Ask An Esthetician: What Do I Do About My Sunburn? How Do I Pop This Pimple?

Skin: Our largest organ, and also probably our biggest pain in the butt. Managing its temperamental, over-sensitive ways is pretty much a full-time gig, especially if your skin is a delicate Sensitive Sally like mine. Thankfully, we’ve got our new BFF, esthetician Jenna Kulp, to help us solve our skin woes. Jenna’s here to answer all of your troubling skin problems—to offer suggestions and solutions to your skincare needs. If you’ve got a question for Jenna, email us (put “Question for Jenna” in the subject line) and we’ll pass it along! And after the jump, Jenna takes on super bad sunburns and the best way to pop pesky pimples.

Q: Is there anyway to repair the damage done from a really, really bad burn-then-blister-then-peel sunburn?

Some people say, once the damage is done, it’s done! However, I’m optimistic and convinced that we can take steps to A) hopefully undo the damage, and B) prevent it from happening again with proper preventive skin care. I recently discovered a new product that just came out that will not only help prevent sun damage and aging, but will actually help repair DNA damage. Big claim, I know.

The product is called EXTREME PROTECT SPF 30 from iS by INNOVATIVE SKINCARE. It contains their groundbreaking Extremozyme technology, which has impressive clinical studies showing that it helps repair DNA damage, offers free radical protection and works away at those pesky fine lines and wrinkles. Curious as to see if it really would do what it says, I actually did a test with it after I fell asleep in the sun at our lake house last weekend and got sunburned (I forgot the cardinal rule of re-applying SPF). Aside from using it before sun exposure, I used EXTREME PROTECT on the sunburn along with some aloe vera gel, and the next day, the redness had almost completely disappeared and my skin wasn’t painfully scorched from the sun. Since then, I won’t hesitate to recommend this product to anyone. Afterwards, keep up with your normal skin care routine, including your new miracle product EXTREME PROTECT and be sure to apply and re-apply SPF while you’re in the sun.

You can also apply products with Vitamin E & C to help repair damaged skin as well. They will help with brown spots and accelerated aging caused by the sun. For the natural product junkie, you can take pure honey or milk and slather it on your sunburn as well.

More easy steps to calming a blistering sunburn:

  • Take a pain reliever like ibuprofen or aspirin.
  • Cool off the blisters with cool water or a cold towel for at least 15 minutes.
  • Dab the sunburn spots with a soft washcloth soaked with apple cider vinegar or green tea.

Q: What’s the best way to pop a pimple, really? Because it’s totally going to happen, even if we’re not supposed to.

Technically, when a pimple is white it means that your cells are working hard on healing that area so we really aren’t supposed to disrupt it. When we pick at our blemishes, we run the risk of leaving scars. I’m pretty sure that everyone has the same picking problem as I do, so if we extract our pimples carefully and correctly, we can reduce the risk of scarring while entertaining our bad habits.

Step 1: Cleanse your skin and wash your hands. If you have time, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliant after cleansing.

Step 2: Using two clean fingers with tissue finger mitts, place your index fingertips on the sides of the pimple vertically but not directly on top of the pimple.

To make a finger mitt – take a tissue, fold it in half, place it over your index finger and fold over. Twist it up and repeat for your other finger. The point of these is so your finger nails are not digging into your skin helping create a scar. You can also try this with Q-tips as well.

Step 3: Rock n’ Roll baby! Slowly, apply slight pressure with your fingers and move them up and down-(rock). DON’T SQUEEZE! Switch so your index fingers are horizontal with the pimple in between and apply pressure moving side to side (roll). Don’t do this too fast, and don’t apply to much pressure. Repeat this until you’re successful or if it’s too sensitive and painful, try again at another time.

This will help loosen up the gunk underneath and if you’re lucky on the first time, it’ll release the buildup. If it doesn’t happen on the first go the pimple may not be ready yet. Try again in a few hours or the next day.

Once you’ve popped it, be sure to leave it alone. It will most likely crust over so be sure to let your skin carry out this process without picking off the scab-that’s a sure-fire way to get a lovely new scar. Follow your normal skin care routine and try to keep your hands off your skin as much as you can.