I’ll start by saying…I know firsthand what picking is all about. I myself am a former picker—I admit it. I’ve always said that I went into this profession so I could do what I love—picking! And I justified my own problem by saying, “I’m licensed. I know what I’m doing.” Luckily, I finally had the self-discipline and gave up picking in 2001 (as a New Year resolution) and my skin has never been happier.
Let me share my expert skin advice as to how you can put an end to the picking madness—once and for all.
1. Understand the psychological reason for why you pick at your skin. If you pick at your blemishes, chances are you do this simply to make a blemish go away faster. Picking at a blemish creating a bleeding, oozing scab which then leads to a post-breakout dark scar that lingers for months will always be far more noticeable than leaving it alone and letting it heal naturally. This is a fact. If this is the kind of picker you are, read my step-by-step instructions for what to do the moment a blemish appears to get it to go away fast with minimal scarring.
If you are someone who picks at your skin compulsively due to a possible nervous habit and you just can’t help yourself, you may have a condition called Dermatillomania which can lead to severe skin scarring. I suggest you consult with a physician or holistic professional to find ways to get this under control. It’s not often that I’ve seen clients who had this, but when I do, I can spot them a mile away.
2. Keep your hands busy. Get any kind of toy or gadget that you can play with in your hands at times when you are most likely to be touching your skin. Like when driving in your car, sitting at your desk, or anytime you feel the need to touch your face or pick.
3. Sign the No Picking Contract. When setting a goal and putting your mind to something, we all can use some accountability, so I created this free downloadable contract that you can sign and commit to keeping your hands off your face so you can be on your way to clearer, scar-free skin. Show it to your spouse or a friend and tape it on your bathroom mirror so you can keep it top of mind as well as someone to keep you accountable.
4. Put alarm reminders on your phone. We all love technology to make our lives easier, so why not use your phone to help remind you to keep your hands off your face? What time of day are you most tempted to pick at your skin? In the bathroom mirror in the morning or at night? Driving in the car? Set reminders like “I want clear skin and I will stop picking!” or “Don’t do it. I will regret it!” Whatever works for you, program it into your phone.
5. Lean on a friend for support. Don’t go it alone. Ask a trusted friend or family member to help keep you accountable. When you’re in a moment of weakness, call or text a friend to help you stay strong. Being accountable to someone else will always help anyone succeed in breaking a bad habit.
You’re in a habit of picking at your skin and habits take time to break. Willpower along with keeping your eye on the prize (clearer, scar-free skin) is what it takes to overcome this. Once you start to see the improvement in your skin, this should give you the strength and encouragement to keep going so this bad habit will be behind you. I know you can do this!
One final thought. A closed bump from a blemish is a lot easier to conceal (and less noticeable) with makeup than a red, oozy, scabbing wound. The choice is yours.
See my recommendations for acne spot treatments to use at home here.
Renée Rouleau is a skin care expert & celebrity esthetician who believes there’s more to skin than the one-size-fits-all approach. Her exclusive skin care line is based on nine unique skin types, rather than the standard–dry, normal and oily. Her skin care products, Dallas skin care spas and her LA and NY pop-up spas attract a celebrity clientele which includes Demi Lovato, Jessica Simpson, Anna Faris and Lisa Rinna. Visit www.ReneeRouleau.com for more information.