If I had to choose my biggest skincare regret, it would be squeezing. I don’t think I’ve been an over-squeezer, but I have definitely done some irreversible damage (or at least damage that I’d have to pay to get fixed!). It all started in the school changing rooms as a gangly 15 year old. I have NO idea what gave me the notion, but I squeezed the skin on my nose and was horrified and mesmerised in equal measure by the little white wriggly worms that emerged from my pores (sorry TMI). ‘I’ve got to get this gunk out of my nose!’ I announced, gathering friends around to witness the drama!
Fast forward several months (& years)…. of course the gunk returned; those delicate pores ‘needed’ re-squeezed - and every time I squeezed them, they stretched a little. And the white gunk began to look a little, er… less white (I realise some people may be eating!). Stretched pores can not be shrunken back down. Fact. The beauty market is flooded with products to reduce their appearance, which can only be achieved temporarily. I now have to choose my make-up products carefully, so that they don’t make said pores look even more obvious - and they still bother me to this day.
I never had a huge problem with spots, but I did squeeze the ones I had. Goes without saying that this is a bad idea. Increased infection, bigger spots, scarring - you know it already.
Ditto, milia - those lingering little hard white bumps below the surface of skin - mini cysts filled with keratin (non dangerous), often triggered by using products with mineral oil or lanolin. I gave myself broken capillaries below my eye trying to squeeze a particularly bad one of these - and that was while being uber careful - warming the skin first, using a sterilised needle, etc. I now have to cover these mini red maps daily with a strong concealer.
In the last few years I’ve found that squeezing some barely-noticeable-without-a-magnifying-glass blocked pores has resulted in tiny pinpoint red dots under the skin (petechiae), from broken blood vessels. My attempt to remove something so subliminal has resulted in permanent mini scars. Nice. Step away from the pores.
Do what you can to keep your skin clean and clear (I may do a separate post on this if you’re interested?) and please don’t squeeze. I can pretty much guarantee that you are the only one who notices the ‘squeeze-ees’, especially if you need a magnifying mirror to see them in the first place… most of us are too busy thinking about our own flaws to notice yours!