Dr. Sandra lee, more famously known as Dr. Pimple Popper on YouTube, has some of the most successful social media accounts on the Internet right now — and certainly the nastiest — in the best way, of course. Amassing a somewhat unexpected fame, Dr. Lee has created a huge platform for not only people who want to watch pimple popping content, but also for those who want to learn about dermatology. Man or woman, it doesn't matter — everyone wants nice skin, right? Well, that's really what the core value of her channels are all about.
Going far beyond just stomach-churning content, Dr. Lee has transformed the lives of countless patients. Think of it this way; while it's awesome to watch a lipoma the size of a grapefruit being extracted from someone's back, it's not so comfortable to live with one! Dr. Lee restores confidence and comfort, all while entertaining and teaching the Internet masses. She's a one-stop Dermatology shop.
By now, it should be very clear that we're huge fans of Dr. Sandra Lee, which is why we're so pumped to share the following interview with you guys. We tackle all of our most pressing pimple popping questions, as well as getting to know Dr. Lee's history a little bit more. It's important to know the lady behind the extractions (and splash mask), right? Sit back, relax and grab those comedone extractors. Let's get it popping, guys.
FHM: So, For Starters, We Have To Ask — When Did The Idea To Film Your Patients First Occur To You? Did You Realize (Even Then) How Large The "Popaholic" Community
Dr. Sandra Lee: "I started an Instagram page at the end of 2014, to show a 'window into my world' as a dermatologist, and early on, I happened to post a 'pimple popping' video. I noticed it got a little jump in views. So I did it again, and it happened again. Then I put a blackhead extraction video on my YouTube channel and that got more and more attention, and it led me discover that there was a whole community of people on the internet who just like to watch shared videos. They called them 'popping' videos, and most of them were 'amateur' — people in their homes or on vacation, popping pimples on a family member's back, using no gloves, no sterile equipment, sometimes with dogs barking and beer cans on the coffee table."
"I thought to myself, 'Wow, this is a thing', and I see this kind of stuff in my office and do this under sterile, office conditions. So, I posted more videos, mainly out of curiosity and fascination, to see how much traction it would get. Well, it certainly did get a lot of attention, and now in less than three years I have over 10 million followers on social media and almost two billion video views on my Youtube channel."
FHM: Are You Still Shocked (Read: Confused) At The Success Of Your Social Media Channels Or Are You Starting To Understand Why People Love Your Videos So Much?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "I was initially surprised by the popularity of pimple popping, but now I’m not. I just think many people hid their love for watching pimple popping and now they are 'out of the closet' because they know that so many other people like watching the same thing. I think there is part fascination, part 'can’t look away, like watching a car accident', like something is being removed that shouldn’t be there and now the skin has been cleansed of an 'impurity'. I think in general, these videos make people feel 'happy' — they are actually very relaxing for many people, many say they watch my videos to help them relieve anxiety, even as a daily bedtime ritual. Also, there is a fascination, and people learn about their own skin and bodies, so I’m able to educate people about their own skin along the way. I like to call it 'edu-tainment' — education while entertaining."
FHM: It's Clear That Dr. Pimple Popper Has Become An Empire! Far Exceeding Just Social Media — You've Got Merchandise And A Skincare Line, SLMD, Now! Can You Tell Us A Little Bit About That?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "Creating a skin care line is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but lots of dermatologists do it. I had ideas on how to do it differently — but also, now that I have the 'Dr. Pimple Popper' channel, I have all these people asking me about how to take care of their own skin. I know that they trust me, and it’s important for me to maintain that trust, so I’m trying to create skin care products that essentially bridge the gap between seeing a dermatologist and being confused and indecisive walking down the drugstore skin care aisle. This is really for people who can’t see a dermatologist or don’t have the time, or perhaps their insurance will not cover it."
"These are products that contain the same ingredients that I prescribe to my own patients. In a way, my videos work with this too because I want to teach people why some of these products work and what they work on specifically. A good starting point is with my SLMD Acne System — a one stop shop to treat acne prone skin; and maintain results! My newest product, the SLMD Blemish Cream uses sulfur to treat blemishes, which is great for sensitive skin or those allergic to other acne treatments. We have a lot of innovative and useful products in the pipeline which I am so excited for, so stay tuned!"
FHM: Let's Talk Men's Skincare Specifically — What Do You See Plaguing Men's Skin The Most?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "Hormones play a huge role which is why acne is most common during puberty, when hormone levels are at their highest. Hormones trigger increased oil production in the skin and cause the acne breakouts, especially with men often having larger pores. Men tend to get acne mainly during these teenage years when hormones are spiking. Using an exfoliant is key!"
FHM: Are There Any Key Differences That Separate Men's Skincare From Women's?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "The differences in men's skin from women's skin is mostly due to increased testosterone production. This mean's that men's skin is thicker, with a higher density of collagen. Regardless of sex, identify your skin concern and work with ingredients known to target and correct. For example: retinol to lighten sun damage, sulfur to treat breakouts for sensitive skin types — know your ingredients, in short!"
FHM: We Know That Some Girlfriends/Wives Love To Pop Their Significant Other's Pimples — What Do You Think, Should Guys Let Them Do It?!
Dr. Sandra Lee: "I'm going to be like any other Dermatologist and tell you not to pop your own pimples, and also not your loved one's pimples, but is this really going to stop you?"
FHM: What Are A Few Common Misconceptions About Popping Pimples?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "I think people often believe that continuously trying to 'squeeze' a pimple to 'help it out' is a quick fix and simply put — it isn't. You should keep your hands off as much as possible and really only be popping anything if the pimple has ‘come to a head’… it should extract easily and after only one or two attempts. After that, you should definitely leave it alone to avoid really traumatizing the skin and causing infection, swelling or permanent scarring."
FHM: Lastly, If You Had One Piece Of Advice To Offer Someone Popping A Pimple, What Would It Be?
Dr. Sandra Lee: "I will say that you should see a dermatologist because we know we’re going to do it in a safe and sterile way. But again, you really shouldn’t pop anything on your face unless it has come to a white/yellow 'head'. If the pimple has a head, at that point it is OK to extract once because the bump is very superficial to the surface of the skin, but the area needs to be sterilized and be sure to use a clean tool. In short, know when to POP and know when to stop! And of course, I do recommend using a good spot treatment product — not only will this help treat the breakout but it will also remind you not to touch it!"
Lead Image via Getty.