These Are the 5 Things an Esthetician Never Wants You To Do
There are certain things better left to a professional: changing the oil in your car, diagnosing that odd ache, and yes, extracting that ripe pimple. As tempting as the latter may be, take it from an esthetician — there are certain things you should never do to your skin.
There are just some things you should never do when it comes to your skin. Take it from an esthetician. We see a multitude of sins and the vast majority of them are parked right at the intersection of “I didn’t know!” and “But I thought that was OK!”
So I’m here to tell you: These 5 things are not OK. And now you know.
1. Don’t pick those spots
It is so tempting to squeeze a juicy zit — there’s even YouTube channels and subreddits dedicated to the art of popping. But please, if you can, refrain from going on a DIY Dr. Pimple Popper binge. I know you think that popping a zit will result in immediate relief of the problem, but 99.99% of the time you’re only going to make things worse. There are safer ways to do extractions, but even then it should be left to the hands and fingers of the professionals.
Popping can make the zit worse in three distinct ways. Firstly by actually pushing the pus deeper into the skin, solidifying the infection. Secondly by causing inflammation and even burst capillaries in the surrounding skin. And thirdly you’ve now opened the door to more bacteria entering via the open hole you’ve left on your face.
If you see a whitehead, your best bet is to tackle it with a hydrocolloid dressing; it will suck the pus out with zero squeezing or skin trauma. It’s also just as satisfying to peel that sucker off in the morning and inspect all the glorious junk collected on the bandage. You might even find yourself proudly texting your bestie with a picture of it accompanied by the eyes emoji. 👀
2. Don’t “dry out” your acne
Did you know you can treat your acne without turning your face into the Atacama Desert (that’s the driest place on earth, worth a Google). While it may seem like drying your face out will help with those pesky pimples, it actually ends up causing more eruptions. Once your moisture barrier is gone, there’s nothing to protect your skin from the acne-causing bacteria proliferating. You need to keep that moisture barrier strong, to keep bacteria and any other unwanted guys out. If you’re on a particularly harsh anti-acne prescription course, take special care to keep your skin in well hydrated shape.
3. Do not tan
Ever. Not ever. Not even once. Not even “I need a base tan so I won’t burn this summer.” The hell you do! You know how you can not burn this summer? A healthy, consistent dose of sunscreen, long sleeves when you can tolerate it, hats, and quality sunglasses.
Trust me, it is so much easier to prevent sun damage than it is to treat it. Now that I’m into my 30s I am paying for my youthful ignorance about sun protection. Let me be your cautionary tale! Cover up always! Even cloudy days won’t save you from those rays.
4. Don’t scrub your face off
Look, I know you’ve been partial to that damn St Ives Apricot Scrub since high school, but it’s time to throw it in the garbage, sis. I know you think your skin is “just fine!” when you use it, but it’s really, really, not. Those sharp little nutshell bastards cause microscopic tears in the surface of your skin. Those tears are welcome mats for bacteria to enter and set up shop, like the gentrifiers in Brooklyn opening artisanal mayonnaise stores. Don’t let them in — they ruin everything!
You absolutely do not need to manually exfoliate every day. At the very absolutely most it should be once a week, and even then I don’t really recommend it. See my article on exfoliation for more.
5. Don’t sleep in your makeup
OMG. Please, please don’t! Look, I get it. You’re exhausted, you’ve just come in from a long day at work (or even just came home drunk from the club — I’ve been there), and you can’t imagine having the strength to stand at the sink and wash. Just push yourself and do it. You will not only feel a hundred times better afterward, you will be doing your skin a huge favor.
Sleeping in your makeup is horrible for your skin, and not for the old wives’ tale “your skin needs to breathe” reason either. It’s because it causes a proliferation of bacteria. The makeup also transfers onto your sheets and pillows, which then become a breeding ground for the same thing.
Just do a super quick version of your regular skincare if you’re running low on energy or f—ks to give. Makeup wipes, face wash, serum, lotion, bed. That’s less than three minutes! You can do it!
Have you ever done any of these esthetician no-no’s? Will you try to stop now, or is it too hard? Let’s talk about it!