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It’s everyone’s nightmare scenario, and we’ve all been there. You wake up after a good long sleep, feeling rested and ready to face the day, a spring in your step as you head to the bathroom to wash your face. And there it is, staring back at you in the mirror. The pimple to end all pimples. A spot that’s so big it’s basically become an extra feature on your face.

So, what do you do? You freak out. You point at it. Shout at it. And then, if you haven’t committed the number one spot sin (a.k.a. squeezing the hell out of it), you cover it in toothpaste or whatever military-grade spot solution you have on hand, spend the foreseeable future fretting over it, only to check up on your blemish-busting progress to find it’s now a red, raw, dried-out mess that no amount of concealer can cover-up.

But before you cancel all your meetings for the day – big, bad breakout in tow – there are some things you can do to stop your spot in its tracks without making matters worse. Here, Savoir Flair taps nine top global skin experts to find exactly what we should and should not do when a pimple makes an appearance. You’re welcome.

What to Do: From the best ingredients to put on that pimple to DIY remedies and the power of whizzy technology, this is what you should do when you get a breakout, according to the experts.

Do Practice Expert Extraction

Joanna Czech – Celebrity Facialist & Esthetician

“If you know what you’re doing, you can properly extract it yourself. Clean the skin with rubbing alcohol and then apply rubber gloves or a rubber finger sleeve and gently extract. Follow with hydrogen peroxide and then Neosporin to prevent infection. If you don’t feel comfortable extracting yourself, then I recommend cleansing the skin properly and using a spot treatment that is not dehydrating. Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, sulphur, and camphor tend to be very dehydrating, so if you do use products with these main ingredients, do not overuse them.”

Don't Use Sharp Objects 

Joanna Czech

“Don’t ever attack your skin with your fingernails or a sewing needle. You can cause inflammation and permanent damage, including hyperpigmentation.”

Shop the Best Expert-Approved Products

From Joanna Czech’s must-have “enzymatic and hydrating mask” to Dr. Barbara Sturm’s amazing ‘Clarifying Spot Treatment’, which “supports the skin’s renewal and healing properties”, shop the best pimple-busting products below, as recommended by the experts.