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Stop Picking At Your Skin: No Picking Agreement

by Emily Linehan on March 03, 2020

When you have an alien growing on your face, it can be hard to keep your hands off. 

However, picking at your skin or constantly trying to pop your pimples will backfire on you, creating larger breakouts that take months to heal (and may cause scarring!) 

It can be hard to break this habit, but in order to clear your skin completely, it is essential that you avoid picking your skin. 

  1. Understand what happens when you pick your skin

When you pick your skin, it pushes bacteria deeper into the follicle, bursting the follicle wall and infecting the surrounding pores. 


Generally, an oozing scab is created. This scab is much harder to conceal with makeup than a closed bump from a blemish!


  1. Identify what kind of picker you are

Unconscious Picker: You casually touch or are picking at your face while using the computer, reading a book, or watching television. This is a very dangerous type of picking because you often won’t realize you’re doing it. 


Bathroom Mirror Picker: You go in to grab the floss and end up spending 15 minutes in front of the mirror, picking and popping. 


Idle Picker: You pick while you’re waiting for the bus, on the phone or in traffic. 


  1. Decide what tips and methods will help you most

Here are a number of tips and methods to prevent picking at your skin: 

  • Instead of picking, ice those pimples for 2 minutes, twice a day. This will help tremendously with clearing your skin. 
  • Keep your hands busy. Do crossword puzzles or play video games while you’re waiting for the bus. Give yourself a hand massage while you watch television. Start knitting project to keep yourself busy at night 
  • Place signs that say “NO PICKING” on your bathroom mirror, in your compact mirror, on the TV remote, on your car visor mirror or rear-view mirror... wherever you are likely to see them when you start to pick!
  • Wear gloves. It may sound silly, but it will be impossible to pick your face while wearing gloves. You can wear them overnight, too, if you tend to sleep with your face on your hands. Just be sure to wash the gloves regularly. 
  • Get your nails done. It is more difficult to pick your skin if you have acrylic, silk or gel nails. 
  • Avoid putting your hands on your face. Avoid resting your head in your hands (such as a hand on one cheek or 2 hands-on both cheeks) when sitting at a table or desk. 
  • Put your hands in your pockets when you are walking between places. 
  • While sitting down on a chair while in front of a table, lay your hands on the table, put your hands in your lap or put your hands under your thighs and sit on them. This may seem silly but it helps with the need to touch your face. You can do this during a job interview or other public places, like a restaurant. 
  • Get other people involved. A close friend, parent, or roommate can be a very valuable asset. Ask them to gently remind you of your “No Picking Agreement” if they notice you touching your face. 

Lastly, don’t give up! Like any bad habit, you may not be able to quit overnight. 

Putting these methods into practice will have you on your way to clearer, healthier skin sooner than you think.

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