According to a report by The Daily Mail, esthetician Renee Rouleau, who has worked with celebrities on skincare, shared the terrible effects being a “skin picker” has on your appearance.
Rouleau reveals on her personal blog that she has more than 30 years of experience working with people’s skin. Having worked with celebrities like Demi Lovato, Chiara Ferrangni, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rouleau knows her stuff when it comes to skin care and maintaining a beautiful appearance.
In the post covered by People, she shared a picture of a middle-aged woman who had the habit of picking at her skin throughout her life and the disastrous results that habit has had on her appearance. The photo shows a woman with her eyes blurred to protect her identity. Her forehead, cheeks, and chin are red and splotchy with pockmarks from where she’s been picking at pimples over the years.
Rouleau reveals that she knew exactly what had happened to the woman when she walked in.
“She first came to me with visible scabs on her forehead, cheeks, and chin along with deeply pigmented, spotty and uneven looking skin. That combination made it obvious to me what had happened, and after a thorough consultation my assumptions were correct.”
Though this woman’s face is an extreme example of “skin picking,” Rouleau reveals that even doing it a little bit every now and then shows, and she can tell when someone is picking at their acne.
She understands the temptation to remove acne by picking at it, especially if the breakouts occur at a young age, but she advises against it and says having a pimple for the short term is preferable to a lifetime of skin blemishes.
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While she does admit that younger skin tends to heal the damage done by skin picking, it’s when people get older that the damage becomes permanent and results in skin discoloration. Rouleau believes that it’s important to nip the habit in the bud while a person is young before they continue the habit of skin picking later in life when it causes more visible problems.
She says there are four types of skin pickers — mild pickers will only pick at their skin to get rid of a blemish, moderate pickers pick at blemishes and flaky skin, advanced pickers pick at their skin even when there’s nothing there to the point that the skin bleeds and creates scabs, and severe pickers are constantly attacking their face and have no control when it comes to stopping.
While the first two are understandable and require a little self-control to stop, the last two are more serious and could potentially require counseling or help from a medical professional, as the picking has become a nervous habit or tic rather than beauty maintenance.
To help people with their skin care, Rouleau gives a six-step process to stop the habit of picking and keep one’s skin healthy.
Step one requires learning how to “properly treat” blemishes once they appear and recommends some products.
Step two has the individual keep themselves distracted and, more importantly, their hands busy.
Step three requires creating and singing a “No Picking Contract” that’s taped somewhere visible to remind the person to stop.
Step four has the person put reminders in their phone in case they’ve forgotten throughout the day.
Step five has the person keep themselves accountable through friends or a professional aware of the issue.
The final step is about learning to prevent blemishes in the first place.
She admits it won’t be easy for some, but following the six-step plan and being more aware of the long-term effects of skin picking will lead to healthier skin for many people.