So this is a topic that I've wanted to discuss for awhile with you guys, it's not a glamorous topic, but I'm sure many of you can relate. 

Skin picking + popping pimples.

Let me back up a little bit, and give you a bit of history.

I've always been terribly lucky with my skin. I had the odd break outs in junior high, but for the most part my skin was clear. It wasn't until I had moved to New York, and my symptoms for Lyme Disease intensified (not yet knowing it was Lymes Disease, Hypothyroidism, etc...). Along with my hair starting to fall out in copious amounts, I developed cystic acne. This was due to a plethora of circumstances, and my body in a complete disarray, but knowing what I know now, it all circled back to my hormones, and gut health. In a small nutshell, all of my sex hormones were non-existant, and second my estrogen was Very low which usually is the impetus for break outs (which is why we break out the week leading up to our period). My body internally was in chaos, and it was manifesting externally in a heap of ways, skin was just one of it's outlets for letting me know my body was not in balance, and ok. 

When speaking of outward appearance (which I don't like to emphasize, but in reality, we all want to present ourselves with our best foot forward. A healthy external = a healthy internal) I was  in shambles. Every time I would shower clumps of my hair would fall out, and every morning I would wake up with a new pimple.

I tried copious amounts of remedies, natural and not, and honestly too many to even re-account. I damaged it many a time trying to dry it out, and strip of it's natural barrier, and innate ph scale. This continued for months / years, and I learned heaps of lessons today, which is why I'm so passionate about the skin, and deal with it almost daily in my practice. 

At this time I was also eating super clean, drinking juice, not consuming dairy, gluten or meat,  but my hormones were still wacky. Crazy wacky.

To make a very long story short as I've shared my journey on it many times, I've seen and been through it all when it comes to skincare and skin woes. I had to deal with scarring, hyper - pigmentation, uncontrollable breakouts,  and luckily I had only a little pit scarring, so the healing of my scars wasn't as intensive, as some of my clients, or others who might have / be experiencing cystic breakouts.  Most of my troubles were red marks that were left over from pimples, popped or not! I swear I wouldn't touch a pimple, and I would be left for marks for months. 

Coming back to picking, and popping, and I apologize if this sounds unpleasant, but for many this is the everyday reality. First I can fully empathize with you, and although my skin for the most part is almost back to 100% (it's been a long road to get here!) I'm a ex- picker + popper, so when I do get a blemish, my instinct is to temper with it. 

So I want to share some of my tips, techniques to not do so, as I know the urge can be so strong sometimes. 

If you know, you know. 

Sometimes it's unexplainable, and it's such a urge, that it's hard to fight, but I continually come back to my ethos of my skin is my BFF, and I should treat it like I do silk.  Gently, lovingly, and gracefully. 




1. If you have to pop it (a full, full, full whitehead with No redness around its perimeter) make sure it is 'ready' to pop! Don't just go picking and popping aimlessly or you are in front of REALLY bright lightening and feel the need to get things out. (which I used to be sooo guilty of). 

2. Do so at night, and only at night or you will be dealing with red, raised + inflammed skin for the whole day, and you can't treat it properly if so.

3. At night / put a warm cloth on it for a few minutes and try to pop ONCE, and only once. If nothing comes out, it is not ready. Walk away. Don't even give it a second though. I've learned this the hard way, one too many times you guys. 

4.  ULTIMATELY: Do not pop at all.  I still sometimes feel the 'need' or urge to pop, but I've learned that leaving it alone is the only way. I wouldn't pick and probe at silk or my best friend, so I shouldn't do it to my skin. This is through many, many, many  trials and errors and figuring out what is best for my skin, as we all have different skin. My skin tends to hyper pigment really easily, so I always say to myself - you will only make it worse, at least you can cover a pimple, but a scar + scab is much worse to work with. 

5. LIKE Food, we sometimes just want instant gratification (Enter in your desire food _________) but if we continue to think like that the long term consequences get clouded by the now. Which is the same for our Skin. We think that popping the skin now (instant gratification) will make it ok, that it won't add up or make it worse. But usually as the case with lots of refined sugars, things will add up, and you will be left with scarring, and redness worse than the pimple itself than if you had just left it alone.

6. Find a Blemish Solution that works for you! For some it is pure tea tree oil, others lavender oil (dilute with a carrier oil) and put directly on blemish, not surrounding skin 

7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate with water. I know this is usually the # 1 tip for clearer skin, Why? Because it work. I drink anywhere from 34  liters of water a day, and can see the difference when I'm not drinking enough.

8. Probiotic -  Our skin is a huge indication of how healthy our gut is. Usually when I see my skin flare up is when I've eaten one of my food sensitivities (especially almonds or too much sugar (even natura) This is my gut saying, no thank you! And because our skin is an eliminatory organ, we will see it there first. Be mindful of your allergens and sensitivities. 

10. TRY, I know it's hard, to not stress about it, because with my experience it only makes it worse. This is sometimes the hardest part because as our skin acts out we tend to get a bit more stressed, anxious because no one feels confident with lots of spots on their skin. Ultimately that stress is raising your cortisol levels which causes  more flare ups and break outs. What helps me most are my epsom salt baths, a good book, a clay mask, and a nice oil after. I'm de-stressing, along with giving a mini self-love facial to my skin.

11. Be patient. It took me months, and years to figure out my skin. And no one is perfect!!! Yes I still get blemishes,  but I've learned so much about my body these past 12 years with lyme disease, that I've fully been able to step into my self, body, mind, and soul in a completely different + authentic way.  But everything is a journey, and we have to go through peaks and valleys to figure things up. Sometimes skin will get worse before it gets better, and other times it is a slow recovery process.

12. Your skin is a magical mirror to what's going on inside. If you keep on breaking out in the same spot, or you've been suffering with acne for years, and years. It's your bodies way of telling you that something isn't right inside, and it needs some loving, healing, and nourishing on a different + deeper level. Our bodies are always speaking to us! Always. 

If you're looking to delve deeper into your body, mind and soul, while using nutrition, food as medicine, reprogramming your mindset, advisory into your true innate self, and to take your healing to the next level, I would love to be there for you. Let's connect

Lisa HolowaychukComment