Learn How to “Put Your Best Face Forward” with Dr. Pimple Popper

This will be worth the read!

August 15, 2018
By: TLCme

Renowned dermatologist, social media sensation, and now author! Dr. Sandra Lee is sharing her skin care secrets to help you achieve that flawless glow in her new book, Put Your Best Face Forward: The Ultimate Guide to Skincare from Acne to Anti-Aging, coming out this December!

You've seen her tackle everything from epidermoid cysts to stubborn blackheads on the TLC GO Original series Dr. Pimple Popper: This Is Zit, and now she's giving you the inside scoop on how she went from Dr. Lee to Dr. Pimple Popper!

Here's a sneak peek at what you can expect in this must-read:

"In 2014 I had started an Instagram account, @DrSandraLee, intending to showcase my life as a dermatologist--to educate people on the many facets of my profession. Instagram is flush with gorgeous filtered images: mouthwatering pictures of food, exotic places traveled, and beautiful do-it-yourself makeup, and hair coloring and styling tutorials. I saw a quickly increasing popularity among makeup and hair gurus, as well as a growing interest in spa treatments and cosmetic treatments. Would these same people, and others, be interested to see what I do day-to-day, as well? Hmm . . .

One day Pops came in for a regular appointment, but something was different. For years, I had seen him as one half of a whole, or what I lovingly call a "package deal," meaning that he and his wife came together. Always. Except for this time, his wife wasn't with him. I knew she had been ill; recently, she had taken to waiting in the car during his appointments, not feeling up to coming into the office. I couldn't help but ask how she was doing, and instantly regretted doing so.

"She's gone." Pops choked back tears and looked down at his hands. She'd been his whole life. She ran the show. And now he was lost without her. I noticed that his clothes weren't as neatly pressed as they usually were, he had a stain on his slacks, and his hair appeared a little more disheveled. Nothing I do can take away a person's emotional anguish, but I wish I could have waved a magic wand and made some of that pain and sadness disappear. Opening a GoFundMe page in his name was an impulse move--a result of my learning about his economic hardships and overwhelming grief since his wife had passed away. People who watched my videos from around the world sent the kindest messages of hope and love to Pops and donated money to help someone whose face they'd never seen! They'd just heard his story and knew every blackhead extracted from him by heart! My popaholic fans are amazing: we ended up exceeding the $5,000 goal and raised more than $14,000 for Pops!

Pops and his wife had been my patients for many years, but in all that time, I was examining his skin and mainly treating and controlling his precancerous skin lesions and skin cancers (non-life-threatening but locally destructive squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas). It actually took the unfortunate passing of his dear wife for me to bring up the fact that those bumps on his nose were benign blackheads and whiteheads. It wasn't until this point that he confided that he knew they weren't dangerous, but he absolutely detested them. Not because he could see them; his eyesight was failing and he couldn't. But because he could feel them, and he couldn't get rid of them himself, and they made him feel ugly and ashamed.

So, I asked him, "Would you like me to extract as many of these as I can? This is a procedure I can't bill to insurance, but if you allow me to film the procedure for others to watch, I won't charge you." He immediately agreed, very happy that I was going to take care of them. This surprised me. I had never offered this service to my patients in the past because, as a dermatologist, I avoid extractions that aren't medically necessary, as health insurance doesn't cover them. Patients normally have to pay out of pocket for these "cosmetic" procedures, and they can be very expensive because they are time-consuming.

Just a couple of months prior to this, I had posted a video on Instagram of me extracting a blackhead on the back. To my surprise and curiosity, there was a noticeable increase in "likes" on this post and, subsequently, on any posts involving "pimple popping." In fact, my most popular Instagram posts were simple blackhead extractions. Would followers be interested in other things that I pop out of people's skin? Yes! People were mildly interested in what it looked like to administer Botox, or treat a wart, or even to see what psoriasis looked like. People seemed to get really excited, though, when I posted a milia extraction or a blackhead squeeze. Once they saw that, they were hooked. I am talking about unbridled enthusiasm. People that liked it, loved and obsessed about it. People that hated it, detested it. Either way, they tagged their friends because they just had to share. I had happened upon the discovery of a pretty substantial demographic of popaholics.

No longer wanting to limit myself to fifteen-second clips on Instagram (today the app lets you post one-minute clips, but back in the olden days--a couple years ago--fifteen seconds was its limit), I posted a full-length pimple-popping video to my YouTube channel, a platform I had created and originally used for TV appearances, and which was meant to appeal to a much smaller fan base. What should I call this Instagram page and YouTube channel that I would devote mainly to sharing things that I'm able to pop from the skin? Well, I gave myself the moniker Dr. Pimple Popper, and things really erupted from there."

Dr. Lee also answered some questions about the inspiration for her book, and what you can expect to find in her medicine cabinet!

What inspired you to write this book?
There are many self-help books, beauty books, and advice out there from other physicians, but there's no book about dermatology and pimple popping. I really think I have a story to tell because it's just been a whirlwind of change over the last three years. Who would have thought that I would become known as Dr. Pimple Popper and that I would become such a trusted source of information about the skin, for people all over the world? I feel that there is a lack of beauty books that are REAL, giving straightforward advice about your skin. That not only answer the cosmetic questions you have but the medical questions as well. Not only do I tell you about the best ways to minimize acne scars, but I also explain acne itself and why certain medications work. This book serves people in a few ways. It is a mini-textbook describing many of the common skin conditions, in the hopes that the reader will be able to accurately identify bumps on his/her own skin and guiding you through treatment options. It's also all about the pops, giving you detailed information about the types of procedures and surgeries featured on my channel, and sharing some behind-the-scenes facts. I also share advice on how to be a great physician, to have great bedside manner, and how to pursue your dreams if you're inspired to become the next Dr. Pimple Popper!

Walk us through your skin-care routine.
My skincare routine is actually pretty simple. I have dry skin so I need moisturizer. That's really it. Moisturizer and sunscreen. I avoid soap bc it dries out my skin, and I avoid strong fragrances because they also dry and irritate my skin. I try to keep it clean as much as I can. And I have my mom and dad to thank (genetics) for my relatively clear skin. My skin type is prone to develop brown spots exacerbated by the sun, so in addition to sunscreen, I will sometimes add glycolic or salicylic acid peels and also prescription level skin lightening creams that contain hydroquinone and tretinoin.

What is your #1 tip for healthier skin?
SUNSCREEN case closed!

Binge NEW EPISODES of the TLC GO Original series Dr. Pimple Popper: This Is Zit on the TLC GO app or at TLC.com/ThisIsZit. Then, pre-order your copy of Dr. Lee's debut book to learn more tips and tricks for achieving healthier skin!

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