Monday, 4 October 2010

Cheat Sheet - 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:


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/cream shows underneath.

And THEN if you are the average female, you:
  • Stab it (leading to ...scar)
  • Poke it (absolutely nothing)
  • Squeeze it (if too early, will bruise, then 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. Genius.

I have reached the point of no return.

So here is my gift to you. You can also use this for milia (the little hard, white bumps usually found around the lower eye, upper cheek area).

Next time you feel one of these mothers coming up (or get a milia) you will need the following:
  • Your hands
  • Your moisturiser
  • Your concealer
  • Patience
Repeat after me: moisturise, massage, moisturise. Repeat. Moisturise, Massage, MOISTURISE.

Moisturise the area like its 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
  • 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 will 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.


  1. Awesome post. Totally going to try these tips out, thanks v much!

  2. This is such a great post I'm going to bookmark it. Thanks!

  3. Fab! Got a TOTM beauty under the skin at the moment, so I'm off to moisturise... ;o)Thank you!

  4. Great post, thanks for sharing your tips! I have to agree with your advice, though I had to discover that through trial & error, unfortunately. I wish my mom told me something of the sort when I was a teenager :)

  5. Thanks Girls. I'm brewing a few myself!

  6. Great advice! It can be difficult at times to understand the differences in all the lumps and bumps we get on our faces. You've helped simplify and dispell moisture myth. Moisture is good, but pore blocking is bad!

  7. This is brilliant advice, thanks!

    *Looks at flaky, dry and still spotty chin - runs to get moisturiser...*

  8. Kokum butter is great for the skin. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.

  9. Great post. You know what spot problems I have. Reaching for more moisturiser now! xx

  10. lol!! haha i actually tried the toothpaste on a spot a few times before.. and felt like an utter dweeb (whilst it was on) as well as when i realised it didnt do anything. doh!

  11. tried all of these over the years ! cleanliness andgood diet definitely help out on all fronts! I now firmly believe that using natural and organic skincare products really helps too ! good luck !
    beth x
    beauty gu. com

  12. Hilarious and informative post xx

  13. Hi,

    pls can you tell me which mosituriser to buy.

    I have combination skin and my foundation patches up on my nose and chin and becomes dry. but i am also shint on my tzone

    pls help!! I use p50w, emma hardie cleaner. PC mois with sunscreen

  14. Caroline I've had a few of these really nasty hormonal spots lately and while I'm doing the whole, cleanse (with oil/cream cleansers), and moisturise thing, I was wondering if you feel it necessary to leave off the make up when you have them? Obviously if I'm home I can do this but I daren't go out with them glaring in an evil fashion at anyone who may look my way. What's the consensus on leaving spots to the fresh air please. Many thanks Gilly.