you can actually end up forcing that bacteria back into the pore and forcing it into the lower layer of your skin, causing even more inflammation, redness or even infections, not to mention risking scabbing and even long-term scarring.

Sam suggests applying ice to the breakout to help reduce redness and inflammation

Although they can show up anywhere, they usually rear their ugly head in places that have sebum-producing glands like your face, shoulders and chest, so keeping these areas extra clean can help get rid of potential pimples. However, even the best laid skincare plans can’t stave off particularly persistent spots, so it’s always good to know how to tackle them when they show up.

Sam advised: “Patience is the key when it comes to dealing with spots and pimples, and consider tried and tested methods such as over-the-counter topical medicines or dermatological treatments. I know it can be incredibly frustrating to sport unsightly blemishes, but it’s important to consider the risk that you might actually make the problem even worse.”

Rather than popping them, Sam suggests applying ice to the area to reduce the swelling and redness, before washing it with lukewarm water and soap or your go-to gentle cleanser. For more advanced issues like acne, he also recommends a course of LED phototherapy treatments at one of the Este Medical Group Clinics.

However if you want to treat the issue at home, you can shop some of our favourite spot-busting beauty buys that help not only treat pimples, but can help stop you from picking at them whilst also making covering them up easier, too.

Shop them here:

Skin Choice Pimple Patches, £13.99 here

Skin Choice's Breakout Patches help heal spots whilst stopping you from picking at them

Skin Choice’s Pimple Patches are the perfect way to get rid of the temptation to pick or squeeze your spots. You just need to apply the almost invisible patches over the troublesome area and leave them to work their magic.

They contain hydrocolloid technology which absorbs the impurities and draws them out, whilst also protecting your breakouts against bacteria – and wandering fingers. You can also buy them in a range of sizes including XL which are perfect for large areas like upper backs or chests.

Fenty Blemish Defeat'r Bha Spot-Targeting Gel, £21 here

Fenty's new spot-targeting gel helps banish the appearance of blemishes

If you love a full face of makeup but hate trying to cover breakouts, Fenty’s Blemish Defeat’r is for you. The salicylic acid-rich gel texture dries down quickly and creates a smooth, invisible barrier over your blemishes that makes makeup application a breeze.

You can wear it on its own or underneath your makeup, and it also helps clarify, reduce surface oil and protect your blemishes from bacteria. It even stops makeup from worsening the pimple – an absolute must-have.

Tropic Skincare’s Undercover Skin-Enhancing Concealer, £22 here

Tropic Skincare has just launched a brand new skincare-infused concealer

When it comes to covering up your breakouts, the best way to tackle it is by combining your skincare and makeup into one handy product. Tropic Skincare’s Undercover concealer is the perfect solution, with an ingredients list that includes arnica to repair your skin, centella for soothing, niacinamide to strengthen and brighten, and hyaluronic acid for an added boost of hydration.

As well as treating and healing your blemishes, the concealer’s full coverage formula makes it easy to cover them up too. Simply dot it around the area then use a brush or your finger to blend it over your pimple for a flawless finish.

By Editor