Breaking the habit| The ‘No Pimple Picking’ challenge

So in order to actually stick to it this time, my New Year’s resolution 2015 will be to STOP BEING A COMPULSIVE FACE PICKER! It’s time to break this habit – before my face ends up looking like a load of moon craters…

I’m not surprised that so many of us are obsessed with their skin after reading beauty websites and magazines, but for a lot of us, including myself, we take it to an extent that interferes with our health and happiness.

I take it as far as attacking my face to get rid of near-invisible blackheads, squeezing blemishes that are no where near ready, and then making them worse by layering foundation on them. There is also another issue – how is my skin supposed to heal if I end up picking at the scabs that I formed in the first place?

My face after a subconscious hour long picking session in front of the TV...

My face after a subconscious hour long picking session in front of the TV…

Looking back at my childhood: I think it all began when I started twisting and pulling strands out of my hair, along with picking at my eyebrows and even my eyelashes! This left me with silly little bald patches and hardly any lashes! I wasn’t embarrassed at the time as I didn’t care so much about my appearance, and I felt a sense of satisfaction every time I had a picking session. I also suffered from eczema so constant scratching occurred. Anyone with eczema would know how good it feels to scratch, but it is soon followed by pain, regret and nasty red patches.

During my teenage years: Make up was the new trend, therefore breakouts soon followed. This was the start of the pimple popping and harsh spot clearing treatments. Without realising, I was constantly running my fingers over my skin to locate all the bumps and scabs that needed picking. Once my class or work shift was over, I ran to the nearest mirror and picked and squeezed to my heart’s content. I didn’t care about the blood, I just kept going.

During University: I noticed a load of hair strands surrounding me and a stinging sensation on my face during my assignment research. Again it was just a self soothing mechanism until I looked in the mirror with tearful wide eyes thinking “WHAT THE HELL HAVE I DONE?!” I was a bloody mess with sore skin and greasy hair. Covering my face with make up wouldn’t do me any justice, as the injuries were open and bleeding. So I just had to stay in my room and wait for it to scab over or for the redness to die down.

All of this usually happened when I was in front of the TV, concentrating, stressed or just simply sitting in bed. After some research, I have found out that I have been living with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania.


Figuring out the reasons behind my hair and skin picking: Even though I normally do it subconsciously, I have figured out throughout the years that I do it when I’m bored, stressed, or in full concentration. For some people it’s OCD, but for me it’s linked with anxiety. I use picking my face as a self-soothing technique, therefore before I feel the need to seek professional help, my first challenge is to stop touching my face and see how I go. I’ve been looking at productivity for a distraction – like yoga, cleaning, (blogging!), reading, singing to my favourite music and of course, lots and lots of natural and organic LUSH face masks. When I can feel a face mask working it’s magic, then I tend not to touch my face at all.  

me face mask

Me wearing Lush face mask – Cosmetic Warrior. Full of antiseptic tea tree, garlic and honey.

The Challenge: I reckon the most difficult part of this challenge is to replace my picking with self-acceptance. Most importantly, I need to stop touching my face all together. I still struggle with wanting perfect skin and envying people who have a flawless face. I still long to research and try out as many products as possible, (even though it is a bad idea to constantly change your skin routine). The problem is, I don’t give products a chance to work their magic, as I am desperate for them to work overnight. So I am trying to best to stick to one routine for a few months before I make any changes, as long as I see results! I think I need a dermatologist’s advice for this…

Realisation: I know now that when I pick at my face, I’m only making it worse! I’ve learnt that with all the bacteria from my hands and nails, no matter how many times I wash them, I’m creating an infection. When I squash a pimple, I’m often pushing stuff back down into my skin when I squeeze. So even if I get that one out, I’m probably irritating another one right next door to it! The most annoying thing is, that once I finally stopped biting my nails, I have now ended up using my healthy long nails to squeeze my face! I can’t win! 

I am strictly sticking to this resolution next year, and hopefully I will finally see a change in my skin! I now know that I only have myself to blame, rather than simply blaming the ‘wrong products.’ 


Click here for some helpful advice to stop picking at your skin 



4 thoughts on “Breaking the habit| The ‘No Pimple Picking’ challenge

    • Happy to help! It was a tough one posting it too. But now that I have, it’s encouraged me to be aware of my face picking, and stop before it gets worse. Now I’m getting there slowly and there are less scabs/blemishes 🙂

  1. Pingback: LIFE UPDATE 2015 – The year for adrenaline, family, friendship and travel. | Westallhead

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