Why are we so crazy about watching other people’s acne getting popped?
You can be fascinated, you can be squeamish about it, but you can’t be indifferent. There are enormous communities online dedicated to watching videos of pimples, cysts and the whole colourful spectrum of acne being squeezed away.
Women’s Health has an article called The 9 Grossest Pimple-Popping Videos of All Time. Men’s Health has one called The 10 Most Satisfying Pimple Popping Videos. It’s not a battle of the sexes, it’s just the two most popular ways to feel about these magical clips.
The term for a love of squeezing acne is acnephilia, but online the magic word is popping. Type it into YouTube and thousands of videos will appear. Ask Google and you’ll have a lifetime of reading. The Reddit community lives at reddit.com/r/popping.
At this point, we’re beyond judging. People will still accept you if you tell them about this new hobby or addiction. Most of us have seen the videos and at least paused for a moment.
But … just why?
Because it’s disturbing
Pimple videos are like horror films. You’re safe in your living room watching other people’s bodies go through craziness. For me, they’re even more extreme. The videos make me nauseous but nothing can make me look away. It’s like chilli for your eyes, a little danger and a lot of euphoria.
Anyway, there are better ways to treat acne than popping (and more satisfying in the long term). You can improve your diet, you can try the SkinB5 supplements and topical range. Popping is a subculture, good skin is a way of life.
In the meantime, being disturbed by popping videos can feel like you’re achieving something, because you’re exercising your instincts. Disgust keeps us away from things that are unhealthy to be around (except junk food and TV binges of course).
Because it’s soothing
Many people have certain triggers that instantly soothe them. Some enjoy their hair being touched, some like the sound of scratching or pages turning. Some get that instant calm from watching pores become clean. It’s therapeutic seeing a person get groomed.
Because it’s the Internet
It’s a spectacle and everyone is watching. If there’s a bunch of people making videos of it, you can be sure there are celebrities. Dr Sandra Lee introduces herself as Dr Pimple Popper, a Board certified dermatologist in the U.S. I’ve written before that when acne really gets under your skin, you need a medical professional to remove it. The surgery is just pimple popping with handy tools, as you can see in the cyst videos.
There you have it. Popping videos are meant to be disturbing, they’re meant to be relaxing and they can even make you famous. I’m sure you could get the same result if you used our award winning Five Minute Skin Purifying Mask the same way, and anyway, squeezing can leave scars. It’s so satisfying watching someone else get squeezed.
Peter Matthews used to get giant acne. He’s a tea guy even though he lives in Melbourne where coffee is winning. His favourite B vitamin is B6, the one that can give you vivid dreams.