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Cheat Sheet – How to soften spots

Zits. Pustules. Papules. Wheals. Comedones. Milia. There are lots of things that happen to the skin – especially on the face – on a regular basis.

This is purely for:

SPOTS.

Acne? I’m not talking to you. Blackheads? Nor you. Pustules? Nope.  I’m talking about your average spot that pops up occasionally – you know it’s coming – you can feel it, it started with a bump, felt sore, then got a little red, hurt a little more, then you see a faint hint of something that could be a head. A little white may show underneath.

And then, typically, if you are the average person, you:

  • Stab it (leading to scarring)
  • Poke it (absolutely nothing)
  • Squeeze it (if too early, will bruise, then potentially scar)
  • Load it with tea tree oil (no need – it’s probably not bacterial)
  • Load it with spot treatment (see above)
  • or GOD FORBID – put toothpaste on it (please no)

Toothpaste. Paste for TEETH. On a spot. No.

Next time you feel one of these mothers coming up you will need the following:

  • Your hands
  • Your moisturiser/a good facial oil
  • Your concealer
  • Patience

Repeat after me: moisturise, massage, moisturise. Repeat. Moisturise, Massage, MOISTURISE.

Moisturise the area like it’s going out of fashion. Yes really. This is particularly good for those big on-the-chin once-a-month spots.
Moisturising it does a few things:

  • Softens the area around the spot – how often have you destroyed the surrounding area of a zit because you treated the area of the said zit so abusively?

And then either:

  • makes the spot retreat entirely
    OR
  • brings it to a head quicker – in which case you have my permission to pop.

Pop pop away. Have at it.

Words of warning:

  • A ‘popable’ spot shouldn’t really hurt when popping – it should be satisfying
  • If it hurts – stop – it’s too soon and you will bruise and then possibly scar
  • Stop at the first sign of blood – you’re about to scar
  • Never, ever, ever try and pop a milia – this technique may eventually make them go or disperse on the surface. If they don’t, get them removed – professionally. Milia can only be taken out safely by piercing the skin – and a lot of therapists are not trained in milia removal. Ask before you let them attack. And don’t bother trying yourself – all you’ll get for your trouble is a bleeding hole, a bruise – and the milia waving at you from underneath when the dust has settled. And take note – if you do suffer from milia you need to up the hydration level of your creams – less oil, more water-based ones.

So, the next time you feel Mount Vesuvius brewing under the skin – give it a chance, treat it with care, and save the Crest for your mouth. Please.