Pimples, acne, Hyperpigmentation–what do these all have in common? They wreak havoc on our skin and cause us to hide away from friends, family and even the coworkers who we see on a daily basis. Although many of our peers told us to never pick at pimples, or worse yet, pop them in front of the mirror, techniques and tools can be used to remove blemishes and have us feeling confident once more. If you’re suffering with acne or a pimple, here are some strategies you can implore the next time you examine your face.

Warm Water and Gentle Pressure

The most common tactic that one can utilize to remove an unwanted pimple is by dampening the area with warm water and a towel. As a precaution, never use scalding water or a temperature that can cause further damage to the area of the face in question. Make sure the water used on the pimple is slightly over the resting temperature of your skin.

After this method has been applied, gently place your (clean) fingers on either side of the pimple. When we do this, we create pressure deep in the layers of our skin known as the Dermis and Epidermis. These layers, when left unkempt, fill with sebum and copious amounts of dead skin cells which, in turn, form a pimple that can be seen on the surface of the skin. Applying pressure in a downward motion forces the collection of oils to the head of the pimple–also known as a white head–and removes the zit!

Always remove the remaining oils and blood as this can contain harmful bacteria that, when left alone, can spread to other areas of the skin and form another pimple.

Extractor Tools

Taking our pimple-popping-behavior to the next level, individuals can purchase Comedone Extractors from their local drug store. These tools are roughly the size of a pen or pencil and use an ‘O’ shaped design on either end of the device. When we place the ringlet around the area that the pimple resides, we can create accurate pressure to the area without damaging the surrounding skin. This will pop the pimple with relative ease and allow you to extract collected pus, blood, sebum and other oils. Always practice with caution and use small amounts of force during the ordeal to avoid injury and skin damage.