Dr Pimple Popper, 48, shares her top tips for dry, acne-prone skin

Dr Pimple Popper, 48, shares her top skincare tips while detailing her own nighttime beauty routine – as she reveals she INJECTS her own zits at home to ‘get rid of them in 24 hours’

  • Dermatologist Sandra Lee, 48, is known as the infamous Dr Pimple Popper 
  • California-based skin expert follows a no-fuss routine for dry, sensitive skin 
  • TV star uses products from her own range and affordable drug store options 
  • Mom-of-two urged people to only use lukewarm water and not rub their skin 
  • Sandra gives herself a cortisol shot if she’s experiencing a hormonal breakout 
  • The shot will get rid of a zit in 24 hours – but she advised viewers to have their dermatologist administer it  

Dr Pimple Popper spends her days helping people to deal with their zits, cysts, and everything in between – so it’s no surprise that she knows exactly what to do if she has a hormonal acne flair up of her own. 

And now the California-based dermatologist, whose real name is Dr Sandra Lee, is giving her fans some insight into how she deals with pimples of her own, sharing her nighttime skincare routine in a video for Harper’s Bazaar. 

The TV star and skin expert, 48, follows a fairly simple ritual with either her own products or inexpensive staple. The only thing she warns viewers not to do at home is inject themselves with a shot of cortisol with a ‘baby syringe’.

Expert: TV star Dr Pimple Popper (real name Sandra Lee) let skincare enthusiasts in on her own nighttime routine 


First things first: Dr Pimple Popper, aka Sandra Lee, pictured, removes eye makeup with her favorite Lancome product ($30) and a cotton pad

Gunk: Sandra uses Step Zero: Cleansing Wipes from her own SLMD Skincare line ($15) to break down makeup  

‘As a board-certified dermatologist, I am trained to be an expert in all conditions of the skin, hair and nails,’ Sandra said. ‘I’m definitely always aware of what I’m putting on my skin but I am not crazy about it.’

‘I do not have a lot of steps in my regimen, but I do know my skin type. I am dry and on the sensitive side, so I like to keep things to a minimum,’ the mom-of-two added.

First things first, the derm takes off her fake eyelashes which she was wearing for filming purposes. 

She said she ‘swears by a really good oil makeup remover’ such as Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover by Lancome ($40) which she claims she has been using since she was a teenager. 

To remove stubborn mascara and liner, Sandra takes her trusty cotton swabs (like a mix between Kleenex and a pad, she explains) and ensures she dabs the makeup off instead of rubbing harshly. 

In fact, the one thing she regrets doing to her skin in her younger years is rubbing her eyes too much. 

‘Any kind of inflammation or rash that you get can really age you,’ she said. 

Next she uses her own SLMD Skincare Step Zero: Cleansing Wipes ($15) to dab off excess makeup. 

‘I don’t rub because I am prone to getting rashes and irritation and when you do that, you get more wrinkles and change your skin,’ she explained. 

‘Even a wash cloth is going to create micro-tears. You just need to be gentle,’ she explained.

As her skin is dry, Sandra alternates every other night between a moisture-boosting formula like Hydrating Facial Cleanser by CeraVe ($11.99) and her Salicylic Acid Cleanser ($24.99).

‘I’m really dry but I’m prone to brown spots. Salicylic acid is really great because it’s an exfoliant; it’s going to get rid of those dry, really dead skin cells on the surface of your skin.’ 

‘It’s also going to help your skin look more radiant and prevent blackheads from formulating,’ she added.

‘You can leave it on your face for a couple of minutes. That’ll help increase the penetrance of it; helping to get off any of the extra gunk I missed,’ she said. 

She then bestowed viewers with her golden rule for cleansing. 

‘You’re getting rid of moisture, so you don’t want to go really hot and you don’t want to go really cold [with the water]. You don’t want to shock your skin. Lukewarm water is the best, and I’m not going to rub either.’ 

Alternate: The mom-of-two switches between Hydrating Facial Cleanser by CeraVe ($14.99) and her Salicylic Acid Cleanser ($24.99) 


Pro tip: After cleansing when your skin is wet is the optimal time to apply moisturizer, she said

Take five! The straight-talking dermatologist instructed viewers to apply moisturizer while their skin was still damp, and then take a few minutes to let it all sink in 

She finishes the cleansing steps by patting her complexion dry with a towel. 

Next on the agenda is her SLMD Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($50). 

‘When your skin is still moist, that is the prime time to moisturize your skin because if your skin is wet out in the air, the moisture evaporates and the air pulls that moisture out of your skin and you get dryer.’ 

New release: Sandra has her own skincare line, SLMD, which includes a variety of blemish-busting products, including a wash and a spray for body acne

‘That’s why you get that tight feeling after you wash your face and you sit around for a while. This is the ideal time to put a moisturizer on,’ she said.

‘When you put [hyaluronic acid] on your skin it’s really going to seal in that moisture and minimize what we call transepidermal water loss.’  

While her moisturizer soaks in, Sandra chooses to take a short break to apply her Secret deodorant ($7.99).   

‘Deodorant is best applied at night and is most effective at night because you’re putting it on when your sweat glands are the most dormant,’ she explained. 

After the moisturizing step comes a retinol or retinoid, known to be a key step in the anti-aging process.  

‘These are products that have been around for generations and we know that they help to minimize fine lines and wrinkles over time. I personally put moisturizer on first to seal in hydration,’ she said. 

As her skin is so dry, Sandra makes use of CeraVe’s ulta-moisturizing Healing Ointment ($21.99).

Healing: The ‘super dry’ derm uses CeraVe’s Healing Ointment on her lips and eyes 

Zit attack: The skin expert uses a zit-zapping benzoyl peroxide treatment 

‘This is something I live by,’ she exclaims. ‘I’m super dry, I put them everywhere, around my lips and around my eyes.’

However, she warns that some people should be wary of using something so thick around their eyes as it could promote milia (small white bumps that are a build up of keratin flakes).  

If she is experiencing a breakout, Sandra will spot treat with a benzoyl peroxide product, which she offers as part of her own skincare line. 

‘Most of us women get hormonal acne. Usually for that sort of thing, I’m going to put a benzoyl peroxide treatment on the area, it’s great because it’s anti-bacterial.’

‘I usually just spot treat the area. It works in two ways. It’s going to help destroy bacteria that’s thriving in that area and also it really keeps your hands off the area,’ she said. 

She will also opt to inject her own pimples with a shot of cortisol.  

‘I’m sorry most of you guys can’t do this, but because I’m a dermatologist, I inject my own pimples, if I have one that I feel is under the surface of the skin,’ she said. 

To demonstrate, she aimed a ‘baby syringe’ into the zit after dabbing it with alcohol.  

‘If you have a dermatologist that you see, you can potentially [ask can they] give you a shot of low potency cortisol in the area and it gets rid of the zit within 24 hours for a prom or wedding.’ 

On the subject of acne, she wanted to remind people that it can be a good thing.   

Disinfectant: Before administering the acne-beating shot, Sandra applies some alcohol 

‘Baby syringe’: Sandra said she even travels with her cortisol injections, in case she gets a breakout on vacation 

Don’t do this at home! The doc showed herself injecting cortisol into a zit – but urged viewers to have their own dermatologists take care of this step for them 

‘It sucks for us, because throughout our life we think, “Aren’t I supposed to be done with acne. Isn’t this supposed to be a teenage condition, why am I still getting adult acne?”‘ 

‘It’s common and it’s completely driven by hormones,’ she said. ‘Remember it’s a good thing sometimes because it shows that you have hormones, which is a youthful thing. To have oil in your face, to get acne is a youthful thing, so try to remind yourself of that.’

Sandra urged viewers to only pop a pimple if it’s at the surface. 

‘If you’re going to do anything at all, I’m not telling you to do it, but I know people are going to do it,’ she laughed. ‘The problem is that people will try pop a pimple too early because it’s there and you can’t keep your hands off it.’

‘If you squeeze a pimple too early it will just get bigger, redder and angrier and get worse. the ideal time to really extract a pimple is when they’re as close to the surface as they can be.

‘Then you can just gently nick it, a lot of blemishes that are red or brown, they’re going to go away. Try and leave things alone, it’s the best thing to do,’ she concluded.  

FEMAIL reveals top skincare picks for maintaining a clear complexion 

By Charlie Lankston for DailyMail.com  



Wash it all away: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser (left, $14.99),Goop G.Tox Malachite + Fruit Acid Pore Purifying Cleanser (center, $48),The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleaner (right, $9.99)


Go for a glow: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer (left, $39), Biossance Squalane + Tea Tree Balancing Oil (right, $49)



Brighten up! Rodial Vit C Glow Tonic (left, $55), Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Clarifying Serum (center, $250), OleHenriksen Balancing Force Oil Control Toner (right, $28)


At-home spa: The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Peel-Off Mask (left, $6), Mamonde Petal Purifying Bubble Mask (right, $25)

Fresh: Image Skincare I Mask Purifying Probiotic Mask ($45)


Tool kit: Renee Rouleau Night Time Spot Lotion (center, $32.50) and Post-Breakout Fading Gel (right, $40.50)

Grab and go: Indeed Labs Bakuchiol Resurface Pads ($19.99)


Quick fix: Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial ($80, left), Higher Education Rush Clear Complexion Wipes with 2% Salicylic Acid ($24, right)

At-home facial: Dr. Dennis GRoss Clinical Grade Resurfacing Liquid Peel ($95)


All natural: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (left, $6.39), which can be used as a toner, exfoliator, DIY mask ingredient, or spot treatment, Wow Skincare 10in1 Miracle Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic (right, $14.95)

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