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Fashion & Beauty

Average American woman will pop more than 4,000 pimples in her lifetime

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Photo of upset woman with towel on head squeezing pimple on her face while standing in bathroom

The average American woman pops a total of 65 pimples annually.

That’s 4,153 popped zits in the average U.S. woman’s adult lifetime.

A new study of 2,000 American women uncovered the not-so-dermatologist-recommended ways respondents have taken revitalizing their skin into their own hands – in some cases, quite literally.

Over eight in ten American women admit to popping pimples.

Yet 58% of respondents who have done this haven’t learned their lesson, with this percentage saying they have at least one scar from their forays into pimple popping territory.

One reason? Over three-quarters of those who pop say they know it’s bad for their pores, but the urge to pop is just too strong.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Truly Beauty, the survey also examined the most common skincare sins among respondents.

Popping pimples (81%), taking long, hot showers (49%) and not washing your face before bed (43%) are among the most common skincare sins to which respondents admitted.

In addition to their pimple-popping tendencies, more than half of respondents are compulsive face-pickers, with 52% saying they pick at the skin on their face without realizing it.

Over half of respondents (51%) also admitted to not wearing sunscreen, or a foundation or other base with SPF, daily on their faces as recommended.

Roughly the same percentage of respondents say their acne has worsened as a result of mask-wearing during COVID-19, and 38% say their skin “hasn’t been this bad in years.”

Moreover, 43% say they still haven't quite mastered the art of managing face-covering-induced  “maskne.”

A further six in 10 say their skin is dryer than ever from extra hand-washing, sanitizing and showering during the pandemic.

“The past year has wrecked serious havoc on the skin on many parts of our bodies, and it’s easy to feel uncomfortable in your own skin when you’re experiencing a flare-up and don’t know how to fix it,” said a skincare expert for Truly Beauty. “A good way to mitigate this is to start introducing new products with natural, irritation-free ingredients, rather than trying a trendy-but-risky quick fix that could easily result in making what’s already bad worse.”

And while women have likely been showing their faces less often in person because of the pandemic, digital pressures to have a flawless face appear to continue to impact respondents.

Nearly six in ten respondents (57%) agreed that, thanks to social media, the pressure to have perfect skin is greater than ever.

So it’s hardly surprising that the average respondent would pay a whopping $796.25 for perfect skin.

“With tons of drool-worthy images of flawless skin social media, it’s no wonder that respondents report trying just about anything – even things that could potentially damage their skin – to have the perfect glow,” added the expert. “The key to great skin, though, is clean, quality-sourced ingredients that will stand the test of time – and won’t risk irritating, scarring or otherwise harming your skin in the process.”

Top “Skincare Sins”

  • Popping pimples - 81%
  • Taking long, hot showers - 49%
  • Not washing your face before bed - 43%
  • Using pore strips - 42%
  • Not wearing sunscreen when outdoors - 39%
  • Using charcoal peel-off masks - 38%
  • Falling asleep wearing makeup - 35%
  • Not changing your pillowcase every two weeks - 35%
  • Using makeup wipes daily - 32%
  • Using face scrubs containing walnut - 21%
  • Using sonic face cleanser brushes - 20%

Top Questionable DIY Skincare Practices

  • Using toothpaste to shrink zits - 27%
  • Using hydrogen peroxide to help heal wounds or cuts on your face - 27%
  • Using coconut oil as a skin anti-inflammatory - 23%
  • Using witch hazel as an astringent - 22%
  • Using a sea salt scrub - 17%
  • Applying undiluted essential oils to skin - 16%
  • Using honey as an acne treatment - 15%
  • Using lemons to lighten skin - 14%
  • Using baking soda as an exfoliant - 13%
  • Using apple cider vinegar as a toner - 13%


CDC’s Average Life Expectancy for U.S. Females: 80.5 years
Number of years spent as a non-adult: 17 years
Average adult lifetime for U.S. females: 80.5 - 17 = 63.5
Average number of face pimples popped monthly by respondents: 3.37 x 12 = 40.44 annually
Average number of body pimples popped monthly by respondents: 2.08 x 12 = 24.96 annually
Total number of pimples popped annually by respondents: 65.4
65.4 pimples popped annually x 63.5 years in the average female adult lifetime = 4,152.9 pimples popped in the average respondent’s adult lifetime

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