I just watched *seven* minutes of cartoon pimple popping—am I in too deep?


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Photo: Getty/West End 61

When does skin care research become a straight-up obsession? It’s a question I ask myself frequently these days as I’m perusing deep subreddits for ingredient intel, looking at dioramas of how ultrasound energy effects the skin, and pondering just what is up with showering in the morning versus at night. But now, the verdict is in. My question has been answered. And it’s all because of an epic pimple-popping cartoon video that I watched from start to finish—all seven minutes of it. Yes, m’dear, you’re in way too deep.

I should back up, however, because when it comes to pimple popping, I’m not alone. The queen of zit squeezing, Sandra Lee—or Dr. Pimple Popper, as she’s more commonly known—has 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube, and the most popular videos have been seen over 50 million times. And now she’s a TV star as well,  with a hit show on TLC. So while, yes, we know that pimple popping is a thing, why is it that I’m so mesmerized by it that I’d resort to stop-motion squeezing?

With the mounting pressures of day-to-day life, sometimes I feel like a pimple that needs to be popped.

In some ways, I think it’s because pimple-popping videos, in particular, are so good at showing instant release and relief, which IRL takes practice and patience. With the mounting pressures of day-to-day life, sometimes I feel like a pimple that needs to be popped. I let stress and worries and fears mount up until I need an outlet for release. For me, that comes by way of running or deep breathing, but rarely is it instant…it’s work, that’s life.

And so, here I am three minutes deep into a pimple-popping video, and I find myself feeling immediate gratification, not only of pimples being popped, but of lasers erasing any signs of scarring on the spot, and of face masks whooshing onto the complexion to soften and perfect the skin instantly. And though, as a beauty editor I know that right-now results are infrequent, the real reason I put in those seven minutes of my life is simply because it’s a reminder of what putting in the work can do, for skin and in life. Pimple-popping is a job that can be done in minutes—but running a marathon or, say, planning a wedding (both on my to-do list right now FYI) are jobs that take months to finish. So yeah, I’m probably in too deep, but watching a goal get accomplished—gross as it is—is weirdly inspiring, especially as we look forward to what’s going to pop up (sorry, had to) in the new year.

BTW, Dr. Pimple Popper told us how to get rid of milia and here’s a story about why you should stop popping your own pimples for good.

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