July 24, 2017
By Lorna Soonhee Umphrey | April 11, 2017 | People
We rang Dr. Sandra Lee to talk about why she created her own skincare line, what not to do to your face at home, and why watching her videos are considered therapy.
“Know when to pop, and know when to stop,” is Dermatologist Sandra Lee’s motto when it comes to taking care of that blemish on your face. Famously known as “Dr. Pimple Popper,” she has amassed over a billion views on her YouTube page of various face and body extraction videos. Now, with her own skincare line out called SLMD, we find out what sets her products apart from the rest of the competition, what she thinks about her “popaholic” fans, and how her zit-popping videos strengthen relationships.
Your name, Dr. Pimple Popper, is very visual and unforgettable. Did you have a fascination of popping things when you were a kid?
DR. SANDRA LEE: No, I did not. I call myself a born-again popaholic. My father’s a dermatologist, so I definitely knew about skin and we had textbooks sitting around the house. I have visions of photos burned into my memory that I would see around the house. It was really kind of normal.
You have an amazing following on YouTube and social media thanks to your popaholics. Did you have any idea that people would become so obsessed with watching the videos?
SL: No, I found that there was this subculture on Reddit. I didn’t realize how many people really like this. What’s really nice, actually, is that there are people who have become better friends with some of their periphery friends because they didn’t realize that they also shared this love [of watching pimple-popping videos]. I think, in general, it really brings people together and makes them happy. There’s a huge number of people who watch these before they sleep. It’s like a relaxing thing. So many people use it as a sleeping aid.
With so much competition on the skincare market, what makes your line stand out from all the others?
SL: I’m trying to bridge the gap between seeing a dermatologist and just walking aimlessly down the skincare aisle in the pharmacy and not knowing what to choose from. The products in my skincare line are all products and things that I would recommend or I know dermatologists would recommend in our office, for those people, in particular, who can’t see us. I would say what really makes me stand apart from others—I’m cutting all the BS. These are the things that work. These are the things that we know work based on science, based on years of experience with it. I want to provide these to people who don’t know the first thing about what they should do.
If you get a zit on your face, what’s a big no-no that we shouldn’t do to our face at home?
SL: Well, squeezing [a zit] to oblivion to get something to pop out because it might not be a pimple. There are a lot of other kinds of bumps that are many other things. You just have to be careful when you take matters into your own hands.
photography courtesy of Dr. Pimple Popper