Of all the hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube, it’s hard to think of many more divisive than those uploaded by Dr Pimple Popper. For the channel’s 7.1 million subscribers, watching pus ooze from a cyst or a lumpy lipoma burst through the skin is a thrill. For others it’s a nausea-inducing nightmare.

“It makes people happy,” says Dr Sandra Lee, the LA-based dermatologist behind the wildly successful channel, of her fans, who call themselves ‘popaholics’. “It’s like riding a rollercoaster for some people or watching a scary movie. Or it’s like a fairy tale – there’s always a happy ending, you know what I mean?”


The charismatic American, you may be surprised to learn, isn’t actually a devoted popaholic herself. “I say that I’m a born again popaholic because I get it, but I’m not somebody who feels that desire…now it’s more, ‘I’m going to remove this because I know this is going to be amazing and all these people will love it’.”

Lee’s true passion is “democratising dermatology” and educating her viewers (she also fronts the Dr Pimple Popper TV series on TLC).  Using her expertise, she has also now developed a skincare range aimed at tackling conditions including acne, eczema, and keratosis pilaris where small bumps appear on the skin.

Acne treatment do’s and don’ts

To mark the launch of SLMD Skincare in the UK, we asked Dr Pimple Popper to reveal her top acne do’s and don’ts…

1. Don’t pop your pimples


handsome young man Squeezing pimple

“That’s the number one question I get asked: ‘Is it OK to pop a pimple?’ Obviously, like any other dermatologist, I’m going to say don’t pop your pimples because of the risk of infection and scarring.

“But I do feel like it’s my responsibility to explain to people when is technically the best opportunity to pop a pimple while minimising the risk, because I know a lot of us are going to do it anyway.

“If you have a pimple that’s under the skin, when you can feel it more than you can see it, I think a lot of us know that that is not the time to squeeze any kind of pimple because it only makes it more angry and worse.

“It’s really when it’s the most superficial on the surface, when it’s that ‘whitehead’ – technically it’s a pustule – that is the ideal time, because you’re going to traumatise the skin the least.”

2. Do use salicylic acid to prevent spots

 SLMD Skincare Salicylic Acid Cleanser
(SLMD Skincare/PA)

“Salicylic acid is a fantastic [ingredient] that works in a preventative way. It’s a chemical peel acid that crystallises to a small enough size that actually it can settle within our pores and it helps to clean them out. It helps to get rid of the dirt and the debris, the oil, dead skin cells.

“That’s really the primary thing you want to do with acne, you want to try to keep your pores as clear as possible. When that build-up happens is when the bacteria gets involved, and then you get that red bump.”

3. Do change your face mask every day

“Maskne is a big problem everywhere. We’re all wearing face masks and it’s like you have this sort of microclimate in there, you’re just breathing into the space. The humidity and the moisture that builds up there can help to clog your pores, especially if we’re wearing make-up.

“The best thing to do is try to take breaks from your mask. I tell people to change your mask like you change your underwear – which should be probably daily.

“Try to keep them clean. If you can wash them, have a steady rotation. Like you would have an underwear drawer, now you should have a little mask drawer!”

4. Don’t forget about lifestyle causes

Acne Formation illustration

“I don’t think some people consider the fact that there’s a lot [to do] with lifestyle. If you wear tight pants, for example, you can get acne breakouts, because it pulls on hairs on your body and then that can cause an ingrown hair, which causes a breakout.

“Or a violinist who has a chin strap or somebody that’s always leaning against their hand, you’re increasing the oil and buildup in the [pores]. So those are things to think about too.”

5. Do remember it’s not your fault

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A post shared by Kyrie Green (@kyrie_g_)

“[Acne is] part of life. It happens in your teenage years, primarily because the hormones are going crazy and that changes the oil production on our skin. And a lot of it has to do with hereditary factors, like your parents being more oily or more prone to breakouts.

“So you know, it’s not your fault. The good thing is it doesn’t threaten anyone’s life, really, directly. But it does definitely threaten our mental health our emotions, and our feelings of self-confidence.

“In a way, you could argue it’s not important to treat these sorts of things, but it is really important because – and we see this as dermatologists – we see how this affects people through their life.”

SLMD Skincare is available from SLMDskincare.co.uk

Best-selling salycidic acid products for acne

Stuck for inspiration? Check out our list of best-selling Amazon products!

Bestseller No. 1
BLOOM Salicylic Acid Acne Cream with Vitamin E, C and Tea Tree Oil - NEW Formula, DOUBLE Strength
  • ★ Salicylic Acid Cream - Reveal a clearer, smoother and radiant skin by harnessing the pore-clearing power of BHA (salicylic acid). This innovative facial cream helps remove built-up layers of dead...
  • ★ 1% BHA/SALICYLIC ACID - Formulated with 1% BHA (salicylic acid), this extraordinary cleanser cream offers an effective and non-abrasive way to target acne factors, blackheads and enlarged pores on...
  • ★ TEA TREE OIL TARGETS BLEMISHES - Pure tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree. This amazing ingredient naturally contains a mix of over 100 compounds! Some of these compounds are...
Bestseller No. 2
Revitale Salicylic Acid Scrub Soap, Pore Exfoliating, Softening Skin, Anti-Blemish
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  • Specially formulated to help soften and smooth rough skin.
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SaleBestseller No. 3
Revitale Advanced Salicylic Acid & Sulphur Scrub Treatment Soap
  • Super charged with powerhouse ingredients Sulphur and Salicylic Acid for healthy renewed skin
  • Brimming with exfoliating Almond and Walnut shell particles to thoroughly clean pores and help buff and beautify
  • Enriched with Vitamin E to help protect skin against oxidative stress and leave skin feeling delicately soft
SaleBestseller No. 4
Salicylic Egg, Natural Salicylic Acid Soap 100g by Procoal - Salicylic Acid Face & Body Wash For...
  • ★ THE ORIGINAL SALICYLIC EGG - Reveal a clearer, smoother and radiant skin by harnessing the pore-clearing power of BHA (salicylic acid). This innovative facial cleanser helps remove built-up layers...
  • ★ 2% BHA/SALICYLIC ACID - Formulated with 2% BHA (salicylic acid), this extraordinary cleanser offers an effective and non-abrasive way to target acne factors, blackheads and enlarged pores on the...
  • ★ ORGANIC ALOE VERA, AVOCADO & GLYCERIN - Enriched with a hydrating blend of Organic Aloe Vera, Avocado oil and Glycerin, our carefully put together formula helps protect skin's natural moisture...
Bestseller No. 5
Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish Purifying Cleansing Wash Reduces Excess Oil & Unclogs...
  • ✔ REDUCES SPOTS - fight spots and facial acne caused by blocked pores and excess oil, salicylic acid helps open clogged pores and clean out daily dirt & pollutants
  • ✔ EFFECTIVE ACNE TREATMENT - salicylic acid penetrates skin deeply unclogging pores, reducing inflammation and redness, an effective treatment against acne, whiteheads & blackheads
  • ✔ HEALTHIER & CLEARER SKIN - once pores are unclogged and cleaned the body can start to naturally heal revealing a brighter clearer complexion

Last update on 2021-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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